A Monday in the Forest

By on Sep 29, 2014 in Chicago, North Park Village Nature Center, Parenting, Stay at Home Mom Days, To Do With Kids | 1 comment

The plan was for Lucy to be in a full day 5 day a week preschool program at the Catholic school where she did 5 half days last year. As the school year approached the thought of her being there 5 days a week was making me anxious. Not that I don’t think it’s a good program. Or that she wouldn’t have done fine and been happy and all that.

But then.

Then I realized that for the next 13 years of her life she will be in school 5 days a week with no option to not be. This is because we are going to go with a public school route. Of course there are other options for kids, but for us and our family that is the plan. So we re-evaluated the situation. Could she go three full days still getting that time to be with her friends and get used to a full school day and stay home with Mom, Rocky and new baby (and let’s be honest grandpa and grandpa) on Mondays and Fridays and still be “ready” for kindergarten. Given that I think she’s ready for kindergarten right now (plus what does “ready for kindergarten” even mean?) giving her some freedom for exploring and time with family and city adventures seemed like the right choice.

Right now she’s home Mondays and Fridays and at school for a full day Tuesday-Thursday.

We were planning on her doing a Forest playschool on Fridays with her brother but that program has not yet been approved. Apparently there is some circular logic with DCFS needing a contract from Chicago Park District before approvals and Chicago Park District needs DCFS approvals before rendering a contract. I’m not a lawyer but can’t these people sit down in a room together and write up a goddamn contact?

The forest playschool will take place (if it happens) at the North Park Village Nature Center. As it’s not happening officially now some of the parents decided to have a playdate there a few days a week to get the kids used to the site, etc etc. So today we went to meet some new friends play in the forest.

We were there for 3 hours. We saw some deer. We climbed some trees. We found new bird houses within the trees (a red, pink and yellow one if you are interested). We made some new friends. A great way to spend a Monday morning.

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1 Comment

  1. Susan Budde

    September 30, 2014

    Post a Reply

    What a fantastic experience for young children. So natural and intriguing and open to exploration.
    It’s what childhood experiences should be like. Great post Leah Welty Rieger. Your words and photos tell the story of authentic childhood.

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