We don’t really do it up for Easter, given that it’s a religious holiday and we’re not the religious sort, but I am looking forward to a cheerful spring weekend, and I can’t possibly wait until next week to post these photos. For those who do celebrate Easter, I hope they get you in the mood, and that you have a wonderful holiday with your families!
Some kind of Spring we’re having! Like much of the country, it seems, the first week of Spring meant snow for us. It was quite humorous, really, because we have been promised snow several times. The federal government and local schools have even closed in anticipation, but all we’ve really seen is a few flakes that soon turned to rain. This time, we got some real, wet, messy snow – and everything was open! We stayed home anyway, and used the weather as an excuse to drink hot chocolate and take it easy. Of course we had to get out a bit, and Annabelle thoroughly enjoyed playing in (and eating) the snow! We took advantage of the warmest day, even if it was still chilly, and did some walking in the city in hopes of spying some cherry blossoms. There’s not much to see yet, but Annabelle was happy for the chance to run around on the mall and look on as people flew kites. She took a break and removed her shoes to do some yoga beside the reflecting pool. Continue reading
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
Early yesterday morning, I heard Annabelle rustling around in her room upstairs. I walked to the bottom of the stairs where she could hear me and called up to her, “Good morning!” She called down in return, “Is it Spring!?” Yes, babe, yes it is! We celebrated at school by painting wooden eggs during outside time and Annabelle and I painted many, many more in the afternoon, which she’s excited to turn into a wreath. Of course we read the Spring-themed poems in her beloved book of seasonal poetry before bedtime, at which point it hit me that this is the only section we had yet to read in a book that arrived shortly after we moved here. We’re closing in on a year in the DC area and once again, I’m struck by how swiftly the time passes. In any case, I’m thrilled beyond measure to be closing out our first year with the Cherry Blossom Festival. Continue reading