Thursday, May 6, 2010

We found a preschool!

Preschool is something that I think is very important for children to have. If they do not have a strong start before heading to kindergarten a lot of children struggle and fall behind. With Izabel spending the first 3 years of her life pretty much at home, it is also important to us that she gets started as soon as possible. She needs the structure and interaction and she is really ready to learn new things and do more exploring!

We started looking for preschools a few months ago. I really had two choices in mind. The first one was a montisori school down the street. We went for a visit and we did not like it at all. There was no color or music or noise. It just didn't feel like a preschool or a fun environment. I The other was the school at our church - Atlantic Shores Baptist. They have a K3 and K4 half-day program and it is on the road I drive down to school every morning. I called to set-up a tour and found out that their cut off date for turning three is September 30th. Izabel does not turn 3 until October 8th. I knew she would have this problem when it came time for kindergarten, but I didn't think it would be that big of a deal for preschool!

After canceling out both of these options we really had to start looking. A lot of places I called had the same cut off date. We finally went to visit Greenbrier Manor school. We were there for at least an hour. They let Izabel go in the rooms to play with the kids and they sat her down to color while we talked. They showed us their curriculum and what a normal day would look like. She's going to go half days five days a week. I will drop her off early on my way to work. She'll have breakfast there and then play until school starts at 8:45. They'll work on colors, shapes, letters, numbers, and begin writing the letters and numbers. Each month has a theme and at the end of the month they have a party! At 11:45 my mom will pick her up and they have car pool so my mom will not have to get Tanner out and go inside. We like that Izzy will be home for lunch and nap for her first year there.

Izabel impressed the director with what she already knows and the fact that she is already potty trained. She is already ahead of some of the three year olds they have now! She knows her colors and 4 shapes. She can also sing her ABCs and count to 10. The great thing is that she will be able to work ahead once she shows that she has mastered a skill. I like that they won't make her sit around while all of the other children learn these things!

We left the school with all of the information and a spot available to us. We didn't sign up right there but we were pretty sure of our decision. We took about two weeks to think about it and then finally took in our registration. Izabel is all signed up and ready to start in the fall and we are all excited about it!


April 23-28 I took 6 students to Louisville, KY for DECA's International Career Development Conference (National Competition). My two state officers went to officer/leadership training, I had two students attend the school-based enterprise academy since our school store was awarded gold level certification, and my two students who placed 2nd at state competition moved on to compete at the national level. Everyone did really well and had a great time! This trip was a little harder for me. By this point I had been gone a lot and this trip was so long. It was 6 whole days without seeing the kids. There was also quite a bit of down time that I had to think about the fact that I missed the kids! It's something I always enjoy but I am super glad to be home and can't wait for summer (30 more school days!).

We arrived in Louisville on a Friday. We had rented a Tahoe which is huge but doesn't quite hold 7 people and their luggage! We stuffed ourselves in and luckily our hotel was only 7 miles away from the airport. After settling into the hotel we went and got some food and explored a little bit.

Saturday we slept in a little and then headed down to the waterfront for Fest-A-Ville. This is the two week long festival celebrating the coming Kentucky Derby. There was a marathon that we watched for a while and then lots of food and a few rides. We listened to a band and the kids mingled with some other students. Down the street from our hotel was an area called 4th street live. It was a nice area of restaurants and bars and we ate most of our meals there. After dinner we went to the opening session where 15,000 DECA members and advisors came together to kick off the conference. We were recognized for our school store and then we watched a fashion show from FIDM.

Hanging out at Fest-A-Ville
On stage for our school store
Virginia is for Lovers!Campaigning for our state president
who was running for national officeSam and Eric
Sunday the workshops and competitions began. I worked from 9-2 running one of the events with some of the other advisors. Then we went to the exhibit hall where we got lots of great ideas for our school store. Sunday night we were supposed to go to a baseball game but it was cold and raining so we went bowling instead. We had a lot of fun!

Sydney and Evan in their matching outfits
Bowling night!
On Monday workshops and competitions continued. Between practicing and taking students back and forth we were pretty busy. Monday evening four of the students went on the Belle of Louisville steamboat. I had to stay back and wait for the other two students to finish their competition. After that we went to a DECA exclusive Lady Antebellum concert which was really good!

Heading out on the steamboat
The girls at the Lady Antebellum concert
Tuesday morning we all got up and went to the mini-awards session. If you received an award here it meant you were a finalist and you had to compete again. My students did not make it through so we went to the Mega Caverns. It is 17 miles of underground caverns that were originally planned to be used as an evacuation site during the Cold War. Now they are used for storage of large things like boats and campers. It was actually pretty cool.

Ready to go exploring!

Tuesday night we went to the grand awards ceremony where Virginia did pretty well. Then we had an ice cream social with our state.

Me and my kiddos!
The girls at the ice cream social

Wednesday we spent the day traveling and were very happy to arrive home! I took Thursday off to spend some time with the kids and it was totally worth it!