“We’ve never looked back.”
I was apprehensive in the beginning about starting my daughter at a Montessori school as I knew very little about Montessori methods, but after speaking with a few parents and delving further, I was put at ease. The final decision to attend was made, though, after A shadowed just prior to the first grade. She was so excited on what she experienced, and we’ve never looked back. There were so many rich experiences, from academics to field trips, to middle school travels, but above all, the desire to learn is just the “icing on the cake.” Thank you for making this school possible!
“Did I mention how awesome the kids are?”
Words cannot convey our gratitude nor can we thank you enough for allowing L the opportunity to be a part of GSCM. The students, the faculty, and families are amazing! We are blessed to be a part of it all.
L is doing wonderfully and has made several close friends! Did I mention how awesome the kids are? She loves going to school and looks forward to it every day. It has been wonderful seeing her thrive at GSCM. It is a great blessing to us and with a content heart that I know L has another place to call “home!”
“You know they can’t start without me.”
There was a conflict in our schedule this winter. It was the week of the Advent play at school. but this particular night clashed with piano lessons for my child. I sat down with her to discuss choices. Would she rather miss piano lessons or participate in the Advent play which was an optional event at school. “But I have to go” she replied in earnest. Well I thought, she seems so enthused, she must have a speaking part. I thus posed the question. “No” she replied. I am in charge of putting baby Jesus in the manger.” “Oh”, I thought, “she’s just the stage hand.” I was disappointed for a moment but then I thought, “How marvelous. This school has made my child feel special.”
You see although I think my child is wonderful she has as yet not come into her own. She does not outwardly demonstrate any obvious talents. She doesn’t read so well nor does she play a musical instrument. She could thus have been easily passed over. However somehow GSCM made her feel that not only did she play an integral part in this event but, that no matter how small her part, she was needed.
To me this is what GSCM embodies. Not just including everyone but having everyone feel good about what they contribute.
My response was a few seconds delayed when I said, “Then of course you must be there”. To which she replied, “You know they can’t start without me.”
“Thank you all for the significant role you have played in our girls’ Catholic education”
I had a quiet moment this morning and wanted to thank you all for the significant role you have played in our girls’ Catholic education so far. We took an impromptu trip to visit Notre Dame yesterday and after the game we went to Sacred Heart and the Grotto. Not only were the girls appropriately respectful, they walked Paul and I through –in detail– the stations of the cross (even pointing out the nuances of Pontius Pilate washing his hands in the background, to symbolize “its not my fault”). Then they recognized two paintings of Our Lady of Lourdes and Guadalupe. Finally, after lighting candles and praying for their family, friends and school, we got into an impromptu conversation with sweet senior priest at the Grotto and they proceeded to tell him the whole story of Our Lady of Lourdes and that M’s new classroom is named after her. I was very touched, impressed, and grateful for GSCM!!
“My son has simply blossomed over the past three years.”
The benefits of Montessori in grades 1-3 are exponential in my mind. The strong foundation from the pre-primary years enables students to glide past the logistics of the classroom and get to work. My son has simply blossomed over the past three years. Even he knows it. He is really able to take charge of his learning and build on past instruction in a Montessori environment. There is no down time in the Montessori classroom, so he is always learning. If he gets stuck on something, he is able to move on to something else and go back when he is more open to trying again. In this way, he has come to master so much more material than would have been possible in a traditional classroom setting. On top of this, he takes ownership of his learning and is intellectually and personally engaged in his work. I think the Montessori classroom has given him an understanding that with more freedom comes more responsibility.
“A small but satisfying meal, Mom”
For some months now I’ve been meaning to write and thank you for the wonderful experience you gave to the First Communicants last year. Having experienced some of the retreat at the Holy Spirit Center with you and the children, I now can appreciate how much work goes into making this experience for the First Communicants. It was powerful for L and for our entire family.
However, I don’t think I realized just how powerful the First Communion experience was for L until a few weeks ago. After we received the Eucharist at Mass one Sunday and returned to our pew to pray, L smiled contentedly at me and whispered, “A small but satisfying meal, Mom. That’s what Jesus gave us.” At first I laughed when he said this and thought it sounded somewhat inappropriate. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought he was exactly right. I was surprised that my 9-year old son could appreciate the nourishing essence of the Eucharist more than I could. This ability to reflect on the gift that Jesus gives us in the Eucharist and to be able to put it into words of gratitude — that is something L has learned from his time in the Atrium and in the experience of the First Communion retreat. Thank you for giving that to L and to all the children lucky enough to experience their First Communion with GSCM.
“I cannot say enough about GSCM”
Going into Lower Elementary my children were able to continue with their love of learning as they progressed in their education. Sitting at a desk listening quietly was replaced with hands on interaction propelling their desire to seek further and discover even more than the materials they were presented. My daughter loved first grade right away and continues to feel this way during second grade. I am amazed at what she has learned in the last year and a half! Because the teachers make the learning fun the children want to learn more and are given the flexibility to do so. If they fall behind in a subject they are given the time to learn it – at the same token if they are ahead of their level they are given the option to move forward. I also feel that the classroom teaches the children to be responsible for their own learning. When my child started the first grade we were really nervous about the fact she would make speeches in front of the class – I thought that maybe first grade was too young. I was wrong about this. Although it was frightening at first, my daughter has grown more confident in this area. Many children don’t start public speaking until later on – I am very impressed with all the children. I cannot say enough about GSCM – the individualized attention and the comfortable, caring atmosphere has enabled my child to not be afraid to learn. I can’t think of anywhere else that I would rather send her.
“First Communion was far beyond my expectations.”
This note is long overdue, but while on vacation last week, I had some time to reflect on what a wonderful experience C had making his First Communion. The whole retreat experience leading up to the actual First Communion was far beyond my expectations and I wanted to thank you so much for putting it all together. I know it had to be a lot of hard work to plan the whole experience and I want you to know it made a huge impact on the spiritual development of C. I think you need to know that – you truly are making a huge difference, not only in C’s life, but in all the lives of your students at The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori.
My wife and I also realize how blessed and fortunate we are to have leaders like you guiding C and teaching him the great gift of our Catholic faith. We cannot thank you enough! It is very comforting for us to know that the Christian values and ideas that we try to teach C at home are being enhanced by you and the rest of the staff at The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori. We truly admire and respect you for being a Good Shepherd to C and all the students at The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori. Thank you so much for all you do.
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