Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why I love Montessori!

On Thursday, Scott, Keane and I had the opportunity to go into Colsen's classroom @ Park Rd. Public Montessori. Colsen is in Pre-K this year (they start them at age 4!) and his class is about 25 kids... at least half of whom are Kindergarteners. He has grown up so much being with the older kids all year. He's reading, he's reciting poetry, and he is just maturing in so many ways. He's also discovered new ways to get in trouble. As hard as it was for me to let him start going to "big school" after he had JUST turned 4, I'm so glad we did! So, one of the things I most appreciate about the Montessori program is it's emphasis on QUALITY over QUANTITY. Taking time to make each moment and learning experience special is one of the things I love about his classroom. We loved watching how the kids just drink in this little birthday tradition they do in their class. The teachers encourage us at home to not load our kids down with a bunch of stuff, but rather to take time with them...playing, learning, imagining, reading. LOVE IT! Since Colsen's birthday is August 14, his class celebrated his bday in May. See video above. The end of the video is the sweetest part. I just love this school!!!!
They had us bring in a picture for every year from colsen's birth and then every birthday. 
After this little celebration, they passed each picture around and talked about it and then displayed it on the board. I just melts our hearts!
Keane was pretty loud during the filming (as usual) so we were trying to bribe him w/ food most of the time.
After the little celebration, all the kids stood up and recited poetry (by memory of course) and then after a little story time, we all went to the cafeteria for lunch. Colsen chose chocolate chip oatmeal cookies as his birthday treat for us to make & bring in to school to share. 
(yay for not having to ice cupcakes!!!)
...and better yet, our favorite  chocolate chip oatmeal cookies on the planet are made from a package! [Seriously, we started making these years ago and every time we bring them somewhere people flip for them. I couldn't make better from scratch, but that's not saying much.
Just a side note: we like the cookies better made with canola oil than with butter- they just come out better for some reason] 
Anyway, what is just really the sweetest is that the whole time we were in his class or in the cafeteria Colsen was all about sitting on our laps, holding our hands, giving us kisses and hugs...
he's just not yet at that age where he's embarrassed of us. I'm sure that's coming soon. 
So we drank it in. If you live in the area and are considering entering your child in the lottery for Public Montessori, DO IT! 
They are making plans to possibly start a 3 yr. old program at Park Rd. soon. I don't know if I'll be able to part with 
Keane enough to do it if it were an option, but given this year's experience with Colsen, I know it would be amazing relationally and educationally for him. 
I would say this school has been one of this year's greatest blessings by far. I'm also heading into next school year with 
the role of "Community Outreach Co-Chair" for the PTO. I actually have no idea what that 
means but I know that we will be organizing coat-drives and different opportunities to serve kids in need in Charlotte- I'm excited. 
Hopefully we can tag team with some of the justice initiatives that Watershed is already doing! (I vote yes at least and I guess that means something now?). 

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