Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And they're off! School readiness, our style.

Every year in term 4, we watch our older children spread their wings and start to fly.

They become masters of their preschool universe.

They are strong and secure in the relationships with their friends, their teachers and their surroundings.

Their play is complex, independent and intricate.

They can do things themselves.  Practical things.  Self-help things.  Problem solving things.  Conflict resolution things.  Negotiation things.

In fact, if we have done our job well, they rarely need us at all.

They want more, different, bigger, newer, harder, riskier, faster, longer and higher.

They climb - high.  They hang upside down.  They somersault.  They run - fast.

They are at ease.

They love to tease us and joke with us -and to push us.

Their artwork is detailed, and often tells a story.

They push boundaries and limits.

They stand up for themselves.

They are curious.

They question.

They like games with rules.

They build cities with blocks and create magic out of boxes and tape.

They look after the younger ones - mostly.  

They tell us what they want, in no uncertain terms.

They take on challenges.

They experiment with power.

They persist.

They play with words.

They write letters.  They write their names.  They write books.

They create their own play spaces.

They teach us things.

They undertake feats of complex engineering.

They tell us when we need to water the garden, feed the worms, pick the beans or feed the chooks.

The delight in 'real work'.

They roll their eyes but then get on with the business of packing away the block area or the sandpit like a well oiled machine.

They make us laugh.

They are explorers, artists, scientists, mathematicians, authors, actors, musicians, athletes, dancers.

They give each other comfort and support - most of the time.

They can be still, and are learning that sometimes they need to be.

They know what they like.  They know what they can do.  They will tell you that they are good at everything.

They still like a cuddle, but then they are off again.

They like nonsense.  The sillier, the better.

They strut.

They run through the bush, naming the landmarks along the way.  The creek, the short cut, jump rock, the cave, boat rock.

They spend the days as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, babies, cats, dogs, lions, ninjas, superheroes, aliens, princesses, astronauts and pirates.

They are special.  They are needed.  They belong.

They don't just belong.  They own the joint!

"You are going to cry, and cry and cry when I leave preschool." said one five year old matter of factly.

We tease them that we won't let them leave.  "You have to.  You have to let us go."

And we do.  They're ready.


  1. Lovely blog; Educators at our preschool are feeling both sad and happy as we are seeing our older children spread their wings and prepare for kindergarten. Our children are in the process of attending orientation days at "big school" and one little girl said to us at lunch time "I think I need to put a rock on my head so that I stop getting taller, then I can stay at preschool for ever". We love them to bits!!

  2. Jenny - Such a lovely post. I only wish I had written in myself :) Cheers to the good work of teachers to support the joyful learning work of children. [jeanne, zella said purple]

  3. Simply .... PERFECT!! Hope EVERYONE reads this Jenny!!

  4. Simply... PERFECT!! Hope EVERYONE reads this post Jenny!!

  5. Love this! You provide a beautiful image of what we should be expecting of all our children just before kindergarten. Thank you for this!

  6. Jenny, what a beautiful tribute to our "elders."

  7. Really valuable would be helpful to many parents at this decision making time of the year

  8. My eldest son is nearly 3 so this is a beautiful and bitter sweet snap shot into his future x

  9. Oh! This reminds me so much of my Ben's Preschool, which I wanted to join myself from the moment I found it, nestled back behind lots of flowers, opening up to a magical world of adventure behind the wood blocks in the front room. I remember seeing a dad there, staring into the back play yard, lost in thought. Teacher Bev came up to me and whispered that he had been a student, and was now bringing his son. My eyes welled up at the idea of Ben bringing his babies someday. What a tremendous picture you have painted of children learning and growing and gaining confidence!! Thank you!