Saturday, March 26, 2011

Meditation and Children

We have been using meditation as a tool in our Casa to relax and release stress.  Our favorite chant is "Om Shanti," with the "om" indicative as the sound or symbol of the universe, and "shanti" meaning deep peace.  It is usually chanted in threes.  We use a song from a yoga cd that we like.  Our children are beginning to go off and take a few minutes to meditate when things in the Casa are too loud or chaotic for them, or when they need to calm themselves because they are frustrated over some incident.  I hope we can all carry some sort of coping device within ourselves that helps us be calm, relaxed, and aware of the great gifts inside and around us.  I came across an article about meditation and children that you might enjoy:  The photo is from a children's meditation garden in Wimbledon, London.  They are a Buddhist club, but I think it would be lovely to develop meditation gardens in our Montessori schools, complete with a labyrinth!  I know I would love to spend a portion of each day there.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I had to post this beautiful poem by Sara Kay, as hands are the cornerstone of our Montessori work.  Montessori says, "The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence," and "The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself."  In a myriad of ways, our hands create lasting expressions of life, both concrete and abstract.  For more Sara Kay, see the TED website.

Interpreting the Farm

I had to share this rather humorous take on the farm.  This child has only been presented through the preposition, so there are a few mistakes, for all you Montessorians out there.  She decided to embellish her work by drawing pictures of the animals.  I think it says, "The pig is feeding her pigs.  The geese ate the mother dog.  The horse is standing on the barn and the geese on ________.  The big fat _________ fainted on Sunday and the donkeys on _______________________ in the barn."  If you have any ideas to fill in the blanks, let me know by commenting!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Bunny Love

Can you stand the cuteness!  Marley, our rabbit, is going on five years.  He is a Mini-Rex and their lifespan is 5-7 years.  Get ready for the tears when the big day comes!  I hope he takes a cue from our guinea pig Robby and lives much longer than predicted.  Robby lived to be 9 or 10, which is extremely long for a guinea pig.  Cross your fingers for Marley--he turns 5 on July 4!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tea Time

There has been a lot of tea work in our room lately.  It is a lovely activity.  We use herbal tea and have an airpot of warm water.  The children prepare the tea, and while it is steeping, they may invite a friend to share teatime with them.  After they prepare the tea table, they clean up their work, bring the tea to the table, and enjoy the time with a friend.  The sort of crumbly cheese snack in the middle photo is a quesadilla, which is another activity in our room.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Searching for Spring

We are all a little winter weary in our Casa.  We put the window washing work out in hopes of spring cleaning being just around the corner.  I love the juxtaposition of the spring dress and kelly green tights against the window and the never-ending snow.  On this same day, we also started some seeds.  Now, all we need is a little sun and a little luck.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Честита Баба Марта-- Happy Baba Marta

Today we celebrated Happy Grandmother March (a Bulgarian holiday) in our Casa, as one child's mother is originally from Bulgaria.  Here is what has to say about the holiday:

Martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница /ˈmar.tɛ.ni.ʦa/, plural мартеници, martenitsi) is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1st until the 22nd March (or the first time an individual sees a stork, swallow or budding tree). The name of the holiday is Baba Marta. "Baba" (баба) is the Bulgarian word for "grandmother" and Mart (март) is the Bulgarian word for the month of March. Baba Marta is a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the upcoming spring. The month of March, according to Bulgarian folklore, marks the beginning of springtime. Therefore, the first day of March is a traditional holiday associated with sending off winter and welcoming spring.

We made our own martenitsas in our room, and welcomed the first day of March, which was sunny and warm.  Hopefully, spring is on the way soon!