Gia met her teacher for Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) for the first time last Friday! What an experience! I had been trying to get her excited for a couple of weeks! Gia was a bit cautious, or perhaps confused about school in general. You see, Gia has never attended preschool or daycare of any sort. I have been blessed to have my parents take care of her since she was 12 weeks old. I needed to return to work and luckily, my parents were willing and able to jump in. So however hard it was to leave her on a daily basis, I felt secure knowing that she was in my parent’s care. Needless to say, the transition to school is going to be a huge hurdle!
When the Thursday before the orientation arrived, I decided to take the day off to spend with Gia! I thought I would try to make the day special. When Friday morning came, my husband and I made Gia breakfast and then headed out to the school. Gia insisted on taking her little snake to show her teacher! So it sat on her lap as we drove over to the school. It only took about five minutes to arrive. Luckily, the school has a VPK parking lot, so we didn’t have to wade through all of the traffic. We parked and then went through the entrance to be greeted by staff. We headed on over to the room. The teachers came out to greet us and ushered us into the room. It was a enlightening experience. They shared the class schedule, the required routine (yes, I did say routine), and a few things that Gia would be learning this year! To my surprise, Gia is ahead of the game when it comes to her ABC’s and numbers, but will get the support she needs with writing and site words. I also think the idea of a routine will be a good idea because she is definitely used to more flexibility!
So, I keep talking about a routine. What exactly is it? Well, when Gia enters the classroom, she has to do the following by herself:
- Take her lunchbox out of her backpack
- Take her snack out of her lunchbox and place it in a snack bin
- Place her lunchbox in a container on the floor
- Take her folder out of her backpack and place in a slot labeled with her name
- Take her water out of her backpack and place it on her name above her little cubby
- Put her backpack in her cubby
- Go wash her hands, and then…
- Sit in her seat
She also has to zip things up between steps! This is quite a lot to accomplish for Gia as she really hasn’t had to fend for herself. I walked her through the routine to help speed up the learning curve! For the most part, she liked her teacher and is looking forward to her first day of school. She isn’t exactly excited about the idea that she has to leave one of her stuffed animals with her beach towels for nap time, but we will make it work! Right now we are focused on little accomplishments!
If you have had a similar experience, please feel free to share your advice. This is my first time on the opposite side of the classroom, so I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, stay tuned for the next story…Gia’s First Day of School!