December Gumbo Limbo Newsletter

Dear Gumbo Limbo families,

“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”
—Dr. Maria Montessori

As we end November, Ms. Jill and I would like to express our gratitude to you, our families, for your continued support and collaboration as we take part in the observation and facilitation of each child’s natural development.

Our Follow the Child event was beautiful. It was heartwarming and gratifying to observe each child proudly, or shyly, showing parents around their prepared environment. Some shared snack, others gave lessons on favorite materials as varied as sandpaper letters to teen beads. One child even gave a lesson on all 10 geometric solids, naming each, and then using the three-period lesson to test parents! I was so enthralled that I completely forgot to take pictures!

Thank you, also, for spending time with us for conferences. Jill and I enjoyed meeting with each family, sharing where your child is, where they are heading, and answering questions. Please know that I am available to meet whenever you have a question or would like an update. Simply email me at to set a time.

The Gumbo Limbos spent several days chopping onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and celery, as well as plucking the leaves of oregano and thyme, for the vegetarian lentil soup for Harvest Share. We talked about how each plant grows and whether we eat the roots or leaves of each. The sensorial experience was enjoyed by all as we smelled each vegetable or herb during preparation and then the soup itself as it cooked in the crockpots. Thank you to everyone for the donations of the ingredients and the loan of the slow cookers.

The kindergarteners presented the finished product to the Banyans and the Kapoks in the spirit of community and sharing. Finally, the three primary classes shared each class’s contributions as a community. Each class sang a version of “The Earth Is Our Mother” before partaking in our feast.

Several parents asked about the tools we use to chop in the classroom.
Here is a link to purchase the vegetable chopper:

Children are more likely to try new foods when they are involved in the preparation. I often hear the remark, “Bobby doesn’t eat (fill in the blank)” or, “my child only eats (fill in the blank).” Most Gumbo Limbos tried the lentil soup. Here is the link for the recipe: Please note: we used fresh garlic, and the children loved the smell.

Also this month:
After reviewing the globe as a model of Earth, we made our own clay model of Earth, complete with continents. We cut it in half and flattened it to show the relationship between the globe and the continent puzzle map as well as the hemispheres. Much map work ensued.
Using Aline D. Wolf’s book I Live in the Universe, we went from our house address all the way through city, state, country, continent, and planet to the universe. The book ends with, “I wonder if there is anything bigger than the universe?” Please be sure we have your correct street address on file as we will begin learning and writing or tracing our address in class.
We read several books about gratitude and being thankful. We talked about what that feels like and named things for which we are grateful.
The kindergarteners continue to enjoy Reading Buddies with Ms. Sally and the lower elementary students.

Finally, please keep in mind during this very busy holiday season that maintaining your child’s rest and home schedule as much as possible aids in their sense of comfort, fulfills their need for order, and often prevents emotional outbursts.

“It seems to him, at this stage, a particularly vital matter that everything in his environment should be kept in its accustomed place; and that the actions of the day should be carried out in their accustomed routine.” —E.M. Standing, Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work

Dates to remember:
December 18 — Conch Train Light Tour

Ms. Suzanne and Ms. Jill