Monthly Archives: August 2012

Maria Montessori Day

Today is the anniversary of Maria Montessori’s birthday (check out Google’s Montessori logo), so the school celebrated with an international day and Grace went as Italy (there are more photos on the school’s Facebook page).

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She took along some mini pizzas as her taste of Italy.

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Independent!

Shock and awe peeps, shock and awe. I was in shock and awe this morning when I dropped Grace off at school. We came in, the teachers said hello (Grace hardly gave them the time of day), put her bag into her locker, put on her slippers (no moaning at all so far), told Emma she had lost the crown (which I recovered later), big hug goodbye, then she went through to the main room and did not go to Janine. She cruised over to the table, collected some paint or glue and started her day. No input, no clinging, just happy and independent.

A swimming lessons & some stories

Grace’s awesomeness is starting to come in. Today she was singing Amazing Grace in the car, “Amazing Grace, Amazing Grace, Amazing Me.” Daddy’s girl.

The friendship continues to develop: Grace left school with a paper crown which Emma made for her….which I then forgot at swimming….and was in trouble for….fail.

This is a fairly long (10 minutes) and possibly boring video, with no catchy background music, of today’s swimming lesson (at Aquatoads Swim School)

 

A detailed run-down

Grace gave me an extremely detailed run down of her school day today, which is unusual because it is normally quite difficult to get much info out of her. She first glued and “Wiwwow” joined her (Willow is a difficult name if you can’t pronounce L’s). They were gluing cotton wool to paper. Then onto practical life for some pouring, measuring and bubble making. After that Kim sat with her while she ate her snack. This was followed by “floor mat work” and today she did the red rods (the third picture). And then what did you do Grace? “Not group time, not home time, not time for anything.” She sung a song in group time and they read a book about four piggies that took a drive in a car.

There was more encouraging play today. When Donné arrived Grace was playing with Emma and Caitlyn – pottering about, playing and chatting.

In the feedback session yesterday there was something which I found really interesting. They specifically give the children real glasses to work with in the practical life area. The thinking is that a glass has a higher value attached to it (versus a plastic cup) and that if they are dropped there is a greater sense of the consequence of how it got dropped. It sounds like after two glasses the children figure out how to hold the tray or glass properly. It actually makes a lot of sense, but is counter-intuitive (for me at least).

Monkey gets a name!

Monkey has never had a proper name, he has always just been Monkey, but the way Grace says, "monkey" it often sounds like "Mikey" (or "maatjie" for the Afrikaans speakers, which I've always thought was appropriate). So I was swinging her today and Monkey happened to be around, so I said, "What's monkey's name?" to which she answered, "Monkey" (or "Mikey", I'm never really sure). So I started to joke around around and say, "What's his name? Monkey?" and she would answer, "Monkey" and I would ask, "Mikey?" to which she would answer, "Monkey" (or was that Mikey?) and the game would start again.

Round and round we went, backwards and forwards playing with the word, and then, "Michael" and a huge smile. And it stuck. So Mikey/Maatjie the Monkey is now Michael the Monkey.

We had our first feedback session with the principal at school today and it seems like things are going pretty well. Grace is engaging and participating, the only thing she is not really doing is interacting with the other children, although today she did engage with another little girl, Emma, and had a conversation with her (there are photo's to prove it!). She is very excited about group time, and we both loved the story from today: when it was time to pack up before group Grace starts shouting, "Pack away everyone! Pack away everyone!" Get a move on peeps, it's time for some group fun.

While we sat and chatted with Janine, Grace was having loads of fun pottering around the class. She was painting, pushing the gate button when parents arrived to fetch their children, playing with the number outlines, and just having fun. It was lovely to see her so relaxed and enjoying the space. We are really, really happy with the school and how Grace is handled by everyone there.

Family swim

Grace just loved it. Not only did she get to go for a swim, but she had both her mommy & daddy in the water with her, and mommy was definitely a novelty. She had fun swimming on her pool noodle between the two of us, doing dolphin dives and blowing bubbles while riding on mommy's back, spending lots of time blowing bubbles while collecting her diving toys from the step, and swimming between the two of us. Lots of fun and a special time for all of us.

Ow!

Grace has been particularly difficult at supper times, eating very little, playing with her food and wanting to be excused long before she has had enough to eat.

Tonight she had hardly eaten anything and was about to climb off her chair, so I said to her, "Grace, if you climb off your chair before you are finished your chicken I'm going to give you a smack on the bum." So she stayed in her chair for a while, but never ate her chicken and eventually climbed down. I stopped her and lined her up for the consequences, and as I was swinging she says, "Ow!" (before the smack actually landed). Donné packs out laughing, Grace joins in and we all had a good laugh.

At least she ate her chicken.
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