My baby started Play School last week, and combined with the Mumbai monsoon it has been a little bit crazy. A lot of people (my parents included) were surprised we had decided to enroll him at 2 years, but there are people who are sending their children as young as 18 months. For us, it was not a race to have him in Play School, but to get him to be a little bit more independent, to interact with children his own age, and ultimately prepare him for when he begins Nursery next year.
The curriculum is very much activity based, and includes a lot of songs and rhymes to make it fun for the little ones. My son was already listening to a lot of poems over the summer, and he found it exciting to have some of the same being repeated at his Play School.
He spends 2.5 hours at school, and I try to keep myself occupied-get some ironing done or straighten out the closets-so that I am not constantly thinking about if he is playing, eating his lunch etc.
As with a lot of schools in India now, there is a stress on home cooked snacks/lunch that is to be packed, and to make it easier for moms there is a suggested menu for each day of the week. Mondays is wheat (rotis, parathas, daliya/porridge/ semolina), Tuesdays is rice (fried rice, khichdi, idli), Wednesdays is fruit (this is a bit difficult since most seasonal fruits that he likes to eat turn brown when cut), Thursdays is sprouts, and Friday is any meal of the kids choice.
He enjoyed the first two days when I was allowed in with him, but after that it has been a lot of crying during drop off. But, it was expected, and we were prepared for it and we are hoping in another week or so the drop offs get pleasant for both of us.
We have never left him alone for this long a span, so it is an adjustment for both of us, a lot more for my baby since he still does not quite grasp the understanding of school and its norms. But, we shall get there one day at a time.
Today, was the first day he ate his entire lunch, and it made me so happy. It is a step-albeit tiny- in the right direction. Before I know it, he will be off to college, so I am going to enjoy his school going days for now.