In the Blink of an Eye: From Strollers to First Grade

This weekend I rounded up all of the parts for our mega-infant travel system: the car seat, the two bases, the stroller (with a clock and thermometer), all the head rests, and the cold weather boot. Yes, our travel system came with a little piece of material that you can wrap around the bottom of the ┬ácar seat in cold weather, to keep baby’s feet warm. *SIGH* I loved that travel system. (It took me three hours to choose it. You can read about it in this very long post, scroll down till you get to “Stroller Shopping”)

The travel system is heading to Chicago, where it will welcome my newest niece or nephew home next spring, which is very exciting! Junior has had his fill of being “the baby” on BgK’s side of the family, so it’s definitely time! (Right now, he’s the youngest of 10 grandkids on that side)

Anyway, it’s clear we’ve moved on from infants in our home — we occasionally use our umbrella stroller, but mostly Junior runs wherever we venture. The infant toys are packed away, and the house is littered in small toy cars and cool girl toys like the Littlest Pet Shop. Oh, and I’m shopping for A FIRST GRADE CLASSROOM FOR MY GIRL.

Due to recent life events, we need to find a school for MaM for next year, not 7th grade like we thought. I’ve been to one, and Monday I visit another. If this one doesn’t seem to fit the bill, I’ll have to extend my search. Because she’s been in Montessori for the past three years, I’ve been wondering how she would a)assess in a more traditional setting b)respond to more traditional instruction.

Enter the Kaplan Test Drive Program. As a Kaplan Test Drive Mom, MaM and I will have access to their online tutoring programs for the next 8 weeks. While I’m confident that MaM doesn’t need remediation, per se, I’m very curious to see how she’ll do using this program. Every school I’ve checked into touts technology as a component, and I wonder how she’ll use those learning tools. I wonder how she’ll do following simple oral directions without manipulatives (a major component of all Montessori instruction), I wonder how she’ll applying what she’s learned with Montessori materials to other experiences.

The Kaplan Test Drive program should give me that feed back and more. It’s a personalized program that moves at the child’s pace, going through a math and reading curriculum. MaM’s done the pre-tests and enjoys doing the activities. She’s also enjoying earning points that she can use on actual prizes. I hope that by the end of the program I can get a good sense of what she knows and what skills she may need to practice more.

You know, because she’s heading to first grade next year.

(Disclosure: this is the first of two posts sponsored by The Kaplan Test Drive Mom program and Mom Central. I am receiving access to the Kaplan Tutoring site and a gift card in exchange for this review. All pangs of cutting the apron strings are my own.)

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