Angela Amman

Choices and Stress

Once upon a time, I imagine that starting your child in preschool involved picking out a cute dress, buying a little tote bag, and hoping that the tears held off until you got back to the car.  Now, preschool is a serious business. 
I’d like to think I’m a (fairly) rational person, but dangle that preschool carrot in front of my face, and I suddenly lose all sense of reality and feel like one of the more clueless cast members of the Jersey Shore.
There are co-ops and public schools and secular private schools and religious private schools and Montessori schools and language immersion schools.  There are two-day programs and three-day programs and choose-your-amount-of-day programs.  Half days and full days and probably some crazy boarding school somewhere on the East coast that will guarantee a Rhodes scholar for the small price of a healthy kidney and part of my liver.  Of course they range from the affordable to the expensive to the “oh geez, can Bill Gates sponser my child’s education?” 
I’m sure this decision isn’t made any easier by all of the thinking I did in grad school about “what is education?” and the philosophy classes that encouraged us to debate the merits of John Dewey and Maria Montessori.  My student teaching and teaching jobs have exposed me to such a wide variety of schools, and all of it is making this more stressful than I ever expected.
During my moments of clarity, I realize that with all of those great options, we’ll find a good fit, and that there’s not one right or wrong choice.  I’m not going to lie, though, I didn’t really expect to be the type of person stressing out about where my child would spend her mornings (or afternoons) learning to cut and paste and sing songs, and I know I need to get a grip before any other decisions come along. 
Like what she’ll wear the first day of school.
pre-preschool at home
we encourage literacy at every opportunity
focus on the book
ignore the Resevoir Dogs DVD in the background 
for a while, Dylan didn’t care too much about books one way or the other
well, except he liked to chew on them 
lately, though, he loves reading
Sandra Boynton books are a particular favorite
also Clifford
sometimes he even reads them himself
not always upside down, either!
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