I attended my first Parent-Teacher Conference last week at Maggie's preschool! They do a quick check in midway through the year for kids who will be going on to Kindergarten - I guess just to confirm whether or not the kid is ready for regular school yet. It was of course no surprise that Mags is doing beautifully with all the academic milestones. She already has every item on the checklist marked off (really she could do them all before she even started preschool), and we talked about how much the way she holds a pencil has improved and how much more confident her handwriting is since September.
They also told me that she is happy at school and enthusiastic about everything they do - ENTHUSIASTIC. Like, really, really excited to do... anything. Everything. Glue! Scissors! Paint! Puzzles! Songs! Games! Coloring! She loves it! This is her favorite thing ever!
The only item she got a W+ ("working on skill") instead of a G ("good progress") on was initiating play with other children. Apparently she's fine playing with other kids and gets along well with everyone, she just won't ask another kid to play with her. So the teachers have been talking with her about just joining in with other children or just asking someone to play. Instead of complaining to them that she's all alone - in a room full of children!
When I told Mike about it he just laughed and said, "Well I wonder who she gets that from?!" Both of us are a bit... shall we say, socially reserved.
Shyness is probably just part of her genetic code, but I am glad we decided to send her to preschool. I didn't have any great requirements for her academic development this year, but I am reassured that her teachers are just the right people to help her grow socially before the big wide world of public school begins next year. That's something she probably can't get in large amounts from me personally. (I'm not knocking my mothering abilities. I've got a lock on that literacy stuff; It's just that we all have our own talents, so it's good for her to meet lots of different people.)
Here's the note they wrote on her report:
Maggie is a lovely little girl - bright, inquisitive, yet somewhat shy. We are working on initiating play with other children. She enthusiastically joins in all group activities and is very well-spoken. Maggie is enjoying her Preschool experience.
That's success in my book. We are very proud of her and looking forward to the kindergarten enrollment process that starts here in April. Kate's preschool enrollment is this week, and we're going to sign her up for a couple of mornings next year just so she's not too lonely without Mags.
My little chicks are taking off!