Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Blog Worth Reading

It has been forever since any of our families have sent pictures so I thought I'd redirect you to another wonderful blog.  It is called A Montessori Home and is written by Cathy -another Montessori Teacher and parent.  In the blog, Cathy answers many of the questions that come up when raising a child within the Montessori philosophy. 
Give it a read.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A New Addition to S.'s Family

At  8 lbs, 12 oz, a little brother was born at home on March 1, 2011. 

"S. will eventually be sharing this room with his brother once he is ready to leave our bed, but I'm not sure either how this will work out. I don't think it would be safe to have both on a floor bed, S. is only 18 months old and has an unwanted interest in C's eyes. So I think a crib might be necessary for awhile. As for sharing space, S's clothes could move to the closet, where he can practice hanging things on hangers, and the little one can have his clothes in the dresser. Also S. can have his toys on the higher up shelves and C's things can be on the lower shelves. It will get interesting when the room gets turned upside down in a mess and both will deny any participation in it! "


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A new house and a new bedroom for S.

This past year has been one full of changes for S.  Many of you will remember S. as the child who inspired me to begin this blog.  His mother is a teacher at our school and is, at this very moment, waiting at home for the birth of her (very overdue) second child.

S. and his parents recently bought (and are renovating) a new home.  Here are some pictures of S.' s new bedroom.

The low Montessori-style bed and the set of drawers are the same as in the previous photos of S.'s room.  He can now open the drawers and select his own clothes.  As K. (Mum) mentioned, she puts only a couple of choices in each drawer in order not to overwhelm S. while giving him the freedom and independence of deciding which clothes he'd like to wear.  I also love how low the window is.  S. can easily look outside any time he wishes.

His belongings are set out on a shelf where he has easy access to them.  (It should be noted that these pictures were taken just after the room was put together. The cord to the CD player has since been secured to the back of the shelf unit.)  A couple of cheerful pictures have been hung at S.'s eye level and the space is not overly decorated or accessorized. 

In addition to the set of drawers in the room, there are hooks on one of the walls to facilitate S. hanging up his towel, jacket, etc.  Notice how low the hooks are.  S. has no trouble reaching them at all.

And finally, here is a picture of S. and his baby doll. A lovely way to help prepare a child for a new brother or sister.

Thanks, K.!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Putting on a coat...the Montessori way?

Every now and then, I go through my statistics to see which subjects people are looking for when they stumble upon this blog.  Something I've noticed a number of times is people searching for directions to putting on a coat "the Montessori way."  I then realized that I posted about how we teach the children to hang up their coats but I wrote nothing about how we teach children to put on their own coats. So I've decided to write a post about that subject.   I have no idea if this is the"Montessori way" but it is the way its been done in three of the schools at which I've taught.  If you know another way,  please let everyone know (I'm sure there are several).

Armed with my trusty camera, I asked a couple of children to help me.  The first girl is 3; the second girl is 4. (I apologize in advance for the pictures but this is a difficult activity to capture.)

First, the child spreads her coat onto the floor with the front open to expose the arm holes. She then moves the coat (or her body) to make sure the label is close to her feet (or knees if she is kneeling). 

Then the child puts her arms as far into each arm hole as she can, holds onto the material........

...and then flips the coat up into the air and over her head and behind her back (which is why its important that the child hold onto the material inside the arms) .

The child then pushes her hands to the ends of the sleeves and shrugs the coat onto her shoulders.

Ta dah!

     In the classroom, I show the children how to do this with my own coat.  I have done it as a group presentation but find a one on one presentation much more effective.  I don't use a lot of words - in fact I don't use any - to give the child time to really observe what I am doing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

When Practical Life is internalized it often comes home to roost.

When a child is allowed to spend as much time as needed in the Practical Life area of the classroom, over time the lessons learned are internalized.  Very often, those internalized skills show up at home.

This happened to G's mother the other day when he announced that he wanted to make dinner.  I will let her tell the rest of the story.

"G. made dinner for the family tonight - in 23 steps! So I took some pictures for you.

He decided to make Pan Fried Herring (local from Port Alberni), with broccoli and snap peas, with stuffing (yuck - stuffing!! whatever... it was his choice).  It was cool because it was a bit of a science lesson - looking at the fish eyes, the gills, chopping the head off and gutting it - are those eggs inside? Wow. Ewwww, the blood, bladder, and guts!

Cleaning the fish. 

All clean.

Chopping up the veg.

Preparing a dredge for the fish.

Cutting up and arranging lemon pieces on a plate.

Preparing the pan for frying the fish.

Frying the fish.

Preparing the stuffing.

 Setting the table......

...and Voila! dinner is served!

It was fun and he was so proud of himself. He even washed & dried some dishes. Our little chef! Practical Life seems to be approached differently now by G., not so much a learning of skills as a perfecting and contributing to the family that makes it so wonderful for him (and us!)."

By the way, G. is 5 and a half!