The big pre-school drop off? Suggestions from the hive welcome.
My 2.75 year old is a special snowflake starting 3 morning a week preschool this Friday. Suggestions on how to make this go well are welcome.
After some bad experiences with school and social activities in the past, I'm worried about how drop offs are going to go. I acknowledge that he may completely surprise me and go willingly. But knowing him, it is a decent possibility that he will be very upset when I leave.
Friday, the first day, parents are welcome to stay for the whole day (9am-1pm). Then on the following Monday, I'm the "class parent" -- which is good, because I'd bet that he'd prefer me to stay. Although it'll be hard for me to do my class duties with him on my legs. The next Wednesday I'm not class parent, so I'll have to "leave him" there.
- He'll be among the youngest in this preschool (he turns 3 in mid-November, most of the kids are 3 and change.)
- It is a co-op but there is a well-regarded teacher
who is assisted by a class parent daily.
- There are 8 kids in his class, but one day a week the classes are combined so there will be ~16 kids.
- As far as I can tell, many of the other kids are going to this preschool straight out of being at home with a stay-at-home-mom and few have been in daycare settings. (Thus there might be other kids with separation anxiety.)
His school background:
- Kiddo was in an awesome daycare until age 2, then we moved and he started a new daycare that was a total failure. It sucked
and it created a huge fear of "school" in him. (Screaming "no school" if we merely drove near the place.)
- For the past 9 months, he's been in a nannyshare in our home with 1-2 younger children. Our awesome nanny has really been working with him on his social skills.
- We've been talking school up all summer. He's gone from hating it to being more open to it, but every time we talk about it recently he insists that Mommy or Daddy will be coming to school with him.
- We've tried to play on the school's playground fairly regularly and now when we walk there he says "my school!"
- He plays well with his nannyshare buddies, but in general he is very anxious/shy around other kids and would rather hide between Mommy's legs.
- He doesn't enjoy sitting still for activities (ex. when we go to see a kid's singer perform, he doesn't like dancing, doesn't want to sit and listen, and is very hesitant to play with other kids.)
- We've always practiced semi-attached parenting.
- I have been incredibly busy for the last year and the last 9 months especially. He doesn't get to spend enough time with me (Mommy) and it shows in his strong attachment to me.
- He has a speech delay. He is talking, but not at the level of other kids his age. People that are not with him regularly don't understand him very well. He also clams up around people that are not Mommy, Daddy, or Nanny.
- Because of the shyness and speech delay, he is a poor self-advocate. He won't tell strangers that he has a poopy or that he's hungry.
- Not potty trained.
I know that many will say "just leave him" -- and I'm willing to try that, but based on our experience 9 months ago, he didn't eventually chill out.
In writing this, I realize that I should probably call his teacher on Tuesday and tell her all of this. But in the meanwhile, any suggestions from the parents of AskMe?