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The Diary of a Preschool Mama: Thankful & Grateful

{Disclaimer: We are working with Davis Studio to bring you this post, however, all opinions are our own!}

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Dear Diary,

Jason, my husband, and I just had our Parent-Teacher Conference to talk about how Caroline, our 2.5 year old daughter, is doing in school. It went great. She has transitioned well into the classroom. Don’t get me wrong, some mornings are rough, but most are good. Regardless of how the morning goes there has not been one day where when I have gone to pick her up that she isn’t smiling and excited to tell me what she has been doing all day, which usually consists of “laying on the blue couch.” But I’ll get into that.

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As a parent, I naturally question the choices I make for Caroline and her brother Augie all of the time. But I have not once questioned or doubted our decision to send Caroline to preschool with Davis Studio. The two fit together like peanut butter and jelly, even if peanut butter isn’t allowed in the classroom. This time of year has me thinking about what I’m thankful and grateful for, and when it comes to Davis Studio there is no exception. Here are the top 5 things I’m the most thankful for when it comes to Caroline attending Davis Studio.

1. The Teachers

This is probably the most important thing for me. When I leave Caroline at Davis Studio with her teachers, Becky, Andy, Holly and Nicole, I am entrusting them with the safety and well-being of my daughter. I need to trust that they will support her, keep her safe, help her to grow, and to love on her. And I know they do. I see it. I can feel it.

Photo Credit Holly Beckert

Photo Credit Holly Beckert

Caroline’s teachers work hard to communicate with all of us parents. We get an email on Sundays outlining their intentions for the week. They keep up a blog so we can see what they are doing each day, which includes pictures of the kids. I have received emails and messages of photos of Caroline doing activities, which was especially welcomed and appreciated at the beginning of this adventure. As mentioned before we had Parent-Teacher conferences and I get a chance at drop off and pick up to connect with at least one teacher.

Transitioning for Caroline was easier than I expected and it’s because of her teachers. From day one it has been evident that it’s okay for her to feel whatever it is she needs to feel. Her blanky is welcomed is the classroom. Simple enough, right? No. This means that (usually) Andy oversees keeping track of this little piece of material for which Caroline will put down or inside anything, but then needs at the drop of a dime. She also quickly found a safe base that she goes back to throughout the morning, “the blue couch.” In the mornings, I usually leave her there laying, sucking her thumb, cuddling her blanky. But she is happy. Each day when I ask her what she did all day she happily tells me she “just laid on that blue couch.” Monday and Wednesday nights, we talk about the couch a lot. Holly is always reassuring me that Caroline did other things, it’s not all about the couch. What is important to me is that no one stops her from laying on the couch when she needs it, but at the same time they support her in engaging in all the fun activities in the classroom.

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Caroline doesn’t have many tough mornings, but others in her classroom do. There are still a few that, at times, cry in the morning or at pick up (waiting for mom). My heart breaks for them and their parents, but at the same time it’s heartwarming and reassuring to see how each of the teacher supports these kiddos. None of them hesitate to hug, hold, and meet these kiddos where they are at. If a kiddo needs to be held all day, I don’t doubt that they will be. Becky, Andy, Holly and Nicole love my daughter, and they love her friends too.

2. Caroline’s Friends & Community

One of the coolest things about Caroline starting school is watching her create friendships with children outside of people that she and I know together. She becomes so animated talking about her “friends” at school and what they have been doing. Caroline used to struggle to remember people’s names and now she can tell me a handful of her classmates’ names and things about them. Maybe related, maybe not, but she has also recently made the connection that my name is “Josilyn,” not “mommy” and Jason’s name is “Jason,” and not “daddy.”

Caroline has attended a friend’s birthday party where she was so excited to pick out and give her friend a birthday present. One sweet friend made her a dinosaur shaped crayon. For over a week she carried around and slept with “C’s” dino and, in turn, we had to make her a bracelet. One of her school friends is in a music class with us. Sometimes we run into friends going to or from activities or in the grocery store and I don’t always recognize them, but Caroline screams “mama my friend!”

Photo Credit Holly Beckert

Photo Credit Holly Beckert

The community as a whole at Davis Studio is welcoming and inclusive. At the beginning of the school year there was a community potluck that gave us a chance to connect with other families. Slowly I’m starting to know Caroline’s friend’s parents and so the community for our family is growing as well. Although there are 4 teachers in Caroline’s classroom if one is absent other staff from Davis Studio step in and Caroline has made some strong connections with them as well. I feel like we have really lucked out here.

3. The Classroom and Play Space

The classroom environment and outdoor play space are just perfect. It’s something you have to see to understand, and the pictures I have do no justice. Every detail at Davis Studio is there to inspire and support the children in creativity, wonder and thought. It is all hands on. In the classroom, they always have several art activities, music, science, and pretend play for the children to engage in. They follow what the children are interested in and plan their weekly curriculum around that. I feel confident that Caroline can express herself and play all morning while learning how to interact with others, about color, music, science, and so much more.

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Photo Credit Holly Beckert

The outdoor space is absolutely Caroline’s favorite. In the mornings, when asked what she thinks she will do today, she responds, “lay on the blue couch and then PLAY OUTSIDE!” The space includes mostly natural organic items and include a mud/snow kitchen, Daisy the bright yellow sailboat, a claw-foot bathtub, a musical corner with chimes and a hanging wooden xylophone, a huge dirt pit and an awesome wooden stage. It’s a space she would not be able to experience if she didn’t attend preschool here.

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Photo Credit Holly Beckert

4. The Starving Artist Café

I’m thankful for this Café regularly. They conveniently open at drop off and there are some mornings when I’m particularly tired or the morning was tougher than usual, or I just simply want something yummy, that I am grateful to stop there after leaving Caroline upstairs to get a delicious cup of hot tea and one of their scones. Gahhh, I didn’t even know I liked scones. But they are always still warm and soft and so tasty… now I’m drooling. I haven’t had the chance to try their full menu but I have plans to go for brunch one Sunday in December to enjoy a full breakfast and some art all at once!

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5. Davis Studio is something our family can grow into

It’s awesome that Davis Studio is more than just a preschool. They offer classes and camps for kids and adults. I love the idea that when Caroline is school-aged that she can continue to have contact with and have a relationship with the Davis Studio staff. She will be able to attend classes and camps without me and hopefully continue to see friends that won’t attend her elementary school. There is also an opportunity for a drop in preschool class on Fridays that I want to check out. It would give me a chance to engage in some art with Caroline.

I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for this holiday season, I know our family is fortunate in so many ways, including that we found Davis Studio. If you are looking for a preschool for your kiddo, they still have a few spots left in their 3-5 year old classroom. Check them out, you’ll be glad you did!

As always,

Super Thankful and Grateful Preschool Mama

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