Sunday, July 18, 2010

Schools

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Friday was Kylie's last day of school at her Montessori school.

Earlier in the week, I was waging a little battle in my head. The battle was whether to find another summer camp for Kylie to attend before she starts back to school at the end of August or to keep her at home for five weeks. After making an exhausting mental list of all the pros and cons, I decided to find a summer camp.

With a lovely twist of serendipity, I learned about the Goddard School. Kylie was playing with a boy at our nearby playground. The boy's father and I got to talking as parents do. I was telling him about Kylie's school. He told me about Goddard. I was perplexed because that school hadn't popped in any of my searches. I am familiar with Goddard as there was one in Portland, OR that had my interest when we lived there. He explained that the school had only been open for three months. He just raved about it.

After touring the facility (and looking at other places for summer camps), I decided this would be the place for us. But I have to share with you, it is opposite our Montessori school in many ways.

Our Montessori school is impeccable in its arrangements. The classroom has subdued colors and all of the toys look quite natural and organic. There is great sense of calm and order. Things are lines up at right angles. The children get placemats for their "practical life work" (aka wood puzzles, pouring exercises and such) at their tables and white floor mats for their floor work. There is no shouting or running in the class. There is great emphasis on sharing and working peacefully with your teacher and other children. They also emphasize cleaning up one area before moving on to another area of play. Their playground features wooden structures.

The Goddard School classroom is like a color explosion.
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During my tour, I saw kids running and yelling and the classroom looked like a cyclone had hit it even though class had only been open for a short while. The class has a computer for the kids to use and about everything you see is a vibrant plastic and strewn all over the place. Very different indeed.

Some of you might recall that I was more than a little unnerved by the lack of information forthcoming from the Montessori school and teachers. At Goddard, I'll be walking Kylie into her classroom. There is an agenda of the theme of the week and the day's activities posted outside her room. And each day I'll get a hand-written sheet describing the books they read during circle time, the music they listened and danced to and something specific about Kylie's day. On Tuesdays and Fridays, they have "water days" where the kids all play on slip and slides together.

Different as night and day. And we've framed it as such for Kylie. We are calling Goddard her "summer camp" before she gets to go back to "school" at Montessori.

I really wonder how the kiddo is going to like this new school.

4 comments:

For the Long Haul said...

As someone who has both her kids in Montessori I can understand your "different as night and day" feeling of the other school. I am sure it is fabulous, but I too have visited other schools only to realize that, FOR ME, I prefer the calming, quiet nurturing environment of Montessori. It's fits better into the lives I create for my children and my parenting philosophies. I'll be interested to hear what you think once Kylie has finished her summer session and you have something to compare it to.

L said...

It DOES sound very different--but I can see a positive to it in the sense that I believe these experiences will serve Kylie well. She has a chance to experience a variety of environments that are safe and monitored by her teachers and loving mommies and I BET she will adapt pretty quickly and find it enjoyable! Not all children have the opportunity to experience such wonderful things. I think Kylie is going to be very well-rounded and open to new experiences and perspectives as a result of how she is being raised! This can only serve her well as she grows toward adulthood! Best of luck! Lori

Stacey said...

For riley she loves daycare better than Montessori. For me, I also prefer it and would do better in that kind of "fun" environment. I guess you'll see.

mhin13 said...

I started my oldest daughter in a Montessori school which we did enjoy. However, when my baby was born, we found a Goddard school and I was able to put them both in the same place together. It was an amazing school and a fantastic experience for both of them. I was so pleased with their "learn through play" philosophy as I feel at this age, children need to have lots of fun and be engaged with many hands-on activities as they learn. They got all of this and more at their school. Lots of learning mixed with lots of fun. It was a perfect fit for our family! Along the way the learned to cooperate, help clean up, share, and to use their manners. We loved it!