Whose dream is it anyway?



Yesterday I received a text from one of my very dear friends and she wanted to know if I had a picture of our two daughters when they took ballet together when they were around 5 years old.  When she asked my first response was, “I doubt it” since I did not record a lot of childhood memories as the iPhone wasn’t invented yet and my camera abilities were zero to none.  But, I told her I’d look.

I pulled out my version of a photo album.  It is basically a 3 ring binder that houses a big loose pile of pictures in between two covers.  There I sat looking through some of the old good times our family had together.  There were a few pictures of a much younger me, my husband and our beloved Border Collie, Jake, along with a pretty good progression of the early years of my children.

After more rummaging, I saw a glimpse of pink.  I pulled the picture from the pile and lo and behold, there it was.  A dark photo of my daughter and her friend in pink leotards. It was nostalgic, for sure.

After one session of ballet, my daughter was completely over it.  It wasn’t in her nature to be pink and frilly and she did not want to do anything that even remotely resembled being lithe and graceful. Eventually, she exchanged her tutu for a soccer ball.

Not in the cards for this girl!

Not in the cards for this girl!

In the early years, it is important to expose children to many different types of activities and I can confidently say I’m an expert in this area.  Within the past 5 years, my son participated in football, skateboarding, basketball, soccer, wakeboarding, and 2 more visits to soccer and basketball and in that process, he opted to break 8 bones.  Not an ideal situation, but those experiences are now a part of his make-up and he loves to tell his war stories.

My point is, let children explore all avenues of extracurricular activities.  See what they like and what they excel in.  During my days on the soccer field there was persistent chatter from parents bragging about how fabulous a player their child was and how they will only play for a Div. 1 school.  That is all fine and dandy if that is what your child wants not you.

A good rule of thumb is to check-in with reality and your child once in a while to re-evaluate whose dream it is to become the next prima ballerina or World Cup soccer star.

Children have the gift of time to test their likes and dislikes in extracurricular activities.  Why not let them be the star of their own show.


Who says a 2-hour school delay is a bad thing?

Weather here in the Midwest has been well….winter-like. Snow, bad drivers and 2-hour school delays. I love learning of an approaching storm or that there will be a -20 wind-chill factor. I love knowing we are headed into a late morning.

My high school aged son starts the commentary early….

Do you think there will be a snow day tomorrow?….There has to be a 2-hour delay…..I’ll be really mad if you wake me tomorrow if there’s a 2-hour delay….DON’T wake me up!! Tell me you won’t wake me….Wait, did I study for my first period Spanish test? There better be a 2 hour delay tomorrow….

I have to admit I love school delays, too. If there is a delay in the public schools, my preschool is also on a delay. When we start late, my class is definitely more ready to start their day. I find that they are more creative, more eager to get along and are generally happier. Today was especially nice since we are also coming off a 3-day MLK weekend.

Some students love to play blocks, cars and valet.  They drive the cars up and down the ramps until someone finds the perfect parking spot.

They begin to build early in the morning and in the picture below you can see the detail of their work.


There are several ramps and walkways and a loading dock. As the week progresses, they will add on more blocks and there will be cars parked on multiple levels.

Great work today!!


thCA3X01BKWelcome to The Preschool Mentor – bringing out the best in young children

I have been a preschool teacher for the past 14 years.  First as an assistant and then as a lead teacher in a classroom of five-year olds.  The skill set in any early childhood classroom varies greatly so it is important to meet the needs of each child where they are at any given time.  However, I also admit to trying to squeeze just a bit more from each of them every day.

The Preschool Mentor is my way of brainstorming and sharing ideas with other early childhood educators.  I  may not always know what I’m doing or make the right decision in any given situation, but it is always my intention to give each child a running start into a lifelong love of learning.

I’m a good conversationalist so please feel free to leave a comment below.