5ThingsLoveAboutPreschoolSchool is back! Hallelujah! I realize for some this may not be a time for celebration. Kids everywhere could probably give me a list of reasons why it’s not a time for celebration. But for parents, it’s quite the contrary. My two boys are only in preschool, but I have already come up with a list of five reasons why I love school days. Maybe you can relate?

1. The schedule

This is especially important for younger children. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the long, schedule-free days of summer. But as a mom, I really love when we get back on a schedule. The kids know what to expect each day, and they seem more focused when we have a schedule. I can justify limiting certain activities when there’s a schedule, like only 20 minutes of TV-time because we have to leave for school. The whole day flies by in a nice, orderly fashion when there’s a schedule to keep. Okay well maybe not always so orderly, but you get the idea.

2. Authority figures other than me

Authority figures can be very important when our kids are young and learning how to behave socially. I’ve found it fascinating when both my boys started preschool how they would listen and obey the gentle, quiet commands of their teacher without a fuss. Yet if I were to make the same request of them, it would be met with whining, excuses and attitude. It’s also quite gratifying to hear the boys tell me after school how their teacher or another parent reminded them to “wait their turn” or “share with others.” It’s like an epiphany to my kids that other adults have the same rules I do. Amazing!

3. New friends

I have been blessed to raise my boys with a great group of local mom friends all with children around the same age. Ever since my boys were born, they’ve had playmates. So I was curious to see how they would do making new friends in a school environment. It’s been great, especially for my younger son, Luke, who hasn’t really been able to choose his own friends. He’s always been around his older brother’s friends and their siblings. In school, however, he can sit next to whomever he wants at snack time, chase whomever he wants on the playground and play kitchen with whomever he wants, without any influence from his brother. I love listening to him tell me about his school friends when I pick him up. For my older son, James, it was a great learning experience to find out that kids don’t always react as well to his sometimes over-the-top personality as the friends he’s grown up with do. They’re used to James and his craziness, but his school friends weren’t. So it was interesting to watch him learn how to tone it down for some and kick it up for others.

4. One-on-one time

I only have a few years of this, but with both my boys on alternating preschool days, I get one-on-one time with each of them. For parents of kids that are close in age, you know how important this is! My boys do just about everything together, including sharing a room, so to have “Mommy and James time” or “Mommy and Luke time” is crucial. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s spent doing boring things like grocery shopping or running errands, but hey, at least I’m not constantly telling them to stop hitting each other.

5. Crafts

I love crafting! Except for glitter, I hate glitter. But I’ve been known to spend hours on Pinterest finding holiday and seasonal crafts to do with my kids. I have an entire craft room in our house. And I also have two boys who wanted nothing to do with crafts — until they started school. Now they love doing them! My younger son seems to like crafts a little more than my older son, but they both are creative in their own ways. I also love how school has them thinking more outside-the-box. Now if only I can decide on how to display all their crafty creations. I’ll have to check on Pinterest for ideas.

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Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.