Wednesday, November 19, 2008

vip day

Olivia has been attending Three Rivers Montessori for almost three months now. She loves going to school and it has been by far the best decision we have made for our daughter thus far. She has learned manners, respect for others and how to listen. She has made tons of friends and even managed to master some basic Spanish words! Olivia has always been a good girl but the transformation I have seen in her in three short months has been amazing!

One thing I really like about the school is that there are always events going on, which allow the parents and family members to get involved in the school and the child's education and development. Last month I attended "Mom's Night Out". This was Olivia's opportunity to take me back to school one night to show me her classroom. In Montessori school a child's play is called their work. Olivia spent the entire time showing me her favorite pieces of work, dragging me from one station to the next. I also got to witness circle time and snack time. It is amazing how well a big group of toddlers listen in this environment. They are all calm and enjoying their time together. I was thrilled to be able to see what a "day in the life of Olivia" was like.

Well a few weeks ago my Mom got her turn. It was the school's annual VIP day. Each child is invited to bring their "very important person" to school for the morning. Olivia invited her Nana, and she was super excited about seeing Olivia in her classroom environment. It was a great day for all of the kids and their VIPs. My Mom was smarter than I was and actually remembered to bring her camera when visiting Olivia's classroom.

Of course Olivia made sure Nana saw all of her favorite works too. The children are free to work on whatever they want as along as no one else is currently working with it. They must put one piece of work away before moving onto the next. You would not think that the teachers would be able to get a classroom of toddlers to follow these rules, but they all is fascinating! They also had circle time and got to show off singing some of their favorite songs. Singing is one of Olivia's favorite things to do right now. We sing songs at home, in the car, during dinner. It doesn't matter where we are, Olivia will sometimes just burst into song. I love it! After songs it was time for snack. The kids have a routine that they follow at snack time. They sing a special song during circle time and are then dismissed one by one from the circle to go the table. They must get a place mat, plate and cup. Once everyone is at the table the teacher comes around and asks if they would like snack. They must say either, "yes, please" or "no, thank-you". As you can guess most kids say, "yes, please". Once everyone is served they sing their snack song and then dig-in. Believe it or not all of the children have learned to patiently wait until they can eat their snack. They all sit quietly at the table together and do not bother one another. It is quite a sight to see.

Once they are finished they put their dishes in the sink and can get ready to go outdoors. Although it was chilly on VIP day it was sunny so it was a nice day for the kids to get out and burn off some energy. My mom just enjoyed watching Olivia run around with the other kids. Since the first day of school Olivia has taken a liking to one little girl...Ophelia. She is a few months younger than Olivia and has only been in the county for four months. She is a tiny little girl and she does not talk much yet. My Mom was informed by one of Olivia's teachers that she acts like a little "mommy" towards Ophelia. She does not play with her much but always asks where she is if she cannot see her. She has also been following Ophelia around and wiping her nose! How funny is that? I am sure this little girl is sick of Olivia trying to "take care" of her, but I think it is very cute that she is looking after her at school. Here is Olivia with her BFF...Ophelia.

I think my Mom really enjoyed her day with Olivia. I know I was very interested in knowing what a day was like at Olivia's school. I wish I could see what they are doing more often, but I know that it is important for Olivia to have things just for herself. I am so impressed with the staff and especially Olivia's teachers at the school. Olivia is lucky enough to not only have her main teacher, Ms. Jodie, but two assistants in the classroom on the days that she attends. Ms. Jodie is so patient with the kids. She works very hard to give the kids the tools they need to be independent little people. It takes a special person to do what she does each day!

I am glad my Mom took pictures during VIP day but I realized that the one picture we do not have is of Olivia with her VIP! Next is Daddy's turn. The school will host a "Dad's Night Out" after the first of the year. I know Todd is very anxious for Olivia to show him her class room too. I am so glad we made the decision to send Olivia to Three Rivers. I member wondering when we enrolled her if she was too young to start school. Any questions I may have had have since been answered and I know we made the right decision.

OK, so I have one more thing I want to share with everyone. A few weeks ago we had Betsy & John Photography come out to the house to take Olivia's two year pictures. Betsy has taken Olivia's pictures a few times before. We have always been super impressed with the photos and we were hoping to get a nice family shot out of this shoot this time around. Recently Betsy posted a sneak peek of our shoot on her website. For those of you who have not already seen the sneak peek click HERE. I love what I have seen so far. Betsy is still processing all of the photos from that day and we should be able to see the finished product in a few weeks. I will let you know when they are finished. So Thanksgiving is next week already! I cannot believe how quickly the holidays are approaching. Yikes...there is still so much to do, but we can't wait to share Christmas with Olivia this year!


Tiffany Leininger said...

What a great thing for Olivia to do. She sounds like she is doing really well. I am sure the VIP had a wonderful time spending the day with her granddaughter as well. :)The girls are getting so big, I can't wait until we can get them together sometime and let them play!


Anonymous said...

I loved finding out all about Olivia's cute little school and being a kindergarten teacher I see alot of similar things that I do with my kids. I can't wait to come and see her school in person next week and help serve their Thanksgiving feast. I also can't wait to sing songs with Olivia, I think we may know alot of the same songs!! See ya soon Love Aunt Sue Sue. P.S. I love Ophelia's hair-do...