Montessori at MVM Thursday 1/14

Deepening Our Collective Understanding

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Dear MVM Families,

This Montessori newsletter is focused on work done by Donna Bryant Goertz, who founded Austin Montessori School in Texas and is a Master Montessori teacher.

Ideas below are from her book, "Children Who are Not Yet Peaceful", which is worth reading in its entirety.

We hope you will consider the ideas below as you work to support your child as they grow, develop, learn, and change through the seasons.

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Montessori Students Walk Around the Sun to Celebrate the Seasons of Their Lives

Family Life for the Early Elementary Child should include:

  • slow-paced lifestyle with long hours of sleep on a regular schedule

  • nutritious diet high in protein, fresh fruits and veggies, exercise

  • generous amounts of time in nature

  • someone to behold the child's face with joy, hold her, hug her, treasure her for herself alone

  • someone to read chapter books aloud for 20-30 minutes every day

  • someone to recite poetry every day, a new poem each week

  • someone to sing every day, a new song each week

  • someone to tell delightful stories of the child's own life

  • an atmosphere of open curiosity and inquiry, in which everyone in the family treasures learning

  • responsibility for caring for himself and his own things a well as contributing to meal preparation and the care of house, garden, and pets

  • two-your weekly limit on all screen media-movies, videos, TV, computer games-combined

  • freedom from being dragged around on errands

  • freedom from the cynicism and sarcasm appropriate to later years

  • parents who say no cheerfully and mean it

  • parents who wait until their children are in bed to listen to music, watch movies, play computer games, and watch TV programs, even the news, that are not appropriate to the children's ages or that would give children more media hours than is best for their development

  • Parents who establish and uphold a family child-rearing culture that is appropriate to the child's age and who support age-appropriate independent thought and action and an age-appropriate role in decision-making in as many areas as often as possible
  • (from "Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful, page 122-123)
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Ten Tips for Supporting Your Child at Home

Prepare every room of your home so your child can participate fully in family life.

Differentiate carefully between age-appropriate and age-inappropriate participation in family life.

Include the child in plans if you don't want a bored child on your hands.

Organize family life to fit the needs of your child's age and personality.

Welcome all feelings and help your child to express strong emotion with clarify and respect.

Explain carefully what's going on in the family, while staying on an age-appropriate level in keeping with your child's understanding and interest.

Maintain cycles of activity in balance with basic needs for nutrition, sleep, exercise, quiet concentration, solitude, companionship, that fit your child's temperament.

Participate three times a day with your child straightening his room and bath and putting away his toys, materials, and games.

Treat your child's behavior as "in process" and development, never simply as good or bad.

Balance firmness and consistency with a generous measure of hopefulness, good cheer, and joy. Laugh a lot. Tell wonderful little stories of your child's life, often.

  • (from "Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful, page 123-124)

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