one more year before school

My social media feeds have been flooded with “first day of school” photos this week; sweet, momentous captures of smiling kids and their proud parents. On Monday I witnessed all the newbies in the playground – tiny bodies swamped by big brimmed hats – and I reminded myself that next year, it will be Poet’s turn.

I had every intention of sending her to Montessori for four days this year; she loves it there and Daniel and I would benefit from the extra work day. But this week reminded me that it’s really not that long till she’s in school five days a week – and we’ll never get this year of spontaneity back – so I’m changing my plans.

She’ll still be at pre-school three days a week and on those days I’ll juggle work and Percy so that when she’s home, we’ll get some special time just the two of us. Even if our plans are simple, stay-at-home ones, she’ll be eager to help; she loves a good domestic project, this girl of mine. Of course, there will be mornings at the park, cafe dates and painting sessions, too. And I’m hoping that towards the end of the year, when Percy isn’t so needy, that we’ll hop on the train to Sydney and have a girl’s day in the city.

Do you have a little one in their last year of pre-school?

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Showing 16 comments
  • Katrina@capturingmoments

    Yes, a lovely realisation to embrace. This year on a Monday and Tuesday when Nellie sleeps in the day I am eager to have some quality time alone with Finn. It is easy to let him watch a movie and get myself some quiet time or housework done (or a nap!) but I am determined to do some cooking, craft sessions, yard soccer etc with him during that time instead.

  • barbara

    Here in Italy school starts in September and next one (2017) my oldest girl will start the first grade… Even if we have still more than a year I feel like time flies away to quickly. She is already at kindergarten (here lasts three years) five days per week and some days I keep her home, with me, just for having fun together, talk, play… When she will be at school It will not be allowed to stay home for no reason…not often at least! I want to enjoy every single step she does, every new thing she learns, everything….

  • la Marette

    Bonjour Jodi ! Je suis maîtresse d'école en France. J'ai une classe de petits (3ans). Ici, les enfants ont 3 années d'école maternelle avant l'entrée au CP (la "grande école"). Ils ont 4 jours 1/2 de classe par semaine 8h30-11h30 & 13h30-16h00. Chez les petits, certains commencent par une fréquentation à mi-temps (les matins) avant d'augmenter le temps d'école tout au long de l'année mais c'est rare… un vrai "luxe" car souvent les 2 parents travaillent & les gardes d'enfants coûtent cher ! Les classes sont chargées, j'ai 28 petits élèves… si, si ! Ils ont en revanche la possibilité de faire la sieste l'après-midi. Depuis quelques années, je m'inspire de Maria Montessori dans ma pratique pédagogique & je m'en félicite vraiment. Cela convient particulièrement aux enfants qui ont du mal à accepter les règles de l'école, de la collectivité & on en a chaque année ! Les parents sont très demandeurs de conseils, j'ai quelques livres que je leur prête & lors de ma réunion de parents, je prends le temps d'expliquer le bénéfice d'une telle pédagogie, certains doutent un peu… certains collègues aussi d'ailleurs ! Poet a beaucoup de chance d'être inscrite dans une école Montessori ! Ici elles sont peu nombreuses & chères alors la solution de l'école publique nationale avec une petite touche de Montessori est un bon compromis !!! Ici les élèves de grande section (dernière année de maternelle) travaillent beaucoup… on met la pression aux enseignants de ces classes-là, nous luttons contre ce "mini-CP" que l'on cherche à nous imposer ! Ils sont encore petits & ont bien le temps… bonne rentrée Poet ! ;o)

    • Elizabeth

      Hi, it is uplifting to know that here in France there are teachers in the national system who are introducing some Montessori methods, if only more would lean towards these teachings. It's hard here in France to send our 3 year olds off to school full-time and the system is so demanding, they do work hard straight away. Keep on the good work la Marette!

