A few evenings ago, I attended a book club meeting at my son's Montessori preschool. The topic of discussion centered around the sensorial period and the related materials and work. As is always the case with these book club meetings, I left feeling inspired and more convinced than ever of the value of a Montessori education. Oh how I wish our area offered an elementary school program!! Alas, this is not the case. Muffy will be finishing up his final year at this special school in just a few short months and will be joining Chi-Chi in the French Immersion program at "big school" come autumn. This will be another exciting adventure for him as he begins his journey into another language! At this point, I try to focus on keeping the Montessori spirit and approach alive in our home, despite the fact both my children are moving on to experience other schools and teaching methods.
Discussions with Muffy's teachers revealed that he is currently in a sensorial "sensitive period". Although Muffy and I spend a great deal of time together, this is something I had not picked up at home. As is often the case, when something is right under your nose, it can easily be missed or overlooked. Ironically, this morning I glanced up from the porridge pot to find my little guy standing on our deck in merely his underpants. I resisted my knee jerk reaction to herd him inside with the thermometer reading -2 Celcius. Instead, I just observed to see what he was up to. He was standing completely still, gazing at the alder bushes below. When he finally came in, he rushed over to me in excitement...."Mommy! I just went out and heard so many sounds mixed together with the pheasant!". It turns out he was so enthralled in nature's morning symphony that he was oblivious to freezing his toes off. I suppose this focus is a sign of him being in tune with his senses. He grabbed one of the most popular books in my house right now - The Backyard Birdsong Guide, and set to work on identifying the calls he had heard. With a bit of guidance, he concluded he was tuning into the song of a junco. I can't give this book enough praise. It was recommended to me by Muffy's preschool teacher and was given to him as a Christmas gift from my parents. Both boys refer to it on a daily basis. They are becoming quite skilled at mimicking the calls of their favorite feathered friends.
Since I'm on the topic of birds, I simply had to post this photo of one of my most exciting wildlife encounters ever. Although this visit occurred about two months ago, I can't pass up the opportunity to share this one. I was dozing on the couch one afternoon, half listening to what was going on around me. Chi-Chi gave me a nudge to inform me there was an owl on our deck. I was certain this was a tall tale, but mustered the energy to crane my neck around. Wow, I was certainly jolted awake to see this magnificent barred owl staring back at me with those midnight eyes. He hung around our house for about two hours...and then he was gone. I often look out in hopes of spotting him again, but perhaps the gift of one visit should be enough to satisfy me. So, we certainly referred to our birdsong guide on this fellow and I must say, Chi-Chi's version of the barred owl call is frighteningly realistic!