Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

My personal journey of being involved in my children’s playschool


Tuesday 25 October 2016

As the mum of Eoghan and Elliot, now 5, being involved in their preschool year was a wonderful experience. The experience affected my life in so many ways - I got to know my two boys as they became part of a group and developed an identity as pre-schoolers, while seeing their individual interests and skills emerge and develop. At the same time I became involved in a new community of parents that has enriched our lives. This latter came as a lovely surprise and in this blog I want to draw your attention to its importance. I think you need to know how great this network you facilitate is for parents – so that you continue to provide opportunities for get-togethers, from the beginning of the year. The pre-school year is a journey for the group of children but it is also a journey for the group of parents.

One of the highlights of the year was their sports day in May. At this stage I was getting to know the other mammies quite well. The ‘Sports Day’ is a memory we all have from our own school days. As I came around the corner at the preschool I could see the boys’ heads up looking around for me and when they spotted me - a big smile. The races start, I see Eoghan standing at the start line and the educator says go. Eoghan is still standing there. I shout ‘go’ and he runs. Needless to say, he doesn’t win and stamps his foot in frustration – but soon he’s smiling again. Then the dreaded (or joyful!) mammies and daddies race. This is one of the highlights for the children and for some parents…not me. I did my best. We celebrated with a medal ceremony, had a picnic and even the Mr Whippy ice cream van arrived. What a sense of community we experienced that day – a sense of shared parenting!

Another highlight was the end of the year celebrations. I was the proud mum, seeing my boys sing with their friends. I held back my tears as they began to sing all the songs they had learned and we, the parents, had all become familiar with throughout the year. We joined in on the chorus – again bonding through shared experiences and joyful singing. There was a real sense that we had come on a learning journey together.

They bring home their ‘learning journals’ – a record of their experiences in preschool. Dad and I and big brother sit at home with them and listen as they explain the photos, drawings and commentary. It was magical! - photos of them from the beginning, middle and end documented their growth and development. Two very different boys emerged from those journals – Elliot, who loves to paint and draw and Eoghan, who loves to climb and explore. Elliott’s drawings have become so confident and detailed while a photo of Eoghan climbing a tree in the service is accompanied by the educator’s comment that in all her years she had never seen someone climb as high as Eoghan. Her heart was in her mouth, she says, but she stood back because she knew he was able for it. He loves that comment.

There are lots of photos of the boys with their friends building with blocks, digging, making mud pies, caring for an unexpected visitor, a hedgehog, pretending to be daddies, sword fighters and doctors. This is a lovely insight into special moments in the playschool that I get to know about and share and celebrate. And of course it’s all the better because I know the other children in the photos and their parents – so again that feeling of community.

I think you only really come to appreciate the amount of work that educators do when it’s for your child. Eoghan and Elliot read their journals most days and ask can they go back to preschool. It is such a special bond – such a special memory – such a special contribution to their childhood. These journals and the friends we’ve made will be a regular reminder of that wonderful year, both for them and me.

We’d love to hear about your experience and reflections – as parents or educators or from your children. Share these in the comments box below. 

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Debbie Mullen says:

    Thanks Carole and Debbie

  2. Carole Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience of Giggles Playschool form a parent’s perspective Debbie! It was a wonderful journey for all of us and I as an educator learned so much form Eoghan and Elliot also. We will definitely take on board your suggestion of hosting an event for parents earlier in the year and are planning a Christmas event for families… this space!

