We toured SJ Preschool this morning. That school is huge and has everything one could think of, including a wooden ship in the 2-3 year olds playground. SS quickly hopped on, took over the wheel and proclaimed it was her ship. The best way to describe the difference between the schools is to say poor school and rich school. I was disappointed by the lack of communication between the director and the staff. We were greeted by the office administrator and she assumed that SS would be placed in the 2 year old class because she is not potty trained. I explained that Director L wanted SS with the three year olds, because she is 6 months away from being 4. Off we went to find the director and she told the administrator that SS is a special case and that they would talk later. The admin introduced us to Teacher W and it wasn't until half way through her spiel that we realized she teaches the 2 year old class. No idea why the admin did that. We then met Teacher D and Teacher C, and the three year olds. By that point SS had an orange construction hat on, and was happily hammering away at a construction table, surrounded by the two year olds. Funky kid.
We toured most of the school, including the infant room. For the second time this week I felt grateful that we did not have to place SS in day care at such an early age. I am also aware that if there is a #3, that is exactly where he would end up. Another reason why I am content with just two. The classrooms have two lofts each, not sure why, but they look awfully cute. The library is large and something MU does not offer. But SJ is accredited, so they basically have to offer that. The playground equipment, classroom furnishings, computers, etc. look new and top notch. We talked with the teachers during outside time (the sand box is huge) and did not get the opportunity to observe classroom time.
Then there is the fact that it is a Catholic school and although I did not have a problem with it, the more they talked about prayer, the more I thought it might not be the place for SS. Nothing against prayer, that is what I do whenever I get in trouble. OK, just kidding. Although I am headed to hell, Mami's brain washing worked and I still pray. Then there's the whole hypocrite thing because I attended Catholic school. But since I was raised as a SDA, they made an exception with me, and had the option to spend mass time at the library (I attended many masses just to be with my friends). That was heaven for me, I had the library to myself. And even though I still had to take religion class, my exams were different. I doubt that SS will have that freedom, and we never considered raising her Catholic (or SDA). I believe in exposing my children to religion, but in a non denominational setting. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
P thought of something I did not consider, and looked up the public school system. Who knew that they had preschool too? He e-mailed me two links and now we are even more confused than when we began this process. First, they are the worst deal financially, we have to provide or pay extra for lunch, and they do not offer snacks. The thought of having to make lunches for SS gives me a headache. Yes I feed her lunch at home, but I do not have to worry about what travels well. The public school system offers something that no other preschool can offer, exposure to children from various SES. At MU, SS was the only minority. OUCH. At SJ, a teacher mentioned that they have a boy with Spanish as a first language, and I saw a 3 year old that could be Hispanic. Teacher W told me that if SS enrolls she would be the second Chinese child to ever attend the school. As I was driving home I was wondering where do the minority children attend school. Little did I know that P was about to answer that question.
The public preschools also offer music and Spanish classes twice a week. Those are big pluses on our books. We have often posted about SS's love for music, and it would be nice to have help with teaching Spanish to SS. A negative is that school starts at 8:30 a.m., even though they open at 7:00 a.m. Those ninety minutes are considered day care, so we would have to pay extra. I called the enrollment office but they are closed on Fridays. By the time we add lunch and daycare, we might end up paying more than at the fancy pants school we visited this morning. But they offer subsidies to low income families, and that translates into diversity. I sometimes hate how resourceful my husband can be. Sigh.
I was so glad when SS finally fell asleep at almost 4:00 a.m. Love the little hand thing, P frequently falls asleep in that same manner.
SS would not look at the camera. She was upset that this is the second time we take her to school, then make her leave when she is in the middle of some serious fun.
P likes to look into SS's eyes, then in a deep voice say, "SS I'm your father." Aunt Court's gift came in handy at 1:50 a.m. Thursday morning when SS wanted to do her version of that Star Wars moment.
Free Falling was playing on the radio on our drive home. SS was singing along with all her might. The song must have stuck to her brain because she spent the afternoon "singing."