By Amanda Johnson
Hi there. Welcome to the beginning of the preschool year! My name is Amanda and I’ll be joining you this year as your blog writer. This is my first year with the school and I’m very excited about what the year has in store.
I was recently asked if I was nervous about my son starting preschool. I answered truthfully that I am looking forward to it! I know that he is in excellent hands with Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool.
Last week was Slow Start for our kiddos at BFCP. Before Preschool Orientation, I had no idea what that meant. This is my first experience as a parent of a preschool aged child and there are a lot of new things for me to learn. I know some of you parents might be feeling the same way. At least, I hope I’m not the only one! I found comfort in talking to our teachers and board members – our local experts leading the way to a successful year. Orientation Night was a great learning experience. We got loads of information about the school, found out September’s class schedule, met other parents in our class and my personal favorite: we were treated to a spirited enactment of what a day in the life at the school looks like.
So, what is Slow Start? It is a brilliant concept where our kids are eased into the routine of school with an unstructured first day. A day to explore the school’s environs, meet the teacher and play with new classmates. I think this is important when your child is used to being at home and suddenly is thrust into an unfamiliar environment where he’s expected to finger paint on command. While parents know that BFCP is stock full of fun, imaginative activities, try telling that to an anxious two year old who’s never worn a smock in his entire little life.
Anxieties aside, I’d say the Slow Start week was a success if my toddler’s smile is any proof. Sure, he was unsure at the beginning of the day as he often is in new experiences. So were a few of his classmates. But by the end of outdoor play he was rocking the sand pit.
Speaking of outdoors, this past weekend was the Fall Work Party. Neil Devlin, the preschool’s Facilities Chair, organized the event. They pruned. They painted. They fixed up. I can’t wait to see how good the school looks! There are two work parties throughout the year so if you didn’t get a chance to go on Saturday, we’ll see you in the spring! Each family is expected to take part in one work party per school year as part of the cooperative curriculum. Part of being a member driven preschool is that the members, us parents over here, take part in maintaining, beautifying and running the preschool. It’s a pretty cool way of getting involved. Not to mention a great way to meet other parents in your community.
There are some pretty fun things coming up in October. The older classes will visit Oxbow Farm to learn about pumpkins. The younger classes will have a Fun Family Event at the preschool. I plan to talk more about those more in my next blog post. I’d say we’re off to a great start!