Montessori Blog

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I’m sorry for the crickets around here! I have been trying to find the right balance between family life, documenting our own lives through this blog, and the Montessori blog I took over back in October 2016.

While I still plan to post occasionally here, if you’d like to follow along, check out Villa di Maria’s Blog, where I post 4 days a week about parenting topics, Montessori lessons, community, and child development. It’s been a joy to be part of something I am so passionate about (Montessori education), and to channel my loves of photography, writing, and children into one creative outlet! Thanks for following along!

An Invitation to Play

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I’ve read about parents trying to encourage their children to play on their own more frequently, but have found a child (or children) struggling to find their groove and instead keep checking back with the parent, complaining of being bored, or constantly asking the parent to play with them. While I have not experienced this too often, I can sympathize with how frustrating it can be when it does happen. Once a child finds his groove in an activity, he can become completely immersed in it and have such fun, be so engaged, it is such a delight for everyone! Continue reading “An Invitation to Play”

Green, Blue

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I’m reading the most fascinating book, The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams. I’ll fully review the book once I’ve finished it, but so far it’s wonderful. It’s different from other “get out into nature” books in that there is a lot of really interesting new science (or at least new to me) that I find completely enlightening and thought-provoking. There is the chapter on soundscapes, during which stress can be linked to a certain decibel common in big cities and near airports, then the chapter about fractals and their visual appeal to humans – even a section about art and how Jackson Pollock painted nature’s fractals twenty-five years ahead of their scientific discovery (p. 113)!

Also within this chapter, Box of Rain, is the discussion of fluent visual processing, our preferences for certain shapes and saturation, and the affect color has on our brains. This is nothing new; I remember learning, as a child, that warm colors like red and orange were more likely to excite and agitate, and that cool colors like blue and green had a relaxing effect. “The human eye is well designed to respond immediately to color,” writes Williams.

What I found so fascinating was that the reason we are so relaxed and calmed by green and blue is because we’ve learned to associate these colors with “life-giving, healthy ecosystems full of plants (green), clean water (blue) and expansive reflection (sky azures, ocean teals).” Williams continues, “Since we all live under that sky and drink its offerings, these hues may instill feelings of universality and shared humanity.”

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I look around our house, at the deep blue dining room that we painted immediately upon moving in over 7 years ago, at the hosta-green room I’ve just repainted from green to a slightly deeper green, at the plants that I’m so drawn to, with new appreciation. It’s amazing how nature affects us, even when indoors.

I hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday, the last day of February!

Weekend Shenanigans

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I’m not going to lie; this weekend was rough. It was freezing cold and gloomy and gray after weeks of warm weather, so we found ourselves suddenly trapped indoors after getting used to hikes and plenty of fresh air. It’s funny how that works, how we should be fine and good after so much outdoor time, but instead we just crave more and more of it and feel all crazy when it’s no longer comfortable. After taking the older boys to the playground to skateboard and all of us nearly freezing from the biting cold wind, despite being wrapped in coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and even blankets, we gave up and resigned ourselves to the living room.

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The living room, which was quickly converted into a giant pillow catapult for stuffed animals and babies, and that quickly turned to a wrestling match. The living room, where laughter and tears are equal partners in crime. Being indoors for two days straight is no good for us, even though it is still the dead of winter and it’s just what we should be expecting for this time of year. Next time, I’m going to bundle us all up and force a hike! Getting out the door is the hardest part; whenever we’re there, we never regret it.

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Dare I say… I am so ready for spring!

P.s. – I am looking forward to seeing Shovels and Rope with three of my girlfriends at Delmar Hall tomorrow night. The last time I saw them, they were such a great act!

Gardening on My Mind

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We’ve had the warmest February I can ever remember. Everything has greened up, with crocuses and daffodils blooming, wild onions sprouting up, and buds on the trees on the verge of blooming. All of the nice weather has inspired me to get out into the garden, weeding and prepping the beds for planting (which is still quite awhile away). Before I really dive in, I’ve been doing some planning to change things up a bit for this coming growing season.  Continue reading “Gardening on My Mind”