Monthly Archives: December 2009

namaskaara, adieu, auf wiedersehen, so long…

And oh, from the readers’ perspectives, I should have titled this post: Good Riddance.  
(there are many embedded images in this post – so please wait for them to load!)

the waiting...

NammaShaale Montessori House of Children is a very good, shuddha montessori school with a soul and has a really committed and talented set of overworked adults – with one exception, and you know this part. I would recommend it anyday to anyone, heartily & unequivocally – primary to elementary to secondary (erdkinder) schooling for any child, though the current entry points are mainly at the primary and a little less at the elementary levels. (Please note: contact details of NammaShaale are at the bottom of this post)

a cloud capped nammashaale (photo: sanjay nambiar)

But, I think the nammashaale blog has not been such a great idea. Honestly.  

Anyway, today, the blog just completed the first and last year of operation. I have ‘written’ most of the posts and tried to give a record (always biased and with a sick mind, of course) about the happenings in school and elsewhere….  I started assembling the blog this day an year back, and now it has a total of 95 posts (or rants if you will – some 92 of them exclusively mine)) excluding this post, in 365 days! Not too bad at all, at least with respect to the frequency.

Thanks for all the patience, readers.  

 
 

a happy and tired 'kolatta' team

 I had, a couple of months earlier,  given a warning (or a relief or ‘good news’  to the tired readers of the blog) – https://nammashaale.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/blog-o-shramdhan/ 

 
 

nammashaale has very good, trustworthy, loyal, and 'doer' support staff - this is Sri Anthony, of Transport Crew...

As always, apparently I have rubbed quite a few good folks on the wrong side, irritated them, repulsed them – some of them, rather permanently so – all in the name of sick humour and personal entertainment! I have been delightfully called a ‘pervert,’ ‘ego-tripper,’ ‘vicious propagandist,’ ‘toxic guy,’ ‘venomous person,’ ‘drug addict’ and stuff by many sane people for whom I continue to have respect at various levels. I never thought I was so capable. But then, my self awareness levels are so low… I just have one question: How did they find out that I am perverted? What gave me away? What else do they know about me?? I am shivering, cowering and I hate to know more about myself. I thank all the folks for the feedback, all done in good spirit I am sure, noble intentions and in times of emotional upheavals, for my wellbeing. All are valid. I agree.    Thanks a lot.

But no regrets.    

some elementary children, getting ready to deliver their lines...

Fools blog about things what angels fear even to browse, what else. Life goes on.     

 

some more elementary children, waiting for a cue...

I am stopping not because of the valid feedback which I mostly found amusing, and the horror of it, simultaneously to be correct too, but because of the following reasons:  

  1. I am bored, there are gazillion other things, half-finished (& half-baked) projects to work on, some thousand funda books to read, hundreds of great films to watch, grand music to listen to etc etc –  and here I am ranting about some silly pet peeve of mine or typing about some darn event in school. Frankly, there are way too many events & interesting things happening in school and am not even able to cover 1/3rd of them…
  2. Why in the hell do I have to feel responsible to capture anything at all? Why beg for photographs when not many are interested in sharing stuff? Swayam Kritha Anartham, what else!
  3. I have the usual excuse of grahasthidom. There are so many tasks…
  4. Blogging is not ‘do’ing. Networking with folks (with supposedly a common agenda) is also not, in my opinion. I realized it long back – except probably in the case of virus posts and faq. Networking & blogging are pure entertainment. I like to entertain myself, can do it in gazillion other ways, but I don’t like to really ‘network’ – either on the Internet or in person! So there is no need for me to pretend that we have a network of parents with common interests, ideologies and points of view. The ONLY commonality between the parents is that our children go to a good and real Montessori school. It is actually good news, don’t you think.
  5. There are so many interesting things that happen in the school fairly regularly, many of them are quite nice and I felt they have to be captured – the sheer beauty of children learning and working. But I don’t think the school does them or conducts them to get mighty publicity & mileage. They are done because they have to be done in the best interests of our children. No need to record them incessantly, is now my ‘considered’ opinion.
  6. The school itself is taking an enormous amount of my time and energy. And, may be I could spend more time with the children, if I stop blogging. I like working with children, and apparently some of the children like it too. What more can one ask for? (I could be absolutely wrong here, gotta check)
  7. A well-meaning correspondent wrote [slightly edited / truncated to remove personal references]: “please do not bother to state that the blog is for people to share perspectives on education… Instead just call the blog for what it is – your place to pen.”– I agree in toto with this take. It has been my blog practically, and I had no business calling it a nammashaale blog even. But, when I started, I had wild ideas about participation, recording of great but simple experiments of various kinds and the addressable dichotomy between preaching and practicing; I thought the dichotomy was not so rabid, including in me, mostly me. Anyway, if at all I want to write, I can do that elsewhere. So, point taken, correspondent! You opened my ice, dear, and it is so darn cold, brrrrr
  8. I type very fast, verry fast and can compose looong documents real fast, and apparently can make sworn enemies out of ‘friends’ even faster! I also know that friends can’t really be offended. But it is really boring to discover this difference. That acquaintances based on mere networking agendas are not sustainable, at least in my case, and I am a pathetic networker I realize anyway! I am also rather easily offended by me, by the way! So, can I continue to be my ‘friend’ and nutwork with myself? Especially when my sense of humour is bad

