Rich and I attended our final preschool parent-teacher conferences last week. The girls are learning and progressing as they should and we heard "Academically, she's ready for kindergarten" three times. I do find it interesting (considering that they are identical siblings) that the one area that they need to work on is counting to 20. They reach the 12 - 13 area and inevitably skip over a number a two, which the teachers told us is quite common. For all three, this was their only low rating on their report cards. (I know. Report cards in preschool?)
All in all, I have to say that I'm very happy we made the decision to have the girls attend preschool. Because of their shy personalities, I think having them start kindergarten without any school experience would have been difficult. They are slowly emerging from their shells but there is still a bit of a concern with Anna and Em (and it was mentioned to us by both of their teachers.)
I really liked how at the end of each conference, the teachers added a personal comment:
Allie is very independent. She's always the first one ready.
Anna is loved by her classmates.
Emily is a sweetheart. She's never said or done anything mean to any of the other kids.
I did some research on Anna's behavior the other night and I convinced myself that it is behavioral considering that she can control it. If it was something deeper, she wouldn't have the control that she does. We discussed with Anna's teacher the behavior that we see at home and she confirmed that Anna never behaves that way in class.
She said that it is behavioral and reminded us that not only does Anna have spina bifida but she's a triplet. We talked about spina bifida support groups for Anna. (Don't want to get into too much detail here.)
Anna's teacher gave us the idea for a jewel jar. The girls have mentioned having one in their class and I wasn't too sure what it was but it's basically an alternative to a sticker chart. There's a jar and when the child does something good, she can pick out a jewel to place in the jar. When the jar is full, there's a prize.
Well, I wasn't about to go out and buy toy jewels for this so we've renamed it the button jar. Grammy and I have a billion "vintage" buttons and the girls, so far, like the idea of picking out a button to place in the button jar. (Sorry, no pictures. Too lazy) And speaking of lazy, this system is a whole lot easier than sticker charts. Anna has decided that the prize from a full button jar will be a trip to the bakery to pick out a treat. Okay, works for me.