We placed his belongings in his "oak tree class" cubby and donned his beautiful little tree cookie name tag. We looked at all the interesting activities in the classroom, everything from homemade play dough to wooden cars and blocks, to the chalkboard wall. The book nook was inviting, full of familiar books like "Nuts to You" by Lois Elhert. Children were busy at "work" all over the room.
And I knew, intimately, what the rest of the day would hold.
When I told him it was time for me to say good-bye with another hug and smooch, the teacher was there to help redirect him. Not because it's wrong for him to be cautious about this new setting or miss the comfort of mom - both are completely normal. But helping him go to school, on his own, helps him unlock what he is capable of when I'm not there. If mom or dad is always around, then how can a child learn who they are apart from the family unit?
Ultimately, I'm ecstatic to watch E's independence blossom with or without me around.
I founded The Nature Preschool (along with instrumental others) when E was only a twinkle in his daddy's eyes. Now in our fifth year as a licensed program, hundreds of other children are benefiting from our nature-based approach to child-centered learning. Indeed, I am very proud to share this with my sweet son today.
|E dressed himself - with two t-shirts and backwards shorts.|
|After fixing his wardrobe malfunction, off we went. He was skeptical...|
|This is the entrance to his classroom at The Nature Preschool at Irvine.|
|I'm so proud of my little guy!|