When the girls were little, I used to dread the day when they would go to school and I would be without them for hours at a time. Now I know what other moms with older children know....SCHOOL IS AWESOME!
When K & L were two, it was easy to keep them entertained and active and still have downtimes scheduled in so I could regroup. Even though Kate didn't nap, I could still get her to rest in her room for an hour while Lucy napped. Now that they are 4 1/2, keeping them busy (i.e. not picking on each other and thus working my last nerve into a frayed knot) takes a lot more creative planning. It's exhausting.
After a lot of back and forth with our budget, schedule, and what we think the girls are capable of handling, we decided that putting them in school for a full day was the best choice. Today was the first day of preschool 2, from 8:30-3! They were super excited!
(Lucy was determined not to smile (she's in the contrary stage of life right now), thus the strange "you look like you are missing your dentures" half smile)
Len and I walked them into class this morning instead of just dropping them in the car line. They found their cubbies, changed into their classroom shoes and set right to work exploring the classroom.We did a little tour of the classroom (their lead teacher this year is Qiongwei lao shi as Xiang lao shi moved over to the elementary level; their new assistant teacher is Yu lao shi. We met with them both last week before school started.) to see what was new and how it had been reorganized. When it was time for us to leave, Lucy got out a shoe polishing kit and Kate headed straightaway to the math area.
When I picked them up they were still happy and chattered about their day all the way home. When I asked them what they worked on, Lucy said she made a bead necklace, worked on some art and made sure that the new kid in class had someone to eat lunch with (she showed him where his seat was and how lunch works with the drinks, etc.). So sweet. Kate worked on the clock (telling time) and spent the afternoon making a book of animals while Lucy went to the nap room. Turns out Lucy didn't actually sleep (way too distracted...shocker) so tomorrow we're going to see how she does staying in the class. It's a moving target at this point.
I'm just happy that they really enjoyed going for the full day. They like being the older (but not the oldest as the kindergartners are in their class as well) kids, showing the newbies around.
And did I mention that I get an extra 2 1/2 hours in my day since they moved from 1/2 to full day?! Yes, yes I did!