Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Skipping off

Joris has been loving preschool. It took him a few days to get used to the routine, but he looks forward to it every day now and comes back bouncing with excitement to tell us about his day.

We feel very lucky to have found the Listen and Talk school. My friend Sue, who lives just a couple of blocks away, stumbled on it while walking her dog and forwarded me their information because she thought it might be a good fit for Joris. It's a preschool and pre-K program for kids with hearing loss. Most of the kids have either cochlear implants or hearing aids and the program is focused on helping them deal in a hearing world. So, as the name implies, the focus is on communication. The classes are blended (with a balance of hearing and hearing impaired kids) and can have a maximum of 6 kids - with two teachers in each class.

Joris' class has 5 kids and I believe a sixth one will be joining them in January. It is surprisingly diverse for a class of five kids in a North Seattle school; there are two Latino kids, an African American boy and two caucasian kids. His teachers, Betsy and Carlita, are absolutely wonderful and each day they send the kids home with a picture page which shows what they have been up to during the afternoon. We put the pages in a binder and Joris loves showing it off to anyone who comes to visit.

School is four days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 12:45 - 3:15pm, which means that on most of those days Joris doesn't nap anymore. It's been working out better than expected. He usually goes off to bed early (7:00pm) on school days and will sleep for about 12 hours. Then on the days that he doesn't have school he still takes a nap and seems to kind of tank up for the following week. Every now and then he gets too tired and will take a little nap after school, but more often than not that means that he'll wake up disoriented and cranky.

They get a weekly music class (which is Joris' favorite activity) as well as a weekly alternating art and movement class from specialized teachers. Joris seems to thrive on the routine and his favorite part of the day is circle time, in which they all participate and have specific assigned, weekly rotating jobs. They refer to the other kids as each others friends and they really seem to function as such.

I really can't say enough good things about this program. I love how Joris will come home singing parts of songs I would have never taught him and how he will offer me whatever he is playing with or eating, proudly proclaiming "I'm sharing!". I love how concerned he is when one of his friends wasn't at school that day. And I love how it has helped him gain confidence already; when it is time to say goodbye I give him a wave and a kiss and he happily goes skipping off.

For my friends who are still looking for preschool options, check it out - they have openings throughout the year, are totally affordable and don't require kids to be potty trained! www.listentalk.org

1 comment:

Sarah B said...

So happy to hear that Joris' schol worked out! SOunded like a rough start. Also good to see you blogging again. It's been awhile since we've seen you guys.