Today we had a taster session at Jellybean's new pre-school and I was thrilled to find that it's a small, friendly place and well staffed, and run by someone who used to be a primary teacher.
This means that, like me, she is interested in encouraging reading and writing from a young age, and asking the children lots of questions, and answering lots of questions of theirs, to develop their busy little minds.
She was open with us that she does a lot of early school activities alongside the play and craft and splashing in puddles activities he'd been doing at his old pre-school.
Though OFSTED don't look for this at pre-school, and she doesn't push the children who aren't ready to do it, but if a child is like Jellybean and keen on reading, writing, learning and letters, she and the other staff are very encouraging indeed.
I was shown some of the work other children there had been doing, and watched them doing some mixed in with all the other play, and this kind of learning is very much treated as another game that the children love.
As a small place there's a lot of one to one focus on each child, and it felt very friendly and happy. There are four staff full time and two part time for the days when it's busiest, and at most 30 children in the whole place.
As a gift when we left after our taster session (which Midget Gem had been welcomed along to as well, though he's too young to go) Jellybean was given one of their pre-writing skills workbooks to play with - and he was desperate to start right away and took some convincing to let us drive home before he started!
As it's only a five minute drive (fifteen minute bike ride, hurrah!) it wasn't long before we had him sitting at the kitchen table (still in coat and wellies) with a pen and his work book, practicing his writing skills and making up stories about all the pictures.
Here are some of his work book pages from today.
There is one other page I haven't photographed, but shall do and add to a later post about him being cheeky! There's a page where you practice n shapes which is train tunnels all in a row. On the line underneath you don't have lines to follow, but are meant to copy the shapes from above and make a row of tunnels.
Jellybean drew a straight line - then his Daddy said "you're supposed to make it look like the line above with the tunnels" - so he drew a straight line right through all the tunnels too, and said "it matches now" !!!
Too smart for his own good sometimes!