Parting humour (!) apart, I have on previous occasions requested for some other folks to pitch in. But, to be honest, I did not expect anyone else to volunteer to manage / edit. It is neither an easy nor a welcome task. I agree. Besides it takes time, effort and most importantly, motivation..  

some of our happy earth children...

On the contrary, on a few previous occasions a few folks have volunteered with good documents and perspectives; in this context I would like to blogally thank the following:  

  • B Ashok (please do, B Happy)
  • Jayashree Janardhan Ashok
  • B Rama (Sorry, I would prefer to B Myself; and, well – actually she is K Rama, I know – and she also would like to be herself!)
  • Sowmya Arunajatesan

… I wish there were more such parents…(no, not really, sorry, yes!)

There were also parents who shared photographs that they shot during the school events. I thank these folks for being lovable exceptions to the sad rule of non-sharing (frankly, why should anyone?):  

  • Vinod
  • Brinda Pathy
  • Sanjay Nambiar
  • K Rama (Yaa K? Oh, the pun of it!)
  • Pratima (who actually is a NammaShaale niece)

There were also a few folks that cheered on, and my thanks to them too. But um, forgive them my lord, they did not know what they were doing.  

laddoo distribution by elementary children (and gobbling up of them, primarily by adults, that happens behind the scenes)

So, I am closing my involvement in this blog as an author. If someone wants to takeover, please do. You merely got to have some connections with NammaShaale, that’s all. In case you want to post something, I would do so without any editing or annotation, if you forward your stuff to me. But, please ensure that there is no ad-hominem in your text. My email id is myname@gmail.comma – replace myname with ramjee.swaminathan and replace comma with com. I will respond but that could be incendiary – so don’t send me any mail. Don’t bother, actually.  

Seriously now, I don’t check my mails regularly at all. You may have to wait for at least 15 days before you send me a reminder. I will definitely respond.  

I suppose, I would continue to rant when I feel like somewhere else, being a Jaundiced I that I am.. But I don’t expect any of you to be interested.  

In the meantime, if there is no traffic to these pages (why should there be), and noone is interested in ‘managing’ it – I would delete the blog in the course of next 3 months. That’s a promise. There is no point in hosting inflammatory bytes, with endlelss TimeToLive to boot. It would be a waste of electricity otherwise.

Oh what a relief! (for you, that is!!)  

Post Bloggum: Yay! I am going to start rererereading Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Lovely.  

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-  

NammaShaale Contact Details  

NammasShaale has a contact email id that is monitored fairly regularly. It is: schoolname@yawhoo,com – replace schoolname with nammashaale – and yawhoo with yahoo and , with . — I am not guaranteeing that you will get a reply. But am sure that your mail will be read. In case you want to know more, you will have to call +91 802 844 4838 during the 5 weekdays betweeen 10 AM and 2.30 PM – Indian Standard Time.  

You may have to try many times before you get a response – folks are busy, the school is a small establishment, please understand that the school adults are doing some real good work elsewhere in school.  So, if you are looking for a good Montessori education for say, your soon to be 2.5 years old, you should consider your perceived ‘thankless’ efforts as a minimalistic investment in the wellbeing of your child…  

🙂

Bye. And, thanks for all the fish.

thanks and bye! (with help from an erdkind)

montessori madness

Apparently Montessori Madness – a book by Trevor Eissler is very good & entertaining.  I am yet to read it, though.

