Montessori Newsletter

This newsletter is brought to you by fun turkey crafts and hats, the food pyramid, tessellating tanagrams, dolly make over, baby doll bath time and some great books to read. Read more here.

Did you ever wonder what is your child’s talent? Here is a fun quiz to take.

Preparation of the Teacher or Parent

A good part of my Montessori training was to prepare myself to become a viable and living part of the Montessori environment. We were expected to dress attractively and generally look well groomed. Children love it when you look “pretty.”

Besides our physical preparation, we were taught to observe, mentor and basically be a child’s guardian angel. Most of all we were expected to be flexible when dealing with a child’s needs.
Even though the Montessori environment needs to be clean and orderly, the most important element is the nurturing of each child’s need to grow and learn.

Here is what Miss Child said about the preparation of the teacher.

Another form of training that Dr. Motessori mentioned as giving
qualities helpful to the teacher, is that of the scientist.
The scientist is an observer and practises humility also. He
observes facts, he demonstrates them to others, he does not expect that other
people should believe what he tells them or obey his arbitary rules; he records facts and he can demonstrate them by his experiments. People believe what the scientists tell them, because they know that he only cares to discover the truth. And he discovers the
truth in the phenomena of nature, not from the ideas and theories he makes up himself.
He is objective in his attitude; that is he thinks the
actual happenings outside his are of more importance than his own
preconceived ideas.

Now if the teachers could get this
detached attitude they would not only be more successful at
teaching, but they would find that by
observing the chldren they would be able to
discover a great deal about psychology.
But if they are always busy
teaching they will never discover anything,
so education will not improve.

A third way of preparing oneself to teach is through the
spiritual training of religion.
It is probably only among the members
of Religous Orders that the virtue of humility is admired and
desired as it should be. In fact people today are rather apt to forget
that it is a virtue at all. And it is especially hard for teachers
who are always with children, who know so little, not to fall into
the mistake of feeling that they know everyting and are always
right. The sure preventative of such an attitude is to allow the mind
to dwell on the greatness of God and the wonder of creation. When we
think of the child as a miracle and mystery we shall be more
inclined to wait and watch, than train and teach.
We must teach, it is true,
for our civilisation itself is one of the miracles of nature;
but we must teach in a way prepared to wait patiently like a
servant, to watch carefully like a scientist, and to understand through
love and wonder, like a saint. Nothing less will give real
education.We should not fix our minds with the 3 R’s or any assorted
oddments; our work is to help the development of the soul.

We should also rememeber we are fortunate to have this
contact with young children and remember the mysterious saying:
‘Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.'”

Imagination & Montessori

I found another interesting article written by Maren Schmidt, a Montessori teacher, about imagination.
Her definition is-
“Imagination is the ability to visualize something that is not physically present.”
She goes on to explain the preschool years in this way-

The imagining mind of the child younger than six years needs to be nurtured and protected. We need to protect the child from hurtful and violent incidents, real or makebelieve. The child needs accurate experiences and correct language to nourish imagination. We need to offer games, like “ What’s missing” to help the child learn to visualize things that are not physically present.
A vivid and accurate imagination will help our children design and create a marvelous life with the resources they have available.

Basically there is good imagination and bad imagaination. I like how Maren Schmidt encourages adults to protect a child’s imagination.

Free Montessori Book

Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, is a delightful, fictional story of a young girl who finally comes into her own to achieve happiness in a Montessori environment. This is a great story for parents to read before starting a Montessori program. Mrs. Fisher was an early supporter of Montessori education. She met Dr. Montessori in Italy in 1911. While observing Dr. Montessori’s child developmental daycare, the Children’s House, she was so impressed by what was happening that she became an avid supporter of the Montessori movement in America. She wrote several books on the Montessori method as well.

Did you ever wonder what is your child’s talent? Here is a fun quiz to take.

Art in a Suitcase

A friend of mine visits schools with a suitcase filled with art posters from the masters. The case can have just one artist, one type of art or pictures from a specific era of history, such as
Pre-historic art, Egyptian art, Renaissance art, Impressionist art, Christian art, Islamic art, Abstract art, Folk art and Modern art. I think you could make 3 part cards and nomenclature cards to make this a nice Montessori reading and culture lesson. Our Golden Apples has a great idea for a Monet bingo game.

Have friends and relatives pick up posters or post cards of art when they visit museums.

Did you ever wonder what is your child’s talent? Here is a fun quiz to take.

Montessori and Order

Montessori noted that children like order. In fact, much of a child’s negative behavior comes from a change in the child’s attachment to order.
A case in point, a change in the family, such as a new baby, can turn the house upside down. The order of the household has changed radically with the arrival of baby. This change is usually greeted by trantrums, whining, clinging, and just plain unhappiness. In reality, the older child or children have to step aside and become more independent and accept a change in everyone’s relationship. Sometimes more than one change can make things even more chaotic.

Here are some things that may help-
Try to start changes to your child’s routine before the baby comes or the change happens.
Preschool is a big adjustment of letting go of mom and becoming more independent. It’s best to do this when there aren’t any other changes at home.
Try to toilet train and wean from the bottle before a new baby’s arrival. Regression is common, but starting something new and difficult will test everyone.
Try to keep routines as normal as possible.
Let changes you can control happen slowly and gradually.

When a child’s sense of order changes it helps understand that it takes time for him or her to understand and accept change.

Pictures of Practical Life

This site has some nice pictures and ideas for Montessori practical life.
You can do these activities at home. Just rotate different projects every so often. Having practical life activities in the kitchen area at a small table and chair keeps your toddler or preschooler occupied while you cook.