This is Heather.
Over on Amy Welborn's blog, there's a discussion of skipping and preschool. Developmental or academic expectations in preschool, which is optional (and not free!) is the nadir of silliness, in my book. I was reminded of all of the goofy things I had to do when I taught outside the home; the idea of a MEAP for French or Spanish just seems ridiculous, but I suppose eighth graders are pretty high on the gullible-meter.
Madeleine is attending preschool this year, and I can't really praise it highly enough. Why?
1. The teacher's aide attends our home parish, and has since I was an altar server (16 years ago). We see her in church occasionally. You can't put a price tag on a familiar face. My mother had to pick her up once, and when she walked in, the aide said, "I know who you are and who you're here for."
2. I got to sign her up for when she's the Special Helper. My niece missed one of her opportunities somewhere else because the teacher refused to switch dates when the little girl was having ear tubes put in. We can also change the snack we send on those days, if our own child doesn't like what's listed, provided it's healthy.
3. The PC Police haven't shown up, except to have changed Pocahontas, Squanto, et al to "Native Americans." They still celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.
4. As a person with a July birthday, I always felt vaguely shortchanged that I got to celebrate my birthday in school once (my 5th grade teacher let me do it on March 29). Not only did Madeleine get to celebrate hers a week late (because school hadn't started yet), the teacher called me at home to make sure Madeleine would be there that day.
Of course, all these kind words will evaporate should they come to me and tell me she isn't clapping in time with the Hokey Pokey, or she insisted on making her apples green or yellow instead of red. Until then, though, I'm going to enjoy her fun almost as much as she is.