Welcome to Little Lambs, Too! We are very excited about the new year. We try to keep our parents informed about monthly events by posting a notice similar to this at the beginning of each month.
Parent Volunteers: We LOVE our volunteers at Little Lambs, and there are many ways to help: in the classroom, on field trips, doing prep work for art projects, sharing a special talent. Parents who would like to volunteer in the classroom will need to go through a brief orientation. If you are interested in helping out, please talk to Mrs. Sallak or Mrs. Ratten. We will begin scheduling classroom volunteers in October.
It is very important that you hold your child’s hand at all times when coming from your vehicle into the building or from the building to your vehicle. Please DO NOT send your child ahead of you to your car. Also, please DO NOT leave siblings unattended in your vehicle. We are required by law to report this. You are welcome to call ahead and one of us can bring your child to you if you have a younger sibling asleep in the car.
Missing equipment: We hope the materials in the classroom appeal to the children, but not so much that the equipment goes home with them. If your child brings anything home from school that is unfamiliar to you, no matter how small, please check with a teacher. Thank you for your help in keeping our “treasures” on the shelf.
Outdoor play: It is our policy to go outdoors for play if it is not raining and if our yard is not too wet and muddy to be safe. Please dress your child appropriately for outdoor play. Your child should wear clothes that are comfortable and safe to run and climb in and that can get dirty during play (no fancy dresses, please). Also, children should wear shoes that are safe for outdoor play, with secure straps (no flip-flops or dressy shoes, please). If your child is not wearing safe clothing or shoes, we may need to restrict his or her recess activities, and we REALLY do not want to do that. Please mark all jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts with your child’s name. Thank you for your help in this matter!
Classroom Activities: This month we will spend a lot of time getting our new students acclimated to the classroom routines and expectations and allowing our returning students to reconnect with one another and to settle back into their space. Please consider not scheduling too much in the afternoons for the first few weeks of school, as this transition can be quite exhausting for the children, especially our new Little Lambs. All of the children will have ongoing training in how to care for their classroom and their materials appropriately and, especially, how to be a kind, friendly part of the class. We will begin assessments on all of the students, which will continue throughout the month, to be used during conferences in October. September will also find us studying many different topics, including apples, colors and shapes. By the end of the month we will also begin a study on mammals. We are so excited to get the school year under way!
Parenting Thoughts: It is our strong desire to be good partners to you as you face the amazing job of parenting, so our goal is to offer monthly tips in our Parent Notes. Please accept these just as ideas to think about as you go about daily life with your children. These tips and ideas come from many years of teaching, parenting, observing and studying, and we hope you may find some of them helpful. In addition, we have a small library of books on children’s development and behavior that you are welcome to borrow at any time.
***SEPTEMBER’S PARENTING THOUGHT***
As the school year begins, many parents eagerly ask their children each day, “So what did you do today?” only to be greeted with “I don’t know.” Please be assured that this is completely normal! There are many reasons why your child may not be sharing a lot of school information with you, including:
“What happens at school stays at school.” That is, some children instinctively divide school and home, and the two don’t mix. For these children, we rarely hear anything about home, and you rarely hear anything about school.
“That’s so 5 minutes ago!” Some children just truly may not remember what they did at school, especially as more time passes. By the time they’ve had lunch and a nap, school is a distant memory for that day.
“How do you say…?” Sometimes children do not remember what the different school activities are called. A Montessori classroom has some specialized equipment and vocabulary that can take a long time for a child to master, so he or she may not be able to name the activities accomplished in class that day.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Your children work hard here every day and may just be ready for a break when they go home. Similar to a parent who doesn’t feel like discussing work at the end of the day, your child may feel the same. It is for this reason that we tend to discourage parents from using workbooks and such at home; children can get weary of it quickly if there is too much emphasis on “academic” activities.
So, how do you find out what your child is doing each day? First, try giving a little time before asking about your child’s day. You could greet your little one with just a hug and “I’m happy to see you,” and then wait a bit before asking much. Often, without any prompting, your child will just have things to tell you on the ride home. Second, you can try asking more specific questions. So instead of “What did you do today?” you could ask “Did the teachers read a book today?” or “Did anything make you laugh today?” (By the way, even if your child doesn’t remember, the answer to the first question is always “yes.” We read several books every day.) Third, if all else fails and you really aren’t getting any information from your child, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We’d be happy to share what your student has been accomplishing!