Friday, May 24, 2013

Ode to Portland: Jacob's school

We did not enroll Jacob in a preschool until after he turned four. The February prior, when you're supposed to do this, came and went, we looked at some schools but then didn't make any decisions. I suppose I didn't feel ready at that time. But, as Jacob approached four, I could tell that both of us were needing a little more independence. We went back to the school we had liked the best, Cedar Hills Kindergarten and Preschool.

CHKP is a co-op which means the parents take turns in the classrooms well, facilitating projects and helping the children. The community of parents welcomed us in warmly and Jacob's teacher, Teacher Lori, brought Jacob into the fold like it wasn't anything at all to be starting the school year in mid-February. Jacob was a little nervous in before his first day, but after that, didn't look back once.

Yesterday was the last day of school. They celebrated Jacob's next birthday (they have celebrated each child's birthday throughout the year). He has been talking about this for at least a month. He was very proud as he sat with his Playdoh birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday.

Teacher Lori has been an amazing teacher to Jacob and to me as a parent. She is calm and compassionate with the kids during the good times and when they are struggling with conflicts. I admire CHKP's philosophy of teaching the children to work through conflict and coming up with solutions themselves instead of us grownups always coming to the rescue. This method teaches self confidence and brainstorming for solutions to conflicts. We wish we could continue at this school for the next two years of Jacob's education. Still, we have learned much about giving children solid foundations for present and future relationships.

On his last day of school, Jacob told me, "I'm sad it's the last day of school." I feel the same way, kiddo.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Jill! Sometime I'd like to visit with you more about the cooperative Pre-K program that Jacob was in. I have thought about involving parents in daycare more and would like to see how the coop did it. I wouldn't be nearly as intense but am considering asking for parent help when I need more adults for special activities. I've also wondered if a coop wouldn't be a good option for our community because we are so short on daycare and Pre-K spots.