Monday, March 09, 2009
This morning, I met with Ellie's teacher for a two week progress report on how Ellie is settling in to school. She could not have had more glowing things to say! Although Markus reminds me that flowery language is to be expected with Nigerians (Ellie's lovely teacher is Nigerian), the underlying message could not be missed: Ellie is doing beautifully! She has taken to the Montessori classroom like a duck to water, as we knew she would! She never gets tired of learning new things, is so determined that she keeps trying even when things don't go her way, has an astounding vocabulary, and generally knocks her teachers' socks off. We are not at all surprised to get such a great report, but of course we are so proud to hear what a joy she is to have in the class!
Already at home, we've observed some changes in her behavior that definitely come from her time at school. She has assumed full independence for getting dressed in the morning: going into her room on her own, choosing her clothes out of the drawers, putting away her pjs, and getting dressed as independently as possible. She offers to share food as she brings it to the table. The other day, she carried a bowl of blueberries to the table, but she walked around and offered some to baby Stephanie and to Papa before setting it down and getting into her seat. In the past two days, she has started emptying the dishwasher, particularly the utensils. Outside the home, her sociability has increased dramatically. When we are out and about, it has been her norm to shy away from strangers, even other children. Since she started school, she asks other children their names, how they are doing, etc. When we parted from friends after ballet class yesterday, she waved good-bye and shouted, "Have a good week! We'll see you next time!"
The best was yesterday afternoon when I picked her up from school. I always arrive a bit early, when the kids are out on the playground. She always sees me coming and runs over to give me a huge warm hug. Kids cannot be dismissed early, so she typically waits with me and baby Stephanie, snuggling both of us over and over in raptures that we came back. Yesterday afternoon, she came running as soon as she saw us walking through the gate, as usual. She threw herself at my legs, wrapping me in a huge hug and giving me a wonderful loving smile. I told her I was going to sit down and wait for the bell, and she said she would be over there playing with her friends under the tree...and off she went!
This is only week 3, but we know this school is the right choice and the best place for her. We are so proud of our smart, strong, growing girl, and we can hardly wait to see what she will do next!