Wednesday, June 4, 2014

School's Out For Summer

Dear Delilah,

First, let's just get it out of the way that yes, I'm a dorky mom who uses cheesy song lyrics to describe things on a regular basis.


Your first experience with formal education, your first school year in a local Montessori preschool, has passed by in the blink of an eye. It seems impossible that 9 months have passed since you pranced around with your pristine pink ice cream backpack and then clung tearfully to your father and I when we dropped you off for your first day. Today, the backpack has been stained by dripping lunches and mud, and has carried in it numerous art projects and other work. Today, you greeted your classmates and teachers with confidence and enthusiasm. Today, your very first summer vacation begins.

Our intuition that Montessori would be a good fit for you has been more than affirmed, and you will continue on in Montessori education next year and likely through at least elementary school. The freedom-within-limits learning environment, the inherent respect for the space and boundaries of others, the inclusion of music, the balance of teacher guided, peer learning, and independence have all come together as fertile ground in which you have truly blossomed.

In this short time, you have learned to spell your first, middle, and last names. You have learned to stand in line and take turns. Your drawings have gone from random scribbles to identifiable shapes and figures. Your stories are complex and imaginative, and the songs you make up have depth and passion. You've come to value cooperation and have developed a desire to help others and work together. The growth in your overall confidence is matched by the growth in your imagination and your sense of humor.

You speak frequently and fondly of your friends and your teachers and have looked forward to going to school nearly every day. You don't seem to believe me that you won't have school this summer, and yet you speak with excitement about starting at your new school next year. Your drive both to learn and to teach others make me swell with pride.

I look forward to what the summer will bring, as you're already helping in the garden and around the house in meaningful ways. I love your love of learning and have hope that the foundation laid in your preschool experience will carry you through a lifetime of seeking knowledge and a greater understanding of the world around you. You've got it by the tail, my dear.



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