Yes, school. Yes, she’s two. Yes, it’s super cute. Phoebe has started attending a Montessori preschool here in Rome, full of little tiny Italians who eat, play and sing together for a few hours every morning. Everything is in Italian, which we’re hoping will be a blessing, giving Phoebe the skills to learn a second language even if it’s not one that she keeps up with for her whole life. Speaking of skills, we’ve heard great things about the Montessori method which is described this way on the International Montessori website: “Montessori is a revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children. Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and time-management skills, to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth. “ Sounds good. And it started in Italy.
So far the highlights are the snack, which happens every morning at 10am. When the kids arrive, each one hangs up his or her backpack on the designated peg (Phoebe’s has her name plus a green mushroom, ditto for her drawer which I assume holds her artwork but haven’t been privy to it just yet.) Then each kid places the snack into a big white basket in the corner of the room. Guessing this is to keep the snack time more controlled; just grab each snack instead of spending 20 minutes rummaging through each backpack trying to find a box of raisins.
Then there’s the “work shirt”. The Montessori schools here ask that kids wear a smock. My understanding is that it helps the kids separate school time from play time or the rest of their day. Plus clothes aren’t distracting, though at this age we’re hardly into the “but Jenny has designer jeans!” phase yet. And for this, I am truly grateful. Our time will come. Anyway, it was too hot in Rome to wear another layer for the first couple of weeks but now we’re into an acceptable weather pattern for work shirts. And someone is thrilled.