Friday, May 17, 2013

Reflecting on Montessori learning + motherhood

When I birthed Poppy + became a mother it was a re-birthing for me also. Motherhood grounded me in a way my career never did. I took what was good and life giving from counselling and social work and planted it in my soul + parenting. Training in Expressive therapies and sandplay encouraged everyday rituals to become a spiritual practise and the use of symbols a language of it's own which I could share with my children through play.
I awoke to see the world in a new light. I loved so strongly, was open to learning as a new mum and found myself opening up to my surroundings, nature, friendships and my husband in a new way. I began to rebuild an identity based on the simple life and not working myself into the ground. The joy of playing, watching and creating a home for my little ones was life altering. Little else seemed to matter as it once had. Gone were the days of striving to work more than live I was finally at a point where l could stop and breathe in what was important.
One of my constant lessons is to embrace life, love fully + learn to accept/love me. I doubt and question so much, hold back when I should be moving forward and letting go. I still hold on to control more than is healthy. So I've made a mindful change in my life to be committed to doing 5 things for me with MyTop5 to self-nurture and attempt to impart love, honesty and transparency in my parenting of my tribe.
When Patchworkcactus began Montessori in May it was the perfect opportunity to guide and  create a learning space for Miss Three. I'm exploring four year old kinder and thinking of Miss Three's future education. The interweaving of nature, life skills and play are a big component to Montessori learning. I thought it would be fun to tell a ongoing story of our  Montessori lessons and home happenings as the months go by. Because every story is captured either through emotion, word or picture I'm going to weave a story through photos and the written word. I'm sure there will be numerous to share with you as the Autumn days get shorter and the opportunities for learning with Miss Three grow longer.

The story so far....
Day 1 water a plant, she loves taking care of the veggie patch and harvesting each day. I'm teaching her the importance of caring for the garden during it's many cycles. From soil to seed, from seedling to plant and then to harvesting and composting.
Day 2 Wipe a table, Miss Three could already do this so she set the table for the first time. Since then every night she wipes down the table, sets it and lays out the cutlery and the plates. It's her thing now.

Day 3 Pour your own drink.
Day 4 Clean up after yourself. Miss Three is great at tidying up after herself l had to laugh at this kitchen clean up though it took a while and went in stages but she got there in the end.

Day 5 Smell some herbs. Miss Three really got into this lesson we explored the garden. Found thyme, sage, rosemary, olive plant, oregano, mint, apple mint, chives, garlic chives, parsley and coriander. Miss Three planted the coriander and is excited by it's growth. She then harvested pineapple sage leaves and mint for tea. I wanted to extend the lesson so we boiled the jug, she laid out the table with her T2 things and made tea with my help. I picked up a aluminum teapot like l had when l was little for her to use and create her own everyday tea rituals. She then poured the tea and we had tea and biscuits. We made the biscuits together that morning so it felt like a great completion of the lesson to finish enjoying the fruits of our labours.

We had our afternoon tea and then practised her spelling. She longs to read and write so over the course of the year we will provide opportunities for learning. She learnt the letter e and how herbs was spelt. We both decided afternoon tea rituals are fun and should be repeated.

Day 7 Look at a world map or globe. We decided building one was more fun. It's her favourite puzzle at the moment. I sat and watch while she found the pieces and pieced it together. We then talked about the different countries as she has been learning about the world at kinder on Thursdays too. A very happy, little girl at the end.

Day 8 Walk in a line- We hadn't practised this before it was fun joining her in the kitchen and walking lines while our dinner was cooking on the stove. Lots of giggles ensued.
Day 10 Drink out of a glass- Miss Three already does this so I got Nanna to bake a cake with Miss Three from start to finish including breaking the eggs. She's been cooking daily with me since she was two it's never to early to start, she's good at it and she loves creating something and getting to lick the spoon.

Day 9 Butter some bread- she buttered bread for dinner after kinder and then spread her favourite berry jam on a slice for a snack. Stories- We then finished with a bedtime story with Miss Three and little fox. The first sibling shared story time such a precious moment captured. Day 11 Put on shoes- this is a skill mastered already we have moved onto choosing our socks and shoes + practising to put them on.
Day 12 Collect leaves- Autumn leaves are plentiful and many now reside in our house.  Miss Three often creates landscapes or pictures with symbols and things from nature or her toy basket that tell a story.
Day 13- Paint a picture- it is always a crafternoon at Poppyfox Hq. Day 14- Talk about shapes, incorporated into our crafternoon with art and shapes. We then talked about the crescent moon and full moon we had seen in recent drives home. A circle and a crescent which Miss Three thought could also be a smile. It's amazing the opportunities for learning that exist if we remain open to creating and living in a learning environment.

Day 15- Scrub a table. Miss Three scrubbed and washed the table and then set it for dinner.
 Day 16- Try a new food. Miss Three and I created a story in play then introduced the new food which she loved- blanched almonds. Ads then taught her how to make bread, a great rainy day activity as we get over mild illnesses.

Day 17- Pour some raw rice. I got a mini muffin tin out a small glass cup and the rice in a bowl. I made it difficult by ensuring that Miss Three would need to take the time to measure the rice to fit in the holes in the tray. We practised it a couple of times with Little fox watching his sister intently. It's never to young to start learning. He thought she was fantastic as did I.

Come join us over at Instagram as we do Montessori through May and the following months. Just use hashtag #pcmontessoriaday and throw a link over here + on Instagram so l can check you out.

x Mummafox
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