The Montessori Lifestyle

One of our most popular parent education topics is “Montessori in the home”. I think it’s wonderful that there’s a desire for consistency between home and school. Parents are very curious as to what their child is doing in the classroom, but more importantly, parents want to know what they can be doing in their home environment to continue to help their child thrive. Consistency is key!

Montessori is a wonderful concept that can easily be incorporated into any home setting. Focus on your child’s independence above all else. Do they have everything they need to succeed independently? For example, can they choose their own clothing in the morning, is there a stool in the bathroom so they can brush their teeth or wash their hands on their own, do you have an area of the kitchen set aside for them to grab eating utensils or a drink of water whenever they feel thirsty or hungry, do they have works and activities that stimulate their senses while strengthening their concentration and inner motivation? There are several factors to consider while implementing Montessori in the home. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Develop a Routineimage (19)

Children have a great need for order and routine. The child’s sense of order is similar to a child’s thirst for water, or hunger for food. A child cannot succeed until there is order in their life. E.M. Standing said that “everything in [the child’s] environment should be kept in its accustomed place; and that the actions of the day should be carried out in their accustomed routine.” (Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work) It’s really no different than us adults needing routine in our life.

When a child knows their routine, and can predict what’s going to happen next, they’re able to be more independent. Place a few baskets in their closet, filled with clothes for the day so they can easily put them on, on their own. Offer choices as to what they would like to eat for breakfast, encourage them to help prepare the food. Place objects around the house to help them easily access the things they need (for instance, a stool in the bathroom to help them reach the sink).image (21)

Transitions are part of the child’s routine. Explain everything that you’re going to do, before you actually do them. This will help your child know the expectations, and not be surprised at the sudden change of activities.

Responsibility

Children want to have responsibility; to feel needed in their home environment. How much responsibility does your child have throughout their daily routine?dsc_0260

Encourage your child to make their bed every day, put dirty clothes in the hamper, fold/put away clean clothes, feed pets, put away toys or works after each use, help set the table for meals and clean up dishes afterwards, sweep/mop/vacuum floors, and so forth. These responsibilities don’t just come at a certain age, they can be provided as soon as your child shows an interest, or “readiness” to help around the house. Model for your child how to carry out each task, and share in their enjoyment once complete.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” (Dr. Maria Montessori)dsc_0306

Grace and Courtesy in the Home

Grace and courtesy is a major component of our Montessori environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for him to build his awareness and responsiveness to those around him. When we sneeze, we cover our mouths. When we have a runny nose, we use a tissue and throw it away afterwards. We say “excuse me” when walking around others who might be in our way. We say “thank you” when a friend helps. We know not to interrupt a guide during a lesson, but to wait patiently instead. The same practice can be done so at home. If you wish for your child to say “please” and “thank you”, you must do the same.

You can provide activities to help your child learn grace and courtesy. For instance, practice setting the table. Ask your child to help bring a few dishes, napkins, silverware, etc. to the table, remember to say please and thank you after each exchange. Practice different scenarios where your child would need to use grace and courtesy to achieve the end result.

Care of Environment/Care of Self

Our children are constantly tidying up after one another. When we spill water, we clean it up. We wash our own dishes after meal times. We clean the tables and chairs whenever needed. We care for plants through watering the soil and polishing the leaves. Often times, you might see a whole classroom full of toddlers cleaning or doing “practical life” works. This is very normal. Through care of environment, the child learns self control, scope and sequence, control of error, discipline, focus, and so much more.dsc_0226

You can encourage your child to do the same at home. Allow them to tidy up after themselves. Remind them to put away works when they’re through. Clean the table after mealtime. If you have a garden, allow your child to help water and harvest. Encourage them to help bathe themselves during bath time, brush their hair, teeth, and so forth.

There are so many other things that you as a parent can do to help your child succeed, while implementing Montessori in the home. Practicing Montessori in your home is a beautiful gift that you can give to your child. By doing so, you’re allowing your child the opportunity to grow and flourish successfully in an environment prepared specifically for them.

Montessori Schools Offer Big Lessons For ‘Managers’

Article Credit, Ashoka, Contributor Group for Forbes

Montessori Schools Offer Big Lessons For ‘Managers’

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“No one could have foreseen that children had concealed within themselves a vital secret capable of lifting the veil that covered the human soul, that they carried within themselves something which, if discovered, would help adults to solve their own individual and social problems.”  — Dr. Maria Montessori

Did you know that children at Montessori schools regularly out-perform those who graduate from traditional schools? And that some of the leading innovators in the world, including Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales credit their ability to think differently to their Montessori educations?

Founded in 1897 by Italian educator and physician Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori approach challenged predominant educational theories by giving children the freedom to grow, learn and contribute in the classroom.

