We Appreciate When We Participate
Daily life at MVM is very busy and industrious. If you haven’t been at school between 9:30 and 11:00, you should consider coming. This is when all the action takes place. Sometimes, if I am very quiet and still, I can feel the soft vibration of everyone “doing”. Whether we are working independently side by side with others or doing group project work, everyone is working with purpose and intention.
Homage and appreciation to Dr. Maria Montessori for her deep understanding of the human condition and her enduring respect for the child. Her theory of education for independence is based on the following ideas:
- He who is served is limited in his independence
- The idea of independence must be gained before we can feel ourselves be really free
- Education must help children advance along the road of independence, not restrict them from what they are capable and desirous of doing themselves
- The child that does not do, does not know how to do
The Thanksgiving celebration is more fully enjoyed when everyone contributes to the event, the feast is everyone’s work. Can you be brave enough to let your children fully participate in your family celebrations this week?
You might think it is easier to do it yourself and let the children play, watch a movie, or stay occupied with some technology, keeping them away from all the preparation action. Change that thinking! Younger children can help with washing and cutting vegetables, cooking, stirring, pouring, setting the table, making decorations and decorating the house, dusting, making flower arrangements, serving, clearing the table, washing and drying the dishes. Older children can clean and prep the turkey, make a dish of their choice, use the oven and stove, iron the tablecloths and napkins, set the entire table, clear the entire table, wash dishes, serve dinner or dessert or both, or make place cards for the table. The list goes on and on for all ages. Engage your children’s willingness to help and offer them the opportunity to participate in the “doing.” The child who is not included in the preparation cannot be expected to fully appreciate the outcome. Children value and enjoy the work when they can be part of the work. The best compliment I have ever received was from a primary student who told me, Mary, you smell like Thanksgiving. I said, what smell do you think that is? He said, “cinnamon, we put it in our pumpkin pie.” This is a child who helps make the feast!
There is still enough time to make a plan that significantly includes the children’s contribution. Even if you are at the grandparents or away from home, your children can contribute their talents and abilities.
Remember, your children are doing these things every day at school, competently and confidently. Why should home be any different?
Thank you, Dr. Montessori.
Happy Thanksgiving ~