Mom's Night at School: A Highlight of the Year
Mom’s night has quickly become one of my favorite nights of the year. After my first experience last year, as soon as the school calendar came out, I marked the date for both Mom’s night and Dad’s night on our calendars this year.
Before Mom's Night, students worked with their teachers to pick their favorite lessons they planned to share with moms on the special night. I wish I could bottle the anticipation from the children, especially my own child.
On the much anticipated night, we arrived, hand in hand, and Chapin was eager to get back to school to share her work with me. We were greeted by her teachers, and then handed the card on which her teacher had written the lessons Chapin had chosen to share with me: Flag Lesson, Metal Polishing, and Tea Setting.
The energy in the room was exciting. All of the students eager to share with their moms their daily work. All the moms (and two dads) anxious to support their children and learn more of what they do each day. I looked around in amazement as children were so eager to work.
First, (and possibly the hardest lesson of the night): when an activity is being used by another student, we must find another.
All three of Chapin’s lesson choices were being presented by other students to their moms, so she had to choose a lesson not on her list. This is challenging for a child who doesn’t adjust quickly, but she handled it with ease. Her teacher suggested Golden Beads.
Carefully, Chapin unfolded the felt. She laid out all of the boxes of beads, and methodically began placing individual beads on the felt, followed by beads of 10, 100 and finally 1,000. Then, she took the numeric cards and placed them in order 1-10, then by 10’s and 100’s. I was amazed. I sat in pure admiration with a grin from ear to ear and enjoyed the pride she was radiating.
She put every piece away methodically so we could begin the next lesson, and she chose the Maze Lesson. She brought each piece over to the carpet and placed them down just so. Then, she walked through the maze ever so carefully. Once complete, she then said it was my turn. So, eagerly, I took off my shoes and walked around the maze and back out.
Again we put the lesson away together, followed by a rapid fire of lessons in a row. First, she chose the Clothesline Lesson. She briefly started, then put it away. Then she chose the Doll Lesson, carefully taking each one apart, putting in order, then putting them together. Then she chose the Water Dropper Lesson. She put her smock on, laid out the lesson, put a colored drop of blue in one bowl, then began using a dropper to transfer one bowl of water to the other. Again, everything was done methodically with great care and attention to detail—and pride.
The evening was topped off with the tea setting lesson, where she took her time to complete each step. First, she brought over an extra stool next to the table. Then, she brought over the parts of the lesson. She laid out the tablecloth, folded a napkin for each of us, set the cups and saucers, plates and spoons, took the teapot for hot water then placed the tea bag in to steep, and finally went to a jar and used tongs to take out pretzels as snacks for us both. Together, we sipped tea. I was blown away.
Finally, she showed me the flag lesson, one of the lessons on her card, and I was completely amazed that she was coloring various country flags. By that point, both of us were literally on cloud nine and didn’t want to leave (this, by the way, was already an hour past her usual bedtime!).
Yes, I’m a proud mom. Every mom (and dad) in the room was proud of their child. The energy in the room was astounding! If we could all be so fortunate to spend a couple of hours completely being led by our children’s enthusiasm and mastery.
Here’s what I took away—my lessons from the evening:
- Children are guided by their inner teacher, and their enthusiasm for their work is demonstrative of this.
- Children are more adaptable than we might give them credit, even if their temperament tells us otherwise.
- The more we can allow our children to share with us, the more respect for one another we have.
- Not interrupting and telling our children what to do is hard. And yet, so important for their self-esteem and ability to grow.
- Taking the time to let our children share with us what THEY do every day is more important than we may realize—take the time, not just on mom’s night, but every night.
- Although we can’t bottle the energy and enthusiasm for the night, we can hold it in our hearts and cherish it every day. We trust that their love of their “work” will continue to grow.
We are now counting the days until Dad’s night!