By Brian and Leslie Golemme, Inly Parents
As parents new to not only Inly but also the Montessori Method, we felt some trepidation as we dropped our kindergartener off for his first day at Inly. Would Cooper be challenged and grow, or would he take shameless advantage of the freedom offered and do only the things that he wanted to do? Would he master all of the skills of kindergarten and beyond? Or would he simply become the best block tower builder ever? We eagerly awaited the first reports from both him and his teachers.
Early indicators were positive on the home front. On the second day of school, Cooper was ready early and waited by the door, ready to go. A good sign, but he could have been eager to get back to his block tower. Early reports were also good on the school front as his teachers talked about how well he fit in and how much he was enjoying it.
Over the subsequent months, we relaxed more as we heard about all the great things that he got to do at school – whether it was Spanish, Chinese, working on his math stamps, learning about the weather or planting gardens. Over the course of the year, we were amazed at the breadth and depth of his knowledge in many areas and also the abilities he demonstrated in core skills like math and reading.
Because Cooper is on the old side (October Birthday) for his grade and has two older siblings, he doesn’t often get a chance to interact with younger children. The multi-age approach at Inly enabled him to develop his nurturing and leadership skills and to work patiently with the younger kids, rather than always being the one trying—and often succeeding—to keep up with the older kids. The Inly experience has brought out a side in Cooper that we see only infrequently at home.
As the school year winds down, we reflect on Cooper’s CH1 experience with great satisfaction. Our son has grown in so many dimensions—academically, socially, physically and behaviorally. When you hear your kindergartener sincerely recite the Ghandi peace greeting (the same child that you have to get to stop fighting with a sibling over a crayon), you know that your child has grown in exciting and unexpected ways. As the year progressed, we realized it was less about milestones and benchmarks (although they are important) and more about the person Cooper is becoming.
We look forward with anticipation and excitement to see what his next year at Inly brings for Cooper and for us.