Saturday, October 26, 2013

Years 6 and 7: Co-op Preschool at Camp Thunderbird on Summit Lake

By the end of my fifth year of teaching, I'd been married for four years, had a brand new baby son, lived on ten acres of land outside of Olympia in a house that my husband and I had built, and had taught everything from birth to age twenty-one in four different locations! I was ready for a rest.

Of course as we all know, being a mother is not all that restful! However, it was a different kind of work and one that I'd been looking forward to for a while. Being at home with first Matt and then two years later, Mark too, was great. But it was a little lonely out where we lived and I was hoping to meet some other young mothers who lived nearby.

Camp Thunderbird
When Matt was almost four and Mark about a year old, I did meet some other moms. There was a small community center nearby for the Summit Lake area, and soon a group of us were using the center to do aerobics. One of the moms was an early childhood educator who worked for the local community college helping to set up parent co-op preschools. When she found out that I was a certificated teacher with some early childhood experience, she talked about the possibility of setting up a co-op preschool right there at Summit Lake.

Halloween party
There was a boy scout camp, Camp Thunderbird, right on the lake. Karen knew the camp director and soon we had permission to set up a preschool in one of the buildings that wasn't used very much. This was great! We had a lot of help from parents wanting an opportunity for their young children to have playmates. As I recall, I taught the group of two year olds and was amazed at how quickly they learned and remembered what they learned! It was a whole new ball game for me! Matt had a chance to meet other kids, and later Mark participated too.

One of my funniest memories from this time is the end of year program we put on for all of the parents. All the little girls were decked out in ruffles and shiny shoes. The little boys had on sweaters and looked very neat. We had prepared a delightful program of children's songs.

Sad Matt.
Now some of you know me and know my love of children's music. I don't mind hearing these songs over and over, and I don't mind waking up at three in the morning with them going through my head! However, in my family, I am alone in that. My two sons hated children's music and would beg me to turn it off if I happened to play some at home! They get this from their father! They like other kinds of music, but not children's!

So on the day of the performance, there was Matt, looking all spiffed up, but with the saddest face ever. He looked like he was going to cry! At one point he disappeared behind some bookcases and I had to go and get him and sit him in my lap until the concert was over. Poor guy!

But I have my revenge now. Matt's son Eddie LOVES children's music and he loves grandma's books she's made to go with them. When I visit, we sing, and sing, and sing! Who's having the last laugh?