Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Stage 5 Montessori Environment

13 Months Of Looking At A Chicken:
The Stage 5 Montessori Environment
On January 1st, Nuvy turned one, took her first unsteady little steps, and became what we now know as The Experimental Toddler. It's the middle of February, and I think I'm ready to talk about it.
12 months marks a new phase of development that the gurus call "Stage 5", and that was a month and a half ago. Look at her now! She walks like a champ, even runs a little, climbs EVERYTHING, and generally behaves like a busy toddler.
Stage 5: Stage 5 is the period between 12 months and 18 months, according to this model, so we're sticking with that. If you missed the previous 4 stages, you can summaries of them in the "Stage 3" and "Stage 4" posts. The general trend in Stage 5 is to introduce a fairly wide assortment of new materials to coincide with significant specialization in all areas of the brain.
This post has been sitting around in the "edit" column for two months now, and still nothing. The Experimental Toddler continues to toddle with ever-greater efficiency, speaks fluent baby and knows a few words in English. However, we are moving. The Montessori Laboratory is currently packed in a PODS container in a Philadelphia driveway, waiting to go in the new house.
Further, the Montessori experiment is about to go into overdrive as Subject Two (a second Experimental Infant) is expected this fall. To all of you who asked how this could possibly be done with more than one child, my previous answer was something like "Actually, I have no idea." I will now amend that to "I can't wait to find out, and I'll keep you posted!"
So, for everyone who wrote asking if the Mommybahn had closed for good, it has not. And I'll tell you all about the Stage 5 environment, as soon as I get my notes out of whatever box they're in.


Sol said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to see more posts, your blog has such a refreshing view; it's made me rethink some ideas that I had taken for granted.

Sarah said...

YAY!! I venture back to see if there have been updates to the Mommybahn and there is one! Woohoo!

Cathy said...

Oh, YAY!!!! Nuvy's gonna be a big sister!! Congrats, A!!!! I am so happy for you guys! :)

Congrats, also, on the move to Philly. Enjoy some excellent alt music for me -- I miss the radio stations up there!!! Blow a kiss to David Dye from me! LOL

You've been on my mind a lot we prepare to phase out of the Montessori world. I'm going to miss it and its influence on my family incredibly. However, Ev is psyched for Pre-1st next year at the same school as Ame. And I look forward to less time on the road, schlepping between 2 different schools 25 minutes apart. And before all that, we have a beautiful Spring and a fun lazy Summer stretched out ahead of us. Life ain't too bad!

Happy unpacking and settling into your new surrounds. You're in my thoughts.

Much love to your beautiful toddling daughter and some warm belly rubs coming your way.

Be well. (and be in touch)

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and wanted to comment as I too am Montessori certified I/T directress and a new mom! I have been implementing the philosophies and preparing the environment just so, and so far so good! I must say that it sounds like the training i had was a bit more flexible than yours, (not so many things banned from the environment!) The floor bed works great for my son, we havent gotten to the weaning table yet, hope we have better luck. Really enjoying your blog!keep it comin

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda,
I'm checking your blog because I wanted to contact you about an open internship Montessori I/T at Barrie. Wow, you're not in town anymore. You guys made your move to Philly.
Yeah, congratulation> It is wonderful to hear that you guys are expecting again. Nuvy is beautiful and will be a great big sister.
Take care, Elja

NOLA mom said...

Testdriver - not sure if you're still updating this blog (I hope so! I've gotten entirely drawn in after finding it by accident) but if so, I'm hoping you can give me some guidance about providing a Montessori education and environment for a child who may have autism (but is "high functioning"). Some aspects of the Montessori model seem particularly well-suited to special needs children, but I wonder if "typical" Montessori schools would welcome such children or avoid them like the mainstream private schools do. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Amanda said...

to NOLA mom:

You may already know this, but what we now know as the "Montessori Method" was originally developed by Dr. Montessori for use with special needs children. That's why you'll probably recognize some of the philosophy from reading up on special ed techniques. I am not an expert in education for children with special needs, but as the Montessori environment was developed for kids with special needs, and was not modified for kids in the general population (it was discovered that Montessori had a good educational model for anybody!) I would just set up the home environment without modification. For more information, you can visit, and read Montessori Today, by Paula Polk Lillard; Your Self-Confident Baby by Magda Gerber; Understanding the Human Being, by Silvana Montanaro; and Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, by Maria Montessori. From any or all of these you should be able to get a good foundation of philosophy, and put together a great home environment.

Whether or not a special needs child will be "accepted" in a regular Montessori class is a stickier question and will depend largely on the school. As your child is young, and is high-functioning, I would think that many schools would cooperate with you in placement in a regular classroom, possibly with a shadow teacher for some extra help. Many communities have services for extra help in preschool for special needs kids. I would definitely recommend that you look into that in your home town. Best of luck to you and your child, and please keep me posted about your home environment and school experience.

NOLA mom said...

Thank you Amanda, so nice of you to reply! So far, I've read Montessori From the Start (which sort of led me to this blog, in my attempt to find out more about weaning tables), some of Maria Montessori's writings, several articles, and of course the Mommybahn. I'm forming a personal parenting philosophy that marries AP and Montessori--two philosophies that at times seem to contradict and at other times complement each other nicely. (You may guess now why this blog has struck such a chord with me.) I'm hungry for more entries and particularly looking forward to insight into potty training, discipline, and well, any other day-in-the-life stuff that strikes your fancy! I know how busy it is with two (I have a 3 yr old and a 5 mos old--the latter being a left thumbsucker, I might add), but I sure hope you keep up the good work!

By the way, back when you were directing a montessori school, if you worked with very young children, there were probably some who didn't quite behave or act as the other children, those who were quirky or different. I am describing children who may be placed on the autism spectrum as they get older, or who may be diagnosed with some other disorder such as ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder or a learning disability down the road. I would think that at some time or another, every preschool must encounter children like this, because they aren't usually diagnosed until they are older (sometimes at the prompting of the preschool they attend). Do you recall how your school worked with children who--though not necessarily diagnosed as "special needs"--were nonetheless different then the general population? Were the "square pegs" as successful at the rest?