I was sitting here thinking of how to write this post and experienced a brain-montage of “talking! doing! making!” moments. Listening to a friend talk about how she’d started a playschool co-op for her daughter. Sitting on the bench in front of the bakery, casually mentioning the idea to another mom-friend. Gathering notes. Trading ideas. Meetings and playdates along the way with various baked goods in tow (this, before the second children started to appear). Interviewing teachers. Having sample lessons with teachers. Running up all those steps. Wait. That last one maybe wasn’t us.
Anyway, here it is, it’s started! We’ve had two-and-a-half weeks of playschool (we have to call it playschool or the accredited-preschool cops will bust down Beth’s beautiful door). It’s been, honestly, better than I ever imagined. The kids are so READY. When we started talking about this process, many of us weren’t sure 2-year-olds even needed any kind of school, which was part of what made paying 8 zillion dollars for a Park Slope Sprouts Something feel silly. Now that they are all two-and-a-half or thereabouts, they are just so ready and so into it.
Our teacher Cyndi is amazing — smart, funny, easy-going, creative, and so energetic I think she might not be actually human. I was the TA on the first day, and it was too rainy to really play outside much. Cyndi took one look at the bouncing bunch and announced that it was jumping time. And then they sang a song and jumped up and down. Over and over. It was amazing. They are also doing schoolier stuff too — learning days of the week and talking about weather and sitting nicely for snacks and reading stories and having choice time and doing art projects…it’s so cute I might explode.
Impressively, everyone’s done really great with the separation. Harper freaked out a little the first time I left but since has been completely fine. Every morning we go over it. “And then you come back?” “Yes.” “You’ll come get me?” “Yes.” “Is Ollie going to be there?” “Ollie will stay with me and we will come pick you up.” Then she asks me what color Cyndi will be wearing. “Will it be purple Cyndi or orange Cyndi?” “I don’t know.” “Because why?” “Because…um…get your backpack.”
Harper loves the routines. She comes home and immediately commences to play school like it’s her job. Which it sort of is, I guess. She doles out spots. She sits down cubbies. She sings the hello song and goodbye song in an endless loop. She only answers to the name “Pretend Cyndi.” It’s all just a very satisfying response.
If anyone is interested in starting a co-op, or wondering how to go about it, or has any advice for us as we proceed through our school year, let me know! I can’t say how pleased I am with how it’s going. I feel so lucky to have found this group of moms and kids, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s choice time. And my choice is always to read. (By which I mean sleep, obviously.)