“This is by far the most passionate, interesting (and even humorous at times) Montessori book we have read in a long time. It is written by a father, a pilot, who compares the Montessori education his children are receiving with his own education. His insight makes this revolutionary educational method understood better even by those teachers and teacher trainers who know it well…it is the most valuable parent book available today.”

— Susan Stephenson, Michael Olaf Montessori Company

On a related note, there is this post that has an interesting take on the Montessori mode.

… I can’t help looking at Montessori andthinking that it is excellent, but not because Montessori’s approach and materials are inherently better.

It is excellent because

– Montessori teachers are teachers who are clearly smart and
passionate about education, and the school environment (principals, etc) share the smarts and the passion.

– Parents sending kids to a Montessori school are smart and
passionate about education.

– The group of kids is small and manageable, so the smart and
passionate teachers can work their magic.

And that wins. They could teach with computers, or abacuses or post it
notes or books written in Esperanto. It’s all a catalyst that brings
the 3 (purely human!) elements above together. Indirection. A social
mind trick.

Of course, I like most of Montessori’s approach. But remove the human
elements and… poof! it’s effects will be gone. Montessori strategies
in a crowded group with an unenthusiastic teacher have very slim
chances.

Off: http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2009-October/008920.html

An interesting take, eh?

But then, I also know that Montessori is being reduced to a mere brand with not much to back it up in so many schools. It is like the famous Udupi-Chinese-NorthIndian-Andhra-Chettinad-NorthKarnataka ‘specialty’ cuisine restaurants that abound in Bangalore. Basically they serve some reasonable food – may be that bane of a ‘minimum common denominator’ of the cuisines! Nothing more. No soul.

One has to be wary of these makarathoranas of education, I suppose…

visit report / thoughts: belur, halebidu, shravanabelagola

We had a detailed plan for the visit – posted here: visit plan: halebid, belur, shravanabelagola . Well, we implemented most of it. We did the parikrama on 27th November, 2009. Young Soujanya went on the trip with our erdkinder, with yours truly in tow.

Young Soujanya; adult for kannada, social sciences, english, nice savouries/sweets from Basavanagudi and elsewhere...

Frankly, the fact that the exquisite temple town of Belur (and for that matter Halebidu) are only circa 200 kms away from Bangalore, is a BIG disadvantage. One always makes a plan for a ONE day trip (computing that it will take circa 8 hours for the round trip that will leave some 6-8 hours for the visit itself) which is GROSSLY inadequate. One should plan to spend a minimum of 3 days, in my opinion.

I am not talking about Shravanabelagola in this context – which has impressive monoliths and monuments and memorials and inscriptions and what not. That the fine and sensitive emperor Chandragupta Maurya chose to spend his last years here, fills one with a very introspective mood and all that. I agree. However, at another level, I feel that life is rejected in pureplay ascetic modes. What is life worth it, if lifeforce itself is rejected? How can we NOT celebrate life? Why should one hate sexuality? Why negation? Why run away?? Is the operating philosophy: Neti, Neti??

Troubling and debilitating questions…

Tips for Shravanabelagola visitors: There is a big & beautiful kalyani here. Also, one should visit the Bahubali / Gommateshwara statue earlier in the morn – say between 8 and 10 AM. Otherwise, going up and down the huge rock formations (with little greenery) in the splendid and hot sun can pose issues whereas the climb should be a pleasant one in the morns… On the contrary, it is not a very steep climb, and temple on top of the mount is quite cool and airy… So suit your mood and stamina.

Anyway, over to Halebid: oh what do I say. What do I say! I hated to get out of it, but then we had to visit Belur too and then get back to Bangalore.

Belur: Words fail me. Life is truly a grand celebration here. Fine statues. Intense carvings. Exquisite moods and tastes. Soaked and wet with history. What more can one ask for.

One can use random search engines and get hold of GBs of information about the history, herstory, itstory and what not. But nothing can prepare you for what you would see. G R A N D!!

When I did Hampi a few years back, I had the same feeling. Absolutely lost and melancholic and ecstatic – all at the same time. Me and my boyfriend (!) would walk for miles among the ruins and get back after sunset tired and in a trance. We would not talk to each other at all, eat a cursory supper and lie down… then, the delirious & phantasmagoric dreams would start off – full of fugurines that come alive, horses, crafts and walks in the great library and in the university of Hampi  – and then, the wanton destruction of history, sadistic demolition of the works of art in name of celebrating victories, mayhem; weep disconsolately; then, in the morn we would get up very early all groggy & febrile and set off for another round of heaven.

