is the “not give up” attitude. I learned a few things from Dave’s yearly breakfast seminar, last year was Dave talking about the Montessori “explore” approach, this year was about digital media by Dr. Sucre (a parent of Hope Montessori student). The topic is related to the “no TV watching” as shown in the Hope Infant Toddler web page (written by my daughter’s teacher). To be honest I have not read all the materials and have not followed all these good advice strictly, but I was trying my best for the most part
This reminds me of couple things: I remember Woody Allen once said 80% of the work is to show up. I also recall the CIO of the company I work for recently said: show the customers you care (IT is very customer focused in my company).
Yesterday in the parenting work day, our daughter started crying for some reason, which is a big embarrassment for my wife, she has a thin skin by the way. They wanted to go home. So we started driving while I was hoping they can change their mind. On a red light we saw a friend’s car, I know they are coming to the event as their son is in the same class as my daughter. So I tried to drive back. Things turn out ok eventually.
My daughter has been to the Montessori Toddler program (Hope Academy in Creve Coeur) for over a year, and I think I am becoming a Montessori dad. This is a bit abstract, but I like to list a few examples about the school and teachers, and show why they are great.
This is the first US pre-school I have first hand experience. I never went to pre-school when I was young, I was raised primarily by my grandmas. There was an old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Hope Montessori was pretty much organized this way. We increasingly live in a consumerism society, but that I mean we run around for work and material things, and lose family time and equally important, quite time for reflection and time with friends. Hope has a few interesting activities each semester to bring kids, teachers and parents together. In the fall there is the parent work day. Today is the second parent work day we attended, while I had to admit I didn’t contribute much building the wooden slide. Our daughter did have fun painting the climber. Last year we helped out in the kitchen.
There are 4 fields trips each year: farm field trip in fall, magic house in winter, botanical garden in spring, and a state park trip in summer. Dave (the director) always makes sure the food are good in those field trips. Now when I think about it, the activity fits the season very well
Now a few words about the teachers. The most important thing is they love/care the kids very much. I am 100% sure my baby is in good hands when I drop her off in the morning. We also learned some parenting lessons from the teachers, tell the truth (be honest) to the kids, encourage her use the words, and recently, how to deal the emotion problem with the kid. One interesting thing is the teacher told my daughter we all have moms and we all miss mom (when my daughter cries for mom during nap time). Kinda cute, isn’t it?
(Update 10-01-2011) We went to Youyou’s school this morning for “Parents work day”, basically they have some small playground improvement projects (painting, making a new climber), and in the lunch time, we have a BBQ and potluck. The ethnic diversity of the students/parents background surprised me a bit, reminded of Rolla (a lot of Indian and Chinese faculties and graduate students). It took some efforts to pull together such an event, thanks to David and his staffs
(Original) Youyou is a 18 month and 18 days old. She started the program on Aug 29, and 4 weeks has passed. She has transformed from “crying when mom left her in the school” to today “she no longer cries when mom drop her”.
She can say quite a few Chinese words and some sentences. She has good memory probably due to genetic reason (we are both good at memorizing things). She also can feed herself a bit, and be much more proactive when playing with us. For instance, she came to grab me for dinner when I was on phone last Sunday evening (mom did not ask her). Not to mention grabbing my glasses (she is very fast). When I go to work, she will usually say “Mao Zi” which means “wear a cap”, and say “bye bye” (which she learned a while ago).
I attended a class offered by David (the head of Hope Toddler program) this morning, Dave is quite enthusiastic and I think the No. 1 thing for me is learn, because kid is learning from parents, all the time.