Did you start singing David Bowie? Because I did. I also pictured him in my head as the goblin king, but that’s another post. Because, really, an entire post should most definitely be written for The Labrynth, am I right? Durrrr…
So anyway, changes. Next year we are making some changes. For me, these changes are huge and came with a lot of stress and anxiety and lots and lots of internal chats with myself about going over the positives and negatives of this change. I analyze things very carefully.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment “
-Dr. Maria Montessori
First, I have to say that I love All Saints School. I went to St. Stan’s for 9 years: 2 years of preschool and 7 years of K-6th. My mom went there. My mom teaches there as librarian. I attend All Saints parish. So, naturally, I enrolled Maria when the time came. She loves it. She has made wonderful friends and has learned so much. Jamie went to All Saints for playschool, but I decided to take him out and look for something different for him. That’s when we found Children’s House Montessori School.
Actually, my dad found it. He said he had run into Megan (my family has known her family for quite some time) and she told him about the school she was opening. I called Megan the next day, she called me the day after that, and I enrolled Jamie.
That was, I think, the best decision we have made as a mom and dad for our kids in their development. Children’s House is absolutely amazing, and I’m not saying that just because Megan has become one of my very best friends and one of my favorite people on the planet. Oh, no. I have observed first hand how the children learn. I’ve seen Jamie come home from school and finally be excited to go back the next day. He’s doing multiplication and knows the names and locations of countries and their flags and can tell me so much about so many different subjects that it makes me a little embarrassed for myself. Because I don’t know it all.
I’ve seen the way the class works together. It is quiet and calm in the classroom and each child is engaged and learning, whether it is in the reading corner, in practical life, at the snack table, or working with the pink tower and brown stair. The children work together, help each other, don’t think it’s silly to hold another’s hand as a helping gesture, use kind language to speak to one another, or resolve conflict or problems on their own. And they all do it. I’ve never walked into the school (and I drop in a LOT) and seen it in chaos. It’s always spotlessly clean, smells good, and the children are clean and happy. They learn how to take care of themselves and their environment and be very proud of both.
I wanted that type of learning environment for all my kids, so when Alice was old enough to go to school, I enrolled her at CHMS without thinking twice. She loves it. She wants to go every single day. She loves telling me about the book they are reading, the songs they sing and what she sees when she plays outside. She sings the songs about the continents and I’ve seen her clean up her area with a broom and dustpan and sit politely and quietly at the snack table with her friends.
So that’s when I decided that I wanted to make a change for Maria for next year. I wanted desperately for her to have the same experience as the other kids. To go to school with them and learn in that environment. Next year, Megan is hoping to be expanding her school to include 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades and if it does happen, Maria will be the first signed up…because I’m practically willing it to happen with my good vibes.
I don’t dislike All Saints at all. At all! Some of our closest friends go to ASCS and my mom works there. The staff is amazing and we’ve had a wonderful experience there. Making the decision to switch was hard (and it hasn’t even happened yet!). But my kids need what Megan has to offer. She’s more passionate about what she does than anyone I’ve ever met. She believes 200% in what she is teaching and the Montessori method of education and I can see why.
Remember a while back when I said I was a little obsessed with Montessori materials? Yeah, I went on a Montessori material purchasing rampage and ended up with a Montessori learning room in my basement. Remember that? Yeah, it happened. But something else is happening. I actually registered for the 2013 Montessori Congress in Portland for this summer and I’m totally stoked. I’m going and will be able to listen to incredible speakers, see presentations and experience so much and meet so many people who believe in what they do, just like Megan does.