In a few days our 6 yr old will set his foot in to 1st standard and i have to literally pinch myself to get used to that fact. Time flies so fast i tell you…
As we look forward to his further learning experiences, I can’t help but look back at the first montessori experience our boy had, at Anokhi Montessori. One saturday of March 2019, having visited a few places nearby following different learning methodologies we were interested in, we walked in to Anokhi Montessori ,the fourth on the list.
Talking to the three lovely women there, Aarti- Gayatri – Vidya, understanding their interest, passion and commitment to having a good montessori learning environment for children, seeing their well-set space with all montessori learning materials, we realised that this was the place we would like our boy to start his learning journey.
Two months later, an overwhelmed and emotional me waited in their waiting room on the first day of school, wondering how the kid will adjust to the new arrangement, how would it all go. But it seems like it was just me who sat wondering. Kid came out excited and all set for the next day. In 2 weeks, we transitioned to spending 2 hours a day and by the 2nd month, he was ready for full time for his age group. The three ladies and the supporting staff, made going to school and learning an exciting experience for our son and from what i have observed as a parent waiting by the gate to pick-up, for all the other kids too.
All of us were having a happy ride, which is when the pandemic struck and life as we knew changed forever. It was during these tough times that the educators of Anokhi rose up and did their best possible to give children a sense of normal learning aligning with the Montessori methods while they were learning from home, a herculean task if you ask me.
The kids had their school time with the screens, but Anokhi did something very trusting and highly appreciable then. They sent us montessori learning materials home for a week, rotating them every week, while the kids did their work , practised the techniques with the materials at hand, their aunty guiding them alongside the daily sessions.
The kids worked with movable alphabets, bead chains and addition boards, cubes and puzzles, learning as in school but from home.
The little ones perched in front of a computer slowly adapted to a new way of learning, with one to one sessions, group sessions, and birthday and festival celebrations being online. It was no easy feat. I saw that the kids and their aunties adapted so well to a new normal, found a balance as they did their work, had language time, math time, story time, made art & crafts, danced to dandiya songs, decorated diyas for Diwali and had fun with carols for Christmas. Amidst all the chaos and changes, the pandemic brought in, i am relieved at least some things went well.
Throughout the 3 1/2 years we have been with Anokhi, our son has always been enthusiastic about going to school, to meet his friends & aunties, do his work, have the yummy snacks ( been months since he had his last day at Anokhi but i still hear about the legendary chutney with dosa at Anokhi ), play time, nap time, school stories, basically loving everything about Anokhi.
One persistent question from the kid since last two months after the last day of Anokhi has been also about requests on meeting his Anokhi friends & visiting aunties at Anokhi.
To be frank i am a bit worried if my boy is going to be as happy and would be one with the environment as he was with Anokhi at the new school, for the impression set by Anokhi on his young mind is quite deep, his expectations are set quite high.
We wish you all the best to continue doing what you do, Aarti, Gayatri & Vidya, to making first learning steps a wonderful experience for many more little ones whom you will take under your Anokhi wing.
Thank you very much for making our son’s first learning experience as beautiful as it could be.