Posted by: CJ | March 1, 2010

School

Hi Parents, We had such a wonderful week here at Harvest. Everyone is starting to normalize which means we can start to schedule observations. We are going to start with the children that attend 5 days a week and then schedule observations with the 2 day a week children. We may ask you all to observe from the outside (there is a window on the back door). I know this seems weird but if you’d like to see your child in action, you can’t be in the classroom. We had a mom come in this week to sub for 20 minutes and that child was so excited that he started throwing materials on the floor. This is not normal for that child but IS NORMAL when a parent enters the classroom. The children just get so excited that they can’t control themselves or exercise their free will as we say in Montessori. The children are so eager to show you everything they do that they end up not doing anything. So for this reason we’d like you to stand outside for a little while and get a true glimpse of how the work cycle goes. I will make sure that you get to see your child work independently and receive a lesson. I am sure you all will be impressed with how well the kids can concentrate. So we are slowly filling the classroom and have a really nice range of ages. I think we have one or two children starting every week in March. I want you all to know that this has a positive impact on the children. Not only do they get more opportunities to interact with other children, they also don’t receive as many lessons. I know this seems contradictory and counterintuitive, however, according to AMI children attending 5 days a week should only receive one to three lessons a week. Two day a weekers probably need one, if that. If we give them more, they become dependent on adults to constantly “show them” how to do things. They need more time to be able to figure things out for themselves or ask peers for help. I have noticed lately that some of the children are rejecting lessons. My guess is that they have received too many and have a strong desire to explore on their own. I know it is hard to do but when you give a child twenty or thirty minutes to dress themselves in the morning, they can do it! We just have to show restraint and let them achieve this type of independence on their own. They then continue to perfect that skill over time if there is no adult interference. With that said, I am going to send emails every other week and Jodi will do the same. That way you always know what is going on (especially since Jodi is there more afternoons than me) and everyone has more time to receive and practice lessons. We are starting our immersion program next week! Carla is officially starting as our Spanish speaking assistant on Tuesday. We interviewed a few people and she has a lot of experience working with children and is very knowledgeable of Montessori. Though we aren’t starting our new schedules until the second week of March, I will post all of our schedules on the front door. Our goal was to provide more consistency for the children and to be able to expose them to a native Spanish speaker. Sorry for a hectic pick up at 1 pm. Our nappers like to go to sleep around one so it is difficult getting everyone changed and out the door so that the other children can sleep. I want to let you all know that we have everyone use the toilet between 12:35 and 12:45. However, some of the children will only sit on the toilet so they then urinate on themselves right afterwards. We’re not sure if there is a way to avoid that. We’d love if pick up could go more smoothly but they drink so much at lunch then pee so much at pick up time. Let us know if you all can think of a better solution. Lastly, we are having our garden day on March 13th at 10 am. We need parents to help us dig up and plant our gardens. We will send an evite so that you have something you can keep in your mailbox to remind you. Please try to come for at least a couple hours to help us develop a beautiful outdoor space for the children. Alon: He is just so wonderful! As of next week he is not the oldest so I am curious how he reacts to this. He loves to feed Turbo, the turtle. He chops apples, brings the stool to the aquarium and feeds Turbo. He loves to juice oranges and shell edamame (I know you said to ease up on soy but edamame doesn’t tend to have the same effect as other soy products). Whenever he sees kids go to the compost he runs over to help. He absolutely loved the wheelbarrow. He used it all morning for our outdoor work cycle and again for our afternoon work cycle.

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