This morning my biggest girl started 1st grade. She moved from the primary classroom to an elementary classroom at her Montessori school, which means she will be learning alongside not just other first graders, but also second, third, and fourth graders. After a final summer in a preschool program, Nora was more than ready to be around older children. She waited anxiously for this day to come and was up at the crack of dawn this morning, dressed and ready to go. Then, for the first time in her schooling life, I drove up to a drop-off lane, let her out of the car, and watched her walk by herself into the building – no parent signature needed. I’ll admit, it seems like a silly milestone to lament over, but not having to sign her in or out means that she’s getting so big! (Oh, mom woes.)
As nervous as I may be about my innocent little not-quite-six year old spending her school days in the company of children ranging in ages from 6-10, we also love the the Montessori mixed-age experience. This year will be a big year for her – I can’t wait to see how she’ll grow and what she’ll learn, not just from her teachers, but also from the other children.
By the way, this picture is a good image of one of the things we love about Montessori – no homework! Most days, Nora will only need to take a lunch box to school and no backpack because she will not be bringing homework home. Wondering about the shoes? In Montessori classrooms, children change out of their street shoes into indoor shoes when they arrive. She’ll leave those shoes at school to wear all year while in the classroom.