My three children have attended the Lighthouse Montessori in Portobello. I am not exaggerating when I say that this Montessori is a really special place. Firstly it is a Montessori in more than in name, it is what I call a real Montessori. The owner and staff genuinely believe in the power of the Montessori method and this comes through in their approach to everything the children do.
I know from my 9 and 7 year old that the impact of great teachers is felt long after the child has left the teacher's classroom. My 9 and 7 year old have what I hope will be a lifelong love of learning. Lighthouse Montessori has had a major influence in instilling this.
Our youngest child, Beth, came home yesterday with "homework" for the first time. She read her first ever book to her delighted parents and siblings and is very proud of her achievement.
Besides academic learning something much more important is taught at Lighthouse Montessori. Children learn to respect each other, to have confidence in themselves, to be open to trying something they haven't attempted before and to enjoy learning. My children have all learnt phrases like 'please don't do that, I don't like it' and 'you get what you get and you don't get upset' and use them regularly to deal with conflicts. I can think of one American politician who would benefit from hearing the first phrase!
Occasionally I am lucky enough to get to capture some of the exciting activities the Lighthouse Montessori organises for the children. Recently it was the Halloween party. Sometimes my youngest gets a little upset when my attention is focused on other children. I turned around from photographing another child to see my child's current teacher talking to her (the first photograph). I know that the conversation will have been empathetic without condoning any poor behaviour. I then tried myself to talk Beth around, with not very much success (second photo). Another teacher then got involved and the final photo resulted. I think the third photo when Beth is trying to suppress her giggle is my favourite though. So to the owner of and teachers in Lighthouse Montessori, thank you for looking after my children, for having their best interests at heart, for encouraging them, instilling confidence in them and loving them.
I will never forget what you have done for them.