First, for those interested in an update on Girls TALK, click here for more about our first lesson. Super excited to finally get started!
The kids have been in their new schools for about a month now. Both are super happy and seem to be learning a lot. Yesterday morning, totally out of the blue, Samantha shared all sorts of things she has been learning. I wanted to stop the kitchen clock so that I could just sit and listen to all that she had to share! Her teacher sent out some information about Montessori learning, and Rahul was able to go to the parent night earlier this week (I was on swim team duty). Basically, there are 5 Great Lessons.
The Great Lessons are an important and unique part of the Montessori curriculum. These lessons are bold, exciting, and are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. The child should be struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas, and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.
The Five Great Lessons are traditionally presented in lower elementary (grades 1-3), and are presented every year so that children see them more than one time.
Samantha’s class is on lesson 1 right now –
First Great Lesson – Coming of the Universe and the Earth
The First Great Lesson is the most memorable and is often done on the very first day of school. It involves the use of a balloon and gold stars to tell the story of the beginning of the universe. This lesson also includes some demonstrations using solids and liquids to show how the continents and oceans first came together.
This lesson leads to the study of:
- Astronomy: solar system, stars, galaxies, comets, constellations
- Meteorology: wind, currents, weather, fronts, erosion, water cycle, clouds, glaciers
- Chemistry: states of matter, changes, mixtures, reactions, elements, atoms, periodic table, compounds, molecules, chemical formulas, equations, lab work, experimentation
- Physics: magnetism, electricity, gravity, energy, light, sound, heat, friction, motion, experimentation
- Geology: types of rocks, minerals, land forms, volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, ice ages, eras of the earth
- Geography: maps, globes, latitude/longitude, climates, land/water form names, continent and country research
I think the neatest part of this learning approach is that Rahul had the *exact* same lessons when he went to a Montessori school. Same lessons, same manipulatives. The learning approach is timeless!
Samantha has chosen to research Australia for her latest project. It has been really neat to see her work, but it really did not matter which country she picked. She is learning how to think, problem-solve, and dig deep and learn a lot about a topic. What more could you ask for from a school?
Now for Aidan. The kid is happy at school again. It makes me super happy to pick up a kid with a smile on his face at the end of each school day. He is eager to do his homework (and it is always 100% correct). He talks about friends he has made and tells us a little bit about his skills group (students are put in groups of 10 with a teacher for academic work). Tonight was his back to school night, and all extra-curricular activities were done by 5pm, so both parents got to go! Wow, Rahul and I were so impressed. The teachers are so nice, supportive, and really care about the students. You can feel it in the air when you walk into the school. The work that was displayed of Aidan’s was great. (PPops would be happy to know his handwriting for a written essay posted on the bulletin board was almost unrecognizable as Aidan’s because it was so neat!)
My favorite part of tonight’s meeting was learning about the Cabin Creek Kids. Each student creates a character that lives in Cabin Creek. Aidan’s character is Johnny. All year they write about living in Cabin Creek. By the way, Johnny came to live at Cabin Creek after his parents were eaten by bull sharks. I cannot wait to see how the story unfolds!
So, 2 happy kids. 2 amazing schools. 1 happy mom 🙂