Friday, January 23, 2015

Normalized Atrium

The children gather around a table in community.

Preparing the Cruets
Maria Montessori used the term normalization to refer to children who were calm, focused and worked in the classroom with order and purpose. I think we now have an atrium full of normalized children. Our class has gotten much smaller since the fall, but the children who attend come in and go right to work. I've been able to give lots of new lessons and the children continue to work on the lessons from the past. Now that we are in Ordinary Time, we are focusing on the Parables about the Kingdom of God. We have talked about the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Pearl of Great Price.

We have also been working on lessons that have to do with the Mass. The children love to set up the Model Altar and this year we have added the Tabernacle. It has given these youngest ones something purposeful to look for during Mass: the chalice, the paten, the sanctuary candle. We have also been doing the work of preparing the cruets and learning about the gesture of Epiclesis (during the Consecration). So much richness to help the children take hold of the glory of the Mass. To know the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing Christ to His people. So much joy to see them work together to carefully pour the wine, to remember the steps and to create the community of the church at 3,4 and 5 years old! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Preparing to Return

It's been a few weeks since we've been in the atrium with the children. When they return tomorrow it will be Ordinary Time again. We aren't really in the atrium for the Christmas season at all which is a shame. I always feel we've gone from Advent right to Ordinary Time.

To make their return a little more special, I bought a new plant for leaf washing and some cut flowers for flower arranging. I also put up a few more pictures and added a few new works. 

Can you see the pictures of the articles for the altar? I found them in our Religious Education supply room. I think they are from the 1960's or 70's.

Here are two more. Excuse the beam of sunlight cutting through. Our windows let in a lot of light which is good but sometimes blinding!

It was good to have some time in the atrium to put out some new work, organize supplies, take note of needs and just be quiet and slow. Because our program runs during our religious education program, we meet in between the Sunday Masses for only an hour. It never seems to be enough time to me and I am often rushing from Mass or to Mass. So having leisurely time was glorious.

I would like to add to the loveliness of the room with more artwork while still keeping the room simple and neat. Of course when the children are in the room, they add all the loveliness that is needed!