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Learning to navigate my way through the hallways of HBMH. Pushing a sturdy chair helps maintain my balance in the safest way possible. My bare feet touch the cool tiles and give me good grip between each step. I'll be walking on my own in no time! #learningtowalk #montessoritoddler #babysteps #barefeet #chair #12months #nido #montessorischoolsinplano #privateschool #childcare #hbmh #healthybeginnings
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The Montessori Peace Curriculum
Maria Montessori, Advocate for Peace
Maria Montessori, medical doctor, educator and visionary, opened her first school, the Casa dei Bambini, in Rome in 1907. In the next two decades, Dr. Montessori’s methods achieved worldwide currency, in part through the publication of The Montessori Method (1912) and Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook (1914). In the early 1930’s, the changed political climate in her native Italy, namely the rise of fascism, made her work difficult, and in 1934, Dr. Montessori’s refusal to politicize her work and schools resulted in the shutdown of all Montessori schools and her departure from the country.
World unrest and her own exile led Maria Montessori to advocate publicly for peace, and thus make clear the connection between her teaching methods and a social and world order generated by respect, cooperation and the intelligent activities of citizens. In a series of speeches, conferences and other activities, conducted in India and Western Europe, Dr. Montessori spoke about educational reform and the benefits to a world society. A number of her lectures were published as Educazione e Pace (1949), translated, Education and Peace (1972). Her work, embraced by a worldwide community of educators, politicians and academics, earned her nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951, and in recent years as well. Continue reading
Photo of the Day: Exploring in the Garden
The Power of Play: A Two-Hour Work Cycle
I’ve been stuck on a question from one of my new family tours earlier this week. They were fairly new to Montessori, in fact, they had never witnessed a Montessori work cycle in motion (something of which I was excited to show them). Many of the children were outside at the time, so we were able to walk inside the rooms and describe the layout, feel the works, and discuss what a typical day for their young toddler would be like. We talked more in depth about the various works, and their purpose in the environment. Unfortunately, they did not get to witness an active work cycle, since the children were outside, however I did my best to describe it to them, attempting to paint a picture in their minds. They asked me a few very familiar questions typical to non-Montessorians, “When do they play?”, “Are they just working all day?”, or “Do they just do chores all day?”, all of which made sense since we were discussing the dish washing work, hand washing, clothes washing, plant polishing, care of environment/self, and so forth. To children, this is purposeful work. To them, it is “play”. They enjoy working with their hands, concentrating on the task at hand, free from unnecessary interruptions form the guides. By doing so, they learn that their work is essential to the community, and that they have a beneficial role in their classroom environment. I referenced the familiar quote by Dr. Maria Montessori, “The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” It didn’t take long for them to catch on and start referring to the “toys” and activities as “work”.
“Here are five characteristics of play that allow the child the ability to move through his morning effortlessly, as described by Dr. Rachel E.White for the Minnesota Children’s Museum’s report, The Power of Play.
- PLAY IS PLEASURABLE. Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play.
- PLAY IS INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.
- PLAY IS PROCESS ORIENTED. When children play, the means are more important than the ends.
- PLAY IS FREELY CHOSEN. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play.
- PLAY IS ACTIVELY ENGAGED. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity.
When parents tour a Montessori school they often ask about the difference between play and work. Play is the work of the child. We use the term ‘work’ in order to hold it in high regard and respect it as purposeful and meaningful.”
Article Credit: http://mariamontessori.com/mm/?p=2727, Sarah Moudry, Parent Educator and Early Childhood Specialist
Happy Independence Day!
Photo of the Day: Practice Makes Perfect
We practiced our severe weather evacuation this afternoon, and what better time to do so than during National Safety Month. We practice putting our hands over our heads to protect our head/neck, and to remain calm and still until the drill is complete. We are more than prepared in the event of an actual emergency!
Splash Day Fun!
See What’s Happening in Our Own Backyard!
The latest in our backyard improvements: an awesome new Gravel Works area, complete with a covered tarp to provide much needed shade; blossoming garden beds filled with flowers, fresh lemon balm and basil, strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes, and a few other projects in the making. BIG THANKS to Mr. Monty, our honorary Projects Manager and Head of all backyard renovations and improvements. Donations raised from tomorrow night’s Parent’s Night Out will go towards these and many more renovations in the near future; thank you in advance for your generous donations towards the growth of our school!
Stop by the backyard to see the updates for yourself!
Photo of the Day: Snail
Ice ice beads!