This concept is not new to me though I was unaware of the state funded program Missouri offers. Yesterday, after dropping our oldest off for school, took our youngest (bubie) to meet his advisor. The program allows for the advisor to work with your child once a month on things in order to get them ready for preschool. Being home I like to work with the boys on various things, from a new word, to recognize colors in nature. But I am by no means a trained teacher. Thankfully my mother-in-law is and sends me materials that are age appropriate for the boys. They have workbooks that keep their attention for a couple of minutes. the oldest, Bubbers, loves to learn. Loves to do puzzles, mazes and flash cards but the youngest fights me on everything. It’s not that I think he is unable to do it, I think he doesn’t want to. This is where I believe Parents as teachers can help.
We go once a month and she works with our Bubie in a classroom setting. Yesterday he got to make a snowman out of cotton balls and construction paper. He also got to decorate a paper christmas tree using glue and pompom. He really enjoyed it and was so proud of himself for completing the task. What he gave flack on though was when she asked him to count out the cotton balls according to number cards. He sat there like a bump on the log and silently refused to cooperate at first. I looked at him in a stern way (mommy look) and clarified that he needed to count out loud. He made a small sound final protest and got into the activity. The kid is extremely smart, knows how to count to 20 but he is as stubborn as he is smart and for a 3 almost 4-year-old it scares me for the future when he is a teenager. I can already see myself arguing the importance of keeping his grades up as well as maintaining a social life. Lord help me. 🙂
The session lasted about an hour and went well. My baby was sad to leave, but excited to tell his big brother and daddy about his day. That makes me sad and happy. Sad because he is ready for school. He is confident to be without me and as much as I know that is our job as parents, I sometimes wish I did a worse job and he wanted to stay with me. That is purely selfish however and I can’t bring myself to feel bad about that. We have done a good job and I’m proud and happy for him. When he does start preschool, he will be ready and won’t be that kid that cries because mommy is leaving. He will be exactly like his brother and wave over his shoulder saying “Bye mommy, love you!” Till that day though I will enjoy the time I have left. It’s just me and Bubie for 3 hours a day and its wonderful. The baby will be here in only a few months and she will monopolize the majority of my time. But I want to make sure the boys know that I am NOT replacing them . My love is only growing to include the new bundle while holding onto the love I have for my big babies.
From a parent who knew nothing about Parents as Teachers (PATs) I now think that it is a wonderful program. It helps inform parents of guidelines and resources available in order to get children ready for the education system. It places the importance of education at the parents feet and include them on the child’s journey. It is also free, so the worry of coming up with money isn’t there. It eliminates that worry. I recommend to any parents to google the program and see if there are any similar programs in your state of residence or if you are in Missouri by all means look it. It’s worth at least a look.