Well, some of us should do the same thing to Halebidu and Belur, sometime… The areas are not that vast as Hampi, but these two places have the details, fractal details…

Back to the trip, the children were the most co-operative, well um, children are children. I hope they learned something. And, we all came back in one piece to Bangalore.

The erdkinder and I profusely thank Soujanya for making it happen. She really pushed for it.

Soujanya, please push hard for Hampi, Aihole, Chitradurga… What say?

theatre day, a treat that was…

Today, we had an yet another day of ‘plays’ by the wards of young Manjunath.

Manjunath of course, never fails to surprise us with his incredible  improvisations & narratives – and his  wards, meaning the children of NammaShaale, also never fail him, I suppose. They generally turn in stellar, unselfconscious performances.

This time also, it was the same, I am happy to say. The parents were also present in good numbers and did the usual parenty things at the event, just like yours truly. Life goes on.

Unlike the previous stagings at NammaShaale, this time, vertical groupings were experimented with. Children from lower elementary and higher elementary were made into three groups with mixed age bands – addressing the dynamics within various groups. This appears to have been successful, with children happily working with each other, establishing new friendships and acquaintances beyond their comfort zones and groups. Nice.

Each grouping staged a drama – the common and binding theme being development:

  •  the first one was about the development of the soul (or ‘spirituality,’ if you will),
  • the second one about the idea of development as ‘old order changeth, yielding place to the new’ kind – with a good ending
  • the third about the environment oriented ‘development debate’ and its pros and cons – again ending with a message of hope…

The first play was about the transformation of the invincible King Kaushika into Sage Vishwamitra. Apparently the child who was to have originally donned the central role of Vishwamitra could not make it to school today. But, another child valiantly volunteered,  and did a damn good job of it.

Sage Vishwamitra in a previous Avatar!

The visualization and staging of Sabala (D/O Kamadenu, AKA Nandini) that was creatively interpreted by two children prancing around was also sweet, as also the artful & creative rendering of the skirmish between Sage Vasishta and King Kaushika…

The next staging was a rendering of ‘And still, the turtle watched’ by Sheila MacGill-Callahan – which is a very nice & moving story about a turtle carved on a river bluff over a river in Delaware (USA) by lenape native americans; the story is about how the turtle watches with mounting sadness, the goings-on around him – a commentary on development.  Finally there was a happy ending – the turtle is able to reconnect with children, though from a different age and time. Even the great spirit Manitou would have been pleased to view the dramatization!

The third one was a dramatization of Lorax -an unusual story from that insufferable Dr. Seuss. When I first came across this book some eight years back or so, I was shocked to find the book not only readable, but also enjoyable and ‘reflectable’ – so much so that I actually bought a copy and read it to my daughter (you know how mindnumbing it is with children, wanting you to read books to them over and over a zilion times!) – it is a very nice (and hope giving) story about the dangers of mindless destruction of habitats in the name of development – and offering correctives. The Onceler and Lorax came alive as also the rest of the crew.

The background music and sound ‘effects’ were all provided by Manjunath as usual, including discrete prompting from the side. All children did very well, including the primary children and the erdkinder, who were the cheer-followers of the presenting teams. Good.

The interesting thing was that, even though the children in these vertical groupings were / are in different ‘developmental’ stages, Manjunath did a remarkable job of appropriately positioning the children, seamlessly weaving them into the stories and making everyone joyous in the process!

What do I say? AttaManjunath??

I am making the usual request of requesting the parents / others who clicked photos during the event, to share them if they could, with the rest of the community. I know that as usual, thundering silence will be the result, but what the heck.

One sad news though! There was a not so sweet surprise at the end of the theatre performance – there was no statutory distribution of laddoos from Anand Sweets or Kanti Sweets. I think the school should not take the non-junk campaign this far. It is too much. grrrr.  Cholestrol will set us free, dammit!

hindi day, janapada kannada day, images…

The month of November saw the efforts of the NammaShaale language specialists in hindi and kannada come to fruition; during the third week of November, we had the hindi day, and during the fourth week (I think, on 25th of November) we celebrated the kannada rajyothsava in terms of folksy themes – call it janapada day, if you will…

The efforts of Mamta (Hindi), Anitha and Soujanya (Kannada) were commendable – they must have really slogged it out, during the run-up to the events; the children of course effortlessly delivered on their roles… Actually the children were all on a roll! There were some cute hiccups, children forgetting their lines and kind prompting from the sidelines – but these were enjoyable too!

tense audience waiting for something to happen...

