Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Ways To Support Montessori Kids

Now that Iris and Sarah are off to school (with Mom), I'm remembering how important it is to support
the Montessori-Schooled Child while considering their school-specific needs.
This photo is Madeline in our old school, viewing the world- up close.

1.  Read
Make time each day to read to your child.  This is the most important things a parent can do for any child.  If they can, ask them to return that favor (even if they are just making up the stories).  Visit libraries and bookstores, not just kindles and iPads!  Show them that reading isn't just a skill, but a world of adventure.  Also, read for pleasure in front of them.  I always find my girls curl up next to me with their books while I read my own books.

2.  Art
Provide plenty of time and materials for art; both creation and appreciation.  Go visit museums on weekends, or show the child books with art from all cultures and times.  Consider having an art area/table, where the child can create open-ended art.  Using pencils, crayons, paints, and clay at home supports the coordination and control they work on all day at Montessori.  We all know creativity is linked so deeply with intelligence. 

3.  Simplify
Take time to "just be."  Children can be over programmed, overstimulated, and overtired to the point where learning is impeded.  Try taking breaks from activities and spending time just being together.  No plan, just being together.  Time away from screens and electronic toys creates calm and room for real thought.  Considering the child's needs for rest can help him/her have successful school days with less fatigue.  

4.  Nature
Get outside.  Country or city, there's so much world to see.  Get out there, and spark some wonder in yourself and your little ones.  The best memories I have with my girls were surrounded by leaves, sand, and grass.

5.  Think Independence

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.  ~ Dr. Maria Montessori  Allow your children to dress themselves, help to cook and prepare meals, and clean up around the house.  Beyond that, try to imagine ways to set things up in your home to keep more at the child's level.  Can they reach the soap themselves?  Perhaps a stool will help.  Can your child help themselves to a healthy snack or a drink?  Give it a try!  Children need independence and support simultaneously, it is a balance to play with throughout their growth.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Color Filled Pear Room for Our Sweet Pair

For Iris and Sarah's 4th birthday, we decided to give them a more cheerful room.  Madeline saw Enzo Mari in one of my magazines and thought to paint her own version as their presents.  We are so pleased with the results.
Painting the red pear for Sarah, how personalized!
Our finished pears hung over our big kid beds (we formerly used floorbeds, this is a big step!)
Our toys and books.  We recently removed the letters, so that they are interesting and exciting at Montessori School this fall.
Our clothing drawers.
Art display, kid changeable.
Room view from my tip toes.  It's a small space, but we now have the room  for our individual treasures.   They love their new bedroom, hand made by Madeline (who was 5) and Mom!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Movie Afternoon: Popcorn with Cake Batter Milkshakes (recipe here!)

Today we are watching a movie to cool off.  The girls were super hot from playing outside all day, so we are enjoying a little treat.  The library is showing Sleeping Beauty, but too late to fit our bedtime.  Snuggle central.  Here we are!  Sharing here, as everyone knows Montessori kids love to cook...the measurements were so easy.

Cake Batter Milkshakes
(a copycat of the American Girl McKenna Bday Shake)
This is nut safe, for our Iris :)
4 scoops Hood Chocolate Chip  Ice cream
1cup milk (or soy/rice vanilla)

1 cup cake batter mix, we used white cake
4 tablespoons of colored sprinkles

Topped with whip cream, more sprinkles, and a tea cookie!  

Enjoying our creation, tastes just like the store!