    • la Marette

      Eh oui… les ateliers de manipulation individuelle (AMI) sont "tendance", j'ai commencé avant que cela ne devienne à la mode ! L'essentiel c'est que les idées "révolutionnaires" de Maria Montessori soient appliquées, même à petite dose ! Je suis bien d'accord, les enfants travaillent "dur" en France, à nous (enseignants) de savoir "ménager la chèvre & le chou"… des apprentissages certes mais aussi du jeu & du plaisir, c'est ce que j'essaie de faire dans ma classe ! ;o)

  • Astred*designcherry

    Yup! Last year of preschool here as well.
    But it's not as momentous change for us, Little A will stay in Stage 1 as his Montessori is a primary school as well. So thankfully we won't have to navigate an all new school but I am a little disappointed we won't get pomp and ceremony of finishing pre-school. I guess we'll have to make a big deal of moving into Stage 2 (primary) instead.

  • Anna {fields-of-sage}

    Oh their childhood days are so fleeting! Sage just "missed out" on starting school (three days a week) this year – being a January-babe – so while I'm on maternity leave, we're going to give home schooling a trial to see if it may be a potential for us next year. We wish there were a Steiner/Reggio/Montessori option close by, but with extremely limited choice here in Tassie (and only Steiner available) it would involve a move away from family and friends. Lots to ponder! Next year, will Poet be attending five days a week? And do she and Che attend the same Montessori school or is Montessori only for the pre-school years? x

  • Aimee

    My girl turned 5 in Dec. Technically she *should* have started school last week. But since they do not *have* to start school until their 6th Birthday here (NZ) we are delaying her starting until later this year. Possibly next if we choose to formally homeschool after her 6th birthday.
    Since we work on basic skills at home (numeracy and literacy) when she does start she will just slip in with her peers.
    I'm a huge believer in letting kids be kids, embracing spontaneity and not pushing the academics. I am not a huge fan of the current mainstream system. Sadly there are no Montessori or Steiner school in our locality. So we are carving our own path for our small one.

  • Audrey

    Yes – Ted will go to big school next year. He currently goes to a Montessori kindy program at the moment, three days a week. He adores it, often asking in the morning if today is a 'school' day. I had every intention of holding him back one more year as he will start school at 4 (birthday is April) and I struggle to imagine a 4 year old boy in a proper classroom setting. But, then in the second half of last year his development exploded and now I am not at all worried – ok, an exaggeration – I am not as worried about school for that soon-to-be 4 year old. He will love it I am sure, and if the 5 day week is hard at first, I can always part-time him in Term 1!

  • Denise Christ

    my 4th daughter is in her last year before school . … by the time she realized she had to leave kindergarden soon she started to cry … (over here kids have to go to the kindergarden the last year before school) I totally get your point – I would love to have her around!

  • coach-daddy

    Those years were long ago for us. Even when I was a kid, I felt that year before school starts was the most magical that side of 19. You're too young for school, and old enough to realize what a blissful year you can have to explore the world and life at your own page one last time.

  • Rachel

    Yes! My son starts prep next year. I'm already stressing about the school routine: lunches, homework, being there before 9am, pick-up chaos!! A little premature perhaps! You are right, I will miss the spontaneity and laid back nature of these days.

  • Victoria

    Gabi has a year left at home, she is now going to pre school twice a week and I am going to try my best in doing fun things for her to remember.
    First up we are going to got to the Australian Museum

  • Camilla Jorvad

    My daughter will start school this coming August.
    It is incredible to observe her trasnformation, expressions, body language, knowledge etc this last year of kindergarden. Her mind is like a sponge, and sometimes she says the most amazing things, that leave me baffled at the fact that she is just 5½ years old 🙂

  • M

    We are in the same boat, Joselyn could start next year but I'm not sure yet. She is 4 in June so would be one of the youngest if she were to start next year. I just am not sure I'm ready for her to go…. and I'm trying to separate that feeling from is she actually ready both mentally, physically and emotionally, I guess a lot happens in a year! X

  • Lauren

    I'm Australian and live in the UK and my eldest Roxy is 4 in May, that means she is to start full time, 5 days a week school in September, she won't even be four and a half. In Australia she wouldn't start until february 2018! She is in nursery 2 days a week and while I enjoy that time to have with her sister and a bit of a break when she naps, we feel very strongly against this early start, we want her to have quality time with her sister who is almost 1 and another year of pre-school….. so its prompted us to take the plunge and after almost 13 years here we are going to move home to avoid the early starting age! I won't get these pre-school years back, its just too important. x

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