Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Blog

I won't be writing a ton here until I'm back in the classroom, and that won't be for awhile : )

If you do want to keep up with me, I'm writing about my sweet girl and life as a new mom over here: The New Mommy Files: Memories, Missteps, and Milestones.  Otherwise, I'll catch you all when Annabelle is old enough for Children's House and I emerge from my blissful stay-at-home-mom cocoon!

Be well!

Monday, June 14, 2010

LOVE this Poem

Taken from the blog of a Montessori school (Sweetwater Bay Montessori Preschool), I had to post this here because I know I will want to reference in the future.

Today I did my math and science.
I toasted bread, halved and quartered, counted, measured, and used my eyes, ears and hands.
I added and subtracted on the way.
I used magnets, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don't say -


You see, I'm sharing as I play, to learn to listen and speak clearly when I talk
to wait my turn and when inside to walk.
To put my words into a phrase, to find my name and write it down.
To do it with a smile and not to frown, to put my pasting brush away.
So please don't say -


I learned about a snail and a worm.
Remembered how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck.
Learned that water runs off a duck.
Looked at words from left to right.
Agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don't say -


Yes, I played the whole day through.
I played to learn the things I do,
I speak a problem, find a clue and work out for myself just what to do.
My teachers set the scene, and stay near-by to help me when I really try.
They are there to pose the problems, and to help me think.
I hope they will keep me floating and never let me sink. All of this is in my head and not in my bag.
It makes me sad to hear you say -


When you attended your meeting today and do your work I will remember not to say to you -


- author unknown

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Montessori and Birth

The preparation for Annabelle's birth led to my becoming something of a birth junkie. I was absolutely amazed and exhilarated by my own birth experience and am now addicted to reading about, talking about, and thinking about birth. While most of the preparation for our birth experience happened in the 8 or so months that I actually knew I was pregnant, I started preparing mentally right around the time I started my Montessori journey.

What, you ask, does childbirth have to do with Montessori? I'll tell you ...

I come from a relatively large and more or less fertile family, so I grew up around babies being born. It wasn't a particularly scary thing, or a foreign thing, but I never gave it much thought. I did know that you showed up at the hospital and they gave you something called an epidural. Assorted family members hung around the waiting room and wandered in and out of the birthing room until that baby was finally out. Someone usually had a video camera and interviewed various family members, who gushed about their excitement as they waited. Eventually, the baby came out and everyone piled into the room where he or she was passed around from person to person for ooohs, aaahs, and photo ops. And that's how it was done.

When I began my Montessori journey, however, my idea of everything having to do with children changed. I was barely 18 when I began reading The Secret of Childhood and it was then that my whole picture of birth was completely turned upside down. Dr. Montessori writes,

But what care have men taken to assist the child as it makes the most difficult adjustment of all, that of passing from one mode of existence to another? At no other period in his life does man experience such a violent conflict and struggle, and consequent suffering, as at the time of birth...it has grown in a place where it was protected from all assaults, from every change of temperature, in a fluid created for its rest. And in an instant it has changed this dark and silent home for the hostile air... The doctor handles it without any particular regard, and when it starts to cry in desperation no one takes it seriously...
... a newborn child should not simply be shielded from harm, but measures should also be taken to provide for psychic adjustment to the world about it... The needs of a newborn child are not those of one who is sick but of one who is striving to adjust oneself physically and psychologically to new and strange surroundings.

Our attitude towards the newborn child should not be one of compassion but rather of reverence before the mystery of creation, that a spiritual being has been confined within limits perceptible to us. The manner in which we touch and move a child, and the delicacy of feeling which should inspire us at the time, makes us think of the gestures that a priest uses at the altar. His hands are purified, his motions are studied and thoughtful, and his actions take place in silence and in darkness that is penetrated only by a light that has been softened in its passage through stained glass windows. A feeling of hope and elevation pervades the sacred place. It is in surroundings such as these that the newborn child should live.

The first period of human life has not been sufficiently explored, and yet we are constantly becoming more aware of its importance. Hardships and privations in the first months of a child's existence can, as we now know, influence the whole course of his future development. But if in the child are to be found the makings of the man, it is in the child also that the future welfare of the race is to be found.

Too little attention is paid to the newborn child that has just experienced the most difficult of human crises. When he appears in our midst, we hardly know how to receive him, even though he bears within himself a power to create a better world than that in which we live ourselves.

The words which we read in the prologue to St. John's Gospel are in a sense applicable to the newborn child: "He was in the world ... and the world knew him not. He came unto his own and his own received him not."
How a woman chooses to birth is a very personal decision and what feels right for one woman may not for another. What this helped me realize, however, was the importance of birthing peacefully, gently, and consciously.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My sweet daughter is finally here!
I'm a mom!
I'm thrilled!
My Annabelle is already 5 weeks old, and boy has it been an amazing 5 weeks!
Her birth was beautiful and gentle, just as I have known I wanted my children's births to be since I first began reading Montessori's work and things have been at least as beautiful ever since. What a gift a new life is!

I daydream about when she becomes mobile and we can start implementing more and more Montessori into our home. Oh, I do love this stage, though, and am in no real hurry : ) Her room is just about all ready for when the time comes (she's in our bed now)

I have baskets all ready to transform into 'treasure baskets' for when she is ready to explore and am eager to share those with you. If any of you have made them, what have you put inside? Hopefully, now that I'm home, my creative juices will be flowing and I'll be posting much more frequently : )