Friday was Bram's last day of formal Preschool!
He joined STEEC in January 2018 when he was two years old! Before that grandma and a family friend watched him 3 days a week, I worked from home on Fridays and Lee was home on Mondays.
The transition to group style care was not easy, for any of us. The school was a big jump in cost, but we felt comfortable with their level of care and attention, and honestly with their willingness to work with us through the transition. Bram had difficulty napping (so much so one of the teachers held him for naps for several weeks!), with staying engaged with activities, and yes with being very physical with the other kiddos. I think with many other schools or centers we would have been asked to leave but STEEC was always a partner with us.
I have been fortunate to get the opportunity to work from home part time to be able to facilitate this journey of homeschooling. I have worked for the same company for 12 years as an Office Manager of a large accounting firm. I oversaw the operations and administrative team for the four DC area offices. It has been a great career, and company, I've really honestly really enjoyed what I've done. When we made the decision to cut back my hours and educate Bram at home I wasn't sure if it would even be possible to stay with them. In October I went to my boss and told her about our plan and exactly what I was looking for: 20-25 hours weekly, fully remote, and during non-standard hours; ideally 4:30am- 9:00am Monday-Friday, which seemed unattainable, but I really wanted to try to stay with this amazing company if possible. She was understanding and immediately said she would see what she could do. Lee and I were fully committed to beginning this journey so I know if they weren't able to that I would have started looking for alternative sources of income.
There is a fantastic movement that we are participating in this year. 1,000 Hours Outside believes that ... " Allowing children the time they need to play freely outside is not a new or original concept. Nature play is something kids have done since the dawn of time. From that perspective, this is the most ordinary thing we could be doing for our kids. And yet, current research shows that the average American child only gets 4-7 minutes of daily free play outside.
In just a few short decades, childhood has largely moved indoors and yet the basic tenants of child development have not changed. Kids still need outside play in order to fully develop in every facet.
By committing to nature play, you are giving your child the gift a beautiful childhood in the here and now as well as lifelong advantages for the time still to come.