Preschool is the new Kindergarten

12 02 2008

Last week, I had my first parent-teacher conference with Eliana’s preschool teacher. As with many first things, I was unsure of what to expect. I thought back to my days in school when my mom would meet my teachers, which probably wasn’t as often as it should have been, but was all she could muster from her busy schedule. I didn’t go into it thinking the worst: that Eliana was a bad kid, or shy, or disruptive. But, those thoughts do creep into the back of your head from time to time.

I was a little taken back when I first started talking to her teacher that she had this list of "tests" and "evaluations" that Eliana gets graded on. Now, these are anything like standardized tests, but they are more to gauge how well Eliana is developing in certain areas. Are her hand-eye coordination skills lacking? No. Does she correlate counting with objects? Yes. Can she cut a sheet of paper straight with no help? Sort of. Either way, I was certainly happy to hear that she is at or above where she needs to be for her age level. That’s about all I can ask for.

After a few questions, the topic of next came up. Currently, Eliana’s school is going through a few changes. They are going to be offering all day preschool because they received some funding from the state of Arizona. At this point, all day preschool is pretty much just daycare. But, even normal preschool was supposed to be a sort of day care, with a little bit of mental stimulation.  I was in favor of sending her to preschool to help her be social with other kids her age on a regular basis. But, then I reflected and mentioned that back when I went to school, all this stuff Eliana is doing at age 3/4 is what I was doing at 4/5 (or so my mom tells me). I asked "Is preschool now, like kindergarten then?" She responded, "yes". Most everyone else tries to get their kids ahead of everyone else by getting them into school early. It’s the sensible thing to do to help your children.

In all, our conference was a good way to see how Eliana is doing in class. It’s great to know that she is happy, well adjusted, social and talkative.  That is all I can ask of my children.


11 02 2008

“Being in the middle of the desert means there have to be some places indoors for the kids. A friend invited me and the kids to play at an indoor amusement park with rides and other fun things for the kids to do. Eliana and Annabelle had a great time. I could tell because by the time we went home, they were fast asleep in the car.”

Family Journalist

10 02 2008

Growing up, I never had an interest in photography or videography as I do now.  I’m not sure why I’ve developed this urge, but I know that having kids sure has helped it to grow. So, as I want to develop and grow these skills in order to improve them, I was trying to think what category of real like profession this would fall into. The natural place but this work is “cameraman”. But, a cameraman, or camera operator, isn’t running the show as far as the “creative process” goes. I was thinking director, but then again, I’m not really telling my family to do anything really. It’s more like I’ve the family documenterian. I’m trying to preserve our family’s history through images and film. I think this is best done through journalism. As such, I have dubbed myself the Family Journalist. With that title, I think it will help me take my photo and video blog posts in the right direction.

Falling Off the Bed

2 02 2008

About a month or so ago, we noticed that Annabelle was getting pretty tall for her crib. While I hadn’t lowered her be in a while, it was already pretty low. I think she liked sleeping in the crib because then she could bounce around the whole bed at night, and the bars would keep her inside the crib. I guess babies like that kind of stuff.

Over the holidays it was always funny to us that Annabelle would wake up before us, but would be stuck in the crib. She would have whole conversations with herself. Sometimes she would try to reach her sister through the crib and try to play with her. In all, we felt it was time to remove the bars and set her free. The original idea was to put the guard rails on the bed so that she could continue to bounce around the bed at night, and still be held in by something. Well, when I lowered her bed, I had the rails, but the bolts and screws to keep it in place were missing. I guess that happens when you move.

So, we thought it would be ok; if she fell, it would only be about a foot. And the floor is carpet, and is upstairs, so there is sound bounce to the floor. Nevertheless, we still put some padding on the side just to help cushion the blow. The first few nights in her new bed we noisy to say the least. We heard a loud thump on a few occasions. Sometimes she woke up, others she continued to sleep. It wasn’t often where we had to go in there to console her.

The funny thing now is that I don’t think she falls off the bed anymore. Recently she just wakes up and trots into our room. She sees me in my bed, and tells me “Ahpa tired”. I just say yes, and try to get a couple more minutes of rest.  I think it’s amazing that she could adapt her sleeping to a new bed like that, and not fall off as often. Babies (well, toddlers) are pretty smart…S M R T…