Saturday, February 18, 2012

Four Days at Preschool

That's right. As of last week, Jena now goes to preschool four days a week.

I don't know if you remember, but way-back-when I agonized over even sending Jena to a traditional preschool (as opposed to an in-home setting).

We started out by sending her three days a week (Mon thru Wed), and it was clear for the first few months that three days pushed her limits. By Wednesday she was fighting me more in the mornings, and clearly stressed & tired when I picked her up at the end of the day. It was a bit much for her.

Three was a good choice back then. It pushed her limits, without overwhelming her. She stretched, she grew.

She got comfortable. She started acting out.

When she moved up to her new class (the one she's in now), it became clear. She had been bored.

She has thrived in this new class, is so much happier, and while she still fights me leaving the house every morning, she is now just as likely to not want to leave preschool when I pick her up.

Just yesterday she declared "I don't want go home! I want do more work!"

LOL. If only she knew how many years of school & work she had ahead of her!

So it didn't take Jason & I long to toy with the idea of sending her to school four days a week. We had always planned to, when she got closer to four years old. But since she was doing so well, we decided to approach the idea now.

Our current arrangement is:
    Mon thru Wed - preschool
    Thu - my parents watch her
    Fri - babysitter

New arrangement will be:
    Mon thru Thu - preschool
    Fri - my parents

We started by asking my parents, and it ended up they were thinking of asking us if our babysitter would trade days with them anyway, because they'd rather have Fridays.

Then we talked to the school. Not only did they have openings, ends up adding a day will cost us less than our current babysitter. We'll save money by sending her an extra day!

Okay, not a lot. Pennies really. But still. That was an unexpected surprise.

And as a bonus, our babysitter has agreed to stay on as our backup on any day.

** side note - After what happened to us when my parents watched her four days a week, I highly recommend that everyone have a backup daycare lined up for their child, no matter what.
Honestly, if my employer hadn't been so understanding, I could have easily lost my job for the time I took to stay home with Jena while we scrambled to find child care. And it was really only a day here & there as we accepted a patchwork of help from friends, family, & acquaintances. But still. Add the stress on her from being bounced from place to place day after day... get a backup.
Besides, even our daycare facility has had rare occurrences where they had to shut down due to power outages, storm damage, etc. Even if you use a facility, get a backup.

We talked about it again, and decided we wanted to set the timing for February, so that any stress from the holidays, change of schedule from the holidays, etc. should be gone by the time we make this change to Jena's weekly routine.

All systems were go!

We've been mentioning it to her for weeks, but really talked it up all that week to prepare her. I asked her what she thought they might do on Thursdays at her school, and she got all excited. Then her eyes lit up.

"I think the truck comes!"
"What truck?", I ask thinking maybe she's thinking of the library van that comes once a month
"The milk truck!"
"It does?!?"
"Well okay!"

I have no idea why she's excited about the milk truck coming, or why she thinks it comes on Thursdays, but it made her awfully happy & excited to go to school, so... I'll take it!

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