Off To Montessori We GO! Our road to day 1

More milestones of here!

Our oldest daughter started back up at “school”.

Ok…

So it is Montessori and bilingual.  I was a little (ok a lot) nervous about this new change.  SO much has changed around our home in a very short period of time.  Especially for a young one.  All of a sudden our 3.5yo world got turned upside down.  There was a new baby, no more exclusive mommy time, something crying all of the time, no more school the past few months, and a whole slew of family members coming in to “help”.

To say that I was worried about this transition is an understatement.  Sometimes she does not do well with transitions.  I know that some of you out there can understand this statement…..Drop offs had finally become easy!  She had friends that she looked forward to seeing every day and that made drop off a breeze.

What was it going to be like with a classroom full of new kids?

New teachers?  Do I need to explain the nuances that are our daughter.  Are they going to know what makes things easier?  For that matter DO I?

The last thing that I want is for her to feel like we are abandoning her at a strange place with a group of strange kids.  And How dare the new baby gets to stay at home with mommy and Nona.

So what do I do. We go out and pick out fabric to make her mat cover for nap time.  We go pick out a new lunch box (we used the old lunch box for three years and is getting passed down to little sister for her bottles).  We talked about how much fun it would be and that we couldn’t wait to see what she was going to do!

But inside I was a nervous wreck.  I know that we had moved past biting and hitting, but the thought of a totally new environment made me cringe.  She has gotten pretty good at expressing her feelings and then being able to talk and calm back down.

Ok……Day 1…..here we go

Nona came into town to help assist with this new transition since I was heading back to work in a few days.  So we let the baby at the house with Nona and  daddy and I took our oldest to her first day of school.  She picked out her own outfit.  A hot pink dress and super cute black sandals.  She was so proud of herself.  She got dressed all by her self and came down for breakfast.  We had our typical breakfast of Oatmeal.  How do you make yours? Here is how I make our Cinnamon Raisin oatmeal….

Prepare the Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal per package directions.

based on 2 serving size

At the end of cooking I add the following:

1 teaspoon of real Vanilla (please do not use imitation!)

1/2 teaspoon of butter (prefer organic unsalted butter.  I always try to purchase local products as much as possible)

Cinnamon to taste anywhere between 1 tsp to 1 T

Raisins!  Add as many as you like!  We LOVE Black Maroo raisins from Anthony’s (I provided the link).  These raisins are like nothing that I have ever had before.  They are voluptuous and super tasty.  Juicy and soft without being gooey.  Sunmaid raisins are now super dried out for me and rather flavorless.

 

My oldest LOVES to add a huge handful (or two) to her oatmeal in the morning!  If you are in Portland, San Francisco Bay area, and LA……check out Imperfectproduce.com.  You can purchase Anthony’s Raisins most of the time in the produce boxes! I routinely have 2-3 bags in the house.

While everyone is eating breakfast I am making her lunch.  She got to pick this out as well (she is more likely to eat her lunch when she picks it out).  What do you think that she picked out?  Remember she is 3.5 yo.

It probably isn’t what you would expect.

Ham and cheese roll ups that I make.  Carrots from the garden (she went out and picked the ones that she wanted).  We planted “rainbow” carrots that we all love to eat!  Tomatoes also from the garden (Fresh tomatoes from the vine taste amazing!  One of my favorite things ever.  In the bottom of her lunch box she adds a few comfort snacks…just incase she doesn’t like what is offered.

Off we go!  Into the car and she buckles herself in to her car seat, only needs help with the end of getting tightened.  She quietly asks for Elsa on the TV, I can sense the nerves starting to creep in.  So here we go.  “Let It Go” come on and I turn it up and start singing along.  This is her favorite song.  She was hesitant to sing along but I finally got her to join in.  And boy, oh boy  did she sing.  My heart skipped a bit hearing her belt out all of her nerves.  We sat in the car and let the song finish.

Ok….Time to go.  We have all of our stuff (extra shirts, extra undies, socks, shorts, nap mat cover, and lunch box).  We take the obligatory “first day of school” picture by the gate for school and we walk to her classroom.  We walk into the room and that is when it hits her.  There isn’t anyone that she knows.  The teachers are new and we have only met the head teacher once the week prior.  We go through the normal routine.  Find her cubby and put away all of her extra clothes in case of an accident.  The teachers showed us where we could find the nap mats and we put the nap mat on that I made out of the fabric that she picked out.

Then we were off!  Said our good byes….a few tears in my eyes.  She is at Big Girl school now and time is just flying by.  We went to the bye-bye window and made silly faces at each other.  It but a smile on her face……she loves making silly faces, especially after reading the Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett and Kevan Atteberry.

Off we go!

That day, in the early afternoon I received a lovely email from her head teacher.  She shared that #1 “doing great and trying really hard to learn the lay of the land”.  Now a lot of my nerves came from the fact that this is a Mandarin Immersion program for the morning and then the afternoon is in English.  #1 has had no real exposure to Mandarin except for what she would hear when we were out and about.

Now that we are about a month in to the program, #1 is THRIVING!  Montessori isn’t for every child but for this child…..Wow what a difference!  If you are interested in the Montessori method…..Here is a link for you to learn more about it and to decide if you think that it is a good fit for your children.  Montessori, Is it for you?

Needless to say…..#1 is LOVING school now.  She has so much fun and she is excited to go and to tell us about her day.  The new level of responsibility is fantastic and we are excited to see where she goes from here.

 

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