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Welcome to Miraculous Montessori Moments...Why the World Needs More Montessori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Aug032012

A Beautiful Mind

Yesterday I took Makena to the Daytona Cubs Baseball game - daddy daughter night. On the way home there was incredible lightning and thunder off in the distance. Makena and I were talking about how it is a part of nature. Makena paused for a few minutes. I could tell she was in deep thought as her eyebrows were scrunched together. The result was the following insight from Makena: 

 

"Daddy, behind those clouds is a beautiful rainbow tickling them. The thunder & lightning is the cloud's laughter" 
--Makena Skye Lukask 2012

I will never think of thunder and lightning the same way ever again. Forever, I will smile and consider my daughter's beautiful mind. 
Just wanted to share this with you guys...can't help but think this is Montessori-esq. 

Regards, 
Luke

 

 

Sunday
Feb122012

How desensitized we become to our surroundings....

We pull up to school today after having a few deep silent moments and I hear a voice from the backseat say:

"What if we put a sign up that said, "No humans allowed"

I wrinkled my forehead, quickly scanning my mind, memory and soul for a sign of where the announcement surfaced from.

I, then, casually looked toward the park at school, and as clear as day read the sign (which has been there for years)

"NO DOGS ALLOWED"

I smiled at the surfacing of this observation by the voice in the backseat (which was my son's, by the way).

I again wrinkled my forehead and smiled realizing that we all need to take time to see and realize  the details in the messages that surround us.............

I certainly needed the gentle and profound reminder from my son who "Read the Writing on the Wall (or sign, so to speak)......"

He again reminded me of the importance of being an observer.....and to see things from a child's perspective!

What a life lesson this was for me, as a mother and as a teacher.....

BRING ON THE DOGS........

This, my friends...........is why the world needs more Montessori

 

Sunday
Nov202011

A wish that could change the world...

At 6:40 this morning Ryan and I completed our exiting morning ritual.  As usual, we scan the house for any items that our dog might find delicious throughout the day and put them out of reach.  We then kiss and hug each dog and tell them how much we love them.  We then journey through the office, plastered with Montessori books and maps (which always inspires me and reminds me of how many more lessons I have in the works for the classroom and how excitied and appreciative I am of my position in life).

We then enter the garage, plastered with surfboards, tools and a huge skate ramp that Phil and Ryan built together. 

Each morning Ryan climbs up the skate ramp, does a few tricks or slides and then he skips out the garage door taking a glimpse at the sky and the energy around him.

This morning the routine was a bit different….It had a moment of inspiration that will forever stay with me.

As he slid down the ramp, he stopped for a moment and said:

“Mommy, I made a wish.”

 I said, “Oh, you did?”…..  I paused for a moment thinking...... I wonder where his mind and spirit are, at this very moment.  Another question also made its presence........….…..I questioned:  Should I ask him what he wished for?   My mind quickly replied….Yes.

I said: “So Ryan, What did you wish for?”

His reply was, “If I tell you it won’t come true”.

I said, “Some people believe that”.

He paused and as he skipped to the car and sat down and just as his seatbelt clicked,

Ryan said, “I will tell you"

 “I stood under a tree and wished that no other trees will ever be cut down.  Then I hugged the tree Mommy”.

My heart ached….

As I began to process the message I just had been given, I was experiencing feelings of happiness; admiration; and sadness.  These feelings were all intermingling as so many other thoughts raced through my head…

Thoughts such as:

I am so happy that my son and I just shared these amazing moments together!

I am so delighted that the messages that my husband and I and the people that are part of our lives pass on..... feel the same way that we do and also share the “Save the Earth” mentality.

I was moved that he thought about a tree and what it symbolizes and what it provides for all of humanity.

I was also sad that this is where life and so much of human beings' disrespect for nature and all living creatures has taken us.

There is nothing like driving by a forest that has been or is being cut down.  One can’t help think about………Let me better phrase that last statement…One can only wish that each and every person thought about and took into account the amount of life one tree provides.

It is shade.

It is a home to thousands of living entities.

Its leaves nourish the soil below.  Once they fall, they decay and become part of the earth and provide food for billions of other living creatures that work so hard to keep our soil functional for us humans…..and in turn, provide food for us.

It is a magical masterpiece of beauty for the eye to behold…..available in endless shapes, colors and varieties.

And the last, but certainly not the least important consideration is that a tree is our lifeline.  The oxygen that it so graciously provides us is done so beautifully, gently and in such a subtle manner.

A tree asks for nothing in return….We, in return,must give the respect and honor to the beautiful entities that sustain life on this magical Earth of OURS.  This is the message that my mind gave as my thoughts soared after Ryan shared his wish…….

This wish was to be taken seriously.

This was not just the wish for the fate of one tree.

It was a wish to change the world.  It was a plea to make a difference even when you feel that you are only one being and can’t possibly change the world.

Most importantly, it was a pure souls’ desperate cry for help from each and every one of us.

Ryan was reminding me, and I in response am to remind you, to do all in your power to make this world a better place. 

It is everyone’s world…..but more deservingly it is our children’s home.  It will be our children who will protect the trees and the animals and the people of the world.  It will be our beautiful creations that will be hugging trees. It will be our children protecting all forms of life and our children leading the way for the many souls that will tune in and really listen…..

If only we show them the way.

During my mind’s travel I also had another thought.

I longed to be there the moment that Ryan hugged the tree and made that wish….but, knew that I just needed to be satisfied with the wish itself.

The day went on and life presented life in many forms, as it does each day.

Friday arrived.  Our Elementary children were enjoying their weekly exploration in the woods and enjoying the tastes of life that a forest and a marsh provide.

