Back before I had a child, I worked with a woman who always referred to her toddler’s daycare as “school.” It annoyed the ever-living snot out of me, as did most things (in that era of my life) pertaining to toddlers and their annoyingly sticky hands.
“Why does she call it ‘school’?” I griped. “Everyone knows it’s daycare. It’s someone watching the kid while you work. There’s nothing about it that resembles school.”
Oh, to be 22 years old and know everything again!
I forgot about what a strong opinion I had on the subject until I caught myself calling Harrison’s daycare “school.” Why on Earth did I change my mind on what to call it?
Mostly because “school” is easier for Harrison to say. Plus, his favorite thing in the universe is a yellow school bus, so he was much more excited to attend “school,” which he associates with a school bus.
But it is like school. He has a set routine and adults (teachers) to direct his day. They are there to guide him and teach him; he’s learning language and social skills and life skills. He has lunch at a little table with his little friends out of his little lunch box, just like he will in elementary school. They have recess and art class and learning centers. The teachers make set lesson plans to focus on one aspect of teaching, whether it be a letter, number, or moral theme (like sharing). They send home daily reports and twice per year, I have a meeting with the teachers to discuss any concerns with Harrison’s development or to simply hear how well he’s doing.
So yes, 22-year-old Beth Anne…it IS school, just in a different package with a different name.
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