Monday, January 17, 2011

My favorite Montessori Quote

The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

This quote goes for motherhood also. "The children are now _________ as if I do not exist". I cannot wait until my girls sleep through the night as if I do not exist. I cannot wait for my girls to use the bathroom as if I do not exist. I cannot wait until my girls can get dressed as if I do not exist. As a mother I am working on all of these "lessons". I am keeping a bedtime routine, and trying not to climb in bed with them when they wake in the night; I am toilet training my 19 mo old; I help the 3 year old pick out clothing the night before or she gets to choose from 2 outfits acceptable for the day; I allow my girls to put on as much clothing as they want--sometime taking a deep breath when the coat is upsides-down, the shoes are on the wrong feet or the pants are on backwards.

As a mama, it is also my job to prepare my girls for life in general. How to be polite at a play date, how to question things they may hear or read, how to bare the image of Christ to others, how to drive, how to succeed in life, how to be fun-loving and responsible as if I do not exist.

I have chosen Montessori education for my career as well as how to educate my children. I am excited for them to develop CCCIO; Concentration, Confidence, Coordination, Independence and Order. I am excited for them to develop a respect for themselves, others and the environment (whether it be the classroom, sitting in church, the grocery store or living a green lifestyle).

Beyond the above mentioned ideals I am excited about the academic side of Montessori. I am excited for Magoo to do water work at school without a spill and learn to enunciate all the words of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (I'm not sure how much more academic a toddler can be, so I'll move on to Humphrey.) I am exited for her to trace and pin-prick her first map (she mastered the continent names months ago, but does not have the tracing ability to trace the puzzle pieces.); to learn all of her sounds; to do addition with the decimal materials and understand skip counting through the cubing chains.

I must admit, I am a realist. Sometimes I peer through the viewing window at school to see Humphrey standing next to a table or laying next to a friends rug on the floor and the old fashion cash register sound is ca-chinging in my brain. I am choosing an expensive style of education for my child, it's an investment--even her time socializing and observing.

I hope you have the opportunity to join me in the future when I talk about some of the above mentioned qualities of a Montessori Education, and the methods and materials that are used.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


We place a big emphasis on polishing at the school at which I work. I must admit, I was in my 7th year teaching in the classroom when I introduced more than just eyeglass and mirror polishing. I was finally introduced to wood, glass, brass, silver and shoe polishing. Some people may think polishing as old fashioned. As an adult I find it cathartic, riding an object of it's tarnish, dirt, and smears. I have discovered children being "lost" in their work of polishing. In the Montessori world we also say they are concentrating. Below is a picture of Humphrey polishing a wooden tray last night while I was making dinner--it kept her busy the entire time.

Little is invested in this set up. I picked up the wooden tray at a Salvation Army store recently for $1.95 and with a couple little flannel clothes and some all natural wood polish, we were ready.

When Humphrey decided the tray was polished enough for the time being, she placed the polishing clothes in her laundry basket and can wash them the next time she decides to do cloth washing.