She Says… Back to School

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.

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5 responses to “She Says… Back to School

  1. YES. My son turns two in October, and in October they will transition him to the 24-30 month old room, and they do indeed help with potty training! I bought some cute children’s cups at IKEA. about 7oz, plastic, and my son has been doing GREAT with them at home, we still only put about a half an inch in there at a time. He loves his cups. I also have him help empty the dishwasher – I try and get out everything except the silverware and his dishes and ask for his help. One piece at a time and he loves it!

  2. I think Cameron stays in his “doodlebugs” classroom until he turns 3 and transitions to the pre-school program which is in another location nearby. They group the toddlers in the toddler program as close in age as possible and add new age appropriate skills etc as they go. I was shocked when he started at 18 mths and they asked me if he was “still using a sippy” (um duh?) as they were all sitting down to their “family style” meal (2 snacks and lunch is included in the day care and they learn to serve portions of food from the big bowl/tray). Apparently they started learning to pour their own water and milk (with help) straight from the get go and they all eventually dropped the lid. I thought it was a lost cause at that age, but they all dropped the lid really early! He came home with dirty shirts for a long time! lol While I usually put a lid on his cup at home, I’ve been doing it less and less and he hasn’t had a lid at school for months and any spillage at home is if it gets knocked over by pushing his plate too close or something. Other than sitting at the table and eating, it’s sippy cup if we’re on the move.

    So far pretty much most of the girls are out of diapers now and I keep waiting for him to truly want to pee in the potty. We talk about it and sit on it before bath, but so far he really likes his diaper! I am assuming he will learn at day care as the rest of them start using the little toddler sized toilets!

  3. When I hear of all the exciting things Owen is learning, I get excited for my son to start school. I feel like we are definitely in the minority, but we are holding off preschool until he is three. (He is a summer baby and will likely be 6 before he enters kindergarten. We’d rather he be the oldest of his class than the youngest.) If we enrolled him now, that would be 4 years of preschool. I feel like that’s a bit much…I don’t want him to be bored by the time he reaches kindergarten. :) Plus he’s going to be in school the rest of his life, so why rush it?! But I know I sure wouldn’t mind a little help on the potty-training!!

  4. I have vivid memories of pouring my own juice at Montessori preschool. It was a really, really big deal.

  5. We have that cup! Love it, although, I’m still using the sippy lid.

    Owen’s school sounds SO awesome! Liam went back to Mother’s Day Out this week and his class is much more structured than last year– sign language (I wish it was Spanish– He talks SO MUCH that I feel like Spanish would be a better fit for him!), music, art, etc. They sit in chairs at a table for lunch (last year he was in a high chair) and do all kinds of “big kid” things.

    Here’s hoping that Owen has a great year!!

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