There has been a lot happening lately - including some major decisions about which I will probably write more later. And I have 2 posts worth of pictures edited and ready to go. But I decided to throw together some random bits and pieces of preschool first - since that is the main story around here most of the time. But since the twins and I made some videos today (I'm sick, and it was a great way to review what they've learned without draining much of my energy), I decided to post a few.
They started singing some preschool songs. Now, they have learned a lot of songs at preschool - songs about the planets and geography. I'm pretty sure they have even learned at least 1 song in French. But I don't know these songs, I just catch bits and pieces of them as the twins sing them while they play. And the twins, apparently, can't remember them without some prompting. So, these are the songs from school that they could remember. Ryan sings "Flag of America" and "Muffin Man" (listen to his pronunciation of "Drury Lane" I love it!). Allie sings "Ring Around the Rosey"...and a song she made up. It was actually difficult to get her to sing any real songs...she only wanted to sing ones she made up!
Their preschool teacher has told me stories of the kids at school. She told me about one day when Ryan was determined to master the counting station. There are 3 shelves and each shelf is a level. They have to pass one level before going on to the next. He was desperate to get to the third level. He passed the first shelf easily and was working on the second shelf. After about 20 minutes, he came to the teacher very dejected. "I made a mistake," he told her. She looked at the worksheet he had been working on and saw that he had indeed made a mistake. She showed him how to correct the mistake and told him he could try again the next day. 35 minutes later he came running up to her shouting, "I did it! I did it all right!" She was confused for a moment because she didn't know what he was talking about and then she realized...he spent almost an entire hour mastering the project so he could move on to the third shelf. She said she had never seen a student spend so long on one thing completely un-distracted by everything happen around him. She has been amazed by his focus and determination.
Allie, on the other hand, is creative and social. The teacher says she flits around the classroom, checking in with other students, seeing if anyone might need her "help." And she loves the art corner. For the first 2 weeks, I'm not sure she did anything but paint. Even now it is her favorite (and we have a growing collection of artwork to send out to friends and family).
Not artwork from school, but we thought this magna-doodle creation was pretty impressive. She calls it her angel fish.
A crucial component of the Montessori philosophy is independence. Their school reinforces this constantly. In fact, parents aren't even allowed past the vestibule so that we don't get sucked into helping the children put on their shoes and jacket or put their things in their backpack. My children have really embraced this "No parents in my school space" thing and started applying it to other situations. Like swim lessons. I used to sit in the chairs by the pool - just feet from their lesson in case one of them needed to use the restroom or ditch their goggles. But now they have demanded I sit in the observation room - high above the pool - because they are fine on their own. While I don't doubt that they are fine, I do miss the time talking with the other moms with whom I've become friends over the past year of hanging out by the pool during swim lessons!
My new view at swim lessons.
My new view at swim lessons.
And finally, although we have worked on letters and their sounds intermittently in the past, in preschool they are really getting them started on reading. They are constantly sounding out words and trying to spell the words they hear. This week, Ryan made a little book of his first reading words. Now, he pretty much has it memorized, but he had to sound it out in the beginning. I thought you might enjoy hearing him read his first words :)
While Allie has not yet made a book of words (it involves no coloring or painting...), she did make a counting book. She wanted a video of her with her counting book...but since it had no words, she decided to make up a story. It gets a little long, but watching her "read" cracks me up.
Warning for Nana: There is a picture of your least favorite animal in the book. I, honestly, watched it 3 times thinking that you couldn't even see the picture (she only says the word twice), but then paid attention to the picture and discovered you could. I was just so distracted watching her face during previous viewings. All that to say, if you just watch her, you might not even notice, but if you are worried and still want to watch at 1:03 skip ahead to 1:43 and you will skip the part with that animal!
As you can see, preschool is going very well. They are having a blast and learning so much!