"I Just Saw A Fly"--An excerpt from my afternoon experience {Also-my conflicted heart}

{From my afternoon journal-as-I-experience}

August 28, 2013 Wednesday

4:18pm Jackson & Nathan are doing a dexterity craft--placing oatmeal flakes along a line with glue (to make a star)--Jackson is showing Nathan how to place them, what to do with extra glue on your finger (spread on paper), and how to spread the glue carefully. They are pouring their oats slowly on a plate and using them from there. Jackson says “don’t hold the glue...when I need some more, put it back”.

As they are crafting, I take a few photos. Jackson says “I’m doing a great job!” and I affirm it. Nathan says “me too!” I say yes you too! Jackson exclaims that raw oatmeal is delicious too! Nathan tries some and continues to nibble while Jackson makes good progress. Jackson asks me to come look, I do and compliment him. Nathan said “I not doing a good job. I eating it.” I tell him his star looks great and to keep going. Jackson follows up with an affirming “you’re doing an awesome job, Nathan.”

They keep working and Jackson says--“I dreamed I was in a huge car wreck. And the light went in a big circle up to the sky. So we drove our car into a truck. We didn’t get a wreck. Does wrecks hurt when they get on your car? When they come inside? A lightning wreck? We were like “there’s a wreck!” (whisper voice) and I walked around the corner and said “Hi there” to the man talking to someone else.”

My heart is pounding. My eyes are wide, trying to soak in the view of their little hands and focused faces. My ears take in every grunt of concentrated effort and sigh of trying-again. I am blessed to experience this natural learning/discovering/sharing environment AT HOME TOGETHER. Jackson is diligent in following the star lines perfectly, but has learned also how to praise his little brother (even if it isn’t perfect). He schools him “no more glue until your line is done...ok...that’s enough...keep going”. His tutelage is well received. “Now look a-mine star, Mom!” “We need moe!”

J interjects: “I just saw a fly. I didn’t want him to land on the glue and get stuck forever. I don’t want to have a sad bug. Do you want to have a sad bug in the world?”

THIS is why I am aching to send my five year old to school all day (8:30am-4pm) I will miss THIS.

TRULY, I am so glad to have an accessible Montessori option (read: charter public/further read: free). It’s tiny doors, little “works” and child-centered environments make my heart sing. The trained ‘guides’ with their soft voices and involved, encouraging interaction will have far-reaching effects in the children’s learning, responses, and expansion of learning. I have been convinced of the benefits of this kind of education. Child-guided. Positive reinforced. Tactile-activity centered. One-on-one moments.

They can never love them like I do.
And I can DO this thing (I think?). Our home is the original Montessori, right? In a way. In many ways. I don't have all the working mats or mini-glass cups or peg boards. I do have a drive to teach, enrich, inspire, and follow my children's lead through discoveries and academic/social/spiritual/all-things learning.

This is my struggle. I have been working through it for the last 6 months or so since we found out his acceptance to the Montessori school (and also registered him at a regular public as well--just to keep my options open). I read and researched. I questioned and pondered. I formed opinions of my own.

My heart is conflicted. THIS is our environment. THESE are our works. THOSE are my babies and our ecosystem of familial fun and learning is the most joyous experience in my life thus far. Must I give it up now?

Update on the oat project--”Mom! My star is done! I will carry it carefully to dry. Let’s do another one!” Yes, yes--let’s!

30 minutes later--still munching on the craft in between making his straight lines: "Does paleontologists bring food when they are doing a really hard work job?"

P.S. Today was day 1 of the 3 "phase in" 2-hour days at Montessori school. Official first start day is September 3rd (6 days from now). This is J as we left today (clementine in hand). Notice the small door--all the Montessori stuff is geared toward their small size...adorable! He told me all about the "working mats" (he learned the special way to fold them and that you do not put your feet or body on them, only 'works'), the pet fish, pet bird, pet tarantula, & pet dragon (lizard). 

1 comment:

Jason and Joy said...

Oh oh ooohhh! I ache for you! The right decision is different for everyone. He looks so excited and happy in that little door. I have so many thoughts and really, I don't know what to say.

Big Hugs to you!