Welcome to 'A Montessori Home'.
With so many of our friends and family living in far-off lands, I hope that this blog might help our loved-ones get to know our gorgeous Finlay as he grows up. I also hope that these posts may provide inspiration, provoke thought and conversation about creating beautiful Montessori environments for infants and toddlers at home. I'm always happy to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to pop in now and then to see what we're up to!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baking up a storm

Baking has been on my mind a lot recently.  How best to present it, which recipe to use, where to find the perfect bakers hat pattern, how to make it work in a classroom setting...

Big changes are afoot for us next year - I'm returning to the classroom!  After a year of happily opening our home to some wonderful toddlers, the time has come for me to get back to my roots and share my days with the 'older' children in a 3-6 class.  It will be a brand new, one-classroom school and I'm so excited to set it up and pour all of my passion for Montessori into making it as authentic, beautiful and peaceful as possible.

Finlay will be attending with me during the mornings, which I think will be the biggest challenge I'll be facing.  He will only just be two and I will have to be very aware of preparing the environment to try and meet his needs (and one other 2-year-old) as well as the older children in the class.

And so I keep thinking back to baking.  And scrubbing tables.  And chopping bananas, polishing wood, and all the many beautiful Practical Life activities that will engage our littlest ones (as well as the bigger children) in purposeful activity and help prepare them for all the other work they will encounter during their years here.

Part of my strategy is to perfect this baking routine so that not only will I feel confident to include it as daily practice in our class, but also that Finlay will be so familiar with the process that there will be less novelty involved and *hopefully* will allow me to present it to other children without him having to have his hands in the dough!

Here's a little snippet to share:

I love standing back and observing the focus that comes when he feels a deep purpose behind an activity.  This is important work.  He can have a positive impact on the world around him.  He can decide exactly how much dough to place in each muffin cup. He can learn from his own mishaps (you have no idea how hard it was to stand back when I thought that dough dangling down was going to fall on the floor...).  He can enjoy the fruits of his labour - literally.  Rich experiences lead to rich vocabulary (this is the first time he ever said "oven"!).  So many benefits from a seemingly simple activity.

If only we could include our children in all of our daily activities in such an unhurried, open-hearted way.  I certainly fall short of this many times every day.  There's my new year's resolution, right there!

Christmas is just around the corner and I'll be signing off for at least a few weeks as the season gets crazier.  I do wish you and your families such a wonderful holiday season and a new year that is full of even more love and happiness than the last.

I'll be back next year to share the mad beginnings of my newest adventure!