Sunday, June 9, 2013
I’m packing boxes of treasures and routine comforts. Our beds and books are gone. Soon we’ll be stuffing our bathroom and kitchen belongings in more containers. The sound of the ripping tape is getting on my nerves. How long will it be before we connect with our attachments again? Maybe two weeks? Exciting? An adventure? At this stage, it feels like an approaching tornado.
Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. I’m blogging on my website: www.montessoritheory.com
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
I remember the exciting time when my first child was born and the nurse brought him to my bedside. He was beautiful—no matter that his head was cone shaped and his eyes crossed. He was the most beautiful sight in the whole world to me that first morning.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
My oldest grandson graduates this week. He played the Postlude on the piano for his classes’ Baccalaureate service the night before last. You could hear a pin drop before he was finished—the music was that moving. He has been fortunate to have a loving environment with collaborative parents who understood his moods and allowed him his moments of joy and peace.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Through culture and traditions, the adult works to prepare different environments for the child working to become the adult. One of the environments the adult prepares for the young child is through the initiation of baptism where the child learns to be one with the Holy Spirit. Through the enlightened Word, the adult works to share their bread, their grace, with their child.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Ted and I are moving. We both felt a sense of knowingness when we stepped into our new environment but were hesitant to express it to each other. What if we couldn’t have this new environment for keeps? We kept our good feelings to ourselves, squashing our timely moment of joy, as most intelligent house-hunting individuals would do. This is the way of many adults. Their sense of knowingness is brief, like a flick of a bird in the morning’s light. Quickly the thought is clothed with learned lessons of experience. The adult has learned to be cautious with silver linings.
Friday, April 12, 2013
What is resurrection like? I know there are many songs and poems that describe it. My favorite is: Morning has broken, like the first morning. What is meant by the first morning? The experience of the first morning is what the child enjoys every morning. The young child under three years of age remembers little of the mornings before.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
I’ve been pondering over the ideas in my last two blogs. Maria Montessori was the environment for the children because she knew the truth of life, just as many parents, especially mothers, and a few teachers, know the truth of their child’s life. They are born with the child as he emerges and develops in the surrounding environment, becoming one with it—conquering it, swallowing it like a starving animal, ravishing missed meals of many days.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
We speak of Maria Montessori preparing, for the children, an environment with materials and a method, which is what Montessori guides do for their classroom children, what parents can do at home for their young ones, especially their new born. Maria Montessori also organized classes for her teachers and for parents and adults just as special organizations like AMS and AMI and IMS certify our present day teachers, or guides as we call them, to serve our children.
I think I read recently that we have over seven thousand schools or more, worldwide, with certified teachers to use Maria Montessori’s method and materials—an enormous gift of life for our world, for our planet, Earth. We, as Montessori guides, assistants, parents, and enthusiasts are gateways to peace, thresholds to the joy and love that poets write about, because we love humanity.
But . . . there is more. Maria was a scientist, studying to understand the talents of this new being that others didn’t seem to recognize or appreciate. She brought to life the concept of the child’s intelligence to self-develop. It was her work. Her faith in the child called her to do this work for the rest of her life. She mirrored, modeled for her students what was normal for them. She knew what was normal because she lived her life for the child, for others. She not only studied and prepared the environment—she was the environment.
Parents, teachers, leaders, and young people—we are the environment that will create the new world and continue to create new beings. What we choose to do with our life, matters. Having faith and hope in our selves, matters.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
To be born with the child we have to be humble like the child. We have to be and see ourselves out of the box. A child has, knows, faith when we are their environment of God to them. They can venture out to the edge of the stair because they know we are there, watching, and will be there if they fall. That’s our work, to provide a safe environment, both physically and mentally, for the child’s creation of faith. Later, with their gift of faith, they will create their own faith environment.
Maria Montessori understood this work of the child and created materials and a method to aid children in their efforts. She had to be humble to allow them to toil independently, sacrificing her authority in telling them what to do rather than showing them the process with great humility. As parents of small children, we are their God, and we must accept this role with great awe and unpretentiousness, otherwise we risk becoming arrogant tyrants, heaven forbid, taking charge of their life.