I glanced at each of our children who were so alive in nature and enjoying oneness with the world that surrounded them.

Then I turned around and caught a glimpse of Ryan.  He was whole-heartedly hugging a tree, looking up at its immensity and whispering his wish for the fate of this tree and all of humanity.  He spoke to the tree for a few moments, gave a deeper hug and skipped away into the company of his beautiful friends.

My heart sunk and my face and every particle of my being smiled with a deep, calm sense of satisfaction….

I took a deep breath and savored the gift of air that the trees were providing and thought…

THIS MY FRIENDS, IS WHY THE WORLD NEEDS MORE MONTESSORI...

Wednesday
Sep142011

The Leaning Tower of Pink...

The Pink Tower of Cubes…………those beautiful little “blocks” that the occasional “passerby” calls them.

They are worked with and enjoyed at so many ages.

It’s been amazing to see the work and the never seen designs that we are now experiencing in our new Elementary classroom. 

Cubes are being deeply looked at and cubes are fitting together like never before!

Which reminds me of an observation involving a very deep thinking problem solver…..Just three years of age, I’d love to add!

This beautiful three year old made her own observations.

Kept on testing those observations each time she walked by the Pink Tower.

AND with her own will and gathered data……..fixed the “Leaning Tower of Pink”….

Let me share with you what created the - Beautiful Three Year Old Problem Solver

Before our summer session, I made a few changes in our Primary classroom.  Mistakenly, without the consent of our children! 

In a Montessori classroom, the children should be the ones who are involved in the decision making.  This is why Montessori Schools are called “Children’s Houses”.

So, I broke one of the cardinal rules and moved some of the furniture by myself.  Let me add that it was in the best interest of our children (let me also add that the children certainly let me know what changes had been made and how they honestly felt about them!). 

Bottom line was that I wanted to create a safer space that did not openly invite fast/running feet!

I moved a table between two of our work shelves and moved the Pink Tower location to the end of the bookshelf.

I noticed children walking by and knocking the smallest cube off of the tower each day.  I said to myself, after I knocked it over numerous times day after day….“We will all spacially get used to the change and adjust our movements accordingly!”  I have to admit, a few times, I was just ready to shift it right back where it was!  Problem solved!

BUT, had I done that, what I’m going to share would have never came into existence!

One morning, I noticed ML deeply engrossed in a roll of tape.  I just observed how she tried to take just the right piece off over and again.

A bit later, I saw her really studying the Pink Tower.

My observation ended there and I began to present a lesson.

I finished the lesson and began observing again to see what everybody’s interests were and what work had been chosen.

I smiled to see that ML was just finishing up with the tape and happily skipped over to the wrapping tray and returned the tape with the most amazing look of satisfaction on her face!

I kept looking at her and she causally, but knowingly walked by the Pink Tower, deeply glanced at it, smiled and moved onto a new choice of work.

The day went on and our work cycle was completed.  We said our lovely goodbyes for the day and I began to prepare the classroom for the next day.

I walked by the Pink Tower and leaned down to pick something up.

A scene caught my eye and made me smile in amazement!

Now at eye level with the tower, I saw that the smallest pink cube had been taped to the second cube!

I took a deep breath and smiled from ear to ear knowing how deep our ML is.

This was not just a taping job….this was a three year old solving the world's problems.

She did not look past herself to fix something that was not working in her environment.

She independently went and gathered the tools that she needed to make her classroom right! 

She did not ask for help.  She did not get upset that the cube kept falling.

After so many episodes of trial and error….walk by tower = cube falling…ML took it upon herself to Problem Solve and Correct the Problem.

Wow!  The mind of a Three Year Old Problem Solver has so much to offer and so much for the adults of the world to learn from!!

If allowed….a three year old (or a child/adult of any age)…WILL observe their environment; experiment in their environment and will create what it is that they feel from within.

It is simply second nature to them…..It is not a problem to be solved….It is a challenge to enjoy!

ML,  Thank you for reminding me to enjoy life’s challenges and that any “problem” can certainly be solved given the opportunity to explore……

This my friends is Why the World Needs More Montessori!...

 

Monday
Sep052011

What an adult can learn about the power of a seed...

While weeding yesterday, Ryan suddenly came up with his own way to raise money for our school. Our yard is covered with grasses….not because we planted all of them, but because 3 years ago, we bought two little pots of garden grass……

Day after day, Ryan would walk out the front door and gently run his hand up the blades of grass releasing them to the wind. It was the power of the wind and the gentle touch of the sun that made the grasses spread and spread all over our front yard. Each time the wind blows, it reminds me of how our children delight in the beauty of nature and how our garden is Ryan’s masterpiece!

So, in the midst of dirty hands and sweaty foreheads Ryan shared, “Mama, I know what we can do!!  We can sell some of the seeds of grass to raise money for materials”! He continued on…..”What materials do we need?  How much are they?  “I think we can raise enough”

He then decided how he wanted to sell them. He walked into the kitchen, grabbed a few brown paper bags and began to take all of the blades off of the stem s and let them drop into the bags. He talked the whole time, figuring out where he would put them at school, calculating how much he would need to cover certain materials, and in between asking if I had ever thought of raising money from the seeds in our garden! It was beautiful!

It was hours of nature. ….hours of language….hours of science….hours of problem solving…..hours of mathematics…….hours of community involvement….hours of botany…hours of self-chosen “homework”, hours of self expression and most of all hours spent with his family enjoying the “fruits of his labor”……the beautiful grasses.          

Ryan would like to sell his seeds from his front yard for 50 cents. Your planting process is as simple as…Let the wind take them where there are meant to be…They will thrive…..

As I am typing this during the early morning hours I smile and think……This is why the world needs more Montessori.