The First Day

mm

 

3 out of 5 of my kids have started school and it’s wonderful. Not just because I was over summer vacation (because I totally was), but because I love it when they spend their days engaged and curious and working on something. That sounds made up, but I promise it’s not. 

All three of them were excited (even though Jamie’s face might tell a different story).

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(Jamie’s shirt and Charlotte’s outfit is from Jcrew. Jamie’s shorts from H&M and Alice’s dress from Olive Juice.)

 

Jamie and Alice walked in like it was no big deal and were really excited to see their friends. Charlotte was a little more nervous and asked me a million times if Jamie would be at school the same time she was. She finally believed me and changed into her inside shoes, hung her backpack on the hook, and sat with her friends around the circle, ready for her day. 

Montessori for our children was chosen very deliberately. Since doing my research on the theory and philosophy and pretty much everything that goes into Montessori education, I’ve become a bit passionate about it to say the least. 

And passionate about my children’s education is not a bad thing.

I’m a very specific person. Not only do I like very specific things, I also have very specific views and ideas and beliefs on many different subjects. It’s hard for me to budge and accept things for myself and my family when they don’t fit into what I think is the perfect box. 

Now, I don’t think my box is perfect for everyone. Different families and different children and different parents have different needs and I am well aware of that. What is “perfect” for Alice is not “perfect” for her friend Molly or Hannah or Sarah. So, obviously, those parents are going to make different choices and I’m not stupid enough to think they are wrong just because they aren’t the same as mine. 

I’m also not stupid enough to think that every decision Dan and I make for our family is perfect. When I say perfect, what I mean is that we’re trying the best we can and what we’ve decided on is what we feel is the very best for us. For our children and their education, the best is Montessori. 

I love the fact that the children guide their own learning experience. I love that everything is hands on. They learn by experiencing with their hands, with touch. I love that they aren’t doing worksheet after worksheet. I love that they move around the classroom depending on what they are working on. They aren’t all expected to be doing the exact same thing at the exact same time when it comes to lessons. They learn together, but independently. They help each other by holding one another’s hands, explaining with words, and leading by example. There is an emphasis in the classroom on peace and respect and I think that’s something that is lacking in many places…sometimes even my own home. My kids come home from school telling me about raptors and why bumble bees sting and how rain is made. Sometimes all in the same day. 

They love school and they are proud of what they learn. And that’s why we Montessori. 

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