Thursday, October 31, 2019

Most of us get excited about the onset of fall and the coming winter holidays that are just around the corner. In our home we began fall decorations, celebrating  autumn birthdays of our family members and friends, and taking a pause before the arrival of Christmas.
The teacher inside of me is always searching for an opportunity to come up with new lessons, not just academic "to do plans" but traditional Montessori "grace and courtesy" lessons that help our students become better human beings. I'm reminding myself again that a successful education is not which teaches my kids to read and write alone, but introduces them to the universal laws of peace, love, caring, and giving.

There is no better season of teaching our kids to give then now. The very first lessons our children receive are from their own family. We can read to them hundreds of books about generosity (such as The Giving tree) but if they see completely different practical examples from mom and dad, they will follow what  we do, and not what we say. We all can take  action and start practical giving lessons from today forward. Below are several ideas:

  • Make a list with your children of family members and friends that they want to bless this season. Always have room for one person they don't know
  • Come up with a schedule of handmade projects you can work on together to give away
  • Make greeting cards

  • Teach them how to decorate and wrap gifts with a bow. These are great practical life skills. Check out this site for free downloads
  • Collect items for a shoe box to donate to disadvantaged children (reach out if you are looking for a list of non-profit organizations that accept during the holiday drive)
  • Take your children to gift hunting with you or plug them into your online searches. It teaches them a great lesson of not just receiving for themselves but the beauty of giving. If your child likes Legos, ask them to buy a nice set for an orphan, package the gift and send it with your child.
If you have a long list of gifts to purchase, consider buying a  box of arts and crafts where you can create a variety of projects. We have purchased the following gift set  ideas on Amazon:

  • Start early so you don't overwhelm yourself and your kids with too many last minute tasks and activities. I usually schedule my autumn calendar to make one present per  week whether it be a card, project, or gift wrapping
  • Be realistic. Set age appropriate goals. If your child is two years old, have them draw a card and tell you what they want to write on it. Their project can be a small hanging ornament that they paint in 10-15 minutes. A ten year old can make their own card, and write a message in it. For them, create more challenging projects such as quilting a blanket or making a pillow .

Have fun! Let this experience be rewarding and memorable for your family. Something they will treasure and look forward to each autumn. Be sure to include your youngest siblings. Let them remember the practical giving spirit in your home during this holiday season, and be joyful givers.

With much love,
Tetyana and The My Montessori Family School

"Education must begin at birth."

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