My children go to a parent participatory preschool. The biggest part of this is taking your child into class, picking them up from the class (no carpool lines here!), going to school with your child 1-2 days/month and providing the snack for the class. The thing is, I can’t go to class with my children and I am not the one transporting them.
It wasn’t always this way. When they first started attending The School of Grace, I had a very flexible schedule at my job and was not only able to come to school at least 1 time per month with each of them, I was also able to pick them up from school 2 days per week. It is a great way to get to know the teachers, the other parents and the children your child is calling friends. So how does a working parent with a non-flexible schedule make a parent participatory preschool work?
My children, instead of having a helping parent with them, have a helping “Poppop”. That is their grandfather. He takes and picks up my children and he has a day once a month that he stays at school with each of them. The kids in the class all know who Poppop is and the biggest thing is, he loves it! His eyes light up like he is a child himself when it is his day to help. It gives him a special time with his grandchildren.
Also, there is more to parent participatory than helping parent days. There are work days twice a year, fundraisers, parent teacher conferences, being on the board, and other activities that you can get involved in doing. I have served on the board, so even though I can’t be in the school with my children I still feel connected. Going to fundraisers, you see other families who go to the preschool, and at the beginning of the school year work day, you work side by side with other parents.
The School of Grace is an extension of family, not just for your children but for your whole family. And even when you have the schedule of a non-participatory parent, The School of Grace will make sure you are part of the family.
Beauty in the Weeds
In the past I would look out in the yard and see yellow dandelions and groan, I hated those weeds that interrupted the green flow of my grass. I would spray, pull and mow over them.
Then last year my boys discovered these “flowers”. They didn’t see yellow weeds, they saw this cool flower that turned from yellow to white and then could be blown away into the wind. They would cover ever inch of the yard searching for ones that had changed and guess how long until the yellow ones became white.
Suddenly my perspective started to change. While I still find these weeds pesky to my yard, I love the joy that they bring my boys. I no longer spray them or pull them. And before I mow the boys and I will do a dandelion walk to make sure we get all the white ones.
I think the School of Grace helped with this lesson. Not for the boys, they are young and naturally curious and full of discovery, but I think I was the one who received the lesson. At school, the staff not only encourages those little discoveries but gets excited for the children when they make them. The little things that your children do are supported, encouraged and celebrated on a daily basis. It has helped me to find the beauty in the weeds.