For us, we pretty much can keep it together the majority of the year. But come each January it all goes off the rails. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the post holiday deflate. The holidays are over and winter is most definitely here and maybe we just get stuck in a rut. Whatever the reason I feel completely run ragged.
So… Instead of dwelling on that fact or describing the deplorable state of the house, I’ll let you in on all the changes. Or some of them anyway.
The amount of change happening with Quentin is not able to be properly described in words. His language, movement and independence are exploding. It was over our Winter school holidays that Anthony very graciously decided that he didn’t need his Montessori shelves anymore and that Quentin could use them. The eight extra spots for materials means that Quentin has a really good variety of materials on his shelves but that there are not too many to overwhelm him. The Montessorian in me wanted to set them up as you would find in a traditional Montessori classroom: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Culture. That didn’t happen. I just couldn’t get them grouped right so I’ve had to let that go, and be happy with the fact that all 5 subjects are present throughout the entire work space. If you want to get an idea of the materials Quentin is using at 1 1/2, you can click on the Instagram photos on this site.
My big change is that, after years of wanting to, I finally just did it and went back to school. I applied and got accepted into the North American Montessori Centre’s 3-6 Montessori Teaching degree. Yes, some nights there’s even a little wine and good chocolate to go with the studying. It is in a completely different direction than what my formal education is, but I have been longing to do it for so long that finally I just broke down and did.
It has been exhausting, but it has also been amazing. It has affirmed what I hold dear in my heart as the right way to raise our children and has given me a real chance to think about education on every level. But that is for another post. There is another piece of the school puzzle. My husbands piece.
My husband took parental leave when Quentin was born. It was an amazing thing for them both, and something that changed them forever. My husband also decided that his year of leave would also be the perfect time to begin his Masters of Psychology in Clinical Counselling. Yes, that is why there are two wine glasses and computers on the table. Most nights we are hunkered down together pouring over course material (hmm I think I may see a pattern forming here). He is nearing the end of his program and about to start his practicum, something that will mean giving his notice to leave his position at work. It will mean so many things, and they will all play out in time I hope.
We have been reading this book with Quentin. We are focusing on Peace Education quite a bit with him right now. He is a beautiful, gentle, kind little boy, but like any child with an Absorbent Mind he mirrors what he sees. It’s extremely important to us that his day be filled with positive peaceful (ideally Montessori) modelling whether he’s with us or not. There are many things that I am hoping to change about his day, but until I know more I won’t give them away quite yet. I will only say that there are many fantastic resources out there to help aid Peace Education at home and I would encourage anyone interested to seek them out.
Through all of the craziness, it has been the teenager that has kept it all together. Anthony plays a large and important roll in his brother’s life. Despite Anthony’s extracurriculars and course load at school, he still plays with Quentin on a daily basis and I can’t help thinking that it is his Montessori life that has laid the firm foundation for his excellent relationship with his brother. He also follows his passions deeply, and he is a loyal friend. I really couldn’t ask for more.
This year will see many, many changes for us. Some that I have mentioned and some still yet to come. When it gets a bit much I try to remember what’s really important, and what I try never ever to take for granted: we’re happy, we’re healthy, and we have each one of us together.