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That Start of Our Montessori Summer Program

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Today my older two started their two month summer program at a local Montessori school.  This is our third year to participate.  Elora began in the primary classroom at age 3.  Last year, William joined in and spent his first year in the toddler classroom.  This year they are both in the primary.  The school has two primary classrooms but no matter how many times I asked, they each wanted to be in the same room together.  They will attend half day sessions for five days per week.

Dressed and eager to go!

I'm grateful to have a wonderful and welcoming school nearby.  While I enjoy homeschooling throughout the year, I adore having the opportunity to expose them to a traditional Montessori community for two months out of the year.  This also gives me a bit of a break, as well as some needed time to prep and plan for the upcoming school year at home.  Obviously, I still have Lockelan with me but I have a feeling that he'll be fairly cooperative.  And of course nothing beats my donuts and yard sale Fridays!!! 

The kids were extremely excited this morning.  Elora kept listing all the wonderful things about her classroom for William.  She told him how much better it is when you "don't have to be in the room with all the babies".  Their morning began on the playground.  I opened the door to send them out and they were gone.  I had to track them down to get a proper good-bye.  It seems like they both adjusted well on the first day given the tracking sheets I received.  Apparently Elora spent a lot of her work period giving lessons to William.  I often have to laugh when they flock to work at school that they normally shun at home.  The first thing Elora handed me was from the metal inserts.  Those practically never get touched here.

Enjoying the playground.

Since this is our third experience, I have clearer expectations.  For the first week or two, the kids will eagerly  leap out of bed and get ready with little guidance.  As they settle in, I will have to get creative in my morning motivations, not that they enjoy school any less.  Then comes the messy part in the middle; the part where I start to doubt my own ability and hyper-focus on my weaknesses and limitations.  This phase usually involves at least one half-cocked plan about putting the kids in school full time with myself returning to work to cover tuition.  My husband is so patient.  Once that passes, things get serious with school planning; in-between donuts and yard sales, of course.

I always try to prepare the kids as the last week or two approaches.  I know they will miss their friends.  Amazingly, as we've talked about what is to come, they expressed how excited they are to come and work with me at home.  Hopefully that will be the case again this year!  It's such a time of renewal and refreshment for all of us.  And I certainly can't complain that when all is said and done, we're on a consistent schedule of rising early and getting ready.

Here's to a lovely summer!

And just in case you're wondering how our schedule pans out for the year...
We generally start in September after Labor Day and wind down in April.  This allows both May and August to be lax with summer school in the middle in June and July.  We usually take a fairly long break during Christmas as well.  
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