Today I was the working parent at Iris's preschool. I was simultaneously dreading and looking forward to this day all at once. On one hand, I absolutely need those two mornings a week where Iris is in school (and Eloise is napping), on the other hand, I was thrilled to get involved in the inner workings of her school and get to know the children much better. It ended up being a ton of fun. At one point we went on a walk around the (big) block. Two adults-- the teacher and I-- and eight children. It took for-ev-er but was fun. We stopped and checked out just about everything, including gathering around the window of a clay art studio while the artist inside entertained the children by making various things out of clay. Our next stop was to peer in the window of a hairdresser who came outside to say hello to everyone. It was so cute. We also stopped to study a tree that the children had named "Strawberry Helen" and noticed how the leaves were changing colors and which ones were dropping to the ground before everyone took turns giving it a hug.
The school uses an emergent curriculum which I honestly knew nothing about before Iris started going there. All I knew was the school felt like the right fit for us and went from there. It's really neat to see the teacher play off of the children's interests and shape the day around them. As much as I wish I was cut out for homeschooling my girls, I'm just not. I don't have the patience or energy. I am so happy to have Iris socializing with a small group of children and work with a teacher and other parents who can help tap in to her interests and expose her to things that I may never even have thought of. I also hated school throughout my whole life. HATED. I would try to get out of it as much as I could and I would do as little work as possible to get by. I had no interest in most of it and I never, ever had a teacher who inspired me or made me want to do better than I was doing. I fear that I wouldn't be such a good role model for the girls in that regard. I'd be like "Oh, you want to watch tv all day? That sounds awesome! I'll grab the remote!" I think the best I can do for them is to involve them in the best schools I can and put the energy I've got in to supporting the school.