We all enjoyed the trip tremendously and we noticed a vast improvement in Charlotte's attitude. Not sure if it was the constant attention from family, or the lack of influence from other kids and related stress points but Charlotte was just as loving and sweet as we remember her being. So much that we've decided her Fall Pre-school will only be from 9am-noon. The school offers the option to keep kids for the remainder of the day for a small fee but we'd rather bring her home.
Summer pre-school helped us realize all the high stress factors before the serious education began. Here is a short list of what I consider to be the most difficult parts of pre-school (for parents):
- Lunch & Snack - the effort I put into packing a lunch that she would eat drove me slightly batty at times. The teacher would frequently write notes saying she didn't think Charlotte was feeling well because she wasn't eating much. Add the stress of no peanut butter sandwiches because it's a peanut free school and I ended up sending Mickey shaped chicken nuggets every single day!!
- A full day of school means a very tired, stressed and easy-to-annoy little girl. The drive home was tedious at best. I had to have snack and drink in hand because it's South Florida and extremely hot at the end of the day. They were let outside for free-play from 5pm on so if I didn't get there as close to 5 as possible I could be certain her mood would be horrible.
- Too much socialization can be a bad thing when they pick up concepts like "best friend" incorrectly. Towards the end of the summer she was upset that so-and-so didn't want to be her best friend and when she's really happy with us she calls us her best friend. I'm hoping the focused school hours of 9-12 are so education based that they don't have time to explore their "feelings".
- In Fall Pre-School, I get to drop her off in an actual classroom so there is less of a chance that she will cling to me at the coat rack in the room outside the classroom because their isn't an outer room!