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Another year has gone by…

Another year has gone by…

Farewell to another school year! Today we say goodbye (for now) to The Glen Montessori School and bid it adieu as we take our end of summer holiday break and prepare for the next school year, which starts in just 10 days.

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Nico has completed his second full year in the Birth to Three program, having started at 13 months of age, and Gabriella her first, having started at 6 months of age. Here are their respective first and last day of school photos (and bonus to include Nico’s from last year as well!).

 

Today also marks an emotional end to a very special journey for Nico — today is the conclusion of his experience in the Birth to Three Program. One of my very favorite parts of the Montessori Method is the mixed age classroom — usually 3 years — which provides for an opportunity for peer to peer learning as well as continuity and maximum learning with a particular teacher or guide.

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Our family has had such a positive experience with Nico’s teacher Ms Shannon and her assistant Ms Angela. They have provided such a safe environment for Nico to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually. They have fostered a sense of learning in him that would make any parent proud. He has grown so much over these last two years.

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He has developed such confidence in himself due largely to their effort in carefully creating a prepared space and ensuring that he knows what to expect from day to day. He is so meticulous in the completion of his work; his curiosity is abounding and his thinking methodical. They have so wonderfully prepared him for his next Montessori experience- Children’s House- as well as his experiences outside the classroom.

There is something special about people that can love and care for other people’s children as their own. These women have nurtured Nico in times when I simply couldn’t, and have performed countless parental duties – wiping away tears, providing a hug or a shoulder when sad, and comforting or encouraging through a rough day – without need for praise. Your work does not go unnoticed; your affection for my son is appreciated beyond any words I could ever come up with. That probably won’t  stop me from trying, though.

This has also been an unbelievable year of growth for my Gabriella, who began the program at just six months of age. I was so curious how starting even earlier than Nico would affect her, or if I’d even notice. And truthfully, I can’t tell how much of it is just Gabriella and how much is Montessori — it’s probably a combination of both — but she has really come into her own this year and blows us away at every turn with her vocabulary comprehension and expression, her complete fearlessness, and the amount of personality that fits in her tiny little body.

But one of my favorite things that I have seen this year is the bond that has continued to grow between Nico and Gabriella. When it was first confirmed to me that Gabriella would have a spot at The Glen for the 2018-2019 school year (no small feat, by the way – the Birth to Three Program has a 2 year waiting list right now), I thought that I might want them to be in the same classroom. I’m so glad that Ms. Shannon and Ms. Jessica (Gabi’s teacher) convinced me otherwise. They were really able to develop themselves individually much more wholesomely than if they were in the same classroom. I didn’t see it at the time, but I definitely understand it now.

And Nico went from making these walks into school by himself last school year to enjoying them while caring for his baby sister this school year. Nearly every day since she was able to walk, he has held her hand while walking into school, helps her up the stairs, and then playfully chases her in the hallway. He helps to put her lunch away in her classroom and always makes sure that she gets into the classroom before going to put his lunch away.

Some of my favorite moments from any given day occur on those walks from my car until we get to their classroom each morning. I will never forget the memories made during that time over the last year. Thankfully I’m a little bit of a nut with capturing special moments and have taken quite a few pictures and videos over the course of the year to memorialize it somewhere other than my heart.

When Gabriella began her first year at The Glen last August, she wasn’t even sitting up on her own. Over the last year, in addition to hitting all of the gross motor milestones, she has developed a vocabulary of over 200 words ( I stopped counting around 115, but feel confident she’s hit nearly double that), demonstrated a remarkable ability to understand what is being asked of her, and as fiercely unloaded her personality on all her classmates and teachers. She has some serious headband and bow game, and enjoys showing them off each morning when she arrives to school. Now that her hair has grown quite a bit, we may be moving to hair clips this year, which I’m sure her teachers will appreciate.

We’re heading to our favorite place next week during the school holiday – Mickey’s House! Stay tuned to lots of posts on our instagram and a few future blogs about it as well; we’re staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – one of my all time favorites. Just this past April I was saying how much I wanted to take the kids to stay at this particular resort, and here we are going to do just that!

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By 3under3andme

Krista is an attorney residing in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, son Nico, daughters Gabriella and Milana, and their au pair, Chloe!

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