"It is really marvellous that man's movements are not limited and fixed, but that he can control them... So we might say that his characteristic is universal versatility, but there is one condition: he must construct them himself. he must work and create by will, and repeat the exercises for co-ordination sub-consciously as to their purpose, but voluntarily as to his initiative. So he can conquer all." Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind. p207
Bear, Fox and I love being out in the yard together. We spend so much of our time outside. I'm usually doing laundry or gardening while Bear is coming up with wild ways to push his little body to its physical limits. Fox does his tummy time, watches and chats with us.
I have great big dreams for a yard that is magical and inspiring for Bear and Fox. I have so many ideas in my head of the components I want our yard to include. My ideas are constantly expanding and becoming more elaborate. I see something amazing and want to incorporate it. We have so much space we really could have a bit of everything.
Alas our yard is so far from the dream!
Thankfully Bear doesn't seem to mind. He has managed to find all sorts of adventure in our mess of a yard...
... he races over the fencing as fast and as noisily as he can...
... he scales the mountain of dirt to reach the very summit...
... he tears along the bike track at top speed...
... he climbs to dizzying heights to spy on his cats up on the roof...
... he moves load after load of picked flowers to make our gardens beautiful....
... and he's working on his tennis strokes.
Fox can't wait to be his little side-kick! I hope that when he's out there too there'll be even more adventure to discover.
We've just been to Cockington Green!
A family birthday party took us to Canberra and we had a spare Saturday morning. I wanted to take Bear to Cockington Green. I remembered visiting as a child after reading the Borrowers with my dad. I remember it being magical. My expectations were so high... and I was not disappointed!
There are tiny houses with tiny front yards. There are tiny trees and tiny gardens.
There are tiny public transport systems...
... and tiny council services...
... and tiny road works!
Bear was enchanted. So was I!
It was a perfect place to spend the morning exploring and picnicking.
I wish I could visit every day but we only had one lovely morning to soak it all up. I can't recommend this special garden highly enough! I hope you've all been to Cockington Green!
"Not feeling very Montessori? Flower arranging will fix that!
Spring has sprung in our garden and we have an abundance of flowers that need picking. I thought it was about time we tried some flower arranging!
Bear watched a quick demonstration with interest and was keen to get into it!
He was clumsy to begin with. He crumpled the petals and bent the stems of his first batch of flowers.
Next time he handled the flowers more carefully.
He worked out that when he held them by the stems the petals weren't damaged.
Bear has gone back to this activity again and again. It gives us another way to enjoy our garden and this amazing time of year. It has a powerful control of error - seeing the delicate petals ruined by anything but the most respectful treatment taught him to be careful.
I was amazed how engaged my rough little boy was by this activity! He was so focused on making his hands work precisely. I didn't realise that flower arranging was such a great fine motor activity.
I will definitely be including this activity on Bear's shelves more often. I can't wait to try out some of these beautiful flower arranging ideas as well!
I haven't blogged for a while... I've had no inspiration. I've been feeling very boring, unmotivated and frankly not very "Montessori"... Ah well... Back on the horse.
I'm writing this after listening to the boys chat to each other on the baby monitor for an hour after I put them to bed. There's a squeel here, a giggle there, A bit of a whinge every now and then. Now silence. I half enjoy their little conversations. I half feel on edge wondering if they'll actually fall asleep in there!
Sleep has never been an area of child rearing where we've followed Montessori principles. Both babies started out swaddled in a bassinet and breastfed to sleep. We've had various issues with sleep as the babies outgrew one arrangement and had to adjust to something new. At each stage we've walked the path of least resistance with the motto in mind "it's not a problem unless its a problem" when it comes to nursing to sleep, swaddles, dummies, cots etc. Fox was born a good sleeper. Bear has learned to sleep well over time.
Since Fox out grew the bassinet he has been a little gypsy baby - sleeping in a different bed each night. I assembled his cot in Bear's room hoping to have them in together but it just wasn't working. They'd wake each other up and everybody in the house had broken sleep. Unfortunately we haven't had anywhere else to put him! He's been sleeping in a port-a-cot in the guest bedroom but he's displaced very frequently by visitors. This is definitely not advocated by the Montessori books I've read! Or any baby books for that matter. Thankfully Fox is such an easy going little guy - he's let us get away with this instability at the price of an extra feed overnight
But now it's finally a success! The boys are sleeping in the same room. Not only sleeping but falling asleep at the same time in the same room with no help from mum or dad. It's a miracle! But not very Montessori - Fox sleeps in a cot.
I am still constantly debating with myself about the floor bed concept. I fluctuate between blatant scepticism and a desperate longing to make it work out for us. Should I move Fox onto a floor bed?
Bear first started to have issues with the cot at around 7 months. He was able to pull himself up to stand but couldn't get down again. He would cry when we left the room, pull himself up and then he'd get stuck. There was no way he'd be falling asleep standing against the cot rails! We'd be in and out to lie him back down over and over again until he finally gave up and fell asleep. But that stage passed and we kept him in the cot until he was 18 months old.
Fox is not mobile yet but he will be soon. Should I move him before he gets going? Should I wait until this current arrangement stops working? Gosh I don't know. Isn't it ridiculous how these tiny parenting decisions consume so much mental energy...
I am going to defer this decision for now and enjoy the silence of two sleeping boys.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.