Sophia will be 3 in May, so she is at that in-between age: not yet a pre-schooler, but not exactly a toddler either. Today we tried for the first time to attend story-time at the local library. The librarian runs a great toddler program! The kids sit close to her on carpet squares, and she greets everyone by name, and leads them in singing and dancing. Sophia was shy at first, then jumped right in doing the wiggle dance, and imitating every hand gesture the leader made. I was surprised to see her so attentive and able to follow multiple actions in a brand new setting! The songs were new to her, and she can't read the lyrics on the screen like I can, so it's impressive that she caught on so quickly! Of course, when it was time for them to settle on their square and read a book, she was less interested. But once the next song started she was up and dancing again! After about 20 minutes of songs, activities, and stories, they brought out some boxes of toys for free play. And she didn't ask me to play with her or beside her like she usually does. She seemed quite happy exploring on her own, and sharing, and sitting inside the play tunnel. It was like watching her in a pre-school class, and she was doing well.
Which is why I am now feeling badly that I don't think she will be able to start pre-school in the fall. She will be 3 by then, and there are some programs around here for that age, but with my husband deployed and a new baby coming at the end of September, I just don't think starting school 2-3 times a week will be possible. We will probably spend a few months inside hardly going anywhere! But I will continue teaching her letters and numbers and colors, and doing some art projects with her. And once I am used to life with 3 little ones, she will go back to socializing with kids through play group and daycare. Do you think this is a suitable replacement for pre-school? What age did your child start school?