Tonight we are flying what are called “carp kites” or windsocks. All of which are made by the Kindergarten graduates! These kind of “kites” are flown every year in the country of Japan on “Children’s Day” during the month of May. This is traditionally a day of joy filled celebration of the life of the child. Just like tonight. Also, just like tonight, it is a time to honor the unique innate tendencies of the child… what Dr. Montessori called “the true nature of the child”.
So what are these special qualities to be honored?
First of all, with very little, if any, adult prompting, we have all witnessed the children display an incredible drive toward functional independence. Such character traits as fearless determination, and perseverance, were often noted with unstoppable “energy” and persistence reminding us that they “needed to do it themselves!”
Secondly, when given the opportunity, the children would spontaneously respond to ANY call for help! This sense of social responsibility and compassion toward others seemed to fulfill a kind of “sweet” need to feel needed, a way to feel useful, and a great desire to feel like a true contributing member of their classroom. (“Can I help?”) In addition, this spontaneous response did not appear to just be exclusive to peers, but also seemed to extend itself beyond the social setting and into the natural world of plants and animals!
The third natural phenomenon that was always a joy to observe, was the children’s immense sense of passion for all of life, noted especially in the children’s intense desire to explore, create, and imagine, and then never stopping until ALL the questions were answered. (“What’s that?, Why?, How?, When?, and Where?”)
Lastly, and the most profoundly, the children tended to manifest an incredible sense of wonder and awe in the SIMPLE… the tiny ant, the budding flower, or a quite space under a tree all seem to satisfy the child’s deep need for simplicity, as well as a true appreciation for the earth’s many “treasures”!
It has been our privilege at Montessori Tides School to be able to observe these special characteristics in the children these past few years, and tonight we thank our kindergarten parents for this GIFT.