Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cycle One and the end of an era?

Lolly has been (sporadically) going to Nido for about a year now.  We don't get there regularly, for one reason or another, but she sure does love it when we do go.  But, this year, we've been having more issues there.  It's not Lolly, she still loves it!  It's the Lolly/Me dynamic.

Nido at the Montessori School we go to is teacher and parent facilitated, and you go to the sessions with your child.  It's for 18 months to 3 years, and they also run an infant program from 0 - 18 months.  It's a beautiful environment, and the teachers are wonderful, so helpful and full of Montessori and developmental knowledge.

The couple of times we have made it this year (we had good intentions, but were sick for nearly 3 weeks this terms with the American plague!), Lolly has been concentrating more on exploring her boundaries with me, than with the environment at Nido.  Cleaning up the work you have just done is central to how the environment works, and Lolly just doesn't want to do it, if I ask her.  This is not about not wanting to clean (she loves cleaning normally!), it seemed to be about testing my limits and her independence, about a power struggle between her and I, than about the task at hand.  I really felt I was getting in her way in the environment, that it was distracting to her to have to deal with me!  She wanted to hide from me, and spent a bit of time running around trying to get me to "chase" her. 

She also seems kind of bored with the material, not all of it, but I felt she was looking for more challenging work to do.  She chose mostly "play" activities, and passed over the puzzles, beading and matching as if to say "I can do that!".

I thought nothing could convince me to have Lolly go to cycle one at 3.  I felt it was too young to be away from me, that we did too much together, and that she just wouldn't be ready for that much separation until 4 or 5.  It has been the major drawback for Montessori education in my mind.

The beautiful outdoor space at Nido.
Until she got to 3.  At Nido, I could just see her wanting more, and more importantly for my side of things, being ready for me NOT to be there, *sob!*  So, at the end of our session last week, I went over to the office to start the ball rolling for her to start cycle one.  I feel very conflicted about it, but my worries have been outweighed by wanting to try the benefits.

As we start, I'm looking at her doing 3 mornings a week of the 5 expected.  You have to pay the full fees, but we're willing to wear that to get a balance that suits our family.  I still think that time with me, and time doing our normal activities with friends or just hanging out is very important at 3.  I'm going to take my cues from Lolly (and me) before moving to every day of the week.  They go from 9 til 12, and there is a parent's room on the campus I'll stay in (expect many blog posts, I'll have time to write them!).  At first they start with an hour to two and build up, taking our cues from Lolly and how she's adjusting.

Now all we need to do is be offered a place!  This is big stuff for me, I'm feeling a bit unsure, but the majority of me feels she will love it and thrive.  If it doesn't work that way, we'll reassess it.  Nothing is set in stone.  See me reassure myself?  :D

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