Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On A Playdate we Go!

Zoe had her 1st playdate yesterday. Yes, a 2.5 year old girl hadn't been to a playdate till the 22nd of July 2013. Blame it on her anti-social super busy mom. I think I've taken a lot on my platter... :-P but that we will discuss later.

This was organized, thanks to Paddy a fellow Bangalore mum of the love Anuttara. Padmini is leaving Bangalore for a few months and we had to catch up, I wanted more people to come, hence we did spread the word. Thanks to Bangalore rains only Shweta, Padmini and me could make it to the venue with our daughters in tow. Zoe made 2 brand new friends (Laasya and Anuttara) though she had met the both of them before but yesterday the 3 of them had a blast. The moms did the talking, and the kids did the running around and shouting on top of their voice.

I liked the place we chose, we picked this extremely kid friendly Bistro in Koramangala called Claytopia, and thankfully didn't opt for a mall. After the kids were done with eating and running around, all three of them with their mommies painted ceramic butterflies...

Missed having Sumita and Shreya there... but I know they are sending their love all the way from Canada :-D ... (we got to do it again when all 4 of us are in town).

Now I will let the pictures do the talking as I listen to Zoe non-stop chatter about her new found friends.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Toddler’s School Tales

So the Toddler started school more than a month back and I’m glad to say that she has completely adjusted to the new environment. She has not only adjusted but she loves going to her ‘Sikshuks Monnesseri’ yes… that’s what she calls Siksha Montessori. She wants to go to school even on weekends.

I was talking to the principal the other day and she told me “Zoe is comfortable and has adjusted to the environment very well. She is actually Vanya Aunty’s (her teacher’s) pet.” Well, I don’t know how much of a pet she is, but she loves Vanya Ma’am and Neetha Ma’am. All she keeps saying the entire day is their names… others from school she remembers is her Akka. She has made 2 new friends Ishika and Jainish, the entire day she keeps going on “Ishika was crying, I said Ishika Don’t cry” and something or other about Jainish.

Her vocabulary is becoming better and we see a change for good almost everyday (touchwood). She keeps on surprising us every single day. Today she got her 1st note from school which says she needs to get grated cheese to school tomorrow as they are making pasta at school. :)

That’s it for the day, I have to make Ms. Z go to sleep.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Why did I choose a Montessori School for Zoe

Written for MyCity4Kids

Zoe (2.5) has just started going to school and from the time I started my research on various methods adopted by different schools, the Montessori way of education attracted me the most. Why did I pick a school which doesn't believe in teaching my daughter alphabets but phonics... which does not believe in having tables and chairs but has floor mats.... where my child will do many things that a regular school wouldn't allow kids to do.

I visited my daughter's school couple of times before her admission, but I went as an observer once and that's the time when I was sure this is what I wanted for Zoe. Couple of things which I loved about the setup:

Disciplined and Peaceful environment:
When you enter a Montessori school and a class is going on, you will be impressed by the kids sitting there and working peacefully. They are so disciplined and know exactly what they want, if they need help they will politely go up to a teacher. I have not noticed any kind of shouting, shrieking or unnecessary running around. Though kids are so disciplined, still there is no dearth of activity and the class is always buzzing with it.

Mixed-Age Classroom: As parents, we accompany the child to their classes when the kids join school. Zoe's 1st day left me even more impressed with the system. A 5 year old was told to help Zoe as she takes long to get comfortable with an adult. Seeing Zoe work and talk with an older child peacefully made me a happy mum.

Independence & Responsibility: Teachers and staff work more as an observer in a Montessori setup. They step in only when the kids need them. Seeing a 3 year old pour water from a small pitcher to a glass, making puzzles without help and do so many things on their own was amazing. After seeing this I was sure I want a Montessori school for Zoe. Since kids become independent at a younger age, they also become responsible. They believe in doing things on their own. They believe in finishing the task at hand.

Curious kids: A Montessori environment encourages kids to be curious, kids are introduced to many equipments and environment is such that they get exposed to many age appropriate things. This help rise their curiosity where kids are also encouraged to find their own answers

Children are not confined at one place: Kids sit on mats, they aren't restricted to their desks. When I researched why floor mats? Here is what I got "Children’s working on the floor on small rugs is a practice born out of Montessori’s astute observation of children. Her medical and anthropological background came together in establishing this practice. As a scientist she realized that children needed an environment where they could freely express themselves in spontaneous activity. It is a well recognized fact today that children need to move and change positions. Yet, as children grow, their need for movement varies. The baby, with 68% of her height in her trunk, will naturally lie on her back with feet and hands up in the air. The child of 2.5, as she enters our Children’s Houses, has longer legs in proportion to the trunk; the trunk then is only 62%. These children are at the point of developing a perfect equilibrium. We can see them often lying on their stomachs with the legs bent at the knees and feet up in the air. The leg muscles are stretched in this position. Children between 2.5 and 5.5 years old often seek a resting position on the floor and raise their head and shoulders by supporting them with their elbows."

Teachers are not 'authority figures':
You will hardly find them scolding your child. They might be stern if need be, but the teachers are trained in such a manner they understand children beautifully.

No grade/rank system: The system keeps a track on how kids advance without any tests, stars or rating system. The kids do not compete with each other but the progress is seen basis the kid's own ability

Check this video out to know more

A tip: Go and observe a Montessori school and you will know for yourself what I'm talking about.