By Julie M.
My husband, Brad, and I were blessed 2.5 years ago with the birth of our first little girl, “A”. Like any new parents we were petrified and excited all at the same time, and we certainly weren’t ready for the conversion that happens once that baby enters the world. We had read every book, consulted with every parent we knew and wanted to make sure we did everything “exactly right.”
Fast-forward a couple years and many learning experiences later, we’ve survived infancy and the early stages of toddlerhood thanks to the teaching approach The School of Grace (Grace) parent-participatory school has shown us.
Most every parent I’ve ever met wants their children to receive the best care and education. We aren’t any different. We are fortunate enough to have Brad be the primary caretaker of “A”, as we juggle his work schedule and my full-time corporate job. This allows one of us to be with our daughter and stay active and involved with The School of Grace on a regular basis.
The truth is this family dynamic is not always easy to maintain. At one point over the last couple years we enrolled her in an all-day childcare facility four days a week for additional help. We found ourselves re-enrolling “A” at Grace after being gone for only two months because the learning styles and emphasis on development were not equivalent. So we found that not even the most expensive daycare establishment had the teachers or curriculum compared to what we had found at Grace. Not only did we come back to The School of Grace, but Brad began teaching there two days a week and played an active role with bringing more music into the children’s learning through playing his guitar. For us, The School of Grace is where we’re supposed to be.
“A” first entered Grace when she was exactly 6-months-old (the earliest age you can enroll your child). From the beginning, we knew there was something special about this place. Not that it had the most innovative toys and latest gadgets or that the school itself had been recently built with advanced architecture; when it comes to a child’s learning and happiness these things don’t matter. At The School of Grace there is a great sense of love, warmth and nurture in the midst of loud, young children learning and discovering life’s gifts and lessons for the first time. The teachers here each have a special talent when it comes to patience and the ability to show children how to correctly behave, as opposed to every other word out of their mouth being “NO” or “DON’T DO THAT.”
One of the many things they’ve shown us is that children don’t know what they don’t know, and that it’s our jobs as parents (and teachers) to help them learn. The School of Grace students are taught everything from the basics like washing their hands, to using sign-language as their first way of communicating, to being shown how to share and take turns, and even how a child’s behavior affects another child when they act inappropriately. When we bring these same teachings and practice them with our child at home it promotes consistency and the results are worth the time investment.
Now, does our two-year-old always behave at her best? No way (what adult or child acts right all the time). Do we always know how to handle each new situation and scenario as it arises? Absolutely not! We do know that with the help of Grace teachers who have decades of experience helping young children develop, that we don’t have to figure out this parenting thing on our own. There is always someone at Grace who is there to help us be at our best as we continue this journey of teaching children and learning how to be parents.