Elise and I both have a dream... it's the same one, but for very different reasons. We are both dreaming of pre-school.
She dreams of going to school because she is so curious about what goes on there; like it's a wonderful place where all you do is play princesses while riding unicorns and playing with leprechauns.
I dream of shipping her off because if I have to hear the sentence, "Moooom, let's plaaaaaaaay!" one more time, I just might start laughing like a loon and run off down the street; never to look back. I may or may not be naked in this scenario. It's not the sentence itself; it's the fact that she says it every two minutes or so. And even if you are playing with her, and (God forbid) turn your attention to anything else (like a phone ringing), she will say it again; louder and with more emphasis and syllables on the "play" part.
I had never really given pre-school a second thought. It was just too scary for me to drop her off into the hands of the uninitiated for any amount of time. But since Mattias was born (and the arrival of Eileen), I've had a change of heart.
I've been watching Elise, and I see how she absolutely glows when she's around other kids. And how she loves to learn and experience new things. She has grown up so much in the last 6 months, I figured she was ready.
I found out about a church in my area that has a pre-school. A friend of mine sends her daughter there, and they love it. And, it's right up the street from us. Literally, right up the street; it would take me 15 seconds to drive there, or about 5 -10 minutes to walk with Elise. When I called them up, I learned that one of the teachers was a T1 diabetic. Could it be any more perfect?
Except, because it's a little late to be enrolling her, they have no room. But that's not what has me down. They told me that because of her birth date, if they did have room they'd put her in with the 2 1/2 year olds.
When I went to school, if you were born in a certain year, you were in the same grade as other kids born in that same year. Except here, they have some mysterious cut-off that Elise misses by a few days. And that bugs me.
If you've ever met Elise, then you know that she is extremely mature for her age. She's been talking in full sentences since before she turned two, and her vocabulary is better than some 5 year olds. Why would they put her in with kids that would hold her back?
I tried to explain that to the assistant director of the pre-school, but she said that they were firm on that rule. I wonder if it would have helped if I told her that Elise was born at 41 weeks gestation and her actual due date would have been before this magical cut-off.
Can anyone who is in the education field explain this to me? Why do schools do this? Shouldn't it be on a child-by-child basis? Or am I making to much out of it? I don't know why, but I feel like Elise is being unfairly judged.
Perhaps I should just keep looking. But this school seemed so perfect, that I don't want to let go.
1 week ago