The Andy Update

Many people have asked me about Andy and our struggles with his preschool so I thought I'd update everyone on the situation. Philomena and I have decided to move Andy from the "academy" to a traditional play oriented preschool which emphasizes the very thing Andy is working on, developing social skills. Andy seems to be responded much better to this environment and is much happier. The differences in Andy's comfort and satisfaction with his new preschool were immediate. Whereas in the old school he didn't interact much with the other kids, in the new school he was able to play without conflict with other kids right away.

We had decided to keep him in the first school until it was clear to us that he wasn't adapting to the new environment and beginning to enjoy it more. His mind was growing faster than his motor skills development which was causing him problems. He would be able to do addition in his head but couldn't write the numbers, was getting frustrated and withdrawing from group participation. Also seeing a history chart on the wall of the school which started with the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man into Sin made me more than a little concerned. It all came down to a divergence between the school's developmental expectations of Andy and his ability to fit in their mold. Andy does not appear to be a compliant child who molds himself to meet other people's expectations. Of such stuff leaders are made but not many teacher's pets.

What influenced me the most was reading a child development book which emphasized that any advantage a child might get from accelerated learning is usually lost by the second grade. The most important thing for a child to get out of preschool is a positive feeling about going to school. Now Andy is getting this positive experience and we are happy to have found a place he enjoys.