Soren is going to Sands Montessori in the Fall!!! This deserves exclamations points for many reasons.
a) We had to camp out to get him in. There is a short lottery for Kindergarten, but not Pre-School. Because it is a specific pedagogy, it relies on small classroom sizes which translates to - not a whole lot of openings.
b) It's a Montessori program.
'b' is really the reason we are so excited. The Montessori method is something Rick and I have been stumbling upon before Soren was even born. A lot of parents that seem to follow the attached parenting methods (nursing, baby led weaning, co-sleeping, yadda yadda) have a tendency to lean more on the Montessori method for education - at least it seems that way.
Every time we think we know the method, or have it completely figured out - we get slammed with even more material about the pedagogy that makes us even more grateful that we went for it. We have two stellar sitters for Soren - one is a fun, energetic electronic media major and the other is her dedicated Montessori education major roommate. Thank you SitterCity for helping me find these gems!
Just a few days ago, our Montessori major sat for Soren and ended up staying and chatting with us about the program. She is SO dedicated to it - and I can understand why! She told us how the classrooms are arranged how they are willing to borrow supplies from other classrooms to help cater to each individuals rate of progress.
That Soren will be taught to spell phonically. How he will group objects together to count - that if he throws one of his legendary tantrums 'which he will - they all do' he will be talked to about his energy and taught how to bring it down. That he will learn respect of not just his teacher (who will be called by her first name - emphasizing they are ALL people - ALL human beings! Love it!) but of his fellow students. Because together, they will complete projects in 'interdisciplinary' play.
She brought up more concepts about energy (of which I am extremely intrigued) but also language - both verbal and physical. She recommended a few books and I can't wait to dive in. Even more than that - I can't wait to see how Soren does in school.
Montessori also relies heavily on parent participation to work - so Rick and I are both studying up. We've already used a couple of Sarah's suggestions. My favorite of recent is calming Soren's temper.
The other day during a blow up, as he swung his arm at me (normal 3 year old behavior) - I told him the 'energy in here is too high. We need to give our bodies a rest.' He looked at me calmly as I repeated myself in a slow quiet voice. He went to the table, sat in the chair - and we took a deep breath. Talked - and expressed our feelings. He told me 'momma, you hurt my feelings. You took my legos away'. I responded 'I am so sorry I hurt your feelings Soren. But I told you it was time for lunch and we needed to eat. To give your body good energy. I am sorry I hurt your feelings, but when you hit me - it hurts my feelings and my body, I love you bubs'. His brow furrowed as he processed the information, keeping eye contact. While taking a bite of his sandwich, he replied 'sorry momma. Hitting is not nice. I wov you too'.
And with that, we ate lunch. That is why we choose Montessori.