Gables Montessori Blog



Friendship is an affective relationship between two or more people, a necessary social boundary for the development of the human being. You can´t choose your family but you can select your friends. From childhood, a person can learn to develop social skills to connect with others, learn to trust o reject and integrate into groups that help us to achieve our goals. In school, friends are vital, they help other children to grow emotionally and morally and teach them how to communicate, cooperate, integrate into group activities, solve problems and face difficult situations.

PARENTS AS GUIDES. To establish good relations of friendship a person must learn to do it. Parents are important role models, therefore, their task is to give their children the necessary guidance. The basic thing is to teach the child to love and accept himself. Parents can´t make friends for their children but their support gives the impulse to them to meet new people and make friends. Parents can also teach their kids to talk to others, tell stories, cooperate or ask for something.  As more social interaction, parents make the child internalizes values such as patience, respect, and tolerance. The opportunities parents have for their children to begin to make friends are many: invite other kids to play in the house; talk to other parents to meet in a park or an open space (it depends on the age of the children) or; let children participate in sports teams, music classes or others.  CLEAR RULES CREATE AN APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR. Friendship is not a plant that grows wildly and without care. In any social group, there are rules for appropriate behavior that help to get better interaction. The family is responsible for setting those rules at home and even the child may be involved in this pact, so he will be more likely to follow them. If children learn at home how to handle different situations, they will be able to do the same outside with their peers. Communication is the best tool you can teach your children. Spend some time every day talking to your child, knowing his feelings or things that may have happened during his time out of the home. Try to listen and discover every little detail that may be a clue about how he is coping with the challenges. It is also important that kids learn to see others´ points of view and respect them.

NEGATIVE FEELINGS. All relationships have problems and misunderstandings and many of them may end up in fights and arguments, even in the case of children. It is so important to teach them how to manage their negative feelings and solve problems in getting along with others. The first step in case of trouble is listening to the arguments of your child to identify any negative situation. Sometimes simply a child refuses another by resistance to change or to invest time in learning something new. In that case, talk about the real feelings and reasons your child has about a person who dislikes him and also explore the solutions together. In any case, it is best not to force uncomfortable situations or put pressure on your son to make a friendship that he really does not want.

CLOSE RATHER THAN MANY. Perhaps, a few friends but good are better than many. Consider that maybe your child has a different social style than you have. Some children like quiet activities with little company in a silent and peaceful atmosphere, while others prefer large groups. If you think your child has few friends, consider it again, each person is different. Only turn on the alarm if the solitary behavior is made permanent and you notice aggressive attitudes in addition.

SKILLS TO MAKE FRIENDS. It can be a long process to make good friends, It takes time and dedication. However, there are skills that everybody may develop and maintain during adulthood. As parents, we can help children develop this capacity. You can teach your children to act calmed and moderated, waiting for the best moment to do something; to have assertiveness or being able to say what they would like without aggression; to be kind and able to cooperate and share; to communicate, that is talking and listening to others, keeping on a conversation; being able to understand what others need or want (that is also empathy); staying open to learning different ways of thinking; show compassion or understanding against potential difficulties that others have. Only daily activity improves these skills, always remember, the most important thing is for your child to learn the great value friendship represents.

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Maria Montessori wrote fifteen books and many inspiring articles between 1909 and 1947. This famous founder of Children´s Houses designed her own method of teaching already known in the entire world. The Montessori Method is one of her books, many of them were written in Italian and translated under her supervision. Some of her later works were transcribed from her lectures, often in translation, and only later published in book form. Some of her titles:

The Montessori Method: The essential elements of Montessori´s educational theory emerged from this work. This educator began to develop her own pedagogy by working with children in the Casa dei Bambini in 1907 (Children´s Houses).  The method of Montessori is based on scientific observations related to the capacity of the children to absorb the knowledge of the environment as well as their interest in materials that could easily manipulate. Every part of the equipment, every exercise, and every part of the developed method was based on what Montessori observed, what children were capable of doing “naturally”, by themselves, without the help of the adults.

Dr. Montessori’s own Handbook: In 1914, Montessori published, in English, Doctor Montessori’s Own Handbook, a practical guide to the didactic materials she had developed. This handbook offers an overview of Methods as developed for 3 to 6 years old. It is a short work, a manual for teachers and parents, detailing the materials, games, and techniques used as well as her philosophy in developing them.

The Mother and the Child: The mother and the child is a lecture delivered by Maria Montessori in August 1915. The book called ¨The Mother and the Child¨ speaks about the importance to give children freedom and a suitable environment, so they will be able to fully develop according to their own nature.

The Advanced Montessori Method, Spontaneous Activity in Education: in 1917 there were two titles published, in two volumes: Spontaneous Activity in Education and The Montessori Elementary Material, both of them are the Advanced Montessori Method. The first one, Spontaneous Activity in Education, emphasizes the importance of the prepared environment in education and presents her educational philosophy and methods for children of the ages of three to six years. Her aim is to appeal to the child’s curiosity and to reveal the immense potentiality of the child’ which is tremendous energy.

