Daily Archives

May 2, 2012


Transition to Preschool

One of the best parts of our month long trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica was enrolling the boys into Seaheart Waldorf Preschool.
Resistant to most of the early learning programs–and associated costs–here in Manhattan, I was eager to explore the Waldorf play-based method and see how my children would respond to ‘school’, especially a bilingual one.

My (then) 25-month-old twins hadn’t had much time away from mommy and the transition to their nanny had been a very long one fraught with many tears.  In October we’d started attending a church that offered a drop off kids center.  It did not go well.  Every week we’d try and every week they would scream and run after us.  But eventually things with the nanny and the church ended up just fine.

But Seaheart was going to be a huge transition.  We were asking a lot of them.  In five days they’d been in a taxi, a plane, a bus, a minivan, a pickup truck, a bike, 2 hotel rooms and ‘moved’ into a big house.  And they’d done amazingly well with all of it.  We were all frazzled and tired and hot as hell, but the kids were adjusting to their surroundings and having a (mostly) great time.

The director told me weeks later that my boys transitioned faster than any kids she’d ever had.  I was shocked.  And well…a little proud.  I was really worried about them making it 4 days in a row from 8am-noon.  There were days we walked to school and they both said “no school” but when we got there and they saw Bubbles the bunny and especially the chickens–my God they love chickens–it was usually OK.  Sure there were tears–more from Whoop Whoop than Grunter which was the opposite of what we’d expected–but they never lasted long.

There are a few very big things I never expected from motherhood:

  • I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.
  • I never thought I’d be one of those moms who hadn’t spent a single night (uh, or full day) away from her kids.
  • I never thought I’d breastfeed for a year let alone continue breastfeeding well beyond the 2nd birthday.
  • I never thought I would entertain the idea of homeschooling.

Maybe if an affordable, quality, nature/play-based preschool program were available to us here I would be thinking differently.  In fact, I’m sure I would.
I loved Seaheart, I love the teachers, the volunteers and I loved watching my kids grow in the month they were there.  The place was straight out of a granola fairy tale and if we lived there the boys would continue on.
But we don’t live there and we aren’t moving there and we can’t afford the Waldorf preschool here that charges $25K per child.
And while it was nice to have the 4 hour break every morning, by the time they got home it was time to nap and it left very little quality time with them.  When Friday rolled around, I was really missing my boys.
I’m in a very fortunate position to stay at home and I really can’t imagine sending them to a program where they are cooped up inside most days.  Chicken, on the other hand, can’t imagine spending every day at home with them!  Which means we both have the right jobs:)
Speaking of Chicken, she’s not all aboard the homeschooling train.  But she has agreed that for the early years, it sounds like a good idea (so far).  Who knows, by the time they are 5 years old, maybe I will be ready for them to go to school.
I don’t know.  But for now, I’m relishing the idea of keeping them right here with me just as long as I can.  To play, to be outside, to explore, to grow, to learn.  To just be kids.
When it’s time to transition, we’ll do that.  And they will be just fine.


Big Ideas

I’ve taken a long hiatus.
Some of you are probably wondering if we decided to check out and stay in Costa Rica….
We did think about it, but no, we are back in NYC and loving our life here.  There was the general readjustment period and second-guessing your life but the boys, Chicken, myself and the cat are all alive, well and thriving.
While I’d love to give you some wonderful story about why it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, the truth is I haven’t got a great reason.
I spent many days in Costa Rica *meaning* to blog but instead I spent the time lazing in the hammock staring at the sea, watching the birds flit about and trying to spot our elusive 3-toed sloth.
There were many discussions of life and school and travel, both amongst ourselves and also some new like-minded parents/friends.
My head has been spinning with the thoughts of home schooling, long term travel, road schooling and a new (and improved!) focus on health.
And now it’s May.  Just like that.
And now it’s time to write again.  I’ve got a lot to catch up on so I’m setting up a daily blog goal for this month.  Might just be photos and a lot of it could be recaps of our time in Costa Rica, but I’m ready to clear my head and dive back in.

See you tomorrow.