Most lovers of Montessori are familiar with the popular Montessori birthday celebration, or “Celebration of Life,” as it’s often called. We marked my now four year old, Annabelle’s birthday with a celebration of life at school this year, but we also enjoyed two other, slightly less popular Montessori birthday traditions. I wanted to share these with you all, in case you should be unfamiliar with them, as I think they’re fantastic activities that not only make birthdays that much more special, but also help deepen the child’s sense of their place in history and in their family.
“…for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. This idea helps the mind of the child to become fixed, to stop wandering in an aimless quest for knowledge. He is satisfied, having found the universal centre of himself with all things.”
Timeline of a Child’s Life
The materials shown in this post were sent to me by Montessori Services (a company I love, trust, and have personally spent more than I care to admit with this year alone), for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all information and opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your chance to win $50 to spend on anything you’d like from Montessori Services. If you visit Montessori Services by following one of the links within this post, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you, and those funds will go to support the work of this blog and of our little Montessori school (thank you!). This is the perfect time to shop, because they’re offering free shipping until the end of March on orders over $50.
How did you spend the first day of Spring? In the classroom, Annabelle and a few other preschoolers spent a portion of it doing a recent favorite work: flower arranging. A popular Montessori Practical Life exercise, flower arranging can be done outdoors or in, by cutting flowers directly from the garden or by choosing from a selection prepared for inside. It can even be done with silk flowers if fresh aren’t available or practical. The work fits into the category of Care of the Environment, as it inspires children to take part in the creation of a more beautiful classroom or home. Continue reading
It’s a teacher work day today, and I’m making sequencing cards for our pre-language area. I took some photos at our snack table and thought I’d share in case you’d like to download and print them for your own use. Sequencing is a great pre-language activity, and can be tons of fun. You could use these as two separate sets with a young child, or put them together for more of a challenge.
Annabelle, my almost four year old, has loved books practically from birth. She has never tired of being read to. I have never pushed language learning on her. In fact, if you’ve been reading along for awhile, you might know that I sort of deliberately left toys depicting letters out of our environment. Books were all around, of course, but there were no alphabet blocks or other such things. Of course, like any toddler, she reached a point where she wanted a name for everything in her environment, and around age two she began pointing at letters in the world around her. License plates were a big one. “What is this, mommy?” “What sound is that?” In Montessori fashion, I answered with the letter in question’s phonetic sound, rather than its alphabetical name. And I left it at that. Over time she learned to recognize a number of different letters on her own, and several months ago, she began tracing the Montessori Sandpaper Letters. We have had formal three period lessons when requested, and she has traced and practiced on her own to master all 26 sounds. Continue reading
I’ve been talking with a lot of Montessori families lately, and I’m finding that the question of how to provide for a Montessori work period for an older child, while also keeping an infant or toddler happy, is not an uncommon one. My youngest, one-and-a-half year old Elliot, has been in our Montessori preschool classroom since he was five months old, so I’ve had a bit of experience with this and thought I’d share what has worked for us.
First, some of the back story. If you’re not interested in all of that, you can scroll straight down to the big text for some tips for working with an infant or toddler in a Montessori Primary Classroom.
I set out to start our little, home-based Montessori school for two reasons: I wanted to continue to be my children’s primary caregiver, and I wanted my children to be able to attend Montessori at least from age 3-6. Financially, these two things just did not go together. If I wanted to pay for Montessori for my preschooler, I was going to have to go back to work outside the home, and this would mean regularly leaving my infant in someone else’s care. Being a trained Montessori teacher, I saw a simple solution: if there’s not a school that works for our family, why not make one myself? Continue reading