Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pre-School Classes

Kira started Pre-School classes this past week on Tuesday. Our church has a Georgia Lottery funded Pre-K program. We registered Kira, but she was on a lengthy waiting list. Lucky for us, her number came up.

Now, you may wonder why in the world I would put her in a Pre-School program when I have absolutely no intention of sending her off to school next year. This is a common reaction of my friends and family when I mention that Kira has started classes. The thing is, though, that home schooled does not necessarily mean completely schooled at home. There is a great deal of value to be found in classes that are given outside the home.

Kira's teachers are not using any particular curriculum to accomplish any given goals. They do have standards that they are expected to reach by the end of the school year. However, the teachers are given a great deal of freedom in how they choose to accomplish these goals. With Kira's classes, there is a whole lot of playing going on. This is why I wanted her in classes - to play.

I think play is a very important part of a young child's life. There is so much to be gained from just playing. Right now she is learning to adjust to a new situation. She's learning to make decisions for herself. She's learning the days of the week just by association. She's learning group play and group cooperation because there are 19 other kids in the room. She's also learning that sometimes what you get really is all you get because they serve lunch and if you don't like it, you don't get something different. (I'm not allowed to pack a lunch for her, either.)

This new schedule also gives me some one-on-one time to spend with Marisa. I'm hoping to be able to use that time to focus on some of her early learning skills like I was able to focus with Kira. Marisa is learning to live her days without her big sister around to dictate the way the world goes. Surprisingly, this is a big adjustment for Marisa. She has seemed a bit lost this week without Kira around. I hope that improves pretty quickly...