I’ve been so eager to show you the rest of our home-based classroom, but with a toddling, almost-ten-months-old in the house, I’m not able to leave it set up outside of class time. I’m usually putting Elliot in the sling and getting trays on shelves just before the first preschoolers arrive, and by the time I’ve finished, I’m greeting them and getting on with the day – no time for photos! By the end of class, my two are very ready for lunch, and so photos have not been taken. Fortunately, however, I had a productive late night preparing for our school week, and also learned a thing or two about my camera. The shelves were set up early (or late, rather), and I managed to take pictures that aren’t dark and awful, even with no natural light. They are a bit too bright, but I’m pretty proud of myself all the same ;) Continue reading
What a busy semester it has been! I had tons of fun setting up our community classroom in January, and thanks to a bit of water damage, I got to set it up all over again at our house a couple of weeks ago. There’s something extra special about being at home that I never really anticipated. I tend to be an introvert and very big on having my own space, and Andrew and Annabelle are the same, so I never even dreamed of having class here, but it’s actually working wonderfully. We still have our afternoons for recovery through quiet and alone time, so the balance is not too hard to maintain.
Anyway, I wanted to show you all what the classroom in our home looks like. The area that houses most of the shelves, and that we use for work at rugs, group time, and the like, is what was our dining room. Fortunately springtime is our favorite time for picnic table dining, so we were happy to move our dining table into the garage temporarily. I’ll share about the kitchen area of the classroom, where most of the practical life and art work is kept, in another post.
I had wanted to share a post here showing the work we had on our shelves for St. Patrick’s Day, but never got around to it, and I sort of missed the boat on getting a Spring Practical Life and Art post up as I had planned, though I’m going to put the pictures in the end of this post anyway, in case it helps you get in the mood.
At the same time, I wanted to touch on this whole idea of themed work in the Montessori classroom. I have heard and read mixed opinions on the practice of putting themed work out for various holidays. The arguments against that I have heard say that children don’t need cute themes, that they’re inspired to work regardless, and that work should be simple and uncluttered. I agree with all three of these statements, but I still love to change the work on our classroom shelves to reflect current holidays and seasons. I don’t go too crazy, because beauty and simplicity are what make a work appealing without distracting from the direct aim, but I do make a number of small changes with each seasonal change, and for many holidays in between. Here’s why: Continue reading
My brain is scattered of late, which has a lot to do with how little I’m blogging. This topic has been on my mind for weeks, but I just can’t pare it down, so I keep starting and stopping. Tonight, I’ll give myself a few minutes to get what I can down, because I really want to hear what you all think about choosing books for the young child. I’ll do my best to keep from following too many bunny trails here.
My oldest, Annabelle, is now three. She has what Maria Montessori referred to as an “absorbent mind,” and my goodness does that girl absorb things! In my early years of teaching, before Annabelle came around, I saw the tremendous capacity that children have for absorbing and recalling information and experiences, but it wasn’t until I spent all of my time with the same child that I truly got a sense of what this means. Annabelle absolutely takes everything in, not just experiencing and processing it, but actually making it a part of herself. I see the way experiences shape her, the way they come out in her play, in her interactions with others, in her overall behavior. I’ve really been shocked by the extent of this reality. Continue reading