The audience for both events  almost eniterly comprised of children and the school staff. Some parents were able to make it to these events perhaps because they stay closer to the school or by some sheer chance.

tension relieved! Obviously...

At one level, it was a pity that not many parents could get to participate (read: gushing over their children) in these events – but then, inviting parents formally would entail in a lot of planning – and to that extent the flexibility of having the event ‘the next day’ as and when the children are ready & enthusiastic, will be lost. And, in any case, the children want to perform, improvise, learn for the joy of doing them, and not necessarily for some audience and ‘appreciation from others’ and all those peripheral thingies…

The incessant external approval seeking mentality’ & the fragile/insecure mind it creates  – is the bane of most of us adults; we feel great(!) when someone says good things about us, never mind the reality – likewise, we wilt when we think we have been unjustly targetted, again, never mind the reality! However, I am glad to say that this chronic disorder is yet to seep into most of our children- and I sincerely hope that these children (and other children too!) would never get into this insidious disease mode! I also pray that I get out of this mode.

Okay, getting back to the ‘report’ – the process of children preparing for the event itself was quite nice – like the other day, when a group of children were practising their ‘kolatta’ near the front gate – full of swirls, joy, colours, clackety-clacks, singing and rhythmic movement – a veritable symphony in motion. I recollect that quite a few times, the traffic slowed down on the highway in front of the school because of the curious onlookers, even as the children didn’t at all notice what was happening around them… Perhaps, for true performers, there is no need for any audience, they are obviously oblivious to their surroundings!

But yes, the audience  of course want to partake of the joy & be appreciative. But that is merely a secondary event, don’t you think?

The Hindi Diwas event was a motley collection of recitation of verses, plays, singing, dancing etc – the children, given the time and preparation that they had, did a remarkable job of them – and, we should understand that Hindi is slightly more distant than Kannada or say, Telegu is, to most of the NammaShaale children.

Hindi is obviously not part of the daily life or culture for most of the children – so there may not have been a collective internalization of Hinditva (HaHa!). In spite of this fact (I call it a fact because, I didn’t bother too much to verify it by conductung surveys etc) I think children did a damn good job, ably aided by Ma’am Mamta. As all thoroughbred North Americans (such of the our own teenagers from India) would say, Attagirl! Ha!!

Kannada day was a tapestry of star performances of the children – drama, music, dance, younameit… The central theme was the unending story of the human condition, the spirit of life. Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

Yes. Even the erdkinder participated – among others, they staged a fiery speechification of Kittur Rani Chennamma (The dialogues reminded me of ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan pouting patriotism in the olde Tamil flick ‘Veerappandiya Kattabomman’) and a hesitant & cowering British Officer trying to collect taxes/tributes from the Rani. Poor chap, so startled was our young Officer by the erudition and emotion of Chennamma, that he actually forgot his lines and had to read his response!

Angry Rani of Kittur and the hapless Brit officer! (who is that cheeky lad grinning at the predicament of a fellow-man?)

Well, one can’t really blame him though. Even I felt like running away to England in sheer terror! So furiously incendiary was this little (um, not really) girl delivering cannon balls with effortless ease!

Kittur Rani and the Brit Officer have obviously made up; apparently it was only a theatrical performance!

All’s well that ends in laddoo distribution (from Kanti Sweets). Yeah. (Scroll down this post for the image_archive_link, not for the delectable laddoos!)

a very valuable & frank review comment on the proceedings by a child! (not really)

Thanks to Sanjay Nambiar (of filmcamp.tv fame), a NammaShaale parent, there are some 135 pics from the Kannada Day event. I must add that these pics are professsionally shot and capture the children and a/the few adults, in their myriad moods and hues.  Excellento!

Almost all children from the school have been captured in one way or the other and the parents (including yours truly) can rejoice in gawking at the frames. I personally like the last two pics with the clouds capping the school’s tiled roof.

The link (you can even download all the photos as one zipped fly (sorry, file) from this page) is here:
http://gallery.me.com/sanjay_nambiar#100161&view=carouseljs&sel=0

Thanks again, Sanjay – for sharing your labour of love.

wendell berry on children, stewardship…

Sri Wendell Berry happens to be one of my favourite poet-essayist-novelist-farmer-educationist-activist swarajists (if there is such a term), who practices what he sermonizes. And, I am sure you would agree that this species of real swarajists is a fast dwindling one and is truly endangered.

