Friday, August 14, 2009

"'s summer camp, not summer school!"

As you have seen from my previous posts, Olivia has had a very busy summer. What I did not mention is that she attended a summer camp program at her school for most of it. For seven weeks this summer Olivia was able to maintain her normal school routine of going to Three Rivers Montessori three mornings a week. The difference was that she was able to take a break from learning and have a ton of fun with the other toddler teacher and some new friends. They turned the focus away from teaching new things and allowed the children to enjoy the outdoors and just have fun.

Each week during the summer they focused on different topic. One week was space, the next, the ocean, etc. They would then read books, do art work or play games that centered around that topic. They would also have circle time each day, just like they do during the school year, where they would sing songs, read books and dance. I was told multiple times that Olivia would lead circle time or read books to her friends. (Not surprising!) One day she got very creative and organized a marching band with all of her friends.

During the last few weeks of summer camp the kids even learned a little bit of yoga. One evening at home Olivia demonstrated and asked me to join her in doing the "boat pose". There was another one she called "elephant breath", which is a pose I have never seen in any yoga class I have ever attended. Regardless it was really fun watching her demonstrate all of her poses. I can only imagine how cute it was to see a room full of toddlers doing yoga. The only peak I got was this one picture. That's Olivia on the left...

I know that Olivia tends to be a leader. She likes to help other children and most of the time she does it without being very bossy. Each day the teacher would send home notes about what they did that day. There were many times that I would read how Olivia showed concern for others, or how she helped another friend in class. I think that sometimes I immediately think that she is being bossy, when she is just being thoughtful or helpful. Because she is so outgoing she does tend to be the one that takes the lead or ends up being the center of attention, but I think that the structure at school keeps her from getting too carried away with her "leadership". She has learned how to be compassionate and concerned for others and I just love that about her.

One of the best parts of summer camp is spending time outdoors. They did a lot of swimming...which Olivia loves! All of the kids would jump into the school's big kiddie pool and have a blast! They also spent lots of time on the playground...another one of Olivia's favorite things to do. The would play and create things in the sand, working together side by side. I love to see how these kids have learned to play together without arguing over who's turn it is next. Over the weeks they made pizza, ice cream, and many different crafts. They even had time to do some gardening. Olivia was able to plant some seeds and watch them grow over the summer. She took care of her garden by watering it each day and was never scared to dig in the dirt.

The summer went by very quickly with Olivia taking part in the summer camp program. Not only did she experience new things and make new friends she got the chance to know the other toddler teacher at the school...Miss Alicia. Olivia was not in Miss Alicia's class this past year, but by the end of the 7 weeks you would have thought they had been together for an entire school year. Here is Olivia on the lap of the toddler assistant, Miss Lisa, with Miss Alicia sitting next to her.

Since Olivia is moving up to the Primary classroom when school starts back up in a few weeks, it was kind of sad to see the summer camp program come to an end. Olivia is about to step into a whole new world, and leave toddler-hood behind. Although I am excited for her, it is just another reminder of how my baby is no longer a baby. I am glad she was able to participate in this great program at her school over the summer. Now she gets a few weeks off before she starts a whole new year!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I see such a change in her each time I see a new post, she is really looking like such a little girl now and losing that baby look...I am so happy she had a fun summer. Love Aunt Sue Sue

Anonymous said...

As I have said before the Montessori method is such an excellent way to learn. Summer camp may have focused on fun, but Olivia obviously learned a great deal.

Aunt Chris said...

WOW...what a great summer program. She sure is growing up fast. You can tell by the looks on her face that she's just a sponge right now...soaking it all in!! Can't wait to see what new things she'll learn this year. What a sweetie!!