Tuesday, August 14, 2012

R Started Preschool

Off on her journey
R had her first day of preschool!!! today. It's a very nice school, clean, well-lit, with lots of non-branded, open-ended toys, and meets all the qualifications that were important to me: warm, experienced teachers; a very high teacher-student ratio (there's 5 in her class and two teachers); a small class size (I thought a large class would be too overwhelming); and a play-based curriculum (I don't believe in academically based programs for such young children). In more practical considerations, it's close to our house and isn't too expensive.

She's only starting at two afternoons a week, for two hours a session (so four hours weekly). If all goes well (and she stops regularly sleeping in late), I will switch to three-hour morning classes for 3 or even 5 days a week. She cried when I left of course, but seemed to settle in pretty well (I hid behind a corner and watched; also they took pictures), so I'm hopeful.

I have been longing for her to go to school (at least for a few hours, no thoughts of boarding school here!) for months now. But now that the time has come it's kind of bittersweet. It made me a little sad to think of R having adventures without me: even if I hear about them, or see pictures, I will not share them. She will learn new things, make new friends, and negotiate complex social situations, but without me by her side. I'm (very slowly) losing my status as her gatekeeper to the world. Instead, she herself will decide what to accept, what to reject, and how to interpret it all.

This is natural and important, and I wanted it to happen (and even if I didn't, it would happen anyway). But it is a loss, of her babyhood and of the cozy cocoon I've created for her over the last 18 months. Sniff sniff.


  1. The first day is hard. I think it will be great for you to have a few hours to yourself though! I'm sure R will benefit from being in a new social situation.

    Nora still cries on occasion when I leave her at daycare. :( That part never gets easier! Luckily she seems to get over it pretty fast.

    1. I guess really it would be a bad sign if they didn't cry, because then they wouldn't be very attached. It is sad though, poor little things.

      I am really looking forward to the (very slightly) increased free time, for sure!

  2. preschool starts early there! I think it started between 2-3 here...I should probably look into it. P's daycare has preschool as well (on the other side of the classroom) so we'll probably just keep her there. I'm with you on the play-based approach. Kids have SO much time to learn and become adults and have their brains filled up with stuff that right now I want P to just be a baby/toddler/kid. All the pressure that the US puts on kids these days kills me. I hope mine's not the dumb one in the class because I didn't push her too hard but honestly, can't a kid just be a kid??

    1. I think usually it's 2.5 in the US? But all the Singaporean babies have to start studying for their tests early (no, really, the academic environment is very intense here). R is pretty social so even though she's just going to be playing I think it will be good for her.