Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Julians first day at Sunnyside Montessori Mennonite pre-School

What the...?!!? no, not me, I'm not gonna go to school!!! But he did and he has been liking it so far as well as being very happy to see Mama when his 3.5 hour day of school is done!
Sunnyside is a neighborhood in the Southeast section of Portland, spanning between SE Stark St. and SE Hawthorne Blvd. (north to south) and from SE 28th Ave. to SE 49th Ave. (west to east). Sunnyside is sometimes referred to as Hawthorne/Belmont, for its two main commercial streets, although technically the unofficial geographical area known colloquially as Hawthorne borders both Sunnyside and Richmond neighborhoods.
Sunnyside is bordered by Laurelhurst on the north, Richmond on the south, Buckman on the west, and Mount Tabor on the east. Because of its Victorian architecture and bohemian culture, Hawthorne/Belmont is often compared to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district.
Mennonites started out as Anabaptists that is against baptism of infants on account of their not being able to conscouisly choose their faith and belief; this was a radical idea back in their beginnings and they experienced much persecution.
The first permanent settlement of Mennonites in the American Colonies consisted of one Mennonite family and twelve Mennonite-Quaker families of Dutch extraction who arrived from Krefeld, Germany in 1683 and settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Among these early settlers was William Rittenhouse, a lay minister and owner of the first American paper mill. This early group of Mennonites and Mennonite-Quakers wrote the first formal protest against slavery in America. The treatise was addressed to slave-holding Quakers in an effort to persuade them to change their ways.
Today they are amoung other things big on pacifism and disaster relief. As of 2003 there were about 1.2 million Mennonites with about 444,000 living in the United States.
Introduction to the Methodology in Practice
The Montessori Method is a teaching methodology developed in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori. With the opening of her first school in 1907 in Rome, the term Montessori became associated with schools that use Dr. Montessori’s educational approach to children as well as her precise educational materials tailored for children’s developmental needs.
Dr. Montessori’s original school was for the preschool aged child, but she later extended the methodology for children through high school and a number of schools around the world implement her approach to education for a wide range of ages.
“From the moment the child enters the classroom, each step in his education is seen as a progressive building block, ultimately forming the whole person, in the emergence from childhood to adult. All focus is on the needs of the child.”
One distinguishing feature of Montessori at the preschool age is that children direct their own learning, choosing among the sections of a well-structured and stocked classroom including Practical Life (fine and gross motor skill development), Sensorial (sensory and brain development), Language, Math, Geography, Science and Art. The role of a teacher is to introduce children to materials and then remain a “silent presence” in the classroom.
The Montessori philosophy is built upon the idea that children develop and think differently than adults; that they are not merely "adults in small bodies". Dr. Montessori advocated children's rights, children working to develop themselves into adults, and that these developments would lead to world peace.
The Montessori method discourages traditional measurements of achievement (grades, tests) under the premise that it is damaging to the inner growth of children (and adults). Feedback and qualitative analysis of a child's performance does exist but is usually provided in the form of a list of skills, activities and critical points, and sometimes a narrative of the child's achievements, strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on the improvement of those weaknesses.
(all information copyright wikipedia 9/12/07)

On his second try he got the righht hook for his backpack and coat!

the school settting child-focused or not is a HUGE deal for Julian- he is excited but also overwhelmed....glad it is only 3 days a week and 3.5 hours a day for the first year!!!

singing some traditional folk songs during circle time that I started listening to with Julian from the Pete Seeger Compilation CD I made for him!

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