We toured a handful in our area, and found THE school we knew he'd flourish in. Their curriculum places an emphasis on developing the whole child - socially, spiritually, creatively, and slightly academically - rather than force-feeding children a bunch of information before they really need it. The teachers had the loving family vibe I was desperately seeking, and I knew that Luke would get exactly what he'd need within their classroom. While we adore this school and want to promote it wholeheartedly, I don't feel comfortable sharing the name here on my blog. If, however, you live in Buffalo and you'd like to chat about a really wonderful preschool - email me! daintyrevelations(at)gmail.com ;)
It seems wild to me that two years have gone by since then, and what's even more incredible is how much he's GROWN! And I don't just mean physically. Luke grew in all the ways we'd hoped he would, and then some. He went from a child that we feared could be a problem, to the head of the class. We couldn't be more proud of him!
Luke's school prepared him so well for his future academic life, but now they're sending him out into the world - it's time. And despite my desperate pleas to homeschool, it doesn't seem like it's happening. So it's official. He's graduated from preschool, and is now a future Kindergartner. I'm sad enough about that (I'm sure you'll hear more about it as Fall approaches...), it would be way worse if I had to say goodbye to this preschool now, too. Thankfully, Henry is already registered to start in the three year old class this fall, and for the next 4 years, we'll still be sending our boys there (phew!)
We attended Luke's Graduation last week, and it was such a bittersweet celebration. The students sang their favorite songs from the school year, and the teachers put together an awesome slideshow of photos from their year together. The kids all got a copy of it to take home and watch (which, naturally, we've re-watched about 7 times so far...).
At the end of the ceremony, the teachers read a little blurb about each child (which they helped put together by answering questions about what they'd be when they grow up, and their favorite memories of preschool). The teachers added a line about each child, also, and they commented on Luke's growth in confidence and how be became "the little man of the class", as well as what an amazing story teller he is. None of which surprises me ;)
They were each presented with a little diploma, and a journal about their preschool days (including mementos such as their hand-prints, strings cut to the same length as them to remember how tall they were, a sample of their handwriting, a self-drawn photo of themselves, etc). Luke was so proud!
A couple days before graduation, Luke drew a picture of each of his teachers and dictated a special message for me to write inside a card for each of them. They were all adorable and hilarious - I wanted some photo evidence to remember it by. Here's how they actually look (haha):
I got a couple adorable photos of Luke with his best buds from school, but since this is going on my public blog & their parents don't know about it, I'm not going to post those. I wish I could - they're ahhhdorable ;)
I spent a good 24 hours feeling emotionally lost after graduation. I know it's silly - it's just preschool, right? But this was the first of many moving-up milestones we have to endure as parents, and it was really sort of jarring for me. I'm so not good at this growing up thing with my babies. Terrible about it, actually. Whenever they show some sort of evidence of growing away from me, I lose it a bit. I know I should, instead, be grateful that they are here, and healthy, and able to meet all of these milestones and crossroads in life - I AM very thankful that they are living and growing. But it's hard, as I am fully aware that this is the golden age of my life, raising my boys, and it's hard for my mama heart to see it slipping away, tiny bits at a time.
I am so very nervous for the start of Kindergarten, and for that first day of preschool with Henry. (Which reminds me - he needs to be potty trained before he starts - our adventure for July.) I'm not sure what I will do with myself on that first day when both Luke + Henry are at school, and there I'll be, with my one baby. Oh gosh, it makes my stomach flip to think about it. So for now, let's embrace SUMMER!
Happy Summer Vacation!!!