Monday, February 19, 2007

President's Day and Preschool sign-up advice

Today is President's Day, surely one of the most useless holidays of the year. Forgive me for being cranky but the parade of holidays has becomen ENDLESS. The barely have the Valentine's candy swept out before the huge Easter candy displays comes in (already in full swing at my local grocery store).

They may as well give us an IV drip of glucose and declare a perpetual holiday.

But I will do my best to turn my cranky tirade into a useful public service message. This is the time of year where you may be asked to sign up for preschool next fall. A lot of my friends stressed out about signing up for 5-day-a-week preschool, thinking that it would be too much for their child.

Here's the secret: Between holidays, sick days, teacher work days, conferences, snow days, and LIFE, a 5-day week is almost never a 5-day week. I don't think we've had a full 5-day school/work week since before Halloween, unless you count my trip to California last week. This week we have two days off for conferences, but they didn't have enough slots to accommodate all the parents in my class, so in the final analysis, we are missing 2 days of school for....nothing?

When my daughter was in Monday-Wednesday-Friday preschool, she had a hard time adjusting to that on-off switching. She is a creature of habit to the max, and the steadiness of a (theoretical) 5 day preschool week actually suited her fine. When she was two and a half and in a toddler program, I will admit that the benefit was more for to give me a break than for her enrichement, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that when she was 3 and started full-time preschool she actually got a lot out of being in a school community.

We have a lot of stomach flu going around our area right now. They've had to close some hospitals and schools. So I'm sending a shout-out to all the parents who have more to contend with than two days off for conferences. I hope everyone stays as healthy as possible. Time to break out the Purell!

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