The Montessori Elementary Material: The second volume of The Advanced Montessori Method is entitled The Montessori Elementary Materials and was published in 1917. The second volume discusses the application of the Montessori principles in the education of older children, between 7 and 11 years of age. This book presents the materials and techniques Dr. Montessori devised for teaching older children. They are seven separate sections where Montessori applies her unique materials to the teaching of grammar, reading, geometry, arithmetic, art, music, and poetic metrics. The materials shown in this book aim directly to the child’s curiosity and lead him to self-mastery of the fundamentals of elementary school learning.

Peace and Education: As war-affected Europe, Maria Montessori became profoundly concerned with the theme of peace and the values of mankind. She dedicated herself to searching for new human truths taking the premise as starting that the child should be his own teacher, she moved on to consider the problems of human and social development and began a crusade in the name of education. This book is a collection of speeches, which she delivered at international congresses and peace councils.

The Absorbent Mind. This book is the result of training courses in India given by Maria Montessori in 1947. These courses feed The Absorbent Mind as an analysis of the physical and psychological aspects of a child’s growth. From birth to three years, the child learns motor coordination, language, and social skills, and establishes work habits that set patterns for life. Dr. Montessori emphasizes the mental powers of children that enable them to construct all aspects of human personality.  As Dr. Montessori exhibit in this book, the child is the builder of the man and the first years of life are those that are going to create his personality, for it is important to give him the necessary help in this period to stimulate the integration of the mind and the body and not to limit only to the physical care.

The Discovery of the Child. Maria Montessori describes the nature of a child and introduces her method of education. She believes that once the main principles of her method are applied it will become easier for the practitioners to use the method. She challenges the traditional classroom and instead introduces a peaceful classroom where teachers are not mainly focused on maintaining discipline, but rather allow children to interact with their environment and use Montessori materials as the means to learn. A child learns from the Montessori environment, which includes the teacher who becomes a facilitator of the child’s learning.


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Children are spending more time indoors than ever before in history due to a variety of factors such as increased academic pressure in schools, many extracurricular activities, increased reliance on technology for entertainment, and fear of being left alone outdoors. But it is known that the interaction between nature and kids is plenty of benefits. Humans are undoubtedly connected to nature and kids especially are fascinated by living things. So, education must integrate learning at school and learning out of it. Particularly in Montessori Method, connection to nature is an important and inspiring part of education and a way to reach the proper physical and psychological development

In Montessori classrooms, the guide is the person in charge of teaching the students the different ways of integrating nature. The guide can incorporate daily outdoor explorations and seasonal nature-related activities, also the guide may let children access to Montessori botany and zoology materials to promote reading related to nature or gardening in a greenhouse. Some studies suggest that increasing children’s interactions with nature might influence environmentally responsible lifestyles and promote children’s development as young naturalists. As Maria Montessori once said, “the land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the earth”.

There are certain conditions for learning outdoors. The environment should be a dynamic, flexible, and versatile place where children can run, move, create, choose, change and be in charge of their playing place and time. One of the facilities should be free access, so the transit to the indoors and outdoors occurs simultaneously. When children can play for hours in a naturalistic space, the connection to nature is faster and more spontaneous and motivates kids to take risks that enrich their learning. One of the followers of the Montessori Method (Wilson, 2008) emphasizes that ¨teachers need to encourage children to get their hands dirty and experience their environment and the changing seasons, including the enjoyment of jumping around in piles of leaves or exploring with snow¨.

Time spent outdoors increases physical activity, healthy development, and overall well-being in children. Nature is so important that simply a room with a view of a natural landscape helps protect the psychological well-being of children. “When individuals develop normally, they plainly feel a love for all living creatures,” Montessori said, and also she believed that nature experiences inspire and delight children. “When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.” The method also indicates that contact with nature affords opportunities for rich sensorial experiences, a vital element of Montessori learning.

She believed that we best develop an understanding of ourselves when we understand the interconnectedness of all things. “I would therefore initiate teachers into the observation of the most simple forms of living things, which all those aids which science gives; I would make them microscopists; I would give them a knowledge of the cultivation of plants and train them to observe their physiology; I would direct their observation to insects, and would make them study the general laws of biology. And I would not have them concerned with theory alone, but would encourage them to work independently in laboratories and in the bosom of free Nature.”


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Feeding our children is always a priority in our daily planning. We look for fresh, nutritious, and tasty foods for our kids and that’s sometimes a complicated task because the amount of information may be overwhelming. But it is necessary to know that good eating habits are learned in childhood, so a healthy relationship with food must be instilled from an early stage.

Babies up to six months should only be fed with breast milk, after that (4 – 6 months) some fruits and vegetables can be included in the daily diet. The progress from a milk-only diet toward a varied one is gradual and should include foods from all the groups. Proteins, vegetables, fruits, and carbohydrates are necessary for the good functioning of the body of children. You can get into the habit of trying different types of protein with each meal and a couple of different vegetables. Thus you can teach your child to appreciate each flavor and learn to know what he likes or doesn’t.

