Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There's this whole thing I forgot to tell you about...

So something kind of big happened a couple weeks ago. And I totally spaced it and forgot to share.


I can't believe I did this, because it's a pretty big deal. Especially in Jackland. So big, that I had a knot in my stomach for weeks leading up. We had a meeting. And not just any meeting, but a meeting at an elementary school.

You heard me right. A meeting about Jack going to school. Seriously. How did this sneak up on us? I went into the meeting feeling like Jack is way, way too young to be starting school. But in our state's early intervention program, when you turn 3, you qualify for preschool. Jack turns 3 in May. They start the paperwork a few months before the birthday and we had our introductory meeting.

Attending was the principal, the director of the preschool, a couple therapists, Jon, Jack and I, and Jack's case worker. It was surreal. How could we be sitting in a meeting with a principal? How was this even  possible? This wasn't supposed to be happening yet.

I'm a skeptic. We had lots of questions. Turns out this school meets three days a week, two hours a day, in the morning. You can choose how much or how little time your child attends. The class has about 8-10 students, with varying abilities, all between the ages of 3 and 5. Jack would be the baby of the group and I don't know how I feel about that yet.

The preschool has a main teacher, with at least three assisting teachers. Therapists are there as well, because some of the students get PT, OT, and ST at school. It almost ends up being a 1 to 1 ratio of students to adults. That sounded good to me.

Still, my heart hurts a little at the thought.

And I worry.

Some of the children have behavioral problems and I want Jack to be in a safe environment. I have other concerns about Jack and his feeding/drinking issues. How would he get a drink? Are they trained in dealing with a g-tube? Jack isn't potty trained either and are they used to that?

We discussed these questions at length and we actually left feeling pretty confident.

The main thing that was stressed to us at the meeting was that this kind of program gets kids ready to start actual school. It teaches kids how to act in social settings, follow directions, and be around other kids. Instead of just starting Kindergarten with cold feet, it gives a child some familiarity and a chance to increase the chances of catching up and joining their peers in a traditional classroom. That  part of the discussion resounded so much for Jon and I.

You are probably wondering what we decided.  As of now, we are committed to going to the actual classroom to check it out and see how we feel/if we like it. If we end up deciding it is the right thing for Jack, he will start school next September. I am not sure how many days a week, but maybe two.

Oh my.

Jack will not be riding the bus as I do not want to have another heart attack at the thought

P.S. The germs... THE GERMS!!! Don't even get me started.
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Blalock said...

Praying for wisdom in this decision.

Kristi DeLeurere said...

It sounds like you have a pretty good option with that school! My son just turned 3 and they wanted me to send him to a regular preschool classroom with 17 mostly 4 year olds and only 2 teachers. I decided for the rest of this school year I am just taking him to the school once a week for speech therapy and we will discuss him going to a classroom this fall at a later date. I am thinking I will let him go 2 hours 2 days a week, but if his health status is the same this fall as it is right now, I will go with him. Some people seem to think that I am overprotective, but my son can't talk so other people have a very difficult time assessing his wants and needs. No matter what other people think, you have to do what you think is best for your son!

jaymie said...

T his is such a hard choice but we did this with kanyon and just a couple of hours a couple of days a week. I still have mixed emotions as far as worry and such but he really loves it. And i was pleasantly surprised that he didn't get sick all the time like we were afraid of. We were a 2 year house arrest family too so I was very very worried. I'm glad you have time to think and decide. You'll do the right thing. :)

Carie Edson said...

Wow Jess! Time flies so quickly... I was just thinking the other day - "Only one more fall with James at home, and then he's off to kindergarden." I almost had a small panic attack at the thought. Sometimes it feels like the harder I try to hold on, the faster time slips through my hands.

Blessings on your decision. It sounds like you have some great options though, and that's encouraging!
Hang in there Mama!

Emily Real said...

Big news!! Thanks for sharing so openly. You and Jon are amazing parents and take SUCH good care of the gift you've been given. I agree that you will make the best decision. Very encouraging that he could ease into school in this setting rather than just jumping into a Kindergarten. Praying with you on your decisions.

Marcie said...

Wow! That IS big! It sounds very exciting but anxiety provoking as well. I hope everything turns out the way you want it to. Good luck!!