What is “Ease-In”? Why does it take so long? These are two questions parents often ask at the beginning of each year. This is an attempt to help you understand the importance of Ease-In and the benefits it provides to your child and the classroom.
Have you ever worked in a job that threw you right into the regular routine without giving you the opportunity to figure out with whom you were working, a tour of the facility where you worked, and an orientation to give you expectations and schedules? It can be a bit overwhelming for us as adults. Now imagine a child two, three, or four years of age jumping feet first into a new situation. At school, the children come to a new environment, encounter new and interesting tools for learning, meet and interact with new adults and lots of new children, and are asked to conform to a new routine.
Now, multiply that one situation times 16 and you have a class of 3’s and 4’s at Open Door!
At Open Door, our goal is to make this transition into school as smooth and gentle as possible. Of course, children develop at different rates, and some may be able to handle coming to school all day on Day One. The reason for Ease-In is not based solely on the individual child, but rather on the class as a whole. The ideal situation is that, together, the children and teachers experience the routine a little bit at a time, adding on as the routine becomes familiar and the month progresses. This has been successful in helping children learn all the transitions they have to face each day at school without being overwhelmed and stressed by the big picture (the whole day).
It is sometimes hard to remember that time and simplicity are gifts. We are caught up in this fast-paced society, which expects that we go until we can’t go any more, and then we collapse or break down and cry. At Open Door, we prefer the gentle, slow and steady pace of the Turtle to the hurried and frenzied pace of the Hare.
So, as we move through Ease-In each fall, remember that we have the best interest of your child, as well as the whole class, at heart.