For many, the New Year is a time for new beginnings. For the Montessori student, it’s a time to reflect on the lessons learned from a year of growth and development through their studies. It’s also a time to set goals and make plans for the upcoming year. But mostly, it’s a time for celebration, and there are some simple ways to bring the Montessori spirit into your New Year’s festivities.
1. Montessori Resolutions
Of course, making resolutions is the most time-honored New Year’s tradition. While at La Prima Casa Montessori, we like to keep our students focused on self-improvement every day of the year, it’s always good to set new goals for growth. Making resolutions can be a fun way to set these goals for your Montessori child and a fun way to help celebrate the year.
2. Resolutions of Gratitude
When setting New Year’s resolutions, allow your child to come up with their own ideas. It’s good to try to steer them towards the principles of “grace and courtesy” that are core to the Montessori philosophy. Consider proposing resolutions that allow the child to practice observing gratitude, like working on charitable endeavors, practicing kindness, or acknowledging the good things that happen in their lives. Check out our recent post on gratitude for more ideas.
3. Happy Birthday Planet Earth
Another fun thing to do is to treat the New Year like a birthday for the planet, complete with the Montessori classroom’s signature celebration. When a student turns a year older, the class celebrates with a special ritual. A candle is placed in the middle, representing the sun, and a piece of paper for each month is circled around the candle. The student walks around the circle of months, one trip for each year of their life, and when they reach their birth month, the teacher relays milestones from their life for that age, such as learning to walk, learning to talk, starting school and any other fun or important details the teacher has collected. During this ritual, students can also sing happy birthday to the Earth with the traditional Montessori birthday song: “The Earth Goes Around the Sun.”
4. A Learning Celebration
By taking a twist on this birthday ritual, you can help your child learn important facts about their world. Have your child hold a picture of the earth as they walk around the sun and introduce seasons by showing how the earth tilts along the way. You can also use this ritual to recount important or noteworthy events from the past year, such as when school started, when the child and each family members had their birthday or any other milestone from the previous year.
5. New Year Celebrations Around the World
One way to broaden your Montessori child’s experience with a New Year’s celebration is to talk about how it is celebrated in other parts of the world. For example:
In Japanese Buddhist Temples, they ring the bell 108 times as part of their celebrations.
In Spain, they celebrate the New Year by eating 12 grapes as the clock begins chiming at midnight. To earn their good luck for the year, they must finish eating the grapes before the clock finishes its chimes!
In Brazil, it’s good luck to head to the beach and jump over seven waves on New Year’s Day.
However you choose to celebrate, New Year’s is a great time to spend together as a family. Enjoy each other’s company and make some beautiful memories together. Happy New Year from all of us at La Prima Casa Montessori!