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Thursday, August 28, 2008

P(r)ep Talk!

Summer is coming to a close and Ana needs to start new preschool. I am a little apprehensive. I've taken her to visit the new school several times so far. We met with her new teacher last week. I think she will eventually adjust to the new school and routine, but, as of now, here's how our prep talks have gone:
Me: Ana, remember the new school we went to visit? You will be going to the new school soon.
Ana: Yep, I remember.
Me: You like the new school, right?
Ana: Yep.
Me: Yasmin won't be your teacher anymore. You'll have a new teacher Katie.
Ana: I like Yasmin. I want to go see her.
Me: Well, maybe tomorrow we can see Yasmin for a little while, OK? But, remember, you'll have new friends in your new school. Paulina and Amelie won't be there in your new school. You'll meet Eli and Asa and others.
Ana: I like Paulina. I want Paulina to go to my new school.
Me: I think Paulina's Mom wants her to stay in the old school, so, Paulina won't come to your new school. You'll meet new friends you can play with in your new school, OK?
Ana: I will call Paulina on the phone and tell her to come to my new school.
Me: Paulina may not want to come, Ana. You'll learn lots of new fun stuff in the new school.
Ana: But, I don't want to learn new stuff, Amma. I don't want new friends. I want to play with Paulina.
*Sigh* End Session.

Me: Ana, in two weeks you will start new school, remember?
Ana: Yep.
Me: Are you excited? Are you happy to go to your new school?
Ana: Nope.
Me: Why not?
Ana: I don't know...
Me: You can learn to read in the new school! yay! You can read all your own books... you can read your books to me then!
Ana: I don't want to read my books to you, Amma. You can read your own books. I don't want to learn to read.

*Sigh* Got off on the wrong foot. Abort Session.

Well, you get the picture...

Having gone to daycare from 6 months onwards, I am sure she will adjust eventually. Her daycare caregivers have taught her a lot - including grace & courtesy, singing & dancing, a certain amount of responsibility regarding her personal items, her body, as well as responsibility towards fellow students.

Her Independence blossomed as she learned to control her body movements and care for herself. Ana could eat by herself at age 9 months, even though she didn't get her first tooth till 10 months. She learnt to say "Thank You" and "Please" even before I insisted on being polite at home. She started putting on her own socks and shoes by 15 months, thanks to velcro™ shoe fasteners, and she could dress herself by age 2, needing just minimal assistance with buttons and hooks. Having two kitties at home gave her the opportunity to care for and treat our animal friends with respect - most days now, at age 3, she likes to fill the kitties' bowl with cat food, and put out some water for them.

I am trying not to lay unnatural emphasis on academic achievements... a good education must also attempt to round out her character and help her to intuit and discover, rather than turn her into a passive learner, suppressing her innate streak of creativity and curiosity... which is what makes *me* nervous about her starting school.

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