*The little plum above is wearing this darling back-to-school dress.
It’s hard to imagine that mini might be starting a twos program next fall. (Might because — it’s a distinct possibility she will not get in! Read below…!) Yes, it’s a year away and I’ve heard that the difference between a 1.5 year old and a 2.5 year old is night a day, but — she’s so little! I’ll have to write a post about my experience applying to programs in Manhattan at some point (we’re just now in the midst of it), if any of you are interested. There is a lot to absorb and digest, for two reasons. First, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know what a twos program was a few months ago, or whether one made sense for us. I’d heard about them but couldn’t get a clear picture (or answer!) as to the advantages and disadvantages. So it took some time and many conversations with my parents and trusted friends and Mr. Magpie to decipher whether we felt a twos program was right for mini, or whether we should wait and send her to pre-K when she turns three and a half. The second confusing aspect is — MANHATTAN! I was intimidated by the hype, as there are entire books written on the topic and I have friends who have hired consultants to help with the process! One friend told me that I’d have to apply to at least twelve preschools in order to get into one. Twelve! WHAT?! I only applied to four colleges! (FYI, we are not heeding that advice.) In short, the process is competitive and complex here, and there are so many factors that go into which programs to consider: program philosophy, school “vibe” (how you feel when you visit! — and you can learn a lot from websites, too; interesting to think about what they include vs. omit on their sites), staff, location, age cut-off (some have rigorous cut-offs, i.e.,”your child must be exactly 2y9mo or older to start this program), hours. On the hours front: there are some programs I looked at that meet three days a week for full days; others meet every day from 8-12; others have morning OR afternoon sessions available; still others meet everyday but only for two hours a day. And then there’s the question of exmissions, i.e., which schools students matriculate to after graduating from the early childhood program. I’d never heard this word prior to this process, but in Manhattan, it’s also a big deal, because if certain schools have strong relationships with other schools, or if you’re hellbent on getting your child into XYZ grade school, or if you DON’T want to even think about reapplying in the next few years, you need to think about the early childhood program you select: do you select one that starts at pre-k and goes all the way up to eighth grade, thus thwarting the process of reapplication? Do you favor ones that have a strong record of sending students to the grade school of your choice? It’s a lot to think about when you also factor in — what will this look like for me, as a parent, and what implications does it have for childcare? Do you keep a nanny? Do you scale back hours? Do you commit to commuting thirty minutes each way at 8 AM and then again at 12 PM?
As you can see, there is a lot to chew. I’ll spare you additional details until we’ve sorted this out, and only if you’re interested — this could be a long, dark rabbit hole.
On the lighter side: I’m a little late with this post, as those of you with children have likely already sent your little ones off to school, but I’m sharing a couple of back to school finds I’ve discovered. Click the links to access details or see my notes below; I’ve included alternates and a few other finds there, too!
+Cecil and Lou monogrammed gingham dress. Also adore this smocked apple dress, this collared plaid dress, and this A for Apple dress.
+Monogrammed seersucker backpack. (And coordinating lunchbox!) Also love this leather style (so chic!) and some of the cute patterns that StateBags has! Meanwhile, if you have a tennis playing mini…THIS.
+E Frances little notecards — upgrade your lunchbox note! 🙂
+Mifold grab & go booster seat. Manhattan moms rejoice! These portable booster seats get strong safety reviews and can fit easily into a backpack/bag in case you need to cab to school at the last second…!
P.S. Not included in the roundup, but this classic chalkboard map would be so fun in a kids’ playroom, these monogrammed pencil cases are adorable, and I’m pretty sure this roll-up pencil set would be the covet of many a child.
P.P.S. Someone gave mini this book and it is a really sweet read for first-day-of-school kids.