What a wonderful start to the new school year! The classrooms are so busy with activity. The students’ maturity, independence, and curiosity grows with each day.
One of the keys to this success in the classroom is the freedom that a dependable routine offers the children. To some, this seems counterintuitive. Freedom… through routine? But that is precisely what Maria Montessori understood over a century ago. Children draw comfort from a dependable process and from that comfort comes the bravery to experiment and the willingness to challenge themselves with new activities. Montessori called this process normalization, a word that may sound limiting to contemporary ears, but in Montessori education is the essence of freedom. We have featured a brief description of normalization in this month’s newsletter and will post it here, as well.
In keeping with our recent Montessori in the Home chat, consider using your own family’s morning routine as an exercise in normalization. If getting out of the house is often a harried process, a simple “getting myself ready” chart (available from the office) can be a huge help, providing autonomy and a sense of accomplishment to children.
If it’s not already a part of your household, consider a child-accessible shelf with baskets that hold essential clothes: for toddlers, socks and one pair of shoes by the front door; for older children, bedroom baskets holding underthings, socks, a limited selection of tops and bottoms, folded dresses, and accessories. This allows children the chance to take responsibility for getting ready and can limit those last minute searches for socks or sweaters.
We are always available for your comments and questions and look forward to a wonderful year! — Amanda