Sunday, August 11, 2013

Moving on up

Biscuit and I went to an open house at his day care Thursday evening. 

He's been going to this day care since March, so we've gotten to know most of the teachers there. Even so, we wanted to find out more about the pre-K class that Biscuit will be moving into.

Since Biscuit has a late birthday, he won't start kindergarten until next year. So one of the reasons we swapped day cares was because this one has a specified pre-K class. The whole purpose of the class is to get the kids ready for kindergarten.

Kids move into the pre-K class by the school year, not by their age. So Biscuit will be moving up the week after Labor Day.

It won't be a big deal for him because he's already spent some time in the pre-K class. Biscuit is the oldest kid in his current class, so when they get too many kids in there, he gets sent up to pre-K. He seems to handle it well and is able to keep up with most of the activities they do there.

Even so, we wanted to find out more about the specifics of the class.

They have a structured curriculum they go by, but the teachers are allowed to go above and beyond or introduce alternatives to some of the lessons. That is one thing Biscuit's old day care fell short on. The teachers were handed a curriculum, and that's what they were supposed to teach and do. Period.

These teachers teach the lessons, then try to come up with creative ways to get the kids to practice what they learned or at least think about it in different ways. And because every kid is different, I really like that idea.

Biscuit will be practicing more on his writing.

I told the teacher that he still colors with both hands, and that he picks up his eating utensils with whichever hand they're closest to. And although that's great because he's using both sides of his brain when he does that kind of stuff, he still has to have a dominant writing hand. His soon-to-be teacher said she had noticed him using both hands equally, but she hadn't had a chance to ask us about it.

They'll also be keeping journals.

When they finish the lesson for the day, the kids either write or draw in their journals about what they learned. The teacher said it helps them better process what they learned in the lesson, and of course, it helps with writing and drawing skills.

They'll be learning sight words, which are some common words kids should know going into kindergarten.

This one is kind of crazy to me. We didn't even learn our letters and letter sounds until kindergarten, but now, kids are supposed to recognize words on sight. A few of the ones he should know by next school year are: and, big, can, down, for, jump, me, play, see, two, up, yellow and you. There are plenty of others - I think about 100. His teacher said he'll easily know 50 of them by next school year.

Biscuit and I left the open house and ran to the store to pick up a few things. Jeff had to work late and couldn't be at the open house, so he just met us at the store.

"How did the open house go?" he asked.

I told him everything, including the stuff about the sight words. 

"They said he would know at least 50 of the 100 or so sight words on the list," I told him. Then I smiled and in my best uppity voice said, "But of COURSE he'll know ALL of them!"

"Well of COURSE," Jeff said.

We've been really satisfied with this day care, and I hope this next year will continue to be as good as the past few months have been.

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