Category Archives: Respect for the child

6 Goals of the Montessori Classroom and How You Can Support Them

6 GoalsThe parents in our program are all welcome to volunteer in the classroom at any time. We are getting ready to welcome our first volunteer during class time, and I wanted to be sure that I had a way of sharing some of the guiding principles used during our work time with parents coming in. My hope is that I and all of the adults coming in can work together in support of the same goals. Some of the ways of being in the Montessori environment are counter-intuitive to adults who are used to working in and around traditional classrooms, so I wanted to explain some of these differences, while giving a bit of the theory behind them. I hope that explaining the goals we have and how we work toward them will be more helpful than listings dos and don’ts with no clarification. We’ll see!

This is one of those articles that I could spend many more hours on, and tweak endlessly. I do think it’s longer than it needs to be, but I am so not good at consolidating things, and if I keep obsessing I will never publish, so here is my imperfect work as it is now. I’d love to hear what you would change, add, or leave out. I hope that this, as well as some other classroom-related documents I’ve put together recently will be of use to other teachers and co-op organizers. I’ll be sharing some of these as printables soon!

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Sharing freely

Sharing, Turn Taking, and Fairness: A Montessori Perspective

I went back and forth between the title I chose for this post, and a similar one with the tagline, “One Montessorian’s Perspective. Ultimately I went with what you see above, but I want to emphasize that this is my view and is not necessarily shared by all Montessorians. I came to the conclusions I did through my training and my work with Montessori children, but others will have come to different conclusions through similar paths. That’s okay. This is not the Montessori view, but it is my Montessori-based view. Anyway, moving on…

Sharing freely

Why We Want our Children to Share

As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be fulfilled, active members of society in whatever way suits them best. None of us want to see our children struggle to make friends, and the pain of seeing our own child hurt others is second only to the pain of seeing them get hurt. It’s terrible. Continue reading

Photo Credit: wickenden on Flickr. Used by Creative Commons License.

Bodily Autonomy and Sexual Abuse

Photo Credit: wickenden on Flickr. Used by Creative Commons License.

While Annabelle and I were traveling, we found ourselves in the company of groups of people far more often than usual, and it occurred to me just how many adults feel that it’s perfectly appropriate to touch a child without warning or invitation. Sure, it’s just a pat on the head or the back, a friendly touch on the arm or the leg, or perhaps a little squeeze on the cheek. It’s meant to be an acknowledgement of how adorable the child is, perhaps a way to connect and appreciate their sweetness. I get that, but I urge you, if you engage in this sort of touch, to think more deeply about whether it’s appropriate or respectful of the child. Continue reading

Annabelle's closet, designed for independent dressing.

Our Montessori Home, Sans School

I have really come to enjoy posting bits and pieces from our lives for Montessori Monday, but as I put together my thoughts on The Schooling Dilemma, I realized I may be painting a bit of a confusing picture.

I explained that I admire, fully support, and am quite frankly in awe of parents who choose to homeschool their children using the Montessori method. I support homeschooling, I am a Montessorian to the core, and I strive to implement Montessori philosophy in my home, and in my interactions with all children. While I suspect I will always be guided by Montessori philosophy, I will never homeschool my children using the Montessori method. That is unless I decide to open a school in my home that includes children unrelated to me. We shall see 1 Continue reading

  1. Is this the place where I should admit to hoarding small shelves, tables, chairs, and the like, just in case I should find myself designing a home-based Montessori environment?
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Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I get silly excited when I find large and small versions of the same thing.


Of course no specialized gear is required for the family looking to include their kids in the kitchen. Everyday items do the job just fine, but finding tools that are scaled to the child’s size can make things a bit easier, and help to empower children who might otherwise struggle with items that are made for adults to handle. Long before my daughter was born, I developed a keen eye for child-sized gadgets and cooking utensils. I often joke that the reason I worked a second job while teaching was to pay for all of the things I would buy for my classroom. Of course the school would always provide me with the funds for things I truly needed (and then some), but when you happen upon a miniature cheese grater while out grocery shopping, you don’t wait for the school to approve your purchase. You just buy it.

I was always surprised by how difficult it could be to find items designed with children in mind, so I was constantly on the lookout for things to add to my ever expanding collection. When my daughter became interested in working with me in the kitchen, I already had plenty of tools on hand, but I have made new discoveries along the way and continue to compulsively grow my collection, so I thought I would share some tricks of the trade for those who are still preparing a space for their own kids in the kitchen. Continue reading