Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Last Day of Preschool!

Wow.  The end of another school year.  Time really flies, doesn't it? 

What's that you say?  Your child's school continues for another 6 months?  Oh, that's funny, because in our house we're operating under the assumption that everyone's last day is today. (That's the beauty of being three years old - you can bow out gracefully with no awareness that your departure had anything to do with you.)   

Here's a little ditty I wrote for the occasion (well, mixed in with the original lyrics from Frankie Avalon).  (To be sung to the tune of "Beauty School Dropout" from the movie Grease.)  

Your story sad to tell,
A toddler ne'er do well,
Most mixed up non-delinquent on the block!
Your future's so unclear now,
What's left of your career now?
Can't even get a trade in on your smile!

Angels: (La lalala lalala lalala...)

Preschool dropout,
No graduation day for you.
Preschool dropout,
Missed finger painting and flunked letter "Q".

Well you looked the part, so cute and sweet, grinning for your closeup,
But it turns out you weren't kidding when you said you were one sad pup!

Baby get moving (Baby get movin'),
Why work so hard just to survive?
No need for proving (No need for provin'),
Your young heart deserves to thrive.

Preschool dropout (preschool dropout)
You'll catch up by high school

Preschool dropout (preschool dropout)

You'll catch up by high school

Preschool dropout (preschool dropout)

Know that we love you.

I joke, but after months of stressing we've reached a well thought-out decision made with the help of experts but ultimately based on our own gut feelings.  For so long, everyone's advice seemed to be that the solution to Georgia's preschool problems was: more preschool!  But having given this a trial run from mid-August until December, we're now pretty confident that the one thing that definitely isn't working is "more preschool."  Not to get all melodramatic about it, but it was beginning to feel like trying to teach a drowning person to swim by throwing water at them.     

I know I haven't shared all the details on this blog, and the last preschool update I posted here was quite positive, so you may be reading this thinking, "What the hey?"  Suffice it to say that despite having occasional good days, on the whole Georgia went from crying a lot, to completely shutting down and refusing to participate or interact.  When preschool means consistently sitting on a bench by yourself for extended stretches of time, just watching the other kids and feeling sad, there comes a point when as a parent you have to conclude that it's a net negative.  I know she learned a lot, and it's evident to me that there's a part of her buried inside that enjoyed certain aspects of school but just could never get comfortable with being there.  Our hope is that she'll feel ready by next year, and our plan is to participate in activities that help her build the skills to get there.  (You'd be surprised the number of people who feel the need to remind us of that, as if the only alternative to "more preschool" were to isolate her from human interaction and never leave home.)  

Many of the "achievement monkeys" (as Joe calls them) that we work with have been aghast that we'd consider pulling Georgia from school, as if by dropping out she's just waived goodbye to that Stanford PhD she was on her way to earning.  So, forgive me if I'm coming across as a bit defensive; I've had many moments of doubt about this.  Now that it's settled, though, I'm proud of us for working through this stressful time together, ignoring the naysayers and believing that we know our child best.  I am pretty sure this is going to be one of those things that we look back on years later and laugh, but for now I'm just really looking forward to not having it occupy so much mental space on a daily basis!  That, and skipping the foot-dragging rush out the door this Wednesday.

To conclude on a brighter note, I took Georgia to a free introductory class at The Little Gym last week, which she loved, and judging by the propaganda hanging in the lobby, 45 minutes of tumbling is guaranteed to solve all problems.  Happy days are here again! 

Poster at The Little Gym


Maggie and Mike said...

I'm so glad you've been able to resolve this situation and find peace. Definitely you know what is best for Georgia. Good for you guys!

Me? A Mom? said...

You're doing right by her. She's THREE. Enjoy Little Gym.

Kate said...

Exactly! Thank you!

jessica said...

I'm happy for you guys. Georgia is lucky to have such amazing parents.

Cindy said...

Good for you! We kept Byron out until he was almost 4. Worked for us.

Sarah said...

Wow, I was literally just about to call you to see how the preschool thing was working out and I decided to check the blog first. I completely support your decision. And I'm not worried. Maybe because I used to be inconsolably miserable when my parents would drop me off for pre-school or other kid activities. I think the Little Gym is a great idea. There's actually a growing body of research that suggests physical coordination is a precursor to all kinds of measures of success, including academic achievement. It has to do with the structure of the brain, with coordination being a more basic function that overrides more sophisticated skills. If you've got the coordination thing down, apparently you can move on to bigger things, like aeronautical engineering. Go figure. Anyhoo...good plan. No worries. Enjoy this time!

Angelique said...

Always follow your instinct as a parent...you guys know what's best for Georgia!

katandkarl said...

I am late weighing in on this but Hooray! for making the call for your family and feeling good about it! She will have plenty of time for school, yes?

(Additionally (aside?), we took LG classes this summer and Nate screamed like a banshee every time the instructor tried to get him on the balance beam... or any apparatus for that matter. it was hilarious. Well, it's hilarious now. i never forced him and he did have a blast running about. it was a super positive experience overall.)