Two weeks ago, Theory started at a new school: Kumara.
Old Firehouse School, where Theory was, has been a terrific experience. Theory loves her teachers and the other kids, and we have met some wonderful parents. But Win is itching to go. He is so sad whenever we drop Theory off. He has always been very independent and social, so we are very excited for him to have the stimulus.
But Old Firehouse only has enrollment in the Fall. So Win was going to have to wait almost an entire year before he could go, given his October birthday.
The only option was to have them at two different schools – a logistic nightmare. Besides, they are beginning to bond and play together and we wanted an environment which at a minimum would foster the possibility of being together during school.
So reluctantly, at the suggestion of several folks including the Old Firehouse School director, we visited Kumara. Thrilled we were. A big outdoor space with gardens and tree houses and a boat. Tara and I each went separately. I watched quietly both the chaotic open play as well as the more focused classroom time. Also Reggio based, the instruction is heavily activity-driven and self-motivating. I think that the range of offerings is going to suit them both really well.
Another strong attraction was the mixed age model. Here is a great article on the benefits of mixed-age play: The article continues here, and ends with this third installment. Peter Gray is the author. Here is a link to a number of his articles in Psychology Today:
I have witnessed how much both my kids become engaged when there are opportunities to interact with both younger and older kids – and the very different qualities of those interactions. It allows them to both stretch and push at times while also exercising their more nurturing sides.
What I like about Kumara is the supervised opportunity for interactions across age while them having more age-oriented teaching moments. The youngest cohort, Win’s group, has an outdoor space that is dedicated, allowing them a safe space if need be.
So we are all very excited about the transmission.