When my family moved from Vancouver, BC to Northern Idaho it was mid-way through the school year. My oldest child recently turned 5 and is attending preschool. Switching schools was a big deal for him. It was obvious he had some anxiety about whether or not he would like his new school, if his teachers would be nice and how soon he would make new friends.
As the Mom, I wasn’t really worried so much about the new school as I was concerned. Going to a new school not only meant a new environment for my child, it also meant new ways of doing things. Inevitably the program was going to be different, and I wondered would the new program be a good match for my son?
As it turns out, I absolutely LOVE my son’s new school! Honestly, I can’t say enough great things about it. The progress my son has made from where he was before attending the new school is huge, and I am completely thrilled. For that reason I thought I would share with you a little more information about my son’s school. My hope is that it will give you some new ideas to try with your children, or if you are a teacher possibly new ideas for your school.
First and foremost, the school teaches the I Can Do It attitude. They encourage children to do as much as they possibly can on their own, and this has promoted get self-esteem for my son. He is so proud of everything he can now do, which previously he was getting a lot of help with. The teachers will take the time to show the child how it is they, for example zipper their coat, or fix their shoe, and so on but they do not do it for the child. A lot of time and effort goes into teaching the children to be self-sufficient, instead of just doing it for them.
I personally have been guilty of not teaching my children many times I could have. There have been times when I would do something for my children that with some teaching, they could be capable of doing themselves. Honestly, often I did it because it seemed easier, or I didn’t feel like waiting. I am glad to have been shown the light because empowering your children is worth every bit of effort!
In addition, my pre-schooler has homework. You should have heard the moaning and groaning I did when I found out about this one. My attitude was Give Me a Break! Pre-schoolers don’t need homework. I thought it was starting too young and my memories of often having way too much homework as a kid came flooding back. I remembered as a child feeling as though all my teachers gave me hours and hours of homework, which meant how was I going to get it all done, get enough sleep, and actually enjoy my life a little? After all, you are in school ALL day!
Despite all my complaining I have to say I was wrong. The teachers only give my son a few minutes of homework each day. It can usually be completed in 5 to 10 minutes, so it is not daunting and there is plenty of time for doing other things, like play. My son actually looks forward to doing his homework. It makes him feel proud. I like it because it gives both my husband and I a chance to be involved with his learning. When we know what letter he is working on we can implement at home. Point it out throughout the day, and work on the sound. I wasn’t as motivated to this before he started having homework.
The children also spend some time playing outside before class starts, no matter what the weather. They simply come with the appropriate outdoor clothing as well as a change of clothes in case they get wet. Studies show that being active before class helps the mind learn. The children also get one break during their half day to play outside before returning to their learning activities. When I drop my son off the first thing he does is play outside with his friends, so it makes him really look forward to going to school.
Lastly, the school uses Love and Logic. Follow the link for more information. One aspect of love and logic that we have implemented in our home is instead of a time out we often give my son a puzzle to work on. It changes from stewing about something or staying angry, to helping my child switch his focus and use his mind in a different productive way. At school if kids are fighting or not following the teacher’s direction they are given puzzles to work on by themselves for a few minutes. It is a great idea and has worked well in our house. It can be hard to get a young child to sit quietly and take deep breaths, but a puzzle is something that is both productive and helps them calm down.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you know someone who might benefit from any or all of these ideas, please do share!
Have a beautiful day, friends!