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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kids Playing Adults

When I was growing up I've heard so much about montessori learning, especially during the time when Miss Saigon superstar Lea Salonga graduated from OB Montessori with flying colors. I didn't know much about montessori system then, and in my mind, it's a school for the elite.

When I became a mom, I started planning for Eone's education. After doing some research on various education methods, it was a choice between montessori and progressive school as both recognize that the learning curve for each child is different. I was particularly attracted by the montessori's concepts of freedom for self-directed learning and learning through experience. This made me decide to enrol Eone in a montessori.

Last school year went by swiftly. It didn't take long for us to realize that we made a good decision in sending her to Morning Dew Montessori. Our daughter, despite only being 2 years old or almost 3, showed significant improvement in her behavior especially around other children in as little as 2 weeks.

Aside from academic development, what I really like best at Morning Dew are the various activities they hold for the children, particularly for the pre schoolers. Mondays to Thursdays are for academic learning while Friday is dedicated for practical learning like cooking, yoga, social graces among others. It was through these Friday sessions where Eone, then barely 3 years old, learned to button up her clothes, tie shoelaces, eat with fork and knife, and set the table to name a few.

So when I received the notice (invitation) that the Pre School Department are having a Tea Party, I got excited. I was certain it will be another fun-filled yet unforgettable experience for my little girl.


The theme was vintage and the kids were asked to wear mommy or daddy's clothes. I couldn't find anything in my closet that could be 'adjusted' for Eone to wear. Since internet is mommy's best friend, I searched for samples of vintage dresses just to get an idea of what type of dress to buy. Luckily, Eone was gifted by Ninong Jeff last Christmas with a vintage-looking (more like retro) dress. Problem solved!

It's not compulsory for parents to come to the party as it is just another school day. Still, since I personally want to observe my daughter in school, I chose to visit. I found out when I was at the school that the activity is to teach the pre schoolers through experience table manners and proper etiquette. I can't help but be amazed by the teachers creativity.


I am a product of private school education from grade school 'til college but could not recall being taught these stuff, at least not formally like how they do it at the montessori. Cool stuff, right?

The teachers prepared for the activity very well, and did a great job in making the experience as real as possible. The children didn't think they were playing.

The table was setup up complete with silver utensils and cloth table napkins and the 'menu' was planned carefully. It was a tea party so tea flowed aplenty!
 

The children played adults for that day. The parents and other observers were not allowed inside the classroom during the lesson proper in order for the kids to concentrate. We were allowed inside when they are about to dance waltz.

Yes, dancing waltz was even taught. And I must say it was the highlight of the event. I can't imagine I'd be watching my child dance waltz this early - she's just 4 years old!



The activity concluded with a chocolate fountain treat. This time they were back to being children again...well, almost as they were given breakable dessert bowls and were reminded to be careful.

Well, chocolate is the best reminder that they are children no matter what. With the chocolate fountain, marshmallows and fruit dippings, no one could act like adults anymore. In a matter of seconds their faces were smeared with chocolate and they were licking their little fingers.


So much for playing adults. It's fun for a day but nothing beats being as careless as a child. What matters is what they learned from this activity and I hope my little girl will be able to apply it outside school. I'm excited for her although I secretly hope she will delay dancing waltz 'til she's 18.

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