Thursday, January 22, 2009

to montessori or not to?

I'm confused, sad and tired of my buzzing head.

Its been nearly 3 weeks since Anika started going to a montessori program close to home. Its an everyday program for four hours per day. So far she has stayed for the whole time only a couple days, four hours is too long. I've had her in school for 2 hours per day until she gets used to it...

I'm getting mixed signals, some days she comes home singing songs, role playing with her imaginary classmates in the back seat, "Close your eyes Jocelyn until I call your name." She'll say random words like "North America' or "don't forget Antarctica" out of the blue at the grocery store. But every morning she seems SO sad to leave us, she cries every time. They say she stops crying sooner now, within a few minutes. This whole week I have taken to rewarding her with fruit snacks, pretty much like gummie bears after she finishes school. This started because she just refused to get ready for school on Tuesday after a 3 day weekend.

Why is she SO sad? I know its separation anxiety but how do I know its only that? How do I know if this is the right thing for her? Montessori is all about individual child development, independence and exploration. She seems to love the work, she asks me to set up practical life 'work' for her at home. She cleans up after herself, which she never did before and helps me and says, "what a good helper I am".

BUT, is she happy? Doesn't she need more freedom, more paints, more laughing, more talking with her friends, more hugs? Instead of "we don't interrupt our friends when they are working" or "we put our hand up when we have a question." She's a good, sweet child, who has always been self sufficient and caring does she really need to be told the proper way to be 'in the community' at this age? Is the Montessori method nurturing enough for a child this young? Especially Anika who is so attached and still sleeps with me?

Is there something cold about the method or is there something wrong with me? I want her to love her teacher so she doesn't feel 'bereft' when she is away from me but I don't know if that's in keeping with the montessori goal of making a child 'independent'. Am I being foolish by expecting a teacher to be a surrogate mother?

I just want her to be happy.

We've told ourselves we'll give it a month..but if she does adjust will she be adjusting happily or will her spirit be broken?

If any of you have read thus far, thanks for your patience. If you have any words of advice please leave them for this stressed out mama.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a new era

Her lunch box

her back pack

her uniform

my loneliness..poor tiger mama has to bear the brunt of my affection during school

Raising children is the most heart wrenching thing in the baby is growing up too quickly..