Today I interview my seven year old son about Montessori. He started Montessori in the parent toddler class and is now in Cycle Two, Montessori Elementary.
How was school today? What work did you do?
School was great. I did an SRA book, I did an hour of it. I also did some French games. Some division with the division board. That's all I can remember.
What does a typical day at school look like?
We do all sorts of things. Like normally I will do a bead chain. On Tuesdays we have French. Wednesday we have sport. Music is on Wednesday after sport. Lunch is at 12 after play. In term one we had swimming on Thursdays. We start school at 9 o'clock and finish at 3 o'clock. This week my job is on language shelves, I have to sort out the SRAs and put the books in order. I put the Grammar boxes in order. I shake my teacher's hand in the morning to say hello and in the afternoon to say goodbye.
Can you tell me who Maria Montessori was and why she was so important? What did she do?
She invented the Montessori school. She wanted peace and she survived World War One and Two. She wanted peace and she never seen so many people dying and fighting. She invented Montessori schools to be peaceful.
Is your school peaceful? What does your school do to promote peace?
On Maria Montessori's birthday we do some peace related things. We do work called folding paper cranes.
You go to a Montessori school. What makes Montessori schools different from other schools?
You can choose your own work and sit with your friends. You can have snack at any time past 10 o'clock. You can work at your own pace and you can work for as long as you want. You can do what ever work you want within the classroom. We don't have homework.
Can you describe your school to me? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
It feels great when you know everybody and know where the shelves are. Like the math shelves are near the door. Language shelves are at the far end at the side of the classroom. The geometry shelves are also near the maths shelves. We have the quiet room in a corner of the classroom. We have (pet) mice at the far end of the classroom. We have the school library across the road past our class neighbour. We have assembly in the hall. My school is beautiful.
What makes it beautiful?
I don't know, it just is.
What do you learn at school?
We learn geometry, language, maths, botany, history and science. French. Grace and courtesy.
Do you like school?
Yes, I do.
What do you like most about school?
Having my best friend and working together, especially with the bead chains.
What do you like least about school?
What are your favourite materials? What are your favourite subjects?
I would say… bead chains. Maths. I also like the SRA book and French games.
What do you do with the bead chains?
I count them and I have memorised all of them. There is a notation of cubes and squares.
How do you think you learn best?
By working in the quiet room with my best friend.
Otis (4 years old) also wanted to be a part of the interview and said that his favourite activities are flower arranging, cutting, drawing, numbers and shoe polishing. I loved all of Caspar's responses, I can't believe maths is his favourite subject and it's interesting to see how important his friends are to him. I'm definitely going to do this again and perhaps interview the boys again next year!