Have all of the ideas shared in the Montessori Holiday Hop gotten you inspired? There’s still a bit more time in this holiday season, and I have the ultimate source of holiday-themed, or specifically Christmas-themed Montessori goodness for you! If you haven’t heard, the wonderful Aubrey of Montessori Mischief has created an ebook, A Merry Montessori Christmas. I cannot say enough good things about this beautiful resource. Here’s the testimonial I shared with Aubrey for her site: Continue reading
In a Montessori blogging network I’m honored to be a part of, we were recently chatting about how much things have changed for Montessorians in the past decade or so. I remember scouring the web for Montessori discussions and ideas during my training and internship years ago, and coming up mostly empty-handed. The few Montessori focused blogs I found could not update often enough to please me. I lived for the next post on each of them!
Now, there are so many Montessori blogs that I doubt I even know about half of them. With a quick search on Pinterest, you can find specific ideas in any subject area and based on virtually any special theme. There is so much at our fingertips, and I get chills thinking about how much the Montessori internet’s collective creativity enriches lives. It’s truly awesome, and I’m honored to be a small part of it all. Continue reading
I spent much of our Thanksgiving break sprinkling our classroom with holiday cheer, and I thought I’d share a few scenes from our space, in case they should inspire you in any sprinkling you’re doing in your home or classroom.
I love decorating the classroom at least as much as I love decorating my home – in fact, the tree, however small, went up here before one went up in our living room. I love this little, live tree, which has temporarily replaced the Umbrella Tree that normally graces our reading corner. Between it and the wreath on the door, it smells of evergreen throughout the whole room. Originally, I thought I’d leave the decorations for this tree in a basket so that the children could decorate it themselves over and over, but I found that the process was not exactly pleasant, due to the very sharp little needles on this particular tree, so it stays decorated to make the classroom more beautiful, and another, smaller tree is available on the shelf for the children to decorate and redecorate as much as they’d like.
Since long before I had children, I’ve existed in a world, or at least a headspace that is relatively counterculture. I have been a lazy activist, I’m sorry to say, but have engaged in activism by non participation – in other words, I have rejected many cultural practices, to include many holidays. I’ve had a hard time with some of the most American of holidays because of the history surrounding them. Do we give Thanksgiving for the horrific treatment of Native Americans by our ancestors? And do we celebrate the 4th of July and the historical signing of the Declaration of Independence, a document which declared that all men were created equal – and really did mean men, with a caveat that excluded men who weren’t anglo. There really is a lot of hypocrisy in it all.
This has been a year of making new traditions, with Annabelle finally old enough to get excited and to help with the making and executing of plans for our family shenanigans. Everything we did in her first two years has been taken to the next level, and it really adds to the magic and wonder of it all. It has also been a year of thinking and evaluating traditions as we determine what we want to focus on in our celebrations and how.
Being culturally American, I always celebrated Christmas, but I don’t have many memories of specific traditions associated exclusively with it that I’m compelled to carry on with my own children. We did gifts, sure, but for the most part I look back and feel a bit bummed at the sense of entitlement I felt to those gifts. Not only did I have a long list of requests, but I honed my negotiation skills as I convinced grandparents to combine their birthday and holiday budgets to get me the big ticket items I knew cost more than the amount they spent on each of us for Christmas. We also believed in Santa, though I’m not really sure why, because none of the gifts under our tree were credited to him, and I knew that mom had selected each of our stocking stuffers. As the most deeply religious one of the bunch, a few times I all but forced my family into sitting around the living room on Christmas Eve to listen to the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth, but that one never did stick either. The one thing I do remember is having extra time to be with family, and that’s the one thing I still appreciate deeply today. Continue reading