Interestingly, although Dr. Montessori’s methodologies were developed for children and education, her philosophy was based on the science of life. So it makes sense that studies challenging the paradigm of ‘management’ today would echo several Montessori principles. The studies show striking parallels between the nature of children and adults, the environments needed to unleash potential in the classroom and the workspace and the role of teachers and leaders. Continue reading

Happy back-to-school season!

first day of kindergarten

 

Leaf Pile

I had to capture a few photos of our friends enjoying a leaf pile. You would have thought it was the best day of their lives! They spent almost an hour gathering the leaves (by hand), making a pile, and then taking turns jumping in the pile, or throwing them up in the air. It was a great alternative activity for this cold, wintry day!

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HBMH Charity of the Quarter: “Helping for the Holidays”

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It is truly the season for giving! Our “Helping for the Holidays” Charity was a success, as always. We’ve gathered such an awesome collection of gifts for our Salvation Army Angels. These gits will be given to the Salvation Army and prepared/distributed as gifts to children in need.

Thank you for helping these precious children have a wonderful Christmas this year!

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou

Fun at the HBMH 6th Annual Fall Festival!

A BIG thank you to our entire community for coming out to our recent Fall Festival; we had a record turn-out this year! This has always been a successful fundraiser for us. It gets better and better every year. Thank you all for coming out and supporting our school!

Face painting, henna art and hair/nail salon was a big hit!
Thank you, Ms. Insiya for creating such lovely henna for our guests! Visit Insiya’s Temporary Body Art homepage for background on her beautiful work.

 

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Of course, everyone’s costumes were nothing short of amazing.

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Our First Annual Chili Cook-Off was a huge success! Congrats to Ms. Maya for winning on overall presentation and flavor of chili! Thank you to all of our participants!

Thanks to Jay’s help, our concessions this year included smoked ribs, chicken, and hot dogs…yum!

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The petting zoo came fully equipped with chickens, roosters, a calf, piglets, bunnies, and a few other furry friends.

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Mr. Monty was the “tractor conductor” and towed the kids in the barrels all night. They absolutely loved it!

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We had THREE bounce houses this time, which included obstacle courses and slides.

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Another “congratulations” goes to all of our silent auction basket winners. With your help, we raised over $1,800!

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Plenty of smiles to go around! This had to have been one of the funnest fall festivals yet.

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On behalf of the entire HBMH community, thank you to all who came out and supported our school. This event is always the largest fundraiser of the year for us. With your continued support, we raised funds that will go towards the growth and improvement of our school!

Morning reads and singing with her baby! #Hbmh #toddler #Montessori #baby #readingtobaby #fivelittlemonkeys #singing #babydressingwork

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Fire Truck Visit: National Fire Prevention Week

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We had a surprise visit from the Fire Truck last Friday, during the conclusion of National Fire Prevention Week. Our young friends had the opportunity to sit inside the firetruck, and discover the many tools, buttons and sounds that a firetruck makes. Fun Fact: did you know that a fire truck holds over 500 gallons of water?! That’s amazing!
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We learned not be afraid of fire-fighters when they come to rescue us in a house fire. Even though they wear a big mask, and their air tank is loud, they’re there to help us!

If we see a fire, we always call 9-1-1. And of course, our friends had fun practicing the “stop, drop, roll” tactic whenever our clothes catch on fire.
Fire Truck_2We listened and waited patiently as the firemen explained the process of putting out a house fire, and the many tools they use in order to efficiently complete the job.Fire Truck_1Fire Truck_3Even the littlest of our friends enjoyed a sneak peak at the fire truck during their morning stroll outside.

It’s important to always be prepared in the event there is a house fire that requires emergency evacuation. For tips on how to incorporate fire safety and prevention in your home, visit the links below:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire
http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Pages/Fire.aspx

Special thanks to the City of Plano Fire Department for taking the time to visit our school and educate our students on fire safety and prevention!

ANYTHING IN YOUR BAG TODAY?

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Today I did my math and science.
I toasted bread, halved and quartered, counted, measured, and used my eyes, ears and hands.
I added and subtracted on the way.
I used magnets, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don’t say –

“ANYTHING IN YOUR BAG TODAY?”

You see, I’m sharing as I play, to learn to listen and speak clearly when I talk.
To wait my turn and when inside to walk.
To put my words into a phrase, to find my name and write it down.
To do it with a smile and not to frown, to put my pasting brush away.
So please don’t say –

“ANYTHING IN YOUR BAG TODAY?”

I learned about a snail and a worm.
Remembered how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck.
Learned that water runs off a duck.
Looked at words from left to right.
Agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don’t say –

“DID YOU ONLY PLAY TODAY?”

Yes, I played the whole day through.
I played to learn the things I do,
I speak a problem, find a clue and work out for myself just what to do.
My teachers set the scene, and stay near-by to help me when I really try.
They are there to pose the problems, and to help me think.
I hope they will keep me floating and never let me sink. All of this is in my head and not in my bag.
It makes me sad to hear you say –

“HAVEN’T YOU DONE ANYTHING TODAY?”

When you attended your meeting today and do your work I will remember not to say to you –

“WHAT DID YOU DO?”

– author unknown

Taken from the blog of a Montessori school (Sweetwater Bay Montessori Preschool)

Vine Video of the Day: Banana Muffins