Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to School: Montessori Style

 
 

September 11th, you are forever etched onto my heart. Before I begin my day, I would like to stop and acknowledge the crushing, senseless losses that people experience every day around the globe. We are all united by "Life's longing for itself."
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Henry starts Montessori school today, and we've been eagerly getting him ready.

Here's what he needs to bring:
  • Soft shoes for wearing inside the classroom (like Robeez)
  • 5 pairs of training pants (he has some from Hanna Andersson, but when he outgrows them, I'm going to purchase them from Target to save some money)
  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 shirts
  • One photo to go above his cubby
He's going to an AMI-recognized Montessori school, so it adheres pretty purely to Montessori principles. For example, here are the guidelines for his clothing:
  • All clothing should be easy to work with, provide comfort, and follow the school's philosophy
  • Youngest children are focused on the active pursuit of functional independence and the mastery of movement. For this reason, we give careful consideration to the clothing that the children wear to school.
  • The powerful, absorbent mind of the child takes in, whole and unfiltered, the images it encounters. The child accepts all and does not discriminate as s/he collects sensorial experiences from his/her environment for the construction of his/her intelligence, memory, choice, will, independence, esthetic sense, and standards of beauty.
  • Elastic waistbands with no snaps or zippers for maximum independence
  • No overalls because they create frustration and require too much unwanted assistance from adults
  • Plain slipover t-shirts with necks that pass easily over the head
  • Shirts and pants that are solid colors, low-keyed stripes, or unobtrusive plaids
  • No logos, ads, pictures, or words
Luckily the school's preference for clothing aligns with our own. Most of Henry's shorts have an elastic waist, and most of his shirts are plain, striped, or plaid. We've been able to purchase most of his clothing at Target, although I've also heard that Old Navy is good. I would buy his clothes from the Goodwill if I had more patience for shopping.

We've tried to prioritize function then fashion from the very beginning because we are trying to help him uncover and grow his most authentic self. We don't want to stereotype him as a "daddy's tough boy" or a sports player. We want him to develop and follow his own interests. We've almost always wanted him to be comfortable above being cute. We want him to care more about what's on the inside than the outside. 

He'll need to bring a bag with all of his stuff each day, so I decided to create a checklist. There's nothing worse than leaving something behind or wasting too much time trying to remember everything you need. I decided to make the checklist as kid-friendly as possible.


We also needed to say goodbye to his old daycare, so I made a photo card for his teacher (and slipped in a $50 Target giftcard--which we thankfully purchased before our stringent budget went into effect) and a laminated letter for the daycare to say thank you and goodbye.

Now all that's left is to label his clothing (I think I'll just try permanent marker initials on the tags for now).

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REMINDER: The next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts September 16. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!



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8 comments:

Sarah said...

Hooray for this new chapter in your family's life! You are making me seriously consider getting HP on a waiting list for a Montessori school...

I hope his first day was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I love that card! Not only the design and photos but the colors are beautifully soothing. Where/how did you make it--DIY?

Anonymous said...

You're so crafty, I bet you can sew his initials on tags in no time with cross-stitch thread.

mamaschlick said...

A friend showed me this. I know you're on a super duper budget so feel free to ignore. The non pre-printed option is cheapest...but not as much as a sharpie! (:
good luck.

Katie said...

With my nanny-child, I would sew strips of ribbon over the tag of the shirt- easy for her to identify, and if you make a note about it on his cubby, easy for his teacher to identify too!

I don't think it's Montessori, but it helped her help herself... so good in my book!

Also, your blog has the HARDEST captchas ever...

Sara E. Cotner said...

Yes, Sarah! We got Henry on the waiting list when he was six weeks old. Pure craziness.

@ Anonymous: I made the card at Walgreens.com for $1.99. So simple and ready so fast.

I love the tag idea, Katie!

mamaschlick said...

sorry--forgot to add the link: http://www.labelyourstuff.com/collections/clothing-labels

K from Down Under said...

Just out of curiosity - why does he need five pairs of shorts and 3 t-shirts each day? I would have thought if they needed spares that they could be stored in his cubby/locker/etc.

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