Our day to day life is hectic, crazy and at times stressful. All the opposite of PEACEFUL! The other day was International Day of Peace and although I personally, and probably most people, didn’t celebrate it in any way, Montessori schools around came together and celebrated the day. This was a gentle reminder that if we all come together, happily and peacefully, we can really all work together for the greater good.
The children at Lennox’s school love this day every year. Each year, the children make peace pinwheels. They are simple pinwheels – but they feel so accomplished with what they have made – each unique in their own ways. They bring all the pinwheels out to the play yard, put them into the grass and sit and sing a song about peace. I haven’t actually witnessed it, since parents are not invited, but I am sure it is a great thing to watch.
This is the pinwheel that Lennox made this year:
You can find the pinwheel printable here, if you want to try this next year or on your own time!
Montessori is all about learning but in a peaceful, kind, respectful and tolerant way. These are the core values of Montessori and what they hope Montessori children will live their lives.
Last night at Lennox’s school we had the Silent Journey evening. In the Montessori world, the silent journey is an evening where the parents get to explore the classroom from a child’s point of view. The parents are encouraged to try the “works”, receive lessons from the teacher and learn how their child goes through the classroom on a daily and weekly basis.
Traditionally it is very “silent” but with the teacher that Lennox has, all the parents tend to ask her questions and she gives group lessons. It really is neat to see how she would give a lesson to a child or hear how one work leads into the next and into the next. Every work is a stepping stone to something much bigger and more abstract.
The room is divided into a number of sections. You can see more examples of each section in my post about Primary Level Montessori, but to give you the quick version – here are the main sections:
- Practical Life
- Shapes / Geometry
- Spelling / Writing
- Peace / Yoga
While going around the room – I snapped a few photos (which probably is so un-montessori to have my cell phone to take a picture) of the different Montessori works.
This work about geometric shapes – I couldn’t even name all of them the proper way – but I bet you the children in this class can!
This work has a lot of different uses – from learning the letter name, sound, how to write it (tracing it with their fingers) to items that start with that letter!
This is the 100’s board. Lennox tells me she does this but I don’t think she is quite there at school yet. They have to learn how to put all the numbers together and work up to this board!
I love seeing the work that Lennox mentions from day to day (sometimes!) and also learning about everything she does know or is working on that we never even knew about! It’s amazing what 3-6 year olds can do!
Last week we had Meet the Teacher night at Lennox’s Montessori school. We knew that it would be a lot of repeat information since Lennox has been at the school for quite some time now and she has the same teacher again this year – but we figured we would go to see what they had to say – and I’m glad we did!
We got a great insight in some of the new works Lennox will be exposed to, as well as some general information about the teacher, assistant and school year. One thing that they shared with us was a sweet poem about young children at school.
Everyday I ask Lennox how school was and what she did. She will never tell me what she did or what she learned. This poem is perfect for those very moments!
The Nothing Poem
When children come home
At the end of the day,
There’s a question they’re asked
As they scurry to play.
“Tell me, what did you do in school today?”
“Nothing. I did nothing today!”
Perhaps nothing means that I played with blocks.
Tied my own shoes, or found beautiful rocks.
Maybe the monarchs hatched today.
Or maybe I found a new friend to play.
Maybe today was the very first time
My scissors followed a very straight line.
Perhaps I learned a new song, and sang all the words,
Or I touched a feather from the strangest of birds.
When you’re in preschool and your heart has wings,
“Nothing” can mean some wonderful things!
– Author Unknown
Here is a printable version as well: