Grace and courtesy is an essential part of the Montessori curriculum, but what exactly is grace and courtesy? Why and how do we teach grace and courtesy? Who should practice grace and courtesy? Where and when should grace and courtesy be used?
Every May as the school year comes to a close, many parents’ ask their child’s lead guide what they can work on over the summer. There are many studies that show reading, math, and physical activity skills are lost over the summer months.
Children have the potential to develop life-long healthy habits by learning about nutrition at a young age. One of the sub-groups of our Practical Life exercises in the Children's House, is care of self. It is important for the children to create a positive relationship with food in preparation for understanding the interdependencies and connectedness of our planet.
We are always surrounded by mathematics in our daily life. From the design of buildings to architecture, from flowers in nature to the rhythmic meter in songs, from time in a day to the days in the week and seasons, all have mathematics naturally built into them. There is a universal human need to calculate and convey quantitative information. How can we explain this idea that we need to calculate? It’s part of our human nature. It’s our “mathematical mind.”
In a Montessori environment we don’t teach the children to read, we give them tools for them to learn how to do it. Each individual is different, therefore some children will learn to read later than others and the process can be long for some and short for others.
The development of a child’s spoken language qualities start long before they enter a Children’s House classroom. From the moment they are brought into this world, they experience language from many different sources: their parent’s voices, conversations between adults around the child, the singing of songs, the reading of books out loud, etc. The child is busy taking in many impressions of the world around him. When the child acquires spoken language, he is able to classify all of these impressions that were stored in his memory. In this way, the adult or Montessori Guide is the child’s first exposure to a language material.
As this Semester comes to a close, we’d like to take the time to offer some ideas of how to tie all of the wonderful information we’ve shared about Montessori at Home, Practical Life, Observations and Sensorial together this season and into the new year. It is evident that the child’s quest for independence is strong.
Dr. Montessori realized that there is a great benefit to “educating the senses” as a means for making the child’s senses more usable. Through her explorations she concluded that the sensorial exercises are the child’s sensory link to the outside world. The 5 senses are receptors for information and the child uses their senses to absorb qualities of everything around them in their environment. The sensorial materials allow the child to absorb the abstract qualities of everything through his senses.
Observation, a simple word that means more than we can imagine. Observation is a grand part of the foundation of a Montessori environment and it’s one of the strongest and most helpful and powerful tools a Montessori Guide can have. Through this we can obtain all the information we need to follow the children.
As Guide’s, we are often asked “how can we implement Montessori at home in order to support our child?” One of the best ways is through practical life activities at home. Practical life activities at home can include, but not limited to, food preparation, care of self, and care of the environment.
As a parent in a Montessori community you subsequently become familiar with various terms or vocabulary that we use to respect the child’s natural development. By attending classroom meetings, observations, parent-teacher conferences and through our blog posts, we reveal these terms and unveil their importance. Two of them, which may possibly the most frequently repeated are concentration and independence.
Happy Summer, Children's House Families! We cannot believe how quickly this year passed. We deeply encourage you to re-visit and re-read past blog posts. This is a way to begin to digest the processes of the child as they develop sequence and independence.
Nature Walks play a big role in our community as we try to connect the children to nature. As another connection to nature, Children's House children are exposed to real materials such as: wood, cotton, metal, bamboo, etc. It is important to implement the same concept of indoor to outdoor materials and furniture.
Mathematics is the basis of all practical things and the imagination. A child needs to understand mathematics in order to adapt and orient himself to his own time and place. Dr. Montessori borrowed the term ‘Mathematical Mind’ from Pascal, the French Philosopher and Mathematician. Pascal said that a man’s mind is mathematical by nature. He believed that knowledge and progress come from accurate observation.
In the Children's House, the preparation for reading is writing. We start by preparing the child's hand through many fine and gross motor skills. Some of these exercises would include, but are not limited, to the knob cylinders, tracing of the geometric shapes, dressing frames, and rough and smooth boards.
The purpose of the Exercises of Language is to give help to the child in organizing and building his personality; the totality of one’s potentialities, both physical and mental. Physical Potentialities are a system of relationships involving the brain, sense organs and muscles. They are powerful because they are closely related to mental abilities, especially the will.
Culture is a nature as adapted by mankind. It is embedded in who we are, what we do, what we say, and how we live. In the Montessori Children's House, culture is deeply rooted in the core areas, such as Geography, Practical Life, Art and Music.
With conferences in full swing, our Children's House Guides decided to unveil a deeper look into Montessori theory. Appreciating Montessori Pedagogy/Theory can be helpful in understanding the daily life of your child in our CH community. Below we have outlined the Sub-Plane of development, Mixed Age Groups and the Three Step Work Cycle .
Imagine back to when you were an infant. Hard to remember your thoughts, likes, dislikes? Of course it is. An infant cannot speak, walk, or move their bodies intentionally therefore, a child's main source of information gathering is through his sense of taste (gustatory), touch (tactile), smell (olfactory), sight (visual), and hearing (auditory).
Montessorians tend to radiate a sort of belief and respect for education that cannot be overlooked. We stand by our theory because we witness it unfold and manifest in the child in new and exciting ways each day. It's simply what keeps our Montessori juices flowing.