Monday, August 2, 2010

Making Memories, Montessori (& Malaguzzi) Monday: Summer Camp

Peanut butter cup time...Montessori and Malaguzzi tie-ins and hopefully, some happy memories in the making...
Today, Little Bro and Big Bro are going to their first ever summer camp! Yippie!***
(***At least, we are hoping for Yippie!)

Montessori and Malaguzzi tie-ins:
During this past school year, the boys studied insects, life cycles, and animals and their habitats during our mornings doing a variety of Montessori inspired works related to these...
In the afternoons, they did many hands-on projects that were more Malaguzzi (Reggio Emilia) inspired...
Big Bro did a huge project on the desert, they took art lessons and did several themed projects.
When their art teacher, Miss L, put a list of camps together and one of the themes was Eric Carle Camp, it just seemed like it would be a hit for both boys, so I first asked them if they would like to go (and they both said Yes!!!) and then, I signed them up to attend...

Now that the day is here (today), here is how things stand...
Hopefully, wonderful memories in the making...
Little Bro is very excited and happy about it...
He is so pumped, and is wondering all kinds of things...
I hope they have a pool!
I hope that I get to play...
But then, he added...
Well, I don't know...what do you do at summer camp?
Do we sing camp fire songs?
Do we build a fire?
Do we sleep under a tent?
Are we going to have marshmallows? I love marshmallows!!!
Obviously, his idea of summer camp is more like going to a real campgrounds...
Big Bro, is he happy / excited / looking forward to it?
Not as much...anxious, worried, concerned, analytical? Yes, these words are fitting for him for today...
Big Bro sometimes gets a little nervous / shy before he tries something new.
He had said recently that "It might be awesome", as he likes his art teacher who is running the camp, but this morning, he is nervous about how it will be with the other kids.
He wonders if they will like him, if he will have anything to talk about with them, if they will like the same things that he likes, and if they will want to be his friends.
He also wants to know:
"How much stuff we will have to do, if we get a choice of what to do, and how long it will be..."
So, this morning, while the boys were doing their morning work, I have also had to fill them in about what the summer camp they are attending is (hopefully) going to be like, but this is just my best guess, as truthfully, I never attended summer camp, so this is only my perception of what it could be like...
Reminiscent of when I tried to explain the concept of playgroup to Big Bro a few years back...I never had been in a playgroup as a kid, so
I only knew what I had seen and read about playgroups...
Told them how their art teacher, Miss L, is going to now be doing the job of camp director...
Shared again about how the camp is going to have a theme of Eric Carle books.
We got out every Eric Carle Book we own (and we have quite a few) and then, we talked about the books and what they are about and then, maybe what could be some of the things that they could be learning about from the camp...
So, the boys said,  "Insects, birthdays, and animals...right, mom"?
Told them that from what Miss L told me, they are on the right track...
But that is about it, as I really don't know first-hand what camp is like...
Had to clear up Little Bro's notion of summer camp, and had to calm Big Bro's fears about even going...so it has been quite the morning... 
Memories...
When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of going to camp like my cousins did, but it just never happened...
My family did other fun summer things together, but not camp.
My cousins went to camp for much of their summer break, as my uncle (their father) had died very suddenly of a heart attack at the young of age of 40, leaving behind his wife and six children.
My cousins went to camp every summer, so for most of my growing up, I thought that summer camp was something that you did if your parents needed some time without children.
Since there were six children in my family, I always thought that my mom could have used some time away from us to get a break like my aunt had when my cousins went to camp, and that camp would have been perfect for all of us cousins to do together, as all of the girl cousins could have gone to one camp and all of the boys cousins could have gone to another, but this was not what happened.
They went to camp and we stayed home with my mom and on weekends, my dad, doing fun summer things like swimming, golfing, riding bikes, and going places like the beach...
Probably should have called my cousins to ask them about what summer camp was like, but their camp was a residential camp where kids stayed for several weeks.
The boys' camp is just a day camp.
Am hoping that it similar to how things are when she does her art lessons.
But then again, if it is a little different, that will be fun, too.
I like Miss L, have a great deal of respect for her as a person and an artist  / atelierista, so am pretty confident that it is going to be a blast. Just hard to put something into words for your child other than to tell them that it is going to be a fun time and that they will learn new things.
Malaguzzi:
The Reggio Emilia approach is based upon the belief that the relationships which are built between the child and the educator, between the child and the world, and between the child and other children are essential to the process of learning. The relationship between the child and the teacher should not be one based on unequal power or status, but rather one in which the child is carefully listened to and respected.
To read more: Understanding the Reggio Approach - Children, Approach, Reggio, Emilia, Child, Which, Education, and Parents
Montessori:
Maria Montessori was once quoted as saying:
Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.

Dear Hubby and I feel that their camp director and former art teacher, Miss L, respects our sons and knows her stuff, so we know the boys are in good hands and we are hoping that it will be a wonderful week for them...


Update: 
The boys had a fabulous first day at camp!!!
Big Bro had this to say...
Camp was awesome! It was so cool, in that we got to play the Eric Carle ABC Board Game. Actually, we got to make the caterpillar today and we started to make the collage for the butterfly. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a good book, as it is very entertaining, plus, it is the first book that he made for kids, at least from what I saw and learned today...
Little Bro said, I liked painting and then, painting more in the box. We looked at The Little Cloud and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and they were fine and I had fun.
As for me...
Had some time to myself and got to do some planning for this coming year, which was nice...
Hung out at Starbucks, but really looked forward to going to pick up the boys as it grew closer to the end of camp time.
Can only imagine what it will be like when the boys go off to college, as I felt a little lost without them with me today...
Luckily, we have about 12 more years til that happens!!!
Thanks, Miss L, for a cool first day of camp.
Thanks Eric Carle, for creating such neat books for children. You have inspired so many over the years.
Here is the link to: Eric Carle's blog.
The Official Eric Carle Website, The Caterpillar Exchange, a bulletin chalk full of lesson ideas to tie in with his books
Here is a link to some additional Eric Carle pages...


Please be sure to visit Nicole at One Hook Wonder,
Jody at Mommy Moment
and 
Jennifer at Adventures in McQuill-Land .
They get some great link ups, too, so be sure to check the link ups out as well.



 








Happy Monday!

6 comments:

Pip said...

Really hoping they have a lovely time and that you don't feel too lost with out them!
I look forward to your updates and hearing all about it!
Pipxx

Kylie said...

All of that morning anxiety and excitedness....I am so glad they had a great time. :)

Sandy said...

Colleen, Thanks for stopping by my blog and, specially for sharing those Eric Carle page links. My son will enjoy it.

2 Pequeños Traviesos said...

Thanks for sharing! And thanks for leaving such lovely comments over my blog. Looking forward to learn more about the Reggio approach.
Hugs

Nicole said...

Sounds like so much fun! We love Eric Carle too. :) Thanks for linking up to Montessori Monday!

Jennifer said...

So glad the boys are enjoying camp! We've done VBS, LEGO Camp, and now that Ryan's older, Cub Scout Camp. All have been a blast! If your boys do Cub Scouts, you may actually have the chance to attend camp WITH THEM! Wouldn't that be a childhood dream come true?! I had a great time last year attending with my guys. TONS of fun! Thanks for linking up to MMM again this week!

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