18 October 2011

Specials + Extras

I use the words "specials" and "extras" to describe our children's weekly activities. Specials are their regular
in-school enrichment opportunities, and extras are any after-school sports or classes for which I register them.

One of many reasons we chose to send Buby and Bleu to the school they attend is because of the specials. Some Montessori schools offer them and some don't. And since 2011 is my year to
simplify, I've made an effort to step up the specials and cut back on extras.

For instance, we are on hiatus from swimming. It's too much for a weeknight, plus the older two have been in year-round lessons since they were infants and are very comfortable swimmers for their ages. We will pick it back up later to hone endurance, stroke skills, etc. For now I'm happy to have it off our plate. Last year I said yes to too much, and this year I am saying yes to one extra-curricular per child. Their choice.

Here's a brief look at Buby's and Bleu's weekly lineup.

In-School Specials

ART CLASS {DRAWING}: Mondays. Pro art teacher, Mr. Mike, guides the elementary students in illustration techniques, etc. Buby enjoys this one-hour class a great deal. There will be a show this December at a local gallery. Looking forward.

LIBRARY: Mondays. Bleu's class will start walking there every week, and of course I bring the children myself at least once a week.

MUSIC CLASS: Tuesdays. Pro music teacher, Ms. S., brings music to both the primary and elementary classes. She sings and play instruments and delves more into theory and note reading with Buby's group. The much older students play recorders in addition, while Buby and several other first graders focus on...

PIANO LESSONS: Tuesdays. Ms. S. offers private piano lessons in the school's music studio. It's a full-year elective that we pay for in six-week increments. Buby asked and we agreed. He must practice 30 minutes a day, eventually on a full-size piano. My Sweets has plans to bring home the piano he's been storing at his father's, but for now
Buby uses the electric Yamaha leftover from my childhood. Bleu wants in on the action next year.

ART CLASS {TEXTILES}: Wednesdays. Pro art teacher, Ms. J., comes in to lead both classrooms in more art adventures. Oh, and my children will learn to sew before I do!

SPANISH CLASS: Thursdays. Ms. B. teaches Spanish. This is Bleu's first year and Buby's fourth. So far they both enjoy languages. I personally recommend these flash cards!

BOTANY/ART GRANT: Fridays for Buby and Mondays for Bleu. Ms. Shawn is an extraordinarily talented artist, and she's collaborating with the school on a big project that involves botany and the history of our area. Can't wait to see the results.

YOGA: The elementary directress regularly leads the children in yoga.
This doesn't happen at a set time, but Buby loves doing it and shows me every new pose he learns. I wish I had yoga in school growing up, don't you?

COOKING: The entire school works in the kitchen from time to time learning to prepare food. Today Buby and a classmate roasted a squash for afternoon snack.

After-School Extras

TUMBLERS CLASS: Mondays. Ms. Wendy coaches Bleu and her little friend Siena in gymnastics. We go to the best place anywhere. And I'm not just sayin' that because there is a French cafe there with piping hot chocolate croissants.

KINDERMUSIC: Tuesdays. Ms. Claire holds class at her studio for Bear and three other wee ones. We dance and sing and hum and rock and even bang on bongos. It's Ollie's first class without siblings, and he's eating it up.

TENNIS PROGRAM: Thursdays. Mr. John coaches Buby and other 6-9 year olds from all over at a fantastic indoor complex. And I'm not just sayin' it because there happens to be a cafe overlooking the courts that sells gooey fudge brownies. It's Buby's second full year, and he looks forward to it all week long.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Sunday mornings. Buby attends a one-hour class one Sunday a month with his friend Grace. Religious education begins in 1st grade here. Parents are required to attend a separate class at the same time, and there is A LOT of homework.

So that's just a glimpse of what our wee ones are doing on top of their regular language arts/science/math coursework in school. They are outdoors as much as possible at school and home, and we try to end each day with books, warm baths, and a lil' dance party.

Saturdays are purposely void of organized sport for now. We like weekends free to laze around with My Sweets, hike, fish, and road trip with friends.

1 comment:

Grandma DJ said...

totally awesome!! Love you forever