Since Owen goes to “school” year-round, it’s not so much “back to school” as it is “time for a new classroom”. Owen’s daycare is much more of a school setting than a daycare, and we both adore it. He thrives on the culture of learning, the art projects, the social stimulation within regular schedules and routines. I am constantly amazed at what he’s learning in school and they are thrilled with what he’s learning at home. It’s win win.
Yesterday at pickup his new teacher told me that he knows all of his colors in English… and Spanish. I knew he knew them all in English, as we talk about colors a lot, but I had NO IDEA he even knew any words in Spanish. As we were coloring last night I started asking him nonchalantly what color the markers were, and then how do you say that in Spanish? He knew a few and could easily repeat them when I gave him the ones he didn’t know. Apparently I need to brush up on my Spanish so I can continue these “lessons” at home!
Just like school, Owen and his buddies graduate to a new classroom at the beginning of September. This week is transition week, so they start the day in their new classroom with their old teachers, and then halfway through the day the teachers hand-off to the new teachers. It makes for a very easy transition and Owen LOVES his new classroom. Everything seems so BIG to me. The chairs are bigger, tables a little taller. The room is larger to make room for easels and art supplies that are out all the time, with a big cozy corner for book reading and snuggling with teachers as well as sensory tables full of fun things like sand and water and various toys and textural objects. They each have a little locker/cubby with their name on it, and Owen is so proud to show me which one is his every morning and afternoon.
I asked Owen how his first day was in his new classroom. All he kept saying was “I ‘pilled milk all over da table! BIG MESS.”. I told him it was no big deal to spill things and I bet his teachers helped him clean it up. When I asked his teacher about it, they laughed and said “Almost everyone spilled their cups — it was the first day with open cups!”. I knew they had said that by the end of the year, the kids would be using open cups and practicing other self-help skills like getting out their own lunches, throwing away trash and even pouring their own water from a picther (!!!), but I had no idea they meant ON DAY 1.
Apparently they have found that trial by fire and peer pressure are the best ways to help kids figure out the open cup, as well as many other skills they will learn this year (can anyone say POTTY TRAINING? That would be amazing if school could do that for me…). So they give the kids little splashes of milk in open cups every day at lunch and let them go to town. We’ve been practicing with open cups (and this awesome training cup I recently found) at home with water, but I haven’t been brave (stupid?) enough to use milk. Let’s just say Owen hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
Oh school, I love you.