Waldorf preschool, here we come!

A little over a week ago, I wrote about our (then) upcoming two-hour preschool interview to find out if a home-based Waldorf-inspired preschool was a good fit for Ava and if Ava was a good fit for the preschool. It turns out the interview wasn’t nearly as daunting as I thought it would be. It mostly amounted to Jody and me talking about what a great kid Ava is (because she really is a great kid on most days – Saturday was not one of those days, but that’s neither here nor there).

We talked about my pregnancy with Ava, her birth, her early years (wait, she’s 3 – isn’t she still in her early years?), what life is like at our house, our discipline philosophy, how much TV she watches, what she likes to play with, etc. And we heard from the preschool teacher about the Waldorf philosophy*, her discipline practices (in a word – gentle), what forms we need to have filled out, teacher home visits, parent meeting nights and work days, festivals, the checklist for the first day of school, what their days consist of, safety and health info in the preschool handbook, what foods are off limits for lunches (no peanut butter since a boy who attends on the days opposite of Ava has a severe allergy and no sweets because it’s unWaldorfian – hehe, I just made that word up), her thoughts on TV/DVD watching (if it makes it’s way into the preschool repeatedly – like if Ava was always saying “let’s play ‘Annie'” – which she actually does with me sometimes oops! – and trying to coerce the kids into playing ‘Annie’ or some such thing – then we will have to cut back) and several other things.

We easily could have filled up more than two hours talking (I think we went slightly over two hours as it was), but I felt the need to get back home to my kids to make sure they weren’t running amok while Aunt Carrie watched the both of them together for the very first time. (All was well. They all did great! Julian was even sleeping when we got home.)

Jody and I feel this preschool is a great match for Ava and are sure she’s going to enjoy it and thrive being a part of this program. The teacher is so calm and nurturing and does very well with the children. I wish it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, but I guess, in this case, you get what you pay for. I started having a bit of anxiety right after we signed the contract signing Ava up for two mornings per week because I really am unsure how we are going to pay for it, but we will work something out. We have to. We’re in it for the school year now! ;)

Just this past Saturday we went back to the school for an open house/welcome to preschool tea. Unfortunately, we’d had a rough morning at our house so Ava wasn’t her usual self and got into a few squabbles with some of the kids over various toys, but overall it went well. We got to meet one of the other girls who will be attending on the same days as Ava, and we already know one of the boys who will be going with her as well from our AP group. We drank tea, ate scones, played in the yard (which has a great playhouse/castle thing, a big sandbox, jump ropes, watering cans, bubbles, balls and all of the chalk a 3-year-old could possibly need, as well as a burbling water fountain, flowers, and gnomes and fairies in the garden) and played in the house/preschool (which has some wonderful wooden toys, a little kitchen, little tables, play silks, dishes, soft dolls, cars, puzzles and all sorts of other neat stuff designed to spark the imagination).

Preschool for Ava begins on Thursday. :) We still need to go shopping for a few things for her to keep at the school – indoor shoes (different from the ones she will wear outside) and a sun hat (so we will have one for at home). We also have to put together a change of clothes and a sweater to leave at school, and of course her nutritious lunch (without sweets) which will go with her each day. :)

Speaking of lunch, I’m hungry I think I’m going to get her a new lunch box. (We had one for her summer camp at the farm, but I have grown tired of all of the waste involved.) I’ve been eyeing this one. It’s a bit pricey, but it looks awesome and I love that there is zero waste (plastic bags, etc.) from it. I really love the idea behind these laptop lunch kits (AKA bento boxes) and am sure I will write more about it another time.

Stay tuned as there is sure to be an update from Ava’s first day, as well as pics, later this week! :)

* The Waldorf method was founded by a man named Dr. Rudolph Steiner in the early part of the twentieth century. He believed very strongly that education should not only engage the minds of children, but the bodies and spirits as well. These elements are not treated as separate; the Waldorf method is designed to educate all of them in concert.