My little pumpkin is now an official preschooler!
Boo hoo - she's growing so fast! Tuesday she completed her 2-year run in Mother's Day Out. I feel so blessed that her first "school" experience was at our church's MDO. This program is a hidden gem. It is small, held in the cutest house-like building, and the best part is it is staffed with THE most incredible director and teachers anyone could ask for. I remember my hesitation to put my then 18 month old in a program twice per week for a few hours back in the Fall of 2008. But I knew she needed the exposure to other children her age. She was painfully shy. In fact, I remember clearly the call from Cheryl, the director, just a few days into the school year asking me to come pick her up because she was crying inconsolably and they had tried everything they could to calm her down and distract her and nothing was working. When I picked her up between sobs she said "Go Home". It broke my heart. I remember feeling so helpless, wondering if I was doing the right thing, thinking she was still too young. But I also remember the optimism with which Cheryl and her first 2 teachers in the 1 y/o class told me that she would come around. It would just take her a little longer. And you know what? They were RIGHT! I'm so glad we stuck with it. As a compromise, that first year I picked her up right after their lunch at 11:30 a.m. so that she wouldn't have to go through nap time there. It suited her perfectly. She grew to love the program and by the time May rolled around, she was happily leading the way to her room and telling me to go. She blossomed under the care of such amazing ladies. Thank you Mrs. Laura & Mrs. Veronica!!! Beginning of School 2008 (18 months) & 2009 (2 1/2)
This school year (2009-10), she was ready to go from that first day. No more shy little pumpkin. She was leading the way, ready to have fun with her friends and loving every minute of it. She stayed the full day (8:30-2/twice per week) and had a blast with Mrs. Maria & Mrs. Patti. She loved all the fun art projects they came up with, loved the music program, and loved playing outside. And she didn't do too bad either during nap :) Here's her class picture this year: Aren't they so cute?
And this was her when I picked her up this past Tuesday: She was out! They had a "jumpy jump" (bounce house) for the last day and she had a blast! She was teary eyed saying goodbye to her sweet teachers. The little pumpkin has a great big heart and she feels things deeply. I love that she loves school. I truly credit her MDO program with helping her come out of her shell. We can be somewhere and she now has to tell everyone there goodbye - so cute!
She's a big girl now and she's ready for "big girl school" as she calls it. At the recommendation of a friend, we recently had her tested for a gifted preschool program sponsored by the local school system and she tested at the 99.9%, IQ=145. We knew she was smart but it's funny to have someone officially tell you so. Mama & Daddy are so proud of you Grace! So even though she's registered for a private school program, we are most likely going to enroll her in this program. It's a small program close to us. We met the instructor who was so knowledgeable and so nice and toured the class and those kids were learning all kinds of things but most importantly they were having SO.MUCH.FUN!
The program has a half-day option and that just seems like a great plan for us. We were definitely not ready to have her in an all-day program at just 3 1/2 years old. We'll see what next year holds but for now we're ready to have some SUMMER FUN!!!! What are your plans for Summer? Or maybe just "lack of plans"? That sounds WONDERFUL to me!
I'll be back later to share the last of my Minnesota posts from our trip, but I didn't want this week to go by without recording for our family this last day of MDO for the little pumpkin.
Hope the end of school is going great for all of you!
Congrats to all the graduates!