It’s been a CRAZY month. We are in the middle of trying to sell our house and I’m trying to mentally prepare myself going back to work. But, I think I am more stressed about getting her ready for Montessori School! While getting yourself mentally ready to go back to work is a chore in itself, getting your child prepared for school, especially when they are so young, isn’t going to be easy. For those who have been following will know that my child sleeps A LOT and needs A LOT of sleep to not be a cranky baby. She average 3.5 – 4 hours nap a day + 10 – 11 hours of night sleep. Yes, I’ve been very lucky that she eats and sleeps a lot.
Her first time in the playground
But with Montessori School, for those who are not familiar…. they only do 1 nap. Yes, ONE NAP. I wasn’t concerned her crying when she doesn’t see me, or cries when I leave her… I actually kinda expected she would just do fine. But with her naps…. I knew it was going to be a problem. But her Montessori School (Blooming Lives) has been so so so accommodating. The principle did say she will put her to sleep if she’s really tired since she is the youngest in the class right now.
If you’ve been following my baby updates, I started doing Montessori Learning with her when she’s 6 months. If I wasn’t so lazy or went out… I think she would had been a lot more advanced but, we all know life gets in the way and some days I do rather just enjoy my lunch dates with my mommy friends or just hang out at the mall. But nevertheless, here’s the break down of what she can do so far:
Month 5 – Started Baby Led Weaning
Month 6 – Can pick up food on her own
Month 7 – Drinks from a sippy cup
Month 8 – Placing the ball in a hole
Month 9 – Learned how to put objects back or give back
Month 10 – Eats with a spoon by herself
Month 11 – Learning shapes, she can put only the circle back into it’s circle shape
Month 12 – Almost walking baby! Eats really well on her own. Started to drink from a normal cup.
Here are some tips if you are thinking of enrolling your child to Montessori School!
1. Tour the school
Tour the school and go inside the classrooms and watch how the children interact with the children. This way, you can really get a feel for the environment and the energy of the children. I am a pretty tidy person, so I like to see the school environment very spacious and since I am teaching my daughter the Montessori learning, I want to see the classroom simple yet filled with educational toys. I was invited to observe the classrooms throughout the day, mornings and afternoon to really get a feel of the class.
To be honest, I signed her up when she was just 4 months old baby. I KNOW (TIGERMOM MUCH?!) But, I always hear that there’s a hugeeee waiting list for Montessori School and I just didn’t want to risk it.
I really wanted my child to go to this school, it was just so perfect. They really knew how to look after children and how to educate them well. It wasn’t just the education and how good the children were that impressed me though. Before I had even toured the school, I had heard about all of their good fundraising ideas through a family friend. I loved the fact that the school got the children involved in raising funds, but not only that, I loved that it helps equip them with skills that will benefit them down the road, all while promoting values that will have a positive effect on their future in society. I was just blown away by how much good the school could do.
she was so excited
2. Meet the teachers
It’s so so important to meet the teachers, because they are the ones that will be taking care of your child ALL day, everyday. You want to make sure they are not only qualified but have the characteristics you are looking for as an early childhood educators. Are the teachers all fully credentialed/certified Montessori teachers? Do they have the Best first aid training in Ottawa in case any accidents were to happen to your child? What are the qualifications for someone to teach at the school? While you can learn a lot about Montessori philosophy from books, it takes years of practice and mentorships for teachers to truly master this method of child-centered education. Each classroom should be led by an experienced Montessori teacher. What type of professional development opportunities are offered to the staff? Like their students, Montessori teachers love to learn. A quality school provides support for ongoing professional development opportunities to help their staff stay at the top of their game, making their school a better place for their students.
Her first day of school
3. Make sure the school is safe
That was my biggest concern. I asked about when the doors will be locked, is it all fenced up. What types of safety procedures and protocols are in place.
4. Clean and Tidy environment
I actually fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in. It was so spacious and I love ALL the montessori toys they have for my daughter to learn. They have so many sensory toys and pretty much everything you can think of. They have these tiny beds for the children which is the cutest.
5. Can you envision your child here?
This is the most important question of all. Follow your instinct in making a decision about what school is best for your child and your family. I need to be comfortable with the teachers, principle and Principle Leyla was sooooo warm and inviting I think I immediately fell in love with the place. When I enrolled my daughter she was really young and this school was very very new. So I just took the chance because I didn’t see much reviews of the place, but I felt comfortable enough to enrol her. The Montessori school was pretty much everything I have envisioned. It’s not cluttered, it’s clean, the space is inviting and I also love their philosophy and values. Also, they give you daily report!! How much they eat, nap time, their behaviour… Which is amazing, because you won’t feel like you are missing out.
Where she took her first step
Oh, and she actually took her FIRST STEP in the school (my husband was not very happy….he really wanted to see her first step! But I did caught it on video!) She was SOOOOO excited and curious she walked towards the toys on her own!
6. Set a couple of dates for orientation
Once you have decided this is the place you want to send our child here, set a couple of dates for orientation with the Principle. I actually visited with my daughter once a week for a month before she officially started. Oh I was SO nervous. I didn’t want her to be surprised with the place and I really wanted her to get used to her new school. I would take her there once a week and I would stay for roughly an hour each time. Sometimes it’s in the morning, sometimes it would be during the afternoon. Every time I went, she didn’t want to leave the place ( I guess it’s a good sign!) She legit WAILED her way to her car…..
7. Clothing and Packing
Ok, I was legit stressed out trying to figure out how to dress her. Let me know if you guys want me to do a post on how to dress your child for school. P.S. My child has such FAIRRRRRR skin, I pretty much try to keep the sun away from her at all times. Remember my post at Hawaii? Yes, I want to wrap her in a bubble. Because her skin is so fair, she will burn. Oh, she’s also not good in the heat either….
The school does require her to be outdoors a total of 2 hours a day. *screams* what is this outdoor you are mentioning of?!?!! (I had a mini panic attack when Principle Leyla mentioned they are required by law to let the children be outside (weather permits) 2 hours a day). Can’t she just stay INDOORS, away from the wind, sun, rain, whatever harmful particles that is in the air. Who needs fresh air, can’t they just open a window or something? As you can tell, I REALLY do not like her being outdoors… as much as I’m a very outdoor/beach type of person…. my daughter is not. And, you know all these Chinese grandmothers in my life will KILL ME if I ruin her perfect skin. So, I take extra extra care of her delicate skin.
I’ve been trying to find the sunblock long sleeve for her and I still can’t find it. If you know where I can find one, PLEASE MESSAGE ME!!! You know the ones that “see lais” (old chinese ladies) wears in the summer and on the beach….
ANYWAY, here’s my list (summer) – these are the items that stay at the school:
- 2 pairs of long pants
- 2 pairs of short pants
- 1 long sleeve
- 1 short sleeve
- Outdoor and indoor shoes
- 2 rain jackets
- 2 sun hats
- 1 blanket
- 1 stuff bunny toy (she lovessss this bunny)
- 2 milk bottles (she still drinks milk 4 times a day)
- 1 L of organic milk – you can read about my post here
- 1 sleeve diapers
- 2 package of diaper wipes
The school will let me know if i’m running low and I’ll just refill it!
I’m pretty nervous starting her school, I’ve heard most children get sick the first week – some has it worse than others… so hopefully she won’t be too bad! I’m trying to adjust to my “new” schedule, wish me luck!
Thanks so much for reading!