This week Ryan started preschool, part-time. Up until this point we’ve been so lucky to have Ryan spend the day with my mom, while Michael and I were at work. But over the last few months, we’ve watched Ryan grow into a little human who is hungry for peer engagement and social interaction—and with Connor’s arrival it feels like the perfect time for Ryan to start school.
We are seriously so excited to have found Frog Pond Early Learning Center. It is an early childhood program that emphasizes development of strong core values and respect for the interdependent web of life. The environment focuses on character development, outdoor play, and learning about nature—and among other exciting features, they have a mini-farm with goats, chickens and native creatures. I think this is going to be the perfect space for Ryan to grow and learn and gain some independence, and I'm eager to see how this experience will impact his confidence and personality.
By the way, check out this recent article from the Washington Post about the power of outside play. I found these paragraphs to be especially compelling:
“As parents and teachers strive to provide increasingly organized learning experiences for children (as I had once done), the opportunities for free play – especially outdoors is becoming less of a priority. Ironically, it is through active free play outdoors where children start to build many of the foundational life skills they need in order to be successful for years to come.
In fact, it is before the age of 7 years — ages traditionally known as “pre-academic” — when children desperately need to have a multitude of whole-body sensory experiences on a daily basis in order to develop strong bodies and minds. This is best done outside where the senses are fully ignited and young bodies are challenged by the uneven and unpredictable, ever-changing terrain.”