I don’t ever want my kittens to lose their muchness.
Your muchness is what makes you….you. It’s your curiosity. Your adventure. It’s what makes you great and wonderful and unique. It’s that thing you have that makes people love you. It’s the way you walk, talk, laugh, and it’s what the world looks like through your eyes.
In Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter told Alice that she used to be “much more muchier.” She’d “lost her muchness.”
Like I said…I don’t want my kittens to lose their muchness. And they have it in abundance.
I’m lucky. Dan’s lucky. We are lucky that our kids spend their days at a place that encourages them to keep it. That muchness.
Jamie and Maria both came home so excited to tell me about the new project they had. The homework they had to do.
I’m gonna back up just a little bit. This year has been amazing so far. My kids come home from school happy. Every day. They’re happy. Even on days when Jamie has “minutes” (he has to sit out a few minutes every once in a while from recess for poor behavior choices), he still tells me what a great day he has had. Maria doesn’t come home upset and stressed out over friendship drama. She doesn’t have to come up with a recess game plan the night before to avoid conflict between friends. She comes home happy. She comes home excited and content and comfortable and happy. That makes me happy. More than you could guess.
So this homework. It’s a research project to be completed at home. That’s their homework. They don’t have pages and pages of worksheets. It’s nothing that I am doing for them but trying to pass off as their own work. It’s 100% their work.
Tonight after dinner, the tv was on. The video games were available downstairs. But Jamie sat at the dining room table and started his research.
Each student has to choose an animal and answer a set of questions about it. They can answer them in a variety of ways, whether through a speech, a book they create, a poster board….etc. Jamie has chosen to research the arctic fox and Maria has chosen the leatherback turtle.
Jamie’s muchness. He still has it. He’s a curious kid. He learns facts and figures and doesn’t forget them. He loves teaching me about things: the universe (did you know that Neptune was named after the God of the Sea?), definitions (having a job is better than an internship. An internship means you work but don’t get paid.), stories (so many dragon battles), you name it.
Children’s House Montessori helps spark his curiosity enough that when he comes home, it doesn’t stop. He just keeps going. I’m not trying to pretend that every day he comes home and just sticks his nose in a book. That he’s constantly doing research and doing math work and is begging to do science experiments. He’s not. But he’s also not glued to the television. He’s happy to play and create pretend lands and story lines. He’s content reading in his room.
And sometimes we get this:
And this is why we love Montessori.