Monday, December 5, 2011

Reflection & Rejuvenation: December

The last month of the year! Egad!

I have officially started scrambling. I don't have much time left to accomplish my yearly goals before 2012 rolls around. My best friend tries to remind me that 2012 is just one day after 2011, but it's more than that. I have to trust that I can set and achieve goals for myself. There is so much about life that we can't control. But there is also so much that is in our control. I want to focus on the things I can influence and accomplish. I want to take responsibility for my life.

And so, December is going to be a big month of action. Oy! But I will temper that urgency and action, so that I continue to live a joyful life.

Let's see how I did on my intentions for last month:
  • Be the best mother and teacher I can be for my son, Henry. I have to remember that all the time and energy I put into parenting now is an investment in our future together. Is there anything I want to focus on in particular? Perhaps getting him to fall asleep independently for naps? (He goes to sleep by himself at night but, during the day, I have to lie next to him and apply pressure to his back so he doesn't crawl off his floor bed and start playing.) I tried a few times but he's not quite ready for this. I will keep trying.
  • Plan spring break. I'm working on it. Does anyone happen to have a free and interesting place we could stay?
  • Plan Montessori For All website. Yes! I'm partnering with an old friend from college to get it designed.
  • Make serious progress on my book about how to have a meaningful and memorable wedding without losing your savings or sanity. This is no joke. I really need to do this. Haven't done it. I have no choice but to do it this month. It's due January 1.
  • Get Christmas presents: All of them are planned. Now I just need to execute.
  • Plan and present a workshop for the Texas Charter Schools Association conference. Yes!
  • Help Matt plan an awesome birthday party (we're hosting a 1980s Slumber Party, complete with pizza, junk food, episodes of Saved by the Bell, facials, games, etc.). Yes!
  • Prepare a nice present for Matt's birthday. Yes!
  • Make something delicious to bring to my friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes!

Other things I managed to accomplish this month:

So now the final month of 2011 is upon us. Here are my intentions:
  • Be the best mother and teacher I can be for my son, Henry. I have to remember that all the time and energy I put into parenting now is an investment in our future together.
  • Finish my book about how to plan a meaningful and memorable wedding without losing your savings or sanity.
  • Publish consistently on Feeding the Soil.
  • Participate frequently in Purposeful Conception: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy.
  • Do a major reflection of this year and plan my intentions for the upcoming year.

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katharina said...

Not sure about how this is for families but what about ? I haven´t tried it myself yet, but I´ve heard lots of good about it.

katharina said...

Also heard lots of good about homeswapping (just google it).

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Katharina! I'll definitely have to check them out.

Allison Campbell said...

for spring break, have you thought of renting a fire lookout tower? they're not free, but pretty cheap! We rented a lookout tower on Mt. Hood (oregon) over spring break for $50 a night - cheap ski cabin! :) And most places allow dogs!

jduda said...

Hey Sara, we are using a floor bed for our son too and sometimes he does crawl off and start playing with his toys. I usually give him a few minutes until I start hearing him get tired and then I go in and put him back on his bed and he falls asleep. I think I saw a post on montessori on the double about how one of her daughters does something similar.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Allison! That pretty much sounds like the coolest thing ever. Period. Thanks for the idea!

Hi, jduda! I just spent entirely too long browsing all the posts about floor beds. Thank you for the link and the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you've explained this before, but I've been wondering lately, why don't you put your son in daycare? As a Montessori educator, it seems like a contradiction to me that you believe in the method, but not for your own son. I didn't have a choice but to put my daughter in daycare at 4 months. After visiting several daycares, we settled on a Montessori school without knowing much about it beforehand. I think it's one of the best decisions we could have made for our daughter. Now 9 months, she just loves going to "school" and seems to get so much pleasure out of being with older and younger children. She crawls over to crying babies and touches their foot. She watches the older kids climb the stairs, and then tries it herself. Anyway, I guess I'm trying to say is that although I didn't have a choice, I think it has been a fantastic experience for her. You have so much to do... so many goals - I guess I just don't get why you don't use daycare part or full time to find the time to do more.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Anonymous: According to the Montessori philosophy, the best time to put children into a community (e.g., daycare) is at a year old. In practice, a lot of Montessorians think that children are ready for community even earlier, like around 9 months. However, the Montessori school we're trying to get Henry into doesn't start until 18 months. We're exploring other options before then. In the meantime, we have lots of playdates and trips.

Kylie said...

No way is there a contradiction here. I'm outraged by the suggestion. Montessori advocates for a child of Henry's age to be in a family setting and many, Sara included, make sacrifices to make this happen. No offence, I know many need daycare. It's just so obvious how committed Sara is.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Kylie, as a quasi-related question: When do the Montessori schools start in Australia? In the U.S., it seems like many of the authentic schools start at 18 months, even though I've read that children should start around 12 (is that what you've read too or am I mistaken?). There are plenty of Montessori daycares that start earlier, but it doesn't seem like many of the schools do.

Kylie D'Alton said...

This is a technical question. Depends on what you mean by school. Our school for example has a parent toddler class starting at 18 months but the schooling as such doesn't start until Cycle One when the child turns three. We do have some infant communities but still these usually involve a parent. My reading generally suggests a child enter a Montessori community once they reach the independence of walking but even then the hours are limit, certainly not all day. My research also suggests a Montessori daycare and Montessori school is not the same thing.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Our system is similar. The most authentic Montessori "schools" tend to have a half-day infant/toddler community for children 18 months to about 3 years. Then they enter primary, or children's house for the next cycle.

I'm just confused because I've read the same thing about entering community when they start walking (typically around 12 months), but we don't have that option for Henry. The only thing I can find is a former Montessori teacher who has a home environment. I might try to enroll Henry there once he's walking (but before he turns 18 months and can enroll at the actual, authentic school).

Thanks for your quick response, Kylie!

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