It is probably not a surprise to anyone that nature and Montessori go hand-in-hand. But what exactly do I mean by that? There is so much integration between the natural world and our school that we often feel like our classrooms include both the indoor materials and the outdoor environment.
Our Butterfly Garden, nature walks, Poetry Fridays, our lessons, daily care of our outdoor plants, and the care with which we treat our environment are just a few ways that MSEO and Nature are perpetually integrated.
In our Butterfly Garden, we have a home, not just for our beautiful monarch butterflies, but also for anyone who needs to walk a peaceful path and find their center. The path is designed to lead in a never-ending loop to give a sense of serenity and infiniteness to our day and our understanding of nature.
The nature walks are essential. Not only do they aid our lessons, be they a discussion on the types or parts of leaves, the layers of the soil, or types of rocks; they also become our inspiration. Where else can the students create their very best poetry than by being out in nature itself. The clouds, the wind, the gentle forest smells, all work together to help the students immerse in their writing.
Reading, also, becomes much more peaceful and relaxing when we take our books outside and read alongside a friend. At MSEO, you will often find that the books have been taken out to recess simply because the student did not want to let it out of her hands, even for a moment.
And, of course, the lessons that we teach all work their way towards a common theme of peace, conservation, and preservation. At MSEO, the students are taught to recycle from day 1. They learn that our entire building is solar-powered to help give back to the Earth what we can, and we all realize that the care of our planet is up to each one of us.