Plant a tree! Save the earth!
Today’s work of choice: harvesting cauliflower.
Gardening is an outdoor extension to our students’ work cycle. Maria Montessori emphasized, “the land is where our roots are, the children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the earth.” Our gardens are lush with lettuce, cauliflower, flowers, and various roots. The children harvested the cauliflower, washed it, cut it and then steamed it for lunch this afternoon. What a joy it was to prepare for one another the “veggies” of our labor!
“Children spend a considerable part of their active daily time at schools, and ‘green exercise’ has been related to greater mental health.”
Parents, as a rule, want to give their children every possible academic advantage. While this usually takes the form of tutors or computers, a new study suggests a surprising factor they may want to consider when checking out a new school, home, or neighborhood: Whether it provides adequate access to the natural world.
New research from Spain finds that, among second-, third-, and-fourth graders, quality time spent climbing trees and playing games on grass helps mental abilities blossom.
“Our study showed a beneficial association between exposure to green space and cognitive development among schoolchildren,” writes a research team led by Payam Dadvand of Barcelona’s Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology. This is partly, but not entirely, explained by the fact that kids who get to play in nature are exposed to less air pollution than those who hang out on city streets. Continue reading
A beautiful tossed salad, of course. Complete with organic romaine lettuce and kale, topped with fresh grapefruit and oranges, and olive oil. The lettuce was home-grown here in our very own garden, and the fruit was provided from the Kiwi class’ fruit and vegetable basket (thank you, freinds!). Tasty and nutritional is how we like to keep it here at Healthy Beginnings Montessori House!
The environment is nurture; the child in his raw form is nature.
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.
The trees came with ‘instructions’ – hidden potential with everything needed to become cherry laurels we could one day count on to screen the back of our property. But the environment in which they grow varied enough that one of four has not lived up to its potential of tree shading. Continue reading