Saturday, July 6, 2013

First Day of Preschool

About a year and a half ago when I mentioned that I was changing jobs, I think I mentioned that one of the perks was that MH could eventually go to "school" there when she turned two.   At the time that seemed like a long way away, but like always, time flew by.  The months leading up to her second birthday I was so so excited about her coming to work with me for many reasons.  One- it was going to save me over an hour of drive time each day since I wouldn't have to take/pick her up somewhere else. Two- I could pop in and see her or observe her (booth with a one way window where I can see her but she can't see me) anytime during the day. Three- It would save us a little bit of money each month since I get a pretty good discount for working there.  Four- After working there for an entire year and being able to witness first hand the ins/outs of the preschool program, I knew it was exactly where I wanted her to be.  My boss actually ended up letting me start her three weeks before her actual birthday so that I could start at the beginning of the month.

Here is the big girl dressed with her backpack on and snack box in hand ready for her first day.   
 Her backpack was stuffed with her lunch box, sippy cup, diapers/wipes, and a change of clothes.  It was so heavy I thought it might pull her backwards, but surprisingly enough it didn't!

 She cried when I first dropped her off that morning and I was a nervous wreck all day.  Every break I had that day (and really the entire week) I was running down to her classroom and popping in the observation booth to see how she was doing.
 I snapped this picture the first day at the end of naptime.  Her teachers said she went down like a champ and slept the entire 2 hours!

 After the first few days she adjusted quite nicely and I think she really enjoys it now.  It's a little different than her previous daycare because her day is completely structured and she is being engaged every second of the day.  Her classroom is built of 10 children in which 5 are typically developing and 5 are on the Autism spectrum.  The typical peers serve as models for the spectrum peers.  Each classroom has 1 lead teacher with a Master's degree and at least 3 other adults in the room at all times so the teacher-child ratio is fabulous.  The only downfall- in comparison to her previous daycare- is that it's not a christian based program meaning that they don't teach bible stories or sing bible songs in the classroom.  At first I was torn between leaving her at her church preschool for this reason or moving her to my work, but with a lot of prayer and thought behind it, Ben and I decided that we, along with our families and our current church family, will be responsible for teaching her those things and that it didn't really matter that her school wasn't spiritually focused. I couldn't be happier with our decision!

I have a few more pictures to share of MH with her new friends.  Every Friday we have water play day in the afternoons in which the occupational therapists plan various water activities for the kids.  I try to go out with Mary Hyatt's class every Friday and last week I was able to snap a few pictures.   It's funny how much smaller MH looks than most of her peers.  Some of these kiddos are in the class above her, and for the most part, many of the kids in her class now will be moving up at the end of the summer.  Our school year lasts from August until July, so in August she will stay in her current class and a bunch of new kiddos will join her.

 We always end water play with a popsicle! So fun!

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