Outside my bedroom windows, along the back property line where my neighbor’s yard begins, I can see the four cherry laurel trees we planted a few years ago. Three of them are flourishing – getting tall and treelike – while the fourth is not doing so well. It is not as tall as the others and is skimpy in canopy. It’s not its fault. When we planted these trees we were not terribly discerning about the location. The gardener helping us said that the laurels should do well whether in sun or shade. So we planted them in an offset row across the back of our yard to serve as screening. We hadn’t taken into account the future growth of all the surrounding trees that now cast that part of the yard into deep shade, where the fourth laurel lives.
Archive for Montessori Blog
“Your children go to Montessori school? I heard that’s fine for preschoolers, but when they are older, won’t they need something different?”
We expect what we purchase to be tailored to our particular specifications. There is almost nothing we can’t find, nothing we can’t ask, and nothing we can’t get delivered.
“The fundamental basis of education must always remain that one must act for oneself. That is clear. One must act for him or herself.” –Maria Montessori
Ben was quiet and seemed uncomfortable in his own skin, a boy’s boy with a father who hung out with the guys, who watched sports during those years a couple of decades ago before wives and girlfriends had begun to join in. Ben’s father didn’t much know what to say to his wife and daughter. And his son Ben seemed barely comfortable enough on the sports field and with his buddies. He was stocky in a muscular sort of way, with a husky voice that came from his struggles with allergies.
The Guide walks about the room, slowly and with calm focus so that she will not distract or disturb the children in their work. She repeats this routine a few times a day, deliberately choosing a different route each time, in order to make herself available to the child that might need some scaffolding in […]
Wait… let’s try that again. I strongly dislike mornings, and my life long relationship with them could be described as contentious, at best. Or so I thought. My first day on the job as the Terra assistant I was led out to arrival and my feelings about mornings quickly began to change.
Give the experience of listening to poetry by reciting poetry to the children. The guide selects short poems that he/she really enjoys from among adult poems, not children’s poems.
The work-cycle is the time, everyday, the children have to work/play at school. Once a child has adapted to the routine of school, he moves from one activity to the next, with very little adult interaction. He sometimes will choose to be in a group activity, or check-in with the teacher through conversation. Generally, he plans his day and proceeds with his “auto-education”. The children’s ability to do this is what allows each child the specific education they need, and each teacher the ability to observation each child and their growth.
I remember the first time I ever heard the question. It was during my first or second week of high school, and in one of my classes someone asked, “Is this going to be on the test?” I was sitting in my freshman science class and my first thought was, “Why would it matter?”
With heavy eyes, I read the same paragraph for the third time in a row. My last dose of caffeine was definitely wearing off. I needed to do something – anything – to push through and continue studying.
If you are a parent of a young child who attends school, you have probably been told not to ask your child about their day at pick up. So many parents ask me, why is that? It seems so natural to ask the ones you love about their day when you come back together. It actually seems like it may be a part of helping a child adapt to his culture through grace and courtesy. So why are we asked to refrain from the questions?
During his second year in our community, Dmitri, now seven and a half years old, became relaxed and natural. He participated in everything that did not require his performing before a group. When a child or children memorized and practiced a poem to recite to our class and then took it on tour around the campus, Dmitri shuddered. If invited to join someone in doing so, he recoiled in horror, but he watched with lively interest as two children went to the front garden and sat on the bench under the tree to memorize a poem. He peeked out the door into the rear garden and listened as a child delivered lines from atop the tree house to another child on the far side of the fence.
In September I was observing in a primary class and happened to be present as the teacher gave a lesson to a three-year-old girl on cleaning a chalkboard. They were both wearing aprons, carried a bucket, sponge, towel and underlay to a table, and then brought a small, and very dusty, student-size chalkboard to the table, as well. The little girl watched with rapt attention as the teacher dipped the sponge in the bucket of water, squeezed it out and then began to wipe. As she wiped from left to right across the surface of the chalkboard, it changed from chalky white to a dark, shiny green before the child’s eyes.