The Present Game – A Grace and Courtesy Lesson

The Present Game

One of the biggest shocks of being a parent for me is how much you really have to teach your kids.  Crazy right?  Seems obvious but somehow it didn’t seem obvious before I had kids.  There are so many things I assumed they would just pick up by observation? osmosis? nature? I think this is especially true when it comes to good manners.  Surely they can just observe their surroundings and determine appropriate behavior?  Or maybe a verbal correction/explanation one time will set them straight?

I think for some kids that are socially more sensitive this might work but especially when you are dealing with autism there is no way they are going to pick up on the subtle social cues.  That is where the Montessori Grace and Courtesy lessons come in.   Continue reading The Present Game – A Grace and Courtesy Lesson



In Montessori there is this concept called normalization.  Words that come to mind in describing a child that is normalized are:

  • Calm
  • Focused
  • Intentional
  • Deep concentration for extended periods
  • Purposeful
  • Self- Aware
  • Community
Miss Princess working on the Geometric Cabinet

This quote from the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association explains normalization this way:

“Dr. Montessori observed that when children are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they blossom. After a period of intense concentration, and working with materials that fully engage their interest, children appear to be refreshed and contented. Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. She called this process “normalization” and cited it as “the most important single result of our whole work”.”

Needless to say words like ‘calm”, “focused”, and “self-aware” are not usually used in reference to kids with ADHD, sensory issues, autism, etc.  When Mr Rockstar was attending a Montessori preschool we had many conversations over the years about normalization and whether he was or wasn’t achieving this zen state.  He never seemed to achieve normalization for more than a few days before it would fall apart.  Also, it never seemed to happen at home.  Once I started Montessori Homeschooling I longed for this chimera but it seemed hopelessly unattainable.

Well guess what!!!   Continue reading Normalized

Regaining Some Sanity

Regaining Some Sanity

So the last few days I have felt my sanity slipping away.  The kids haven’t been listening to me.  Mr Rockstar has been getting more aggressive.  I have been battling a never ending cold.  The list could go on and on.  Some of it is just all the little things that make moving hard on all of us.  Everything is “new” and that stresses us all out.

Besides the stress of moving, there is also the stress of suddenly homeschooling all 3 kids (the girls had been attending preschool 4 mornings a week prior to us moving) and having to come up with a curriculum/plan.  Before we moved I was homeschooling Mr Rockstar but the state of WA provided all of the curriculum.  When we moved I had to return all of the books they had suppled us.  I have always dreamed of doing Montessori for homeschooling the kids.  I have most of the supplies and Montessori albums (a list of all the different activities kids in ages 3-6 should complete and in what order) but it is still stressful deciding where to start.  In some ways a written out curriculum that tells you what to do each day is easier….but when I was using a formal curriculum with Mr Rockstar it was frustrating to both of us since he is not “average”.  Some things were way to easy for him and other subjects moved at a faster pace than he was grasping.  It seems like the perfect time to really give Montessori Homeschooling a try.

Today I had a revelation, Continue reading Regaining Some Sanity