Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him." - Maria Montessori

"Only through freedom and environmental experience it is practically possible for human development to occur." - Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind

Dr. Maria Montessori considered the outdoor environment an extension of the indoor classroom. 

Every Wednesday we have been trying to take the children out for a walk in the park. Sometimes we have had to skip owing to the rains but other times, when we have gone out, our focus has been to spot the creepy creatures... with rains working as the vantage point.

The months of July, August and September at school have been focused on self and life cycles of various insects and trees. Spotting these creepy crawlies becomes good food for our conversations in the classroom. The life cycle cards used in the classroom come alive with a lot of questions after experiences with new leaves, caterpillars and earthworms.
Courtesy Peace Montessori

The ability to spot something interesting in the natural surroundings fills the children with excitement. On one day the children got a caterpillar in the classroom on a leaf. The caterpillar was the new pet that everyone wanted to take home. When a parent explained to the children the natural surroundings are the home of the caterpillar we all trooped back to the park and laid the caterpillar in the same place we had picked it up from.

The other day all the children wanted to carry yellow leaves and half eaten almond seeds to their houses as they wanted to share with their parents how squirrels like eating almonds,carry the seeds with them and make the trees grow in different places.

On yet another day when waiting for a parent the children were hunting for centipedes..... and were awed by how a centipede was able to crawl into a spiral....the number of legs it had.... how fast it moved...

Tuesday 29th August, when Mumbai was pouring, we had to close the school for safety concerns on the following Wednesday and Thursday. We had lost our regular day in the park...

What we received from a parent surprised us: pictures from the outdoor. She and the child had explored the outdoors after the rains and was blessed to find quiet a few friends, the crawlies, who had come out to enjoy the beautiful weather after continuous rain.

This was followed by another parent sending a picture of a chameleon laying eggs in the wild.....

We had no words... Montessori is a holistic education, which sometimes begins at home and does a full circle at the school and on other occasions begins at the school and does a full circle at home.

The Montessori Method stresses connect with nature because of its effects on the growth of the whole child. By increasing a child’s interactions with the natural world, Montessori guides and Montessori parents are promoting development of an environmentally responsible child and an adult, as well.

The pictures were a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy week....
Courtesy Parent
Courtesy Parent
Courtesy Parent

Courtesy Parent

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