Today was Ella’s first day of school and man was she excited! Although she was extremely disappointed that she did not get to ride on a school bus (and would probably be even more distraught had she really understood what I was telling her when I said she had to wait until kindergarten for that), in every other way it was a success. She keeps telling me, “I’m big! I go to school!”
Mike and I debated back and forth for awhile about what to do about Ella and preschool. I was very pro-preschool and Mike felt it wasn’t a necessity. His logic – “I didn’t go and I turned out fine” – was met by my – “Times have changed and you can’t just show up for kindergarten anymore…especially in Katy” (known for good schools, and after tutoring my brother through middle school I can verify that they are a little INSANE about academics here). We compromised that Ella wouldn’t go this year but would go the year before kindergarten, when she was 4. I bought some little “school” supplies and planned on holding our own little school a few times a week. This was in May and I got her all excited the first day, we did our activities and as I was cleaning up I said, “I had so much fun doing school with you Ella!” to which she looked at me puzzled and asked, “Where are all the kids?”
Well, awhile later when a lady in our ward at church (Ella’s friend Abi’s mom) mentioned she was thinking about doing Joy School with Abi I was ecstatic and told her to keep me posted because we were definitely interested. So, thanks to Jeanne for taking the lead on it all and we now have a group of 5 little girls ages 3-4 to do Joy School with. It is a neat program and should be a lot of fun. The curriculum includes 10 units, so we will each be in charge of 2 during the year and the rest of the time it works like a regular preschool where I can drop Ella off and pick her up after lunch – all for the price of 1 month tuition pretty much anywhere else (you pay for online access to the manuals and they send you CDs with all the songs).
I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with Addie without worrying about Ella getting jealous. I find myself making sure Ella gets her time in because she’s used to it and since Addie doesn’t know the difference she really misses out I think. She seems perfectly happy but I’m still glad I’ll have a chance to give her my full focus…although today she was exhausted and chose to sleep almost the whole time Ella was at school.
I tried to ask Ella about what they did at school and she said she played and painted and sang songs – that was as much as I could get from her. I know they did a little show and tell - Ella wanted to bring her Dora doll from her friend Johnny. I asked her what she said about her and she didn’t really answer, although she told me what the other girls brought (at least she’s paying attention). I can just imagine each of them standing up and holding their item and not really saying anything and Jeanne trying to prompt them along. Kids at this age are so funny, how they tend to not speak at all in certain situations, like nursery. I’ve never really stayed in nursery the whole time but I’ve heard that for the most part the kids are silent when it comes to adult interaction, etc. A few weeks ago after church Ella told me, “Mom, Abi doesn’t talk at church but she talks to me at her house.” Me, “Oh. Do you talk at church?” Ella, “No.”
I’m sure we’ll have many school stories to come – especially when it's at our house and I'm in charge :-)!