Our own Montessori calendar

It’s been a while I have been thinking about an idea for a calendar suitable for kids.
I mean one that could allow them, even pre-schoolers, to reach simply and directly, the ultimate sense of time and seasons passing by.

Especially now that school has just started, it seems so useful for kids to know which is the season of the year, which kind of day (schoolday or weekend ) they are in and what their daily schedule will be about.

As many of the Italian pedagogist’s discoveries, the Montessori calendar, helps children, with simplicity and intuition, in taking direct part in the passage of time.
Its image-oriented asset, makes it accessible to different ages and various children developments. For instance, in our family, it’s usable by both of my children, the preschooler and the 7 aged.
In addition, for its own inner conception, it’s widely customizable , according to every family’s different needs.

After having taken inspiration from several examples like this,  we made our own version.

I have soon noticed that my children were instantly involved in this calendar project, especially because according to its own purpose, it has helped them in developing security and focus on future, present and past flowing of time and in recognizing the substantial difference between what has happened, what is happening now and what is expecting them in their next future.
Also, Montessori calendar is becoming very useful as a tool for helping them to develop some useful skills to plan for their wishes and expectations, making them feel in charge of their choices and not simply mere followers of parents’ decisions.
Meanwhile, we, as parents, are learning a new way to plan and enrich our family time with quality projects and mindful activities.

That’s why the Montessori calendar is becoming a new, stimulating and fun way for collecting family memories. A time we are proud to live with mindfulness and intentionality.

Tutorial: our own Montessori calendar

That’s our own version of the Montessori Calendar:

What you need:

  • A cork chalkboard and pins
  • Papers and printer for drawings, letters or clipboards
  • Transparent adhesive paper

First, you need to make the calendar permanent grid. I made one tracing 7 columns : 1 row of 7 5.5 x3 cm rectangles and 5 rows of 7 x 3 cm rectangles on a piece of cardboard, then I have glued the days of the week only on the first row. I have taped it with plastic adhesive paper and attached on the cork chalkboard with glazier’s points.
Then, we have printed out the single days of the current month and attached on the grid by one pin for each day.

We have cut 7 pieces of green cardboard for making the single days of the week pockets and made 3 different sticks (one with the sign today, one with tomorrow and one with yesterday) using some sticky tape and a straw.

On the left side of the calendar, we have printed out and attached permanent signs as “year”, “season”, today the weather is”, “today is” (school or free day), “today we’re doing” , “the 12 months of the year”.
My children had fun drawing the different re-usable signs such as activities, seasons, months, weather, to attach daily on the calendar. For instance, my kids draw a bike for free days and a backpack for school days and some of our current afternoon activities are judo, cooking, free play, friends, party, playground and so on.

 

It’s been a fun and stimulating project for all of us, I do hope it will be the same for you!

Enjoy!

My personal challenge

I am a domestic animal. That’s why, as a child, when I thought about my future, I didn’t really have a clear vision of me as a human being, working outside the home. Instead, I had a vivid image of myself as a grown-up: I would have become a mother.

I have always loved learning and, since childhood, I have been fond of writing. Essays, more than fiction.
I have grown up in a house full of books, so I was naturally attracted by reading.

Even though I purchased with passion a degree in Dramatic Arts, I had never had the real intention of doing it for a living. Moreover, I have never been focused on finding a professional job.

For some years, absolutely too many, I simply did what I was expected to do: I got into the labour market, infused with a diligent spirit of cooperation and grateful feelings towards my family.

Matteo and I got married with tons of joy: more full of the enthusiastic idea of building soon a family, than thinking about some real long term projects.
Being a wife and becoming a mother are both choices I made, for the first time in my life, looking deeply at my interior being, instead of obeying to my old bulky social self.

I preserve all three of my positive pregnancy tests. They are lasting signs of a physical and psychological revolution. Of a rush into a just born future, of a way back to my inner self and to my childhood memories and of a re-discovering path towards my true nature.

My children have shown me, sometimes with never-ending sweetness, sometimes with strong determination, to reckon with myself, forcing me to face many skeletons in the closet. And stimulated me to live mindfully and intentionally my secret childhood vision.
From those moments on, nothing has never been the same, anymore.

Surely, it’s not always bread and roses: being a parent is not usually simple and not always exciting. especially when children make us so angry, avid of crumbs of free time without minors nearby, stressed by frantic lifestyle and longing for some moments together as a couple…but..let’s admit…couple who?
And I think so many women are so right when they face themselves honestly and confront with other moms on their parenting and motherhood “dark sides”.

Anyway, becoming a mother doesn’t really mean to live an absolute state precluded to happiness and personal achievement. Undoubtedly, every mother brings within a different story.
In my experience, motherhood has made me a widely happier person and opened me the path to a personal growth that sometimes may still be difficult and painful, but it’s always exciting and fascinating.

And then, here they are, my children.
The funniest human beings of the entire universe!
Thanks to them, I have discovered my most instinctive laugh.

When I became a mother, I didn’t know anything about babies, and excepting for my nephew, I haven’t really taken anyone in my arms.
I felt as there was an unwritten (and maybe untold) law and according to it, mothers will know “naturally” what to do with their newborn babies.
Even though I attach great value to intuition and instinctive wisdom of mothers, I surely know that my experience would have been easier and sometimes less stressful, if I only would have known some little strategies or practical advices to help me out through daily living with children.

One step at a time, through blogs and books, I have come to know different motherhood realities, from all over the world. Meanwhile, every experience has so much in common with the others, so it helped me so much in solving lots of doubts and in stimulating in me and my family new and exciting horizons.

I do believe that every mom needs to equip herself with practical tools to allow her to express herself at her best with children, helping them in becoming stronger and coming over their weaknesses.
As someone wisely says, we pretend professional attitude in every compartment of our lives, why should our children receive less?
Our children deserve us at our own best: enthusiastic, determined and competent mothers.
And I didn’t mean perfect: I have meant at our own best.

Children, with their spontaneity and innocence, bring us in front of new challenges everyday. And I believe this is a great incentive for me.
I often make mistakes and I feel tremendously inadequate, but I do know this is a path I want to walk in with joy and mindfulness, doing my best every day to keep on with enthusiasm and with a serene and stimulating family living.