Parent Perspective- Freedom to Move
I like to joke that my son hasn’t stopped moving since I was 7 months pregnant. It’s only a small exaggeration. He has energy to spare. But he’s also bright, curious and a sponge for soaking up the world around him. I knew that when he went to school, he would have trouble sitting at a desk. I dreaded it because I knew he would get in trouble, not because he’s a bad kid, but because he has trouble sitting still.
When he was 3 ½, I was looking for a camp for him to attend. It so happened that The Hillsboro School was offering camps at that time and had an Open House the next day. We arrived and walked into a church basement. But not just any basement. It was an absolutely beautiful room with floor to ceiling windows, neat shelves full of colorful materials and plenty of warm smiles. My son went straight to the shelves, eager to see everything on display. His future teacher sat on the floor next to him and explained what he had chosen and what to do with it. His first Montessori lesson.
Children of all ages were there. An older girl asked if she could teach and was told she could. Later my little 3 ½ year old boy was playing with children much older than him and they were including them in their games. There was no separation. No “We don’t play with little kids”. The parents and teachers I spoke with were so passionate and wonderful, that when I got home I announced that our son was going to school (to the dismay of my husband)! It’s a decision we haven’t regretted.
That was two years ago and since that time, our son has grown in leaps and bounds. Not only can he read at a much older grade level, but he’s confident and independent. He takes care of younger classmates by helping them put on their shoes, teach a lesson or read them a book. He’s doing multiplication as well as learning to water the plants and clean-up after himself. Montessori gives him the freedom to move and the freedom to learn without limits. He and the students at Hillsboro are learning leadership and compassion in authentic ways. They learn that they are capable. They learn that they are part of a community where there are no “smart kids” or “dumb kids”, just kids- all learning together.
Now that he’s in Kindergarten at Hillsboro, I don’t have to worry about if he’s stuck behind a desk. His teachers see his need for movement and he has the freedom to choose whether he wants to work on the floor or at a table. With a community that knows him and supports him, he is absolutely soaring in school. We couldn’t be happier.