Something about November seems like an especially perfect time to acknowledge feeling thankful for all that we have. I mean, it's always a good time to feel thankful, but around Thanksgiving there are so many opportunities to talk about it. Every day, I try to teach the children in my classroom about thankfulness, gratitude and generosity. These are things that I hope to instill in my own children, too. Being able to show true gratitude has been linked to having better relationships and better physical and mental health. Being grateful enhances empathy and reduces aggression -- and has even been linked to better sleep and improving self-esteem. All positive things! Here are five ways to teach kids to feel thankful and be grateful: 1. … [Read more...] about Teaching Kids to be Thankful.
Today marks one month since Javi started full-time at a Montessori school. It's been great! Overall, He's happy to go to school. Because we live so far away (it's the same school where I work), we debated whether or not sending him there was the right decision. It meant a lot of changes from his previous routine: I started driving him rather than Sean, he had to change his wakeup time from 8AM to 6AM, he changed from 3 days a week to 5 days a week, he changed from getting home around 4PM to getting home around 5:30. So many changes for my little 2 year old. But he's thriving and loving it. Changes I've noticed since starting Montessori school: - His language is exploding. Montessori says that will happen, but it's amazing to see and … [Read more...] about One month at a Montessori School.
Tomorrow, Javi joins one of the Montessori toddler classrooms at my school. I'm excited about this (and a bit nervous, if I'm being honest) but I'm really looking forward to seeing him throughout the day on the playground and in his Montessori classroom -- which is right down the hall from mine. He hasn't been in "school" before even though I called his daycare a "school", and he's jumping from a 3-day a week program to a 5-day a week program -- so it's a really exciting time for us in the Duffy Household! (Javi spending time in my 3-6 classroom!) Even though I teach older children there are things I suggest the parents in my classroom do to ease the transition of attending full-time school (for the first time, or after a long … [Read more...] about Getting ready for Montessori school.
In preparation for April and spring (even though we're still very much in the thick of winter here in New England) I wanted to share some Montessori practical life inspiration for the warmer months. With Spring, Easter, April, new life (butterflies, bumblebees, bunnies, etc.) on my mind (because I'm desperately trying to ignore the 6 inches of snow we're supposed to get tomorrow) I switched out my classroom's practical life shelves. It's always so exciting to put out new works and I love the spring colors and all the pastels. Here's what I've included: Pouring: Spooning/scooping: Squeezing: Transferring: Twisting: A few extras (folding, sewing, pounding, and a multi-step work including soap grating/whisking/floating ducks … [Read more...] about Montessori activities: Spring/Easter theme
Today I'm sharing some Practical Life works from my classroom. Saint Patrick's Day is the next major holiday and even though we're on school break when it rolls around, I like to change the themes and color of trays each month to coincide with some type of holiday or season. We don't actually acknowledge most holidays at my school -- so the trays cannot be overtly celebratory but you can do a lot with colors. So here are my non-St. Patrick's Day yet very green/white/orange/shamrock trays. :) In Montessori, Practical Life, is an area of the classroom geared toward all things practical. Children aren't born knowing how to pour themselves a drink or how to feed themselves with a spoon. They aren't born knowing how to clean a spill, or to … [Read more...] about Montessori activities: “Saint Patrick’s Day” theme.
Montessori philosophy is something I live and breathe during my work week but it's also something I try to implement in my parenting style with Javi. A lot of people take this to mean that our home is earthy-crunchy and that we don't allow any toys that are plastic. This isn't true. Here's what being Montessori means to us... at (nearly) 17 months.Prepared Environment - Rather than just "baby-proofing" our whole house we chose to set up prepared environments for Javi. This means he has a small area in each of our main rooms just for him. In the kitchen he has a small kitchen set, a table and chairs and a some cleaning supplies like a broom and a dustpan. We have set up a play space for him with a low shelf and a few toy choices in room now … [Read more...] about Montessori home check-in.