Sucrose has started regular school, after two wonderful years of amazing learning in her Montessori. She has happily embraced the new school while gracefully leaving her old one behind. While the emotional side of this departure was very obvious – she asks after her teachers and recounts occasionally what they have taught her in the past year; she still referred to her friends from her Montessori in the present tense – what we hadn’t factored was the tremendous learning she was leaving behind, as she stepped into her new school.
She spent two years in Nishta Montessori, a small enterprising school, which is run by a dynamic and attentive Mrs. Jayanthi and her talented team of teachers and helpers. I can’t stress enough how much Montessori style has helped Sucrose till now and how much it integrated us parents into our child’s learning.
- Sucrose can write numbers till 20 almost correctly, and I was not even aware of it. It happened in stages. One day she got home and started writing the numbers 1 to 10. I was impressed and happy and bought her a book to practice her numbers…only we never got around to using that book as she already knew to write to 10. Now she writes numbers till 20. What the icing on the cake is that she loves to write on her own and has filled many blank, used envelopes and one-sided papers to practice writing.
- She can not only write the numbers till 20, but she can also count till 30 very easily. That’s not a big thing I am sure, but I was happy anyway.
- She can join and read three letter words using phonetics. ‘cat’, ‘dog’, ‘car’, box, bag etc are all read with gusto. They have been taught to match the picture with the respective words respectively. That way the children read the words first and then once they understand the word, they choose the corresponding picture to go with it.
- Montessori education is big on making children understand concepts, be it math or science or language. Sucrose had a three dimensional feel of different concepts, like rods of different lengths which they arranged as per ascending/ descending order; wooden cylinders of varying sizes and weights that had to be placed in the right slots; transferring solids and liquids to different containers and such. Not only were these excellent hand and eye coordination activities, but they also introduced concepts like long -short, heavy -light, big-small in a nice way.
- Trips and extra curricular activities – the school had a lot of visits planned for the year – the zoo, museums, circus, parks etc in addition to dancing and singing to random songs in class. Many times Sucrose would ask me to play a song or recognize one that would play somewhere and dance to it. Since I was not exposing her to those, I realized later on that they were dancing to songs in class.
We, parents were loathe to take our children out of the school, but each of us had our pressures of sending them to ‘regular’ schools. Montessori education goes as per age and not as classes – LKG, UKG, I, II etc. Children are pushed into activities as per their interests and are presented various materials and concepts through the term. The learning happens on their own terms and results in a happy, confident child.
If you are thinking of starting your child off a regular pre-school or nursery, I would suggest a Montessori school for those early years.
This bit of rational gyan comes to you in Montessori founder Maria Montessori’s words –