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.