Montessori Matters

January 4, 2019

Seeing Awakens the Heart

“When the heart is asleep the eyes only look, but seeing awakens the heart”
Oluwatobi Eccles

There is a difference between “seeing” and “looking.” Many of us, especially as super busy adults, rush through the day looking at all the things that need doing. We look at the peanut butter on our child’s face, the traffic piled up at the four-way stop sign, the waiting lines returning misguided gifts. And then there are those moments when we see. We look up and catch the awe on our child’s face when she first sees the Christmas tree lights. And our hearts smile. Or catch a spouse exhausted after doing all the set up and take down of the holidays, catching a nap in the big chair. And our hearts smile.

One of Montessori’s tenets is understanding the need to cultivate the ability to really see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. In other words – the ability to discern. Discernment in seeing shades of colors and sorting them around the color wheel. Discernment in grading and matching the Montessori bells. Discernment in learning to identify the various bird songs and matching them with identification cards. Discernment in feeling the weight of the baric tablets and grading them. Discernment in identifying various smells in the smelling bottles. In fact, discernment is all the sensorial materials.

And patience. Waiting for the next Montessori lesson, waiting for the material to be put back on the shelf, waiting until everyone has been served before eating.

And stillness. Waiting on line until everyone is ready with “sit crisscross, apple sauce.” Even at the beginning of a high school class, taking that moment into quietness before starting on today’s lesson.

So, what do these characteristics have to do with these beautiful pictures of birds? One of our high school juniors, Abby Keenan, has Montessori in her bones. As a nature photographer, she exhibits just these same attributes listed above: discernment, patience, stillness. Would she have developed them anyway – without the benefit of a Montessori education? Perhaps. But what is certain, her innate talents have been more richly cultivated through her years spent in a Montessori environment.

As we begin this New Year, all of us at Montessori School of Anderson wish you blessings with more moments of Eccles idea of “seeing that awakens the heart.”
Big picture
The above hawk and bluebird photos were taken by Abby on the MSA campus last semester and are excellent examples of her ability to see the nature around her. She also took the following amazing pictures over the holiday break.
Big picture

Dates to Remember

January 21 - Martin Luther King Day - All Programs Closed, Extended Day Available

January 27 - Open House

February 1 - Letters of Intent sent home

February 11-15 - Middle School Play Week

February 15 - Letters of Intent due

February 18 - Presidents Day - All Programs Closed, Extended Day Available

Nurse's Notes

Thank you all for your generosity and support with the MSA Share the Warmth Tree. I am so honored and grateful to be part of a community that is so giving and willing to assist when a request is made to support children who have specific needs, such as the need for warm winter wear. Thank you to each of you for decking out the MSA office tree with all of the beautiful decorations of warm clothing. I'd also like to extend a special thank you to the MSA High School, who will deliver the warm winter wear to Anderson Interfaith Ministries.

Wishing you health, safety and peace this holiday season.

Nurse Merriman

Toddler Two Activities

These toddlers got right back to work after the break practicing colors and artistry, sharing and collaboration, and matching and manual dexterity.

Lower El Sleepover

Lower Elementary students made up their sleepover that was postponed due to Hurricane Michael this week. The students had a blast eating dinner, playing board games, and spending the night in the Lower Elementary building.
Big picture

Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.