Monday, 6 February 2012

First Day - Back to School

Lily started back at Playschool today, although at a different one from the one she started attending at the end of last year. Playschool is a pre-preschool program here in the ACT, usually situated on the Primary School grounds next to the pre-school. The aim is to prepare/transition kids into full time school and keep those busy little three year olds engaged with craft, stories and all manner of play-based learning, as well as socialising and learning to follow the school routine, listen to the teacher and all that good stuff! Particularly for those kids who have never attended day-care (such as Lily) it is a gentle introduction to the structure of school to come. The sessions are  a maximum of two days a week for three hours each. On the first day the kids just go for one hour (with parents) so it's a nice slow adjustment... for the parents that is!! ;) We get to come in, poke around, see the set up and routine and of course take 50 bajillion photos of our little cherubs!

After a tearful introduction when she started late last year (after turning three, the minimum age), she adjusted to very much loving it and I am hopeful this new school will be much loved as well... I know I already adore it, it is a precious little place with devoted and engaging teachers, a charming set up and more craft activities each session than you can poke a stick at (a paddle pop stick of course!).

Eager to get in...
On the way to school we practised 'pretend' introducing ourselves to new friends. She asked 'What do I do when they don't say anything?' - I have witnessed a few kids stand there in stunned silence at Lily's friendly introduction of 'Hello, my name's Lily, what's your name?'. We decided together that they might just be shy and so just see if they want to just play instead! If they don't, then why not try talking to someone else? Playground politics are complicated, man!

Mama and her little ducklings 

A lovely and kind mama also going in with her kids offered to take a photo of us when she saw me snapping pics out the front (I chuckled as I saw every parent doing likewise!). I was soooo touched and she just went ahead and quickly snapped pretty much the best photo I've ever had with my kids - all looking in the same direction, all basically smiling- what planets aligned for this to occur?? Any photo with my kids is rare enough!!! I was so pleased - an unexpected delight in our day!

A new best friend within 5 minutes!

I was so proud of my girl sitting quietly on the rug as the teacher did all the introductions.  All the adults were chuckling as a couple of times, for example when the teacher was talking about where the lunch boxes go (from next week as they didn't need a snack today), Lily would pipe up in her most polite voice 'Excuse me, I didn't bring my snack today!'. A nearby mother smiled at me and said 'She's so confident!!'. **cue proud mother smile**

Oh baby girl, I have always encouraged you to use your voice. To speak directly, politely and respectfully to others, and if you have questions, to ask them of that person, rather than going via me while you hide behind my legs. If you wanted to know someone's name, I would encourage you to ask them yourself. Now I'm seeing some of that come to light independently, with your confidence in respectfully but clearly being able to ask questions and communicate with those around you. I trust the teachers will also help guide you in the appropriate times to do so in school, but I know you will take it on board.

Never be afraid to use your voice, baby girl... to speak up, to enquire, to respond. Do it in love and respect, but know that you are able to be heard....

 I was also so grateful to see you listening quietly and respectfully, sitting where you were asked and so on. Respect for adults and particularly leaders (like teachers and other authorities) is a highly held value in our home. If you can listen, you can also learn.

Straight into activities!

Eli had plenty to do too, tagging along today

As I got to stay with her, this sentimental Mama was able to hold back her tears today, though I felt so emotional looking around at the beautiful little set up, with wooden kitchens, puzzles, art easels etc.. I know she is going to learn and grow and flourish so much here. These little years, they do fly by... to think she will soon be in full time school??! I am so thankful for these years at home with her...

First day is done! Back home via the school vegie patch!


  1. oh what a beautiful day you have had!
    I don't blame you for nearly bursting with pride at your confident little girl! How lovely.
    and I do adore that photo of you all - it's great because you all look so natural and happy.

  2. Oh Kate - you have described Lily's first day so well. I soaked up every word. It is so lovely to hear your first impressions of this amazing Playschool (having gone through a whole year with Finn myself). I know that you will get so much out of this sweet community and that Lily will grow in so many ways as the months go on.

    Lily's confidence and friendly nature will be an assest to the Monday and Wednesday group. Oh and you will find that Eli won't want to leave either when you do drop offs ;)

    I am just thrilled that Lily will be there this year! Just thrilled! xxx

  3. Wow, what a day. It is so beautiful that you teach her to use her voice and she has such good manners. and does she look like you much ??? :) Gorgeous family photo

  4. What a beautiful series. Kate, I'm learning a lot from your posts, especially in terms of the kind of mum I would like to be. I hope I can inspire my little guy to have the same sort of inner strength and confidence as your wee girl seems to. That family pic is a keeper!

    1. wow Megan, thanks so much for your kind words! Im still learning so much too... on the job! If those values matter to you too im sure you will find ways to impart them to your little man. Go Mama!! :)

  5. Kate - you are an amazing mama, there is so much I could say but I will just say that I want to move to Canberra now to be closer to you and Amber ;)

    1. awww Andrea thanks so much... that means a lot coming from a gorgeous mother such as yourself! YES PLEASE do move to canberra, we would love that!! :) Failing that, maybe on my next qld trip!?!?

    2. Oh you come up here sometimes? Really?! I would love to meet you!

      I met Amber last year when she came up with her family which was lovely. Definately let me know if you're planning a trip up :)


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