We are so excited to have our most popular contributor back! Rachel Chronister is the Momma to 3 year old triplets and a 2 year old baby girl and we are very lucky to have her back!.
My husband and I decided around the triplets third birthday that we wanted to start looking for a preschool. The decision was actually a pretty easy one to make, I had gone to a Tiny Tots program as a child and LOVED it, and I really wanted my own children to experience that same feeling. Not only would preschool prepare our children to go into kindergarten, but it would start to teach them some very important social skills that they wouldn't necessarily learn at home with brothers, sisters, and parents.
Finding a preschool for the triplets was where life got a little more difficult. We are a one income family so finding the extra money in our already tight budget was going to be a problem. I did a lot of research on the internet looking up prices on what traditional preschools charged, and frankly, I was shocked! I couldn't believe how expensive it was! Plus, when I contacted these places to see if I could get a multiples discount (if there was such a thing) the most I could get was 20% off the third child. Wowza! The feelings of friendship and excitement for learning started to seem out of reach for my children. So I put the feelers out to family and friends that I was looking for a preschool to put the triplets in, that wasn't going to break the bank. Meanwhile, I printed worksheets off the Internet and worked with all four of my children on basic things like letters, numbers, shapes and colors.
Just after the triplets forth birthday, a family friend called me and told me to look in our local newspaper because she found an affordable preschool option for us. The program is held at our local adult school and is a parent-participation preschool for 3-4 year olds and their siblings! And the best news yet, they charged on a family basis, not on a per child basis. So I signed them up immediately and we started the very next day. I was so excited to find a place I could not only take the triplets but my two year old daughter as well, and being parent participation I didn't have to worry about the feelings I would have leaving my babies alone with strangers (I’m sure I’ll work that out before kindergarten…maybe).
Our first day was filled with excitement. All four of the kids were overjoyed to be going to school and making new friends. I packed four little lunch pails and filled four little back packs with a toy to share. I stood them on the front porch and took about a million pictures and then finally we were off. When we walked in the classroom, it was as if everyone had already known us. The staff in the front office told the teacher she was going to have a set of triplets start that day and she was so excited she shared with other parents in the classroom about the unusual family that was about to join them. The teacher and other parents were so welcoming I really had a wonderful feeling about our new adventure.
Our class lasted three hours and the kids enjoyed every minute of their new adventure. We sang songs and danced, we worked on art projects, we played outside on the playground, and we listened to a story. After school, while we were driving home all four of the children were singing the songs that they had learned that morning and I knew my patience had paid off. I found something that works out just perfect for our family.
We've been attending the preschool for almost three months now, and our feelings have not changed. Every day I get asked, “Are we going to school today?” The triplets and my two year old are learning so much! I’m shocked at how much their little brains can carry, and what’s even better is they are making friends that aren't just their brothers or sisters. I catch them playing school with each other in their bedroom and it really melts my heart. I only hope that they can continue their love of learning and feelings of friendship into elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond!
|-Rachel is one amazing Momma! She makes parenting triplets look like a fun party! Her babies are not only super cute but are all so well behaved. As a way to de-stress Rachel has taken a page from the Senior Citizen crowd and knits, reads and bakes.|
You can find Rachel's first post here: Triplets Plus One = Four Times the Fun!