I don't know whether this is done everywhere but in the school district we live in, sometime in May, all of the students who have registered for J.K. (I may be wrong but I think it might be called Pre-K in the U.S.) go to the school for some kind of initial assessment. Today was Pk's day and we were told that we needed to be there at 10:30 to meet with a teacher who would do the assessment. One of us would have to take the day off so we decided that I would take the day and make it a special mother-daughter day. We were both really looking forward to it.
The day started out like a normal day, with our usual breakfast routine. As always, Baby Bean stuffed his face with cheerios and muffins (this is our current favourite recipe).
Pk was very excited. She argues each and every morning about getting dressed and this morning, I let her hang out in her p.j.'s until almost 9 o'clock. She also started with what she calls "a white milk tea party" using her favourite tea set. She also snacked on muffins and both children enjoyed some very ripe pears, another household favourite.
Once Daddy and Baby Bean went off for their day, Pk and I started our fun. She insisted she wanted to wear "a princess dress" and she wore her green dress that was a gift and is now the current fave of both of us. Our first stop was to the church sale. It's an annual event and they hold it in a parking lot out on the highway. We live in a pretty town just off a highway on the road to cottage country. The May long weekend is a huge weekend for traffic and the church sets up everything right there and lots of people stop. The stuff tends to smell like it came from someone's barn but you can find the odd treasure and since Pk wants a tea party theme for her birthday this year, I have started collecting teapots (I have ideas!) and it seemed like a good destination. We walked there hand in hand, chatting in a way we haven't done in a long time. I will treasure every moment. We bought one somewhat ugly tea pot and then made our way up to the school.
She was very excited but I could tell she was feeling pretty scared, too. We went in, had to wait for a bit and then it was our turn. I realised that I was a bit nervous, too. Let me say, I don't put much stock in this at all. With a three-and-a-half year old, so much can change, even between now and September, that the data they get is not especially accurate and given that we were talking a three year old working with a stranger, it's not exactly an accurate picture of what they know. Even so, it's my first experience of how she will handle the pressures of school and testing so I was a bit concerned about what I might see. I needn't have worried.
At first, Pk was really shy and was reluctant to answer. We started with her name (she had to identify it and print it), she did her colours, counted a collection of teddy bears, identified her numbers, did upper and lower case letters with their sounds and then finished with a basic speech assessment. I have to admit, I was pretty happy when, at the end, the teacher, who is kind of a friend, said, "Well, mom, I'm sure you know that she is very h-i-g-h..." I replied that I thought she was doing o.k. but that I struggle a bit, since she is a September baby and seems younger to me than many of her friends. Her reply was, "Well, that just means she's even higher than I thought if she's that young." The nicest part was that when we were leaving the room, Pk spotted the next child waiting, one of her best friends from the library and they had a big hug and were really excited that they might be at school together.
Pk thought it would be a good idea to take a photo right below the school sign (for privacy's sake, I've cut the name of it out). It's a nice momento of the start of a very special time in her life!
The rest of the day was just as fun. We came home so I could pump for Baby Bean and then we ran down to Dh's school. We treated Pk to her favourite lunch - "Old McDonald's" (yes, healthy-eating conscious me does give in on that every so often) which we took back to eat at dh's school and then we went on to get my hair done. Pk loves going to my hairdresser and it's a nice thing for us to do together.
I didn't get any photos of the rest of the day but it was all great. We went to pick up Baby Bean from daycare and our sitter was getting ready to take the kids to the park and so we joined her and Pk's friends for about an hour. We went on a visit to the garden centre and wound up by having a great "start of summer meal" for dinner - grilled steak, shrimp, nice bread, asparagus and salad. I love the May long weekend and the joys of summer that it brings.
It's hard to imagine a nicer day. I just hope the rest of the weekend is as wonderful. I feel so lucky right now!