Au contraire, this species can also be dangerous, as they can look at the world through new possibilities, contexts and history – and question & undermine our uncalled-for assumptions. We merely need to be open, that’s all.

As Michael Jackson of Thriller fame could have agreed with me and said: This Species is Dangerous!

Here’s an extract from one of this Kentucky farmer’s works:

We do as we do, we say, “for the sake of the future” or “to make a better future of our children.” How we can hope to make a good future by doing badly in the present, we do not say. We cannot think about the future, of course, for the future does not exist: the existence of future is an article of faith. We can be assured only that, if there is to be a future, the good of it is already implicit in the good things of the present. We do not need to plan or devise a “world of the future”; if we take care of the world of the present, the future will have received full justice from us. A good future is implicit in the soils, forests, grasslands, marshes, deserts, mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans that we have now, and in the good things of the human culture that we have now; the only valid “futurology” available to us is to take care of those things. We have no need to contrive and dabble at “the future of the human race”; we have the same pressing need that we have always had – to love, care for, and teach our children.

Wendell Berry / What are People For / 1990 / North Point Press (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc) / ISBN-10: 0865474370 /

A world of stewards, who are humanely and passionately taking care of what they already have here and now, may help all of us?

doubteronomy and numbers

This is a reflective piece written on ‘doubt’ by a NammaShaale parent and adult, Rama.  

Thanks Rama, and keep ’em articles/essays coming the blog way…

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

 Doubt

(Rama) 

I had been meaning to write for a long time now.  When I did mention the idea of writing to some they always said, “But where do you have the time!” and that’s just what I want to hear.  Anyways, here I go.  I plan to keep to it but let me see how long. 

Yesterday my sister and I watched the film Doubt.  As part of the post film discussions we realized that Doubt can be a powerful emotion. 

Doubt is a good thing I’m sure because much enquiry comes from doubt.  Men (and women) have once upon a time sinfully doubted if the earth was the center of the Universe. 

Only last week in class I gave bunch of 9 and 10 year olds the presentation of measuring the internal angles of triangles, quadrilaterals and polygons.  We measured the angles of an equilateral triangle and saw that they added up to 180 degrees.  Now, I was surely not going to give away the secret here but even if I did it would be completely “doubted”.  So the children saying, “I doubt if it would be so for an isosceles triangle or a scalene triangle!”, “what if the triangle had an obtuse angle?”, “what if it was a larger equilateral triangle?” set out to measure the angles of many, many triangles and other shapes as well.  The results are yet to be arrived at. 

But I have many times in the past seen on their faces the joy of discovery, the joy of clearing a doubt. 

The joy of seeing that the sum of internal angles of a triangle is always 180 degrees!  There are always a pi number of diameters in the circumference of a circle!  An inscribed square is always half a circumscribed square (I doubt if this works for all quadrilaterals, need to check out!) 

In an elementary class the discoveries go on to – multiples of 9 always add up to 9, the square of a decanomial is the sum of its cubes, hot air always rises; light always travels in straight lines; words that end with ‘c’ and are occupations or hobbies are always end with the suffix –cian, monocotyledonous plants always have parallel veins and flower parts in threes and multiples of three… I could add one everyday! 

The knowledge acquired is impressive but what matters to the child is the joy each of these discoveries gives him because he builds his very personality with these discoveries.  As Mario Montessori says, “When the elementary child is given a vision of the order of the universe he constructs the inner order of his personality through experiences in a structured world.  Inner order is necessary to be able to see meaning in one’s existence, to find one’s identity, to achieve independence, and to act in a meaningful way.” 

Last Saturday I spent some blissful hours doing a few higher algebra activities with the cubing material.  I was doing (x + 2) (x + 1) and I did see in the book that it should result in x2 + 3x + 2.  But I doubted it!  I did a good ten variations of x – 4, 7, 8… and saw that it worked always! Believe me it was most joyful!!! 

Doubts and disbeliefs are plenty but predictions and certainties are way more!  What can be more joyful than ¼ always being 0.25! (But in one of the presentations a child did say, “I doubt if this would be so in base 6…) 

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Rama also happens to be the grand duchess of the school, in case you have doubts. Surprised? Please note that there is even a quote in the text, by the sonnyboy of la grande mademoiselle Montessori herself, to prove the point! QED.

ps: sorry about the laboured pfun on some ‘old testament’ stuff – in the title of the post…