I went to my first parent/teacher conference this evening. Yes, for preschool. I know!
The truth is that I want to find it outrageous, but I actually loved it. While I am a firm believer in letting kids be kids, not overscheduling, not pushing academics at too young an age, and encouraging imaginative play-based learning, I also love to hear people tell me how wonderful my kids are, and that was pretty much the purpose of this evening's meeting.
I am lucky to have found a fantastic preschool for Maddie and Riley, one where the philosophy is completely in line with what I outlined above, but one where the kids get structure and academic support in a gentle, individualized way. Maddie is so interested in learning to read and write, and Riley is fascinated by numbers, and their teachers help them along with these interests without pushing or forcing or making it seem to much like school. It's great. I'm so happy with our setup.
As a work-0ut-of-the-home parent, I also appreciate getting feedback on Maddie and Riley's behavior, strengths, and weaknesses since I spend a significant amount of time away from them. I was pleased that their teachers' reports aligned with what I observe at home.
I'm so proud of them, and proud of us for coming as far as we have as a little family of three. I think John would be proud of all of us, too.