March Mangrove Newsletter

This month we will be introducing a new daily baking lesson into the classroom. The Pigeon Plums first bravely began baking every day and after watching their success and creating a new baking table in the classroom, the Mangroves are ready to jump on board as well. Ms. Melanie’s recipe is a mashup between a muffin and a scone; she smartly refers to the delicious snack as a “scuffin.” Because we will be baking scuffins every day if the children want to, along with specialty baking projects, food prep, and snack, we will be asking for additional ingredients during snack weeks and we thank you in advance for your support of our new adventures.

During my most recent Montessori seminar in Boulder, I had the pleasure of listening to a seasoned Montessorian speak about her experience, her passion, and her knowledge on all things Montessori for infants and toddlers. While I attend these types of seminars, I often have a sheet a paper devoted purely to direct quotes from the speaker or audience members that really speak to me and I want to remember. On this trip I think I filled two sheets of paper with quotes, but I want to share one that I think is very relevant to us as parents.

“A child will show you what he needs right now.”

Read it again.

“A child will show you what he needs right now.”

This does not mean what a child WANTS, it is referring to what a child INTERNALLY NEEDS in a particular moment. Montessori is an amazing educational method that encourages and supports each child’s need to develop and concentrate on what he or she needs on a particular day in a particular moment. There is a drive within them to find an activity, a lesson, a behavior that fulfill that need. Sometimes, we see friends gravitate to a certain lesson every day at the start of their mornings because their need is to find a comforting piece of work before moving forward with their day. Some friends repeat a lesson over and over because their internal navigation system is telling them to practice that work until the need is satisfied.

Sometimes it can be hard to just be present and see what is happening in this moment, right now, and what our children are doing right now and why. I hurry often. I want to hurry less, but I have a house, a job, two kids, responsibilities, so sometimes I have to hurry. One day last week, my children must have been tired and were sleeping late. I thought I was being a great parent by letting them get in a few extra minutes of sleep by waking them up later. Yet, by waking them up later, I then had to rush them. Fifteen minutes to get two kids awake, toileted, dressed, hopefully fed, and in the car by 7:00 in order to get to work by 7:30. The rushing led to stress, the stress led to child tears and the child tears led to deep breaths for me. Once we got to campus, I have certain tasks that need to be done by 8:00 but of course, my children wanted to drag their feet and drop to the ground in a full-on meltdown. It was one of those mornings. A morning that you wish you could just start over or completely tap out and try again tomorrow, but you can’t because you have to keep going.  As my daughter sat crying on the carpet and I was cutting fruit for snack later in the day, I felt defeated and just plain ‘bleh.’ Then out of nowhere, Corson stood in front of me, cupping the peace candle in her hands, singing ‘Candle For Peace.’

At that moment, I  remembered the quote from the seminar, “A child will show you what he needs right now.”

Corson was having just as bad of a morning as I was, yet her internal navigational system told her ‘I need to find peace’ and she found the lesson that would satisfy that need.  She was showing me exactly what she needed.  So I put down my snack prep and starting singing with her. We passed the candle back and forth, singing long enough that we both began to smile. Not only was her need being met, but surprisingly, my need was also being met.

This moment was a reminder that our children are miraculous in their ability to know what they need and if we prepare the environment and give them the opportunity to explore, we will get to sit back and watch the person they are becoming developing right before our eyes, based on the path that comes from within themselves.

Here are some photographs from that day with Corson and from our Mangrove friends following their inner need.