We had a little girl start at Community Montessori School in September as a 2.9 year old. She also spoke Thai as her first language. She entered the classroom a bit timid, but it didn't take her long to become comfortable with all the processes and routines that are an important part of her day. Although she didn't speak much, it was clear she understood a lot and she was learning so much English just by being immersed with all the other children.
This little girl left the beginning of December to visit Thailand with her mother. She didn't return until the beginning of February so she was out of the classroom for 2 full months. Her first day back the children were so glad to see her! She came into the classroom confidently, but took a lot in that day by observing. The second day she was back, she fell right back into her beautiful work cycle-choosing work, completing work, returning work and moving onto to her next work choice. It was clear she remembered so much for her classroom experience even being away from it for 2 months.
Watching her re-acclimate so seamlessly and joyfully, made me realize yet another reason why the Montessori classroom is so amazing. She was able to re join the environment without missing a beat, without having to learn so many new things that she 'missed', without having to meet new students/teachers. Her brain and spirit which had gone through many beautiful processes and routines that are supporting her developmental, cognitive, and social growth were in process and ready to welcome her back for her to join as she wishes. What a gift! We have also seen a huge growth in her English speaking skills-she's now engaging more with children and understanding and answering questions which also shows that even though she spent time in Thailand speaking her native language, what she had learned prior and currently unfolded very soon after she returned.