Someone shared this link to some handouts from a Montessori conference (American Montessori Society). I have really enjoyed the one related to brain development. I *really* enjoyed the book Magic Trees of the Mind, which talks about the development of the brain and how various connections (dendrites) are formed and then “pruned” as a child ages. The handouts I was reading reinforced some of the things I had learned in that book.
In particular, it talked about the environment. It was saying that our eyes process 36 thousand visual images per hour and that our eyes are constantly scanning the environment for the novel item in a familiar environment. For that reason, it is important to rotate materials and to use spaces to add beauty and novelty to the environment. Anyway, I found this good food for thought.
I was having a hard time this past week because I was super busy and by Thursday our homeschool room became really messy (just lots of projects/puzzles/thing strewn everywhere). Once I had a chance to clean up, change our bulletin boards (we have two) to put up the kids’ latest art work and projects… *I* felt better and LD said “Wow! Thanks for making it look so nice.” So, I’ll continue to strive to keep things organized, rotated and fresh. Good to know that the research backs my gut feelings, right?!
Here are the particular articles I was reading if you’re interested:
1) Connecting Brain Research with Montessori Principles
2) Enriched Environments