On the first day of school the question on the board was "Are you excited to be here?" All the kids moved their name magnet to "Yes" except Leo. He moved his to "I'm not sure." For the first few months he was always a little nervous when I dropped him off but never made a scene (unlike 3-year-old preschool)! I think the "walking in" system was great for us. The carpool sounds like a better way (and for 95% of people it probably is), but I'm so glad I walked him in and out every day, even if I did have to drag Gus along. It was better for Leo because we had that nice transition time in the classroom (rather than getting plucked out of the car) and it was better for me because I got to meet the other parents and talk to the teachers.
As the school year went on Leo got more comfortable with the place, his classmates and the teachers. He still would say "I'm scared to go to school" up until the last couple of months. But I'd remind him, "You USED to be scared. Now you seem like you're having so much fun!" About a month ago I asked him if he was still scared. He demonstrated with his hands: "I'm this much having fun (hands really far apart) and this much scared (hands totally touching)."
So while we were measuring his fear factor, the teachers took other measurements. We got a "time capsule" in his bag today.
On 9/20/12 Leo was 31 pounds and 38.5 inches tall. On 5/14/13 he was 35 pounds and 40 inches tall!
Here were his favorites on 9/20/12:
Color: The Rainbow
Food: Mac and Cheese
TV Show: Little Einsteins
His favorites on 5/14/13:
TV Show: Any Animal Show
Friend: Ben S.
(Don't be sad, John! Leo still loves you! It's good he's not "hung up" on you though!)
They also had a page where he drew a person and a house back then and a person and a house now. Boy, does his house drawing look a lot better now!
In addition to the time capsule, the teachers also gave them bags with their names puffy painted on the front and thumb prints of every kid in the class on the back; there was Play Dough and a pillow case that every kid signed. There was a folder with a lot of the cute worksheets he did; all his show and tell letter strips were together on a ring; his "Adventures of Dottie the Dove" was put into a little book. And the best--a full album of photos with pictures of Leo and his Dove friends. They did this for all 14 kids. I am in awe of these teachers!
And here is our four pounds heavier, 1.5 inches taller, eight months older Leo today, on his last day of preschool.
We liked this preschool so much that we are waiting on Kindergarten and Leo is going to stay there next year and do their Pre-K class, the Wolves. Several of his Dove friends will be Wolves too.
The question on the board Tuesday was "How do you feel the day after graduation?" The choices were "Happy, Sad or I'm not sure." Leo told me he was excited and wanted to write in an extra answer so I helped him spell it. Ms. Desiree told him she was not only happy about his handwriting (which was pretty good!) but also that he felt excited. And he explained that he wasn't excited because school was ending, but because he was going to be a Wolf. I think he will like that it will be right next door to the Doves class. He may still be a little nervous but at least he'll know he's not "the new kid" anymore.