Last Day of School

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At the end of May, Anya celebrated her third Last Day of School. It was, in my opinion, the best last day of school yet. This year, when parents arrived they were asked to wait just a wee bit while things got finished up, and then their kids came and escorted the parents across the field to the entryway to the celebration area. Before they passed through the entryway (two tiki torches holding rhododendron blossoms), each family was given a magnet with a kindness quote. Then the kids seated their parents under a tent/canopy thingy that the students had decorated. It was fun, festive, and organized, and we didn’t have to sit in the blazing hot sun for an hour. (That last part was pretty much my favorite.)

After the director did her opening stuff, each class took a turn “crossing over” to the next year. This is a Montessori tradition that we decided to adopt because it is cool. (Although every time I heard someone talk about the kids crossing over, I kept wondering if we needed a bright, shiny light at the end. And maybe a ouija board.) Each child said (or had read by their teacher) three things they had learned that year that helped them cross over to the next level of their education.


On the other side of the bridge, their teacher gave them a gift to thank them for being awesome students.


And no, my kid is not wearing pants. It was another swimsuit day, and I decided that the long shirt was in reality a “t-shirt dress.” We are trend setters here at Loafkeeper. (Also, no, I am not picking my nose. I don’t think.)

When the ceremony was over, there was the traditional potluck, and Anya’s class had a book fair of all the books they made during the year,


and then the music and the sprinklers and the running and the shrieking,


and finally a last minute picture of the Chess Club (this is them all being very, very serious).


I know I wrote an entire post about Chess Club, but I’d like to take a minute here to say how happy it makes me to see my kid in her pink tutu swimsuit in this picture with a bunch of boys. I love that she doesn’t care everyone else in the club is a boy, and I love that all the boys in the club don’t care that she’s a girl. (There were a few other girls in the club, but they didn’t become regulars.) [I totally acknowledge that if there were a Pretty Pink Princess Glittery Tiara Club, she’d be in that, too. It’s good to be well rounded.]

The only rule in Chess Club is…

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Actually there are quite a few rules in Chess Club because…well, chess, you know? You can’t be moving your pieces about willy nilly and you can’t be calling the knights “horsies” or the rooks “castles” or the pawns the “lowly peons.”

Can you believe my kid is in Chess Club? This is the part where it would be fun to tell you about how Anya is a chess genius and how she plans to sweep the world’s chess tournaments in 2013, but pretty much she plays a beginner’s chess game with her buddy E. for about half an hour and then runs around chasing balloons. Also, apparently, there may be cookies involved. (No one told me this, or I’d have joined Chess Club, too.) Balloon chasing and cookies aside, I still think it’s pretty cool.


It all started the Thursday afternoon before the school’s Mardi Gras Ball. (If you haven’t read about it, you should. It was a blast! Don’t worry if you missed it; you can join us next year!) I was running around school putting things together to take over the hall for the party, and Anya stumbled upon Chess Club, where three of her friends were engrossed over a game. Anya asked me if she could watch them, and she did. She stayed the whole time, and afterwards she asked me if she could join. And also, could we get a chess board, please?

A few days later, we had this: No Stress Chess. It’s a beginner’s chess game where the players draw cards to determine which piece to move next. Each card also shows you which ways the piece can move. It’s good for learning, but if you already know how to play it’s a bit frustrating; you see a move you could make, but no, you didn’t pick the card for that piece and so you have to move some other piece and then the King runs away and you lose.

Anya has requested to play chess a few times a week since we got the new board. Sometimes we use the cards, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we play by the rules, and sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay because even though there are rules in Chess Club, we don’t worry so much about them at home. Please, don’t tell them I still call the pieces horsies and castles and lowly peons. Shhhhhhhhhhh!