Today I got to do what I've been wanting to do for a long time. I volunteered in Gracie's Kindergarten classroom! Ever since we started getting closer to time for K to start, and especially when we decided to send her to public school, I have been adamant about wanting to volunteer once a week at the school. Being a former elementary teacher, I knew I couldn't take Katie with me because of the distraction factor, so I took her to Mother's Day Out at a church right across the street from the school (where Gracie went to preschool.)
I had told Miss S that I wanted to come help, but she really hadn't asked me to come do anything. Last week, with some papers sent home, there was a note requesting help from any parents with tearing out some workbook pages. I didn't say anything about it because I wasn't going to start Katie in MDO until September. However, this week I thought to ask her if she'd gotten the help she needed and if not I could start Katie now.
She wrote that she could use the help so whenever I could do it, that'd be great. So, last night I called the MDO lady to make sure Katie could go ahead and start coming then called Miss S to let her know.
At 8:30 this morning, I dropped off my baby at Mother's Day Out. for the first time. ever. I was a little sad & a little nervous and kept saying bye-bye and waving and blowing kisses. Katie just kind of kept looking at me like, "Mom. Why are you still here? Don't you have things to do?" You've got to understand. I have been a stay-at-home mom since Gracie was born. She never went to any kind of Mother's Day Out or daycare until she went to 3 day a week preschool at age 4. I have a guilt factor about sending Katie to MDO, but it's mostly to be involved with Gracie's school. I don't mean at all to imply that a mother is wrong to put her child in MDO or anything like that; it's just a personal thing with me. I know it's not wrong to put a child in MDO or anything like that........(I'm not trying to start a debate or anything.)
I went to the school and checked in with the office and got my little sticker pass so anyone seeing me would know that I was an official person and not someone there to harm the children (like I look so menacing in my denim skirt and vintage looking purse!)
Anyway, I went to the room and saw my sweet Gracie sitting on the rug with her class listening to Miss S teach. The kids (23) were all being soooo good! I was nervous at the beginning of the year about them being wild, but this teacher does such a good job at keeping them in line. When I entered the room, my eyes immediately sought out Gracie and she shyly smiled at me. I got to observe for a minute or so while the aide was busy, then she took me to the workroom and showed me what to do. I stayed in there for a little over an hour tearing out pages.
When I went back to the room to take the work I'd done, Gracie was sitting at her little green table (BTW: She says "I sit at the green table so that reminds me to stay on green."~Green is the color a child stays on when they've had a good day.) Anyway, I delivered my papers and the aide explained a little to me about what the students were doing. Miss S was sitting with one group, the aide had been with another group, and some students were working in small groups. I walked over to Gracie to see what she'd been working on and met the little boy she was working with. I looked at her journal (I've been so excited to see her journal because that was always one of my favorite things for my students to do!) I love how Miss S has written comments to her on almost each day of her journal. I was so happy to see that one day Gracie had written "I love Katie." How sweet!
Chris & I have loved hearing her sing the new songs she's learned about the penny & the nickel & demonstrating how she does her "Phonercizing." (seems to be a mix between Phonics & Jazzercise.) I love that! Learning this way at this age is so important because things like this will stick in her memory! I know every kid is different and they all learn differently, but we can tell that she is retaining so much of what she is being taught and we're so proud of her! Yesterday, she was singing a song she'd made up about the alphabet (to the tune of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town I think it was~I have no idea why!) Anyway, she said something like, "It's not just learning the alphabet and what they look like. It's like how to spell words and what they sound like. " I was like, "wow!" She has known the alphabet for forever, but I love how she is expanding on that knowledge!
Anyway, I loved volunteering! I wasn't actually in the classroom, but I just loved knowing that I was in the school being involved. I want to be such a help & encouragement to her teacher. I remember how it is to be a teacher and feel like it was a "thankless" job many times.
Dear Lord, Thank you for letting Katie do well with Mother's Day Out. You know I felt torn about leaving her there, but I felt it was so important to be involved with Gracie's education. Thank you for letting Gracie love school so much and for letting her be having a good experience. Please help Chris & I to be good parents to our precious girls! Please protect both of them physically & emotionally! In Jesus' Name, Amen