Today was Dad’s Day, the yearly attempt on the part of Friendship Montessori School to make fathers feel less excluded by the fact that the actual Father’s Day happens during the summer when school is not in session. Moms get a fancy tea in the spring (I know, because I went last year as August’s “mom” while Robbi mommed it up with Alden and Kato in the primary classroom), so every November at FMS, dads get to come spend the morning checking out the happenings.
With two boys at FMS this year, we needed two dads. Fortunately, Robbi’s dad Bob lives just down the street, so we had an extra to bring along.
We dads do not get tea, mind you. Nor do we get racks of ribs, as I might prefer. But we do get homemade muffins. We were greeted by the sight of them as we walked through the door, though we were not permitted to actually eat them until later in the proceedings. There is a rational order to things in the Montessori world.
Let it be known that we felt extremely welcome.
The instant we walked through the door, the kids dived right into the “works” that are the backbone of the Montessori experience. Kato busied himself with removing dried edemame seeds from their pods.
And August used a tiny spoon to lift and place tiny colorful puffball apples on trees of the corresponding colors.
Then, Kato and I headed to the “quiet corner” for a little reading.
The boy is really figuring it out. It was so exciting to sit there as he read me a story. Even if it happened to be a tragic story about a depressed cat with no automobile suffering the indignity of watching an arrogant rat in a top hat flaunt his dope ride.
Meanwhile, August was busying himself with magnets.
At a certain point, it was time to eat the aforementioned muffins, but this led to a minor crisis as Kato discovered that raisins were involved.
Though not typically a fan of raisins, I was undeterred by this discovery.
Kato’s protest stirred the sympathy of his teacher Holli, who provided a raisin-free alternative.
His objections quashed, we settled in for a delicious snack, complete with apple juice.
And general goofiness.
After snack, we returned to the learning.
Kato’s teacher Kelly helped us set up a “work” aimed at building comprehension of naming and building large numbers by using a series of beads to represent values the various digit columns.
I spent two years in a Montessori school when I was Kato’s age, and the thing I remember best are the beautiful objects used to explain the concepts and reinforce the learning.
At some point, Augie wandered over with some fabulous rubber band contraption he had been working on with Bob.
But never one to linger on his accomplishments, he then headed across the room to make clay pinch pots with FMS’s resident ceramicist Amy.
Meanwhile, Kato got medieval on the Lite Brite. What first seemed to be a random arrangement…
…turned out to be quite deliberate in the end.
It was another wonderful visit to this little school I’ve come to love so dearly and appreciate so much.
The primary mission of FMS is to give every child a positive first experience with school, so that wherever they go thereafter, they have that strong foundation on which to build. I can see FMS working in all three of my kids every day: in Alden’s courage and self confidence, in Kato’s voracious curiosity, and in August’s willingness to hug anyone at any moment of any day.
They love to learn. They love to live. And they sure do love their school.
Thanks Holli, Kelly, Leah, Amy, and Jill for making today—and every day—so special for us and our kids.