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Learning Stories(7) St. Patrick's Day(1) Montessori(2) Celebrations(4) Titles(1) Horizon 2020(1) ICBN(1) curiosity(3) Nonverbal(1) Santa(2) budget(1) Inter-generational(1) worries(1) Body Language(1) Primary School(2) Playschool(1) Child mental health(1) conversations(1) Winter(1) Orla Kenny(1) Running(1) Margy Whalley(1) Maynooth(1) Twitter(1) UD(1) Traffic Lights(1) Certificate(1) outdoor play(6) Blocks(1) Laugh(1) Early Learning and Care(1) friendships(1) Community involvement(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Health(1) Laughter(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Weather(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Settling in(2) Design(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Qualifications(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Confident(1) Mark Twain(1) ECEC(1) Academics(1) Thank you(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Gardening(1) outdoors(3) Scents(1) Limerick(1) Scéalta Blog(78) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) scéalta(25) Socioemotional development(1) Buddies(1) Meal time(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Treasure(1) trust(2) Meet the Members(1) Employee(1) Policy(2) education(2) Learning Story Awards(1) Trade Unions(1) social media(1) Kilkenny(1) experience(1) Syria(1) Universal Design(2) Wrapping paper(1) Little Buddies(1) Professionalisation(4) Síolta(98) planning(1) Magnavacchi(1) Leargas(1) Playdough(1) Autism(3) Patterns(1) Awards 2018(3) Graduate(1) Arts(1) Empathy(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) SPICE Framework(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Sustainability(3) reading(4) Inspired Practice Award(5) pets(1) Shapes(1) Gratitude(1) Mud kitchens(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Wilenski(1) Craft(1) community(5) Learning Stories Award(3) Brain(1) science week(2) Traditions(2) Positivity(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Budget 2018(1) stories(2) Creative(1) ECCE(6) Quality(3) ears(1) Sequins(1) Children(1) IGL(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Aistear(103) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Penguins(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Flowers(1) Research Seminar(1) Vertical grouping(1) Maria Montessori(1) Routines(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Halloween(2) Exploring(1) Iraq(1) Identity(4) Inter-generational learning(1) Magic(1) Advocacy(1) NCCA(2) Wendy Lee(2) Recycle(1) Painting(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) role playing(1) curriculum(5) Potential(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Cork(1) Mantra(1) Snacks(1) Cognitive development(1) Plants(1) Family wall(1) Builders(1) Time(1) CPD(1) Well-Being(6) Relaxation(1) Breathing(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) blog(28) Pobal(1) MECPI(1) Childhood(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Love(2) Mount Everest(1) Yoga(1) Interactions(1) United Nations(1) Pen green(1) Impact(1) Maynooth University(1) communication(4) Photographs(1) Line-ups(1) Music(3) Lego(2) Kids Own(1) Technology(2) science(3) educarer(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Early Years(1) NAEYC(1) Self Help Skills(1) Investment(1) Leprechauns(1) INTO(1) Stress(2) Spiders(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Fantasy play(1) Change(1) Ceremony(1) Decision Making(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Pobal sector profile(1) GDPR(1) DCYA(4) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) food(1) Upcycling(1) Appreciation(1) Care-giving routines(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Kerry(1) Seas Suas(1) Light table(1) under 3's(3) The Jelly King(1) Afghanistan(1) preschool(2) Identity and Belonging(3) Inspirational(2) Training(2) listening(1) TOY Programme(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Behaviour(3) Rituals(1) Arithmetic(1) supportive environments(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Easter(1) Exclusion(1) Learning journals(1) Home Corner(1) Social Skills(1) Fabric(1) Window(1) UNCRC(1) Sweets(1) Affordability(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) listen(1) meals(3) Maths Week Ireland(1) play stories(1) Creativity(4) STEM(2) Wesco(1) Funding(1) Anxiety(2) University(1) Loss(1) Culture(2) early childhood educator(1) Names(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) play(29) risk assessment(1) Story(1) Belonging(3) toddlers(3) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Sport(1) environments(1) Teamwork(1) Inclusion(3) Maternity Leave(1) Independence(1) Book Club(2) Mixed age groups(2) dining(1) Mo Scéal(1) Through the looking glass(1) Capable(1) PIP(1) Biting(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Xbox(1) Tuscan Approach(2) outdoor space(3) Valerie Gaynor(1) Glitter(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Consent(1) Frustrations(1) Grief(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) MA(1) emotional environment(1) Facebook(1) Learning Story(1) animals(2) Interaction(1) Irish(1) Art(6) Map(1) dogs(1) National Holiday(1) Mental Health(3) Exercise(1) Games(1) Mayo(1) Treasure Chest(1) Visual Impairment(1) Smiles(1) Valentine's Day(3) Together Old and Young Programme(1) EM Standing(1) Thinking(1) Workforce(1) Siolta blog(2) Engineering Ireland(1) Norway(2) overhear(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) educating(1) Event Guide(1) ERASMUS+(3) Performing(1) Time Out(1) story time(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Feeding(1) Jenga(1) Eritrea(1) Self-Esteem(1) Trigonometry(1) Workplace Relations(3) parents(5) Arlene Forster(1) child-centred approach(1) Recycling(2) Snakes(1) babies(6) Supernanny(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) learning(15) RIE philosphy(1) Children's Research Network(1) Budget 2019(2) Interests(1) Awards 2019(1) Dance(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Wonder(1) Síolta QAP(1) Mindfulness(2) grandchild(1) Engineers Week(2) risk(2) Graduation(1) eating(1) respect(4) refugees(1) ReCreate(2) Family(1) Maths(4) dublin(2) Nutrition(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) risky play(2) Mealtimes(1) memories(1) research(5) mushrooms(1) Imagination(3) christmas(8) transitions(9) Japan(1) Buddy Bench(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) routine(2) Malaguzzi(1) Role play(1) EECERA 2016(1) Drawing(2) Masterclass(2) Reggio(1) Communications(1) Italy(1) Challenges(1) AIM(2) documentation(2) Magda Gerber(1) Awards(2) Children's Rights(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Snack Time(1) maternity health(1) Obesity(1) Maths Week(1) interacting(2) Prexit(1) Workplace well-being(1) early years research(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) San Minia(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Self-regulation(1) Administrative Burden(1) Queues(1) Death(1) Storytelling(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Party(1) books(4) Albert Einstein(1) Favouritism(1) bonds(1) Touch(1) Environment(2) Vietnam(1) development(8) relationships(12) Diversity(1) CIT(1) Oireachtas(1) Educators(1) College(1) feisty(1) Academic Skills(1) Celebrate(1) Visitors(1) The Lullaby Book(1) dining experiences(1) linc(1) Our Little Seed(1) Communicating(1) AsIAm(1) Early Years Educators(1) Decisions(1) UN(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Giraffe(2) journey(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Trick or treat(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Online(1) baby room(1) First 5(1) Bereavement(1) Mathematicians(1) Shoes(1) National Awards 2019(1) Thanks(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Childcare(2) emotions(2) Trade union(1) San Miniato(4) Competent(1) Plastic(1) Engineering(2) Performance Management(1) Exit interview(1) Sculptures(1) Adoption(1) Sustainable(1) First 5 strategy(1) Degree(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) National Awards 2018(2) Care routines(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine