Childlike Empathy: Connecting with Animals

When children are outdoors and are visited by an animal, such as the miniature horse like Blaze (Clay’s pet) who visited Little Lea Montessori Preschool or when children enter an animal’s space (nature) they just come alive. It’s as if they’ve been invited into a special world. Bringing a child to a wild place, aContinue reading “Childlike Empathy: Connecting with Animals”

The Miracle of the Uninterrupted Work Period

“When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work, they appeared rested and deeply pleased.” – Maria Montessori Can a Three-year-old Stay Still? It is quite fascinating to see little boys and girls as young as three-years-old stay on a task with a sustained attention span for up to 3 hours and even more.Continue reading “The Miracle of the Uninterrupted Work Period”

Growing a Child’s Imagination: The Benefits of Reading Early

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination” Albert Einstein. “Our aim is not only to make the child understand, but to touch his/her imagination.”  Maria Montessori It is never too early to start reading to your child to enrich and stretch his/her imagination. Reading to a young child is a crucial aspectContinue reading “Growing a Child’s Imagination: The Benefits of Reading Early”

The Wonder of The Pink Tower

In her book, Dr. Maria Montessori’s Own Handbook, Maria describes the pedagogical sensation of The Pink Tower … “Ten wooden cubes colored pink. The sides of the cubes diminish from ten centimeters to one centimeter. With these cubes the child builds a tower, first laying on the ground (upon a carpet) the largest cube, andContinue reading “The Wonder of The Pink Tower”

The Child’s Love of Nature and The Outdoor Classroom

I love Montessori’s commitment to hands on learning in the outdoor classroom!  Early on, as a young physician, Maria Montessori observed the healing, calming and ordering effect nature had on children.  She observed that children gained a sense of calm and tranquility when they were immersed in nature.  Montessori believed that the order and beautyContinue reading “The Child’s Love of Nature and The Outdoor Classroom”

Little Steps … Large Gains: Working with the Child’s Desire to Learn

Montessori educators organize their lesson plans according to the child’s interests.  Children are interested in different things at different times and have different capacities so it seems quite practical to try to work with the child’s interests, rather than imposing one’s learning agenda on them.  The children are learning on so many fronts at onceContinue reading “Little Steps … Large Gains: Working with the Child’s Desire to Learn”

Exploring and Mastering the Simple Things

The Practical Life as a curriculum in Montessori is purposeful activity.  It develops motor control and coordination.  It fosters independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. The exercises in Practical Life cover two main areas of development: care of self and care of the environment. For the Montessori child, the ordinary things that we takeContinue reading “Exploring and Mastering the Simple Things”

Learning Language in the Montessori Environment

Sandpaper Letters! The language progression in the Montessori preschool environment is hands on and great fun!  It is a wonderful way to start to challenge children in their discovery of written language.  First there are the sandpaper letters!  These letters isolate one sound and give the child a sensory experience to associate with the visualContinue reading “Learning Language in the Montessori Environment”

How Is Creativity Nurtured?

What do the founders of Amazon, Wikipedia and Google have in common? They are not just creative and successful entrepreneurs of this generation, but they all had their start in the Montessori environment. They all received a Montessori education. Peter Sims, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal asks the question, “Is there something goingContinue reading “How Is Creativity Nurtured?”