After procrastinating for a few months on enrolling Ryan in preschool, I finally mailed off his enrollment forms for him to attend a preschool for their fall and winter schedule.
The place we decided on, isn’t a “typical” preschool. It is on a farm, just outside our city limits. It is actually just one street over in the country from where Joe’s parents live-you can see their house from the school. The school is a working farm with just about every animal you can imagine. When we took a tour, a goat just had a kid (the night before) and Ryan got to hold it. The children help on the farm with the animals and various other chores.
There is a “schoolhouse” which is a converted chicken house. There are only 8 children in each class with one teacher, and an assistant, so the ratio is 4:1, which is nice. They do have some of the structured activities, like sitting in a circle for stories, and doing arts and crafts which correspond to events happening on the farm. But most of the time is spent outdoors, experiencing the farm, which in itself is a unique experience, which will teach Ryan about nature, science, biology, botany, weather, and the circle-of-life.
Ryan will be going for a half day session, one day a week, and I have to say that I am excited for him to start, but a little sad as well. This really means my “baby” really isn’t a baby anymore, but a little boy. The other day he told me he wanted to go to school on a yellow school bus, and in my heart I know it is time for him to start venturing out in the world away from me, in his own little way. It feels like we have reached a milestone, but one of those good milestones, where I know he is really ready to go, and I know the timing is right for him (but it still a little bittersweet for me!)
The school allows parents to stay during the session as long as they want (or as long as the child needs you to stay), but I have a feeling when the times come, Ryan will be fine.
We really like the idea of Ryan being able to be around a working farm, animals, and other children. We feel that he is progressing very well with the “basics” like his ABC’s, counting, and he is starting to recognize words and memorize stories. He is even starting to sound out some words, on his own.
The socialization is very important to us, and I think this experience will get him used to being around other children, help him learn about working in a group, being in a school structure, while most important- still having fun.
A big bonus too, is one of his friends for sure, (a boy, 1 month younger than him) will also be going during the same time, and another one of his friends (a girl, 6 months younger) may be in the same session as well, so it will be great he will already have a friend or two whom he knows, and he will hopefully be able to build on those friendships, and make new ones.
I am excited for Ryan, and know he will love it. I can’t wait to hear him tell me about his day on the farm, when he starts attending.