It is no different for us as adults. We have no right to take charge of another’s life. If another should ask and benefit from our assistance, then think of the small child, and be present with them respectfully, showing faith in their potential goodness and greatness.
Please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. And check out the website: www.montessoritheory.com
Saturday, March 16, 2013
“No one puts new wine into old wine-skins, or else the new wine will burst the skins and be spilled, destroying the skins. New wine must be put into fresh wine-skins, and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38).
Maria Montessori tells us that to change a generation or nation, to influence it toward good or accentuate characteristics of a people to re-awaken religion or add culture, we must look to the child, an organic unity that is yet being born. We must be willing to be born with the child, to be an organism willing to let go of our old wine-skin, willing to taste the fresh wine of the new-one and realize and appreciate our common humanity—ready to work toward our cosmic destiny of peace. Wars happen because we don’t comprehend or appreciate our shared humanity.
Tonight I listened to a speech by Dr. Ben Carson, a neurologist, brain surgeon, and author of America The Beautiful. He spoke of the urgency for us, as adults, to unite in “human civility” to do our work of bringing truth and justice to our nation, an essential environment for our children to manifest their potential for creating peace on earth.
How do we do our work when truth or justice is disrupted in our own lives; when our environment is not a peaceful one? Surely the child will suffer.
Part Six in my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life, speaks of the mistakes we all have made in our own lives and how to face them and put them to rest. I think the ‘twelve steps’ were created for all of us and are essential steps toward our well-being and a happy environment for our children.
Please read my book, Montessori--Living the Good Life, and my website, www.montessoritheory.com
Saturday, March 9, 2013
I watched a delightful movie last night—I Am Sam—about the bond between a retarded father and seven-year-old daughter, Annie. When authorities gave Annie to foster parents, Annie and Sam had to fight with faith to maintain their relationship. Annie never gave up and wouldn’t let Sam give up.
Faith is a natural reality for a young child who knows happiness. Annie was loved by her father since birth. She couldn’t live without him, without his being present to her. Annie’s story made me think about children who haven’t been loved, haven’t found happiness, who don’t belong; children who are disruptive at home and in school, who do not have self-knowledge or faith in themselves.
Maria Montessori was concerned about these unhappy souls and found a way to bring them to happiness just as our Montessori guides work to do in their classrooms.
How does faith come to be if not naturally, as in Annie’s case who was loved from birth? We have to work for it. Maria Montessori called this activity child’s work—the work of becoming an adult, the work of receiving the gift of faith.
Have you watched a child build the pink tower or complete the metal geometric puzzles? The child has seen it done and will work to do it herself because she has the gift of faith. Faith is not giving-up, not quitting. Maria Montessori created an environment with materials and a method to allow children a way to self-knowledge and discernment to know faith—upon this rock will a new world be formed.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I read an interesting, provocative blog today by Laureen Golden. She asks, “Might the unprecedented collaborative commitment of Montessorians throughout the nation signal the birth of the ‘Montessori Community-as-an-organism’?” Perhaps she should say, “through-out the world.” Those of you who are fortunate to attend the coming International Congress in July will have an opportunity to connect with this global Montessori community.
New knowledge and understandings of our life on earth can create movements in education, both in the home and schools, which in time cause changes in our direction for learning. Every day we learn something new about our body and brain which in turn influences our choices of behavior and causes us to reflect on our lessons to our children. We work hard as adults to learn our kids—to help them be smart or smarter than we are, when all we need is to want for their happiness.
How can we get this across to humanity’s current culture of neediness? Only an organism can effectively change a culture. The beingness of an organism can make changes in itself. Montessori education is an organism of believers in the child who is a being who makes changes in its self. The coming Congress gathers to spread this Good News.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
No parent or teacher wants to admit they have failed. Rather, we blame society—the government, the President, Congress—they have failed to represent our needs, to spend our taxes wisely. There is always someone else causing the problem, causing the failure, causing the misbehavior, the violence and abnormality in the classrooms. Let’s get rid of guns so these abnormal humans can’t shoot our loved ones, some suggest. Others realize that the problem is us and give up.
