18 April 2008

The Verdict on Kindy

Sonny Ma-Jiminy turned three recently, and his constant drive to learn new things (Mrs Play-School I ain't) has led us to enrol him in Pre-Prep, which used to be called kindergarten (Kindy). You know, the thing for 4-year-olds, but 3-year-olds can come if they want to.

This kindy has some extremely specific requirements for their children, and they strictly adhere to very particular rules in every aspect of kindy life (in stark contrast to home, where a child can manage to paint the decking with a used pregnancy test and some sunscreen while his mother is on the phone.)

Sonny Ma-Jiminy:

  • has loved it (for the most part)
  • has brought home some lovely craft
  • can now discuss at length the life cycle of a chicken.

On the other hand, I:

  • have been tying myself up in knots about it
  • have been worried about the expense
  • have been bothered by the inconvenience in driving him quite a distance away and picking him up (we pass at least three other kindies on the way, only because this placement 'fell into our laps' at the right time)
  • have been intimidated by the constant commitments e.g., parent volunteer day, yard maintenance, sausage sizzles, fundraisers, participating in our city's festival street parade etc.
  • have been stressed because I'm sure I will provide the wrong type of lunch wrapped in the wrong sort of wrapping, the wrong size sheets, insufficient spare clothing, the wrong type of hat minus the essential elastic loop for hanging, the wrong hand washer minus similar essential elastic loop, the wrong sort of cup, dress him in the wrong clothes and forget to apply sunscreen liberally on exposed areas before dropping him off at kindy, as per the agreement that I was asked to sign.
  • and of course, I have worried incessantly about his behaviour for the whole 11 hours he has spent there so far. He's not the most compliant kid.

But I'm glad to announce that we've made it through our first two-day week, and we have not been asked to refrain from coming back. Here is the report card from our first week at kindy.

Pre-Prep Report Card
Name: Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother

Key Performance Areas:

PROVISION OF FOOD: PASS - Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother has achieved competence in supplying only healthy foods from the provided list of acceptable foods, and has enclosed all foodstuffs in acceptable packaging (no plastic wrap, yoghurt etc in washable plastic containers, no disposable containers). As specified, lunch was provided in a lunchbox, clearly named, and placed in the fridge while the morning tea was provided in a plastic container, clearly named, and placed in her son's pigeon hole with his backpack.

PROVISION OF CLOTHING: PROVISIONAL PASS - Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother provided sufficient spare clothing in his backpack, but on the second day she failed to force her son to comply with the absolutely-no-shoes-worn-for-outside-play rule. Was unable to override three years of habitual shoe-wearing while playing outside.

PROVISION OF OTHER NEEDS: PASS IN MOST AREAS
PASS - plastic cup with handle
PASS - lunchbox
PASS - washer with elastic loop for hanging
PASS - legionnaires hat with essential elastic loop for hanging (Thankyou Grandma!)
FAIL - Library bag - still not purchased
PASS - sheet bag (40x40cm with drawstring)
PASS - top sheet 135x75 cm
PASS - bottom sheet 135x75 cm with 12 cm thick elastic sewn into each of the four corners with half a press-stud at each end so that the sheet can be secured around the tube of the stretcher.

We do suspect that the sheets, sheet bag and washer provided by Sonny Ma-Jiminy's mother is not actually her own work. (* Thankyou a million times, Becky.)

REMEMBERING TO LIBERALLY APPLY SUNSCREEN TO ALL EXPOSED AREAS OF CHILD PRIOR TO TAKING CHILD TO KINDY: FAIL (but really, who should care when the playground is usually in 90% shade?)

REMEMBERING TO TAKE A PHOTO OF CHILD ON FIRST DAY OF KINDY: FAIL

HAVING ENOUGH SPACE ON THE MEMORY CARD TO TAKE A PHOTO OF CHILD ON SECOND DAY OF KINDY: FAIL

PAYING $5 FOR THE RENT/LOAN OF THE CHICKENS AND HATCHING EGGS FOR THE FORTNIGHT: FAIL. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!!! (This is the Key Performance Area I am most worried about.)

MAKING IT THROUGH WITHOUT SEEING BLOOD OR FLAMES: PASS

Well that's something, isn't it?

7 comments:

mommastantrum said...

Seeing that we got kicked out of the first preschool that we attended after the second week, you are doing brilliantly!! (Although had we known about the Asperger's I don't imagine that it would have been an "issue")

I am a little scared about this "chicken rent" of which you speak. I am sure that it is just some Aussie thing that my tiny American brain cannot comprehend. But I think in either country renting chickens is frightening!!

Good Luck. And really, that is a LOT of stuff for preschool!! What happened to going to preschool for fun?

Givinya De Elba said...

The list of things to take would not be so daunting if it wasn't so SPECIFIC and so important to get it all right!

Boy, I feel for you guys. If you didn't know about the Aspergers when BaconBits went off to preschool, you must have had some stressful times - not knowing what "box" to put the behaviours in!

The Chicken program is pretty cool - you can read about it at http://www.hennypennyhatching.com.au/ Want your own Chicken-Lending Fanchise? Maybe keep a chicken or two when the program is over?

Unless you are scared of chickens, that is, like my Crazy Sister.

Becky said...

If it makes you feel any better... I always forget to coat my son in suncream!! hehe

Givinya De Elba said...

What a relief Beck! Thanks for telling me. I suspect most of us would forget. I guess they make us sign that we're putting sunscreen on so that they don't get lawsuits in the future about skin cancer. I love all the shade at kindy though - I can't imagine they'd catch too much sun anyway.

mommastantrum said...

Okay, so I looked at the chicken website...um, I get the school thing, and the "old folks home" thing.

But seriously do people really go on Holiday to a Hotel or Resort to watch chickens hatch down there?

I mean....um, that is kind of...FREAKY!!

Heather said...

Oh yes, the dreaded sunscreen-before-school issue. Should I confess that I'm a Bad Mommy who squints up at the sky and decides that it appears sufficiently overcast that either the kiddo won't get too much sun and/or it may rain so they'll stay indoors? (I know one can get burned through cloud cover. I know.) Should I further confess to sending my child to her summer program in longer (capri) pants and higher than anklet socks just to lessen the amount of skin that needs sunscreening, not to mention devising hairdos for her that keep her ears and neck covered?

It wouldn't be so bad if the kiddo weren't so dang squirmy about the whole process!

As to your crazy strict rules for this particular school, well they'd stress me right the heck out!!

(Oh and to the commenter upthread re: not knowing your kiddo had Aspergers and getting kicked out of preschool? We too had a Bad Preschool Situation the first time our kiddo started going, at age three. Turns out she has Sensory Processing Disorder, which we did not yet know at the time. The head teacher decided our kiddo was just "difficult" and a "troublemaker" and was horribly cruel to her, all in the guise of "behavior management" - we wound up having to pull her out of that school midyear and find a better place for her. Things are SO much better now - a year and a half later - OT has really helped, as has learning about SPD!)

Cheers!

Dee said...

Wow, thats a strict Kindy... I would fail.
I use plastic wrap, sandwich bags, disposable youghurt tubs...

I dont go to all the fundrasing things as i just can't afford it after paying such hefty fees - where does that money go that they have to fundraise anyhow????