Dear Kapok Families,
A New Year is upon us — that time of year when everyone feels a fresh beginning and we all resolve to be/do better. In 2020 (and beyond), I’d like to refocus my intentions in the Kapok classroom on creating more opportunities to connect our children with nature.
Nature has always been an integral part of the Montessori curriculum, particularly in the Sensorial area. The Sensorial curriculum aims to develop a child’s senses and create a sense of self and sense of wonder. Nature provides one of the greatest driving forces of curiosity and exploration, while offering rich, sensorial experiences.
What do you hear outside when you still your body and close your eyes? How does the bark of different trees feel? How many colors can you see inside of a single flower? How does the earth smell after rainfall? Montessori education draws a deep connection between nature and the developing child.
According to Maria Montessori’s philosophy, the natural world provides endless opportunities for experiential learning. Montessori guides and parents can promote a child’s development as a young naturalist by increasing their interactions with the natural world. Spending more time in nature will influence children to lead environmentally responsible lifestyles into adulthood.
Dr. Montessori stressed the interconnectedness between humanity and nature. In her discussions on cosmic education, she emphasized that the child should understand that they are part of a greater universe. By going outside and learning from nature firsthand, this profound understanding can be achieved.
“When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.”
Below is a list of ideas for your family to incorporate the natural world into your daily routine:
Take nature walks
Make a nature collection box (beautiful or fascinating finds from nature)
Visit the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden (Stock Island) and The Key West Garden Club at Fort West Martello
Keep a nature journal
Craft with objects from nature
With our intentions set on creating more connections in nature, the Kapok class has chosen to create an eco/environmentally friendly-themed gift basket to auction off at our annual fundraiser. All funds raised go toward our scholarship program, which helps students offset the cost of tuition. Please use the link below to sign up for an item to donate. Items are due by January 27:
“Sign-Up Auction Basket”
And please visit the following two links for items we’d love to add to our classroom:
“Amazon Wish List”
“Second Hand Donation List”
Peace + Plants,