Cultural changes are happening but not everyone is on the band wagon. Many have missed the train. We are not a small town, one state, or one nation society anymore. We have gone global. Technology and media have brought the world to our living room, the universe to our back porch. It has happened so quickly—can we not expect some craziness?
How can we catch up with human reality? How can we be present to a life that is the same for all people yet experienced and acted out differently by citizens in countries around the world? We are not happy with others who don’t behave like us. We think if we only had control, we would find peace.
Maria Montessori knew that worldwide peace is possible because she understood the work of the child who knows peace when they are born. Their work in becoming an adult is to manifest this peace. It is their gift to the world, to the universe.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Maria Montessori, a doctor of medicine, a psychologist, anthropologist, biologist, and philosopher, began her work as an educator of children with behavior she considered abnormal and deficient in social training, In other words, they were naughty, disrespectful kids.
If not in our own community, the media brings us news of violence in our schools, of abnormal persons deficient in social training, behaving abnormally with disordered use of guns and respect for the lives of others, as well as their own. Many consider them to be evil. Certainly, their behavior is evil.
I’m not sure how to say this effectively, but I’m thinking that if more time, talent, and funds were spent, in our homes and schools, on social training and activities to recognize and correct disordered, disrespectful, and abnormal behavior, then maybe society would discover and correct the roots of their violent behavior before a child leaves elementary school.
This cultural change will require dedicated training and education of our teaching force at home and school along with major changes in policy and curriculum. My book, Montessori—Living the Good Life, emphasizes the importance of beginning this change at birth to six years.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
(Blogging -time out) I was out of the country for a month and unable to post with the Google in Mexico.
and I were on vacation at a gated resort in Mazatlan, Mexico. We have been going there
for several years. As our bus brought us in from the airport, we passed a truck
with several soldiers standing alert in the back with their rifles in hand.
Their faces were covered with black masks which, we discovered later, were worn
to disguise their identity from the drug lords who would kill family members of
known soldiers. They were stationed there for our protection, we were told.
As parents, we are soldiers standing guard to protect our children, both physically and spiritually, body and soul. Like the teachers in the Connecticut school, we stand ready to give our life for their lives because we know their life, potentially, holds a greater value, a value beyond our dreams.
What are the rifles we stand guard with? As parents we are armed with courage and intelligence to face the reality of our experiences. We know not all children grow-up normal as all parents and teachers hope for. Should we expect adults to find a reasonable control of weapons that can take lives? What have we done about automobiles that also take lives? Do we have the courage and intelligence to find restrictions in the use of guns?
Lessons are given, at home or in school, for a young person to know how to drive before they can get a driver’s license. Why not require the same for gun use or ownership? Maria Montessori, if she lived today, would perhaps have materials prepared to introduce a youth to the purpose of guns so that by the age of sixteen, a young person would know why, when, where and how to use a gun just as a five or six year old has learned to cross the street safely. Dr. Montessori developed a method with self-educating materials to encourage a child’s development of normal behavior. For more information about her method and materials, please read my book, Montessori—Living the Good Life. www.montessoritheory.com
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Many citizens argue that our reality is one of greed, afraid we won’t get enough, don’t have enough, we want fulfillment and control, independence, freedom, youth. As adults we pass on our needy ways, we teach our children to be needy, not believing or realizing that the child’s reality is different than ours.
Maria asks, “How is the child to help in the construction of society?” She says, “By being allowed to bring his contribution, his ‘Work’. And what is the child’s ‘Work’?”. . . “the construction of the adult-that-is-to-be.”
The basic need of the child is ‘belonging’. Given an environment of love, they will work to develop their potentialities which will lead to normalization. A contented, normal child, student, teenager, or adult, can learn to know how to respect the use of guns.
“Stop, look, and listen, before you cross the street.” Remember learning this lesson as a child and in turn teaching it to our youngsters? Being hit by an automobile is deadly—as deadly as being shot with a gun. Should we get rid of automobiles and guns because of the potential danger? What should we do about not-normal, annoying, and potentially dangerous children and citizens of society? Surely, we, being normal loving citizens of society, know what they need. What is the lesson we have to learn? Stop, look, and listen before we ask our Government to pass more laws.