Happy New Year!
It feels like forever since I have shared what has been going on with R and P as we have been extremely busy with travel, illness, work, visitors, etc., but I am happy to take the time and let you know about a very exciting thing that happened a couple weeks ago…..R and P started school!
Although I spend every day either incorporating Montessori methods at home with my twins or running Parent-Child classes for others, this is the first time my two worlds came together.
When I started Aid to Life Education 4 years ago, I knew that I wanted to offer something different. I chose to walk away from teaching Montessori in the traditional sense and create a program that is in need – to work with parents and their babies. The first few years (especially the first year) in raising a child is overwhelming to say the least. And I wanted to create an environment to support moms during this time, while aiding the children in the development of concentration, language acquisition, coordination of movement, independence, and instill a love for learning.
The Parent-Infant program runs weekly on Mondays and I hired a lovely AMI Infancy trained teacher to run the classes so I can attend as a parent. It was actually quite easy to keep the ‘mom-hat’ on and focus on being with the boys in a beautifully prepared environment, along with the other families.
Once we arrive to the classroom, I sit the boys on the child size bench and remove their coats, socks, shoes, and pants. Because they are in a very active stage, it is extremely important to keep their legs and feet bare (as much as possible) in order for their clothing not to restrict their movement. I am ‘that mom’ with my camera on the first day, snapping pictures during the whole class to document everything!
R and P sit on the bench upon arrival.
We are then ready to enter the class and set the boys up with their own activities on mats. The shelves are low, there is a movement mat and mirror, and many different activities for grasping, hand-eye coordination, language acquisition, etc.
R and Daddy start with a familiar activity, Ring and Peg on Rocking Base (only one ring on in the beginning)
Over the next hour, R and P get the opportunity to try some materials that we do not have at home such as the spindle with napkin rings, the object permanence box, the bar to learn to pull up, the walking wagon, a language activity with forest animals, etc. And we get the opportunity to enjoy one full hour of being absolutely present with our children. It is a win – win!
Becky shows R the Punch Ball
Becky shows P Spindle with Rings
R and I do a Language Activity together.
Next, all the children sit together at low tables for snack time and we set them up with placemats, plates, cutlery, and glasses. I have been implementing Baby-Led Weaning with the boys (to be discussed in a future post) so they are able to feed themselves off their plates. It is great to see them so capable although it does create a big mess!
Lastly, we all come together to play instruments and sing songs. And then class is over! The children are all tired and ready to go home, however I wasn’t. I wanted to stay and do it all over again. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, me or the boys! Now I actually look forward to Mondays. 🙂