Monday, February 20, 2012

Preschool Dilemma

I really had no idea I would find preschool perplexing. After 14 years of my own schooling, I thought I would be an excellent preschool mom. Instead, I find myself full of questions, the overwhelming one being how many times can I bug the preschool teacher with my million questions before she starts to dread my presence?

If I was less concerned with annoying her to death, here are a few of the many questions I would bombard her with.

First, when you send home an assignment meant for mom and daughter to complete together what is the correct percentage of participation? 90 for her and only 10% for me? More of a 50/50 deal? Or is this a chance for me to show off how good I am at preschool homework?

For my first joint homework assignment, I gave it some thought and went with a 80/20, Scarlet carrying the bulk of the idea and workload. Scarlet was given a little paper person to cut out and design to look like the career she wanted to have as an adult.

I used my first ten percent of help vetoing a few ideas. First she wanted to be a princess. Veto. Then, she wanted to be a waitress because she is, and I quote, "so good at bringing people food!" After discussing how difficult it might be to represent a waitress on our paper person, she decided a chef would be a good choice.

My next ten percent went to cutting out some chef-like additions to her person - a chef's hat, an apron and an oven mitt. I offered to help her make a fancy apron but she decided her coloring skills were sufficient for the whole project. It was simple but I was proud of her final product.

And I kept my motherly pride until the teacher posted all of the career people up on the wall at school for all to see. As I stared and compared, my first thought was, "my mom would be so disappointed if she saw this wall."

Here are a few examples for ya.

I think I might have underestimated my parent percentage...

My friend Mindy, who designed the adorable mermaid, said mine won the award for the most child involvement. I am not sure that was a compliment.

I asked Kristy to snap the photos of the career people for me without telling her which one was Scarlet's.

"Was it the vet?"


"Was it the princess?"

Nope. Vetoed that one.

"Umm.... was it one we took a picture of?"


"The chef? Seriously?"

Thanks for the support.

My second question has many subsections but starts with the question, "Seriously? Standardized testing for preschool?"

The teachers made it very clear to parents that, per the rules of the test, they had to mark the test with the results of how they performed that day. They couldn't go off previous experience. For example, if they knew the child could write their name but refused to do it the day of the test, they had to mark that they didn't know how to write their name.

Here are Scarlet's results.

She tested very well, only getting three no's. One was that she didn't know her phone number and address. No further explanation needed. The other two though...

#7 - Able to distinguish fantasy from reality.... no.

Oh the myriad of questions I have about this one. The moms and I brainstormed as to what they might have asked our children to determine this.

Is Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy real?

Will you someday become a princess?

Are there really fairies/unicorns/mermaids?

What really concerned me is all of Scarlet's other friends (that I am aware of) got a yes on this question.

I learned later that the question they asked was "Is Spongebob real or pretend?"

Did my child just get marked down in school because she doesn't have cable?

And then there was #8 - Sometimes demanding, sometimes cooperative. On this one there was a handwritten note that said, "Always Cooperative" and it was marked no.

So... she is not always cooperative?

Or not demanding enough?

Turns out she is not demanding enough. I guess there is a normal level of demanding that is expected out of a preschooler and Scarlet is just too agreeable.

They are testing them again at the end of the year... should we be practicing more demanding behavior?

After much contemplation, I have decided what I really need is a mom report card. How would you rate my participation? My teacher gifts? Your view of my home by the random stories my daughter is surely telling? How can I improve for the Kindergarten teacher?

Is there any extra credit?


Brenda Goodrich said...

This reminds me so much of my kid's middle school years and the stupid (true, you can call stupid school assignments stupid if they are, in fact, stupid) homework assignments. Please, please, please remain true to your momma ethics and don't get caught up in the STUPID parenting/teaching idiotic competition. Obviously you are a stupendous parent. Don't let the glittery mermaid distract you!

Brenda Goodrich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mindy said...

I agree. It would be nice to get a parent evaluation. BTW, I would say Jane's mermaid was 60/40. I totally wasn't going to let her cut out the tail, bleeding fingers would have been in my future. She also asked me to do the hair, and She did everything else. Hey, I let your do a mermaid. I get extra points for that.

Mindy said...

HAHA! I wrote and published my comment before I read the other comment. :D I totally agree, 'don't let the glittery mermaid distract you.' She really is is a siren in disguise.

Brad said...

I definitely think Dad's method of helping with homework is the best...

me- Dad can you help me with my assignment?

Dad- Last I checked I finished the 3rd grade already.

We turned out ok, right??

Heidi Noel said...

As a preschool teacher I would have liked Scarlet's best. Also, I would have just intended guidance. Our children's tend to look very different from the others because it is 80/20 or 90/10 favoring the child. Also, I never did an assessment test like that. We tested on whether they could unscrew lids, balance, etc. just to test for what we could help them in. Sorry, this post kinda got my dander up since it is pretty much the only thing I am trained for. :)

Myca said...

Oh my gosh I loved this post...pretty much cause it describes me with my kids in preshcool to a T. Hahahaha