Well, maybe not preschool quite yet, but we're getting close. :) James is in the Early Learners room at his daycare, and his teachers are just amazing. I've been lucky enough to be in the room a few times during the day, and Miss Alisa and Miss Mary work wonders with those 10 toddlers (2-3 years old - can you imagine??).
During maternity leave, James stays at daycare M-W to preserve some of his routine, give him some "James-only" time, and also give me the gift of solo time with Thomas. It's truly a blessing. Last week was our first Thursday/Friday at home just the 3 of us, and whew. It was intense.
In my opinion, Thomas is pretty "easy". Eating, sleeping, pooping... pretty basic. James on the other hand... is quite literally like a 2.5 year old Energizer bunny. He's got a ton of energy along with a pretty short attention span. I was worn out, frazzled, and quite honestly - by the end of the days was pretty close to snapping at both James and Alan. :-\ Certainly not the mama and wife I want to be.
So I thought about it a bit. Pinterested a bit. And asked Miss Alisa for an outline of generally what the classroom schedule looks like at daycare. I figured - if I could model our days home a little more like what James has at school, it would be a comforting, familiar structure, and it would also give us both a little more routine and fun things to try/experience instead of just being frustrated with each other.
I created a visual schedule that should help us as we switch from "school" days to "stay at home" days. I used basic clip art and simple words, and plan on involving James as we work through each item. When we're done, he can pull the item down to designate that it's "done".
Each week, his class focuses on a different letter. This week, it's "Z". I found some fun worksheets online that use that letter. We can take a few minutes to work on cutting, puzzles and coloring while talking about Z.
I also picked up some general fun stuff at the dollar store: pom moms, googly eyes, alphabet puzzles/letters, and stickers. We'll work these in to different activities in the upcoming weeks.
Basically, I had an epiphany: I like this stuff! I used to be a teacher. I was certified K-8, and while I certainly preferred teaching the older kiddos professionally, it doesn't mean I can't tap into those skills for my little one. This was pretty empowering and exciting... and gave me a sense of hope. We don't have to spend our days trapped together... we can spend our days learning and exploring together!
Can't wait to share with you how it goes.