Babies, order, and some great links to pass along!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PHOTO CREDIT: by Focus Features

The adventure of a lifetime begins…
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès, from an original idea by producer Alain Chabat, Babies simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from birth to first steps. The children are, respectively, in order of on-screen introduction: Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie, who resides with her family in the United States, in San Francisco.
Re-defining the nonfiction art form, Babies joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all. (Synopsis courtesy of the official Babies website).

I'm excited to see this movie, not only because, well, babies are one of my favorite things (!), but as a mother, I'm interested to see the different parenting styles and techniques.  What will be the same as what I do?  What can I learn from other cultures and bring into my home?  If you see this movie, I'd love to know what you think! ♥
I'm sure that you have noticed how much having a clean and organized environment affects your mood and ability to concentrate.  I find that while it helps my children be more peaceful, it also encourages them to respect the materials and toys we have in our home.  Why should they bother taking care of their toys and materials if I do not teach them to value them?  If I allow them to leave clothing, puzzles, cylinder blocks, and toy cars all over the floor, why should they put away anything?  If our books are strewn across the floor, they must not be important, why not just step on them instead of putting them away?  This is why I am sure to take the time to have the children HELP me put away their toys, clothing, and materials.  While I don't always catch them to encourage them to put away a toy as soon as they are done using it, as soon as I notice it, I help them to find the correct place for it. 
The key to this is for everything to have a place.  In our home, stuffed animals have their own bin.  The Montessori materials that are currently out are kept neatly on the bookshelves.  Books have their own bins, and currently the books are organized by size and type.  Our large picture books go into a specific basket, and the small early readers fit into their small basket.  As the children age, I will most likely modify this and organize the books by topic/subject area.  Each type of clothing has a specific drawer or home- my son's clothing is organized so that his PJ's live in the bottom drawer, shirts in the middle drawer, pants in the top drawer.  I find this makes putting away laundry much easier, and he can get himself dressed quickly because he knows where to go to find the item of clothing he wants.  I purchased a plastic cart with drawers to organize their shoes by the bench at our front door.  Each child puts their shoes into their drawer when they enter the house.  When it is time to leave, there is no frantic searching for a lost shoe- they know right where to find it.  This fosters independence, while easing the stress of going somewhere if we are in a hurry.
I recently discovered this blog, Living Montessori Now.  I love this post from May 18th, titled How FlyLady and Montessori Help Me Keep My House Clean.  Her reasons include: 1. They both emphasize preparing an orderly and attractive environment. 2. They both break tasks down into steps. 3. They both help me develop positive habits. Have you heard of FlyLady?  The basic philosophy of FlyLady is that "It all starts with a shiny sink! (and a pair of shoes)".  To begin the system, you start small.  Small steps lead to bigger ones.  If all you can do is end and begin the day with a clean and shiny sink, then you've met the first step!  I haven't actually followed the FlyLady program, but I do visit the website every now and then for a little cleaning inspiration.  I must tidy up the kitchen before I go to bed everynight.  The kitchen counter must be clean, the dishes must be done, the sink must be washed out.  If I were to wake up in the morning to a dirty kitchen, I know I would be stressed out all day.  The laundry, however, is one chore I fit in where I can.  I may only get the clothing folded before I go to bed, in which case I put it away in the morning (with the children's help).  This is one chore I have learned to be more flexible on, and I think that it is a valuable chore for the children to assist with Plus, they have the biggest smile when I let them take the clean laundry out of the dryer- how could I deny them of that? :)
The Sleepytime Gal is another great blog.  She posted about the method she is implementing in her household to help everyone keep order (and she is loving the resulting peace!). 
She lists 7 changes that she has implemented in her family's routine that have made all the difference:
(Please see her post for more details about each of her 7 steps)
1.A set “reading time”.
2.Start the day with order.
3.Establish the ideal schedule, like dinner time and bed time, and plan out exactly what must take place to accomplish that.
4.Give everyone in the family responsibilities based on their age and maturity.
5.Have a planning meeting with the older children once a week.
6.Keep a household binder
7.Establish set special times and set schedules.


LeeanneA / KMullally said...

I just love the movie 'Babies'! Glad you posted this! I want to link it as well! :)


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