Proteins are necessary for important functions including growth, brain development, and healthy bones, but carbohydrates are essential too, so both types of food must be included in each meal. In the case of vegetables and fruits you can start with small portions, the size depends on the age and physical activity of the child. You can combine them with dairy products such as milk and yogurt that provide calcium as well as vitamins A and B12 and minerals. Calcium is an essential nutrient for children to develop strong bones and teeth. But prefer natural yogurt, not the sweetened, and add natural flavorings, make sure that your kid gets used to these flavors and thus he will be away from diseases related to the sugar in the blood as diabetes. Sugary pastries and desserts, soft drinks, sweets, biscuits, and others could be eaten only on special occasions, the overconsumption of this ¨snacks¨ is also related to high rates of obesity.

Fats are also important in children´s nutrition but too much of any sort of fat is not recommended. Substances as butter, oils or spreads aid the absorption of vitamins (A, D, E, and K). A special kind of fat, Omega 3 is essential for the human body and can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, and their oils, so these types of products not should be forgotten at the time of doing the shopping in the supermarket or cooking meals.

The following tips or recommendations can be very useful on the topic of the nutrition of your children:

Although cereals can be an easy option for breakfast, read the labels carefully, many contain higher sugar levels. The best is to choose an unsweetened one and combine it with some fruit.

Include some protein in the breakfast such as an egg or yogurt. This meal is really important, it is the first contribution of energy after many hours of sleep.

Children love snacks but sometimes they prefer not healthy ones. Teach your kids to eat fruits when they feel hungry, that is a good habit that will be beneficial throughout life.

Water is preferable to any drink, juices and smoothies are delicious but can contain a lot of fructose and this can result in a ‘sugar high’.

Parents are role models, so eat healthy, exercise, and drink water and your children will learn good habits by imitating you.

Get kids involved in shopping for groceries and preparing their own meals and keep healthy snacks available.

Remember that breakfast is an important meal, but that does not mean eating too much. Combine proteins and carbohydrates properly and offer your kid some fruit, a good breakfast must provide the energy an active kid requires

Family meals are great opportunities to strengthen ties, gather your children around a table, talk to them about their activities and problems and keep them away from phones, computers, or TVs

By eating together you can monitor your kids’ habits and you can also teach by example. Children will observe how you combine the food and the size of the portions you serve, also how to sit and the good manners to eat.

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In the past, it was rare to see one-child families. But in the last century, the situation changed for many reasons such as family planning, emotional issues, late marriage, fears over pregnancy or advanced age, and others problems such as divorces, infertility, or death of a parent.  It has become more complicated to support several children and modern society with its rapid growth have done that mothers enter the labor market to collaborate with the familiar budget, and now they have to share their role as workers. Many families have made the decision to have one child and give to him all the opportunities and privileges.

Many theories about the advantages and disadvantages of having no brothers have been published and the opinions vary. For some experts living as an only child is a normal experience but others think that the relationship between brothers is essential for the development of the human being. Both of them have positive and negative aspects that can be analyzed.

Older brothers are excellent partners of games and behavior models, living with the children can learn feelings such as generosity, respect, and companionship.

Fights between brothers are normal situations in a house. In these cases, the parents have to intervene to teach them to control situations and to achieve the comprehension of the needs of each one.

Maybe an advantage of being an only child could be that there is no competition, there is no obligation to test his capabilities, which can create a major sense of independence at the moment of developing his own interests or tastes.

When parents decide to have only one child can follow some recommendations as:

Try to give the child the opportunity to interact with others, not only at school but also in the neighborhood, with relatives, and in activities such as sports practices.

Teach your kids to develop social skills. Many mothers speak instead of their children when they interact with adults or other children which is not the appropriate way. The ideal thing is to give them guidelines of tolerance thus they can learn to set their relationships, be included in playing groups, wait a turn, or accept being excluded or rejected without trauma.

Promote the independence of the child, letting him know that though most of the time he interacts with adults, he can make his own decisions and create moments of entertainment for himself. A parent can promote independency by giving her child some responsibility.

Demonstrate by example how to share, respect a compromise and show consideration for others, also a good technique is rewarding your child if he is being considerate but warning about consequences when he is not.

Set clear boundaries. Children who live with adults may believe they have equal power, so the best is to make boundaries clear and keep some crucial decisions in parent hands.

Teach your children to wait. The only child receives answers to his demands rapidly enough because there are no other brothers on the waiting list. Nevertheless, life is not always like that, let him know that patience is a good gift.

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The role of teachers in the Montessori system is teaching each child on an individual basis. The method does not impose lessons on anyone, the work is based on guiding and helping each child according to his needs. The guide can not intervene until the child requires it.

María Montessori calls the teacher ¨director¨, and the person has to be internally (spiritually) and externally (methodologically) prepared. This expert should organize the environment to help the child to develop a structured «mind».

Children are plenty of possibilities.  The “director¨ is the responsible person for showing children the way to their development. The director has to believe in the ability of each child to respect the different rhythms of development. This practice allows integrating different types of children in the same group (those who learn slowly with those more advanced). The Montessori´s idea is to let the child feel being able to act without constantly relying on an adult to develop his curiosity and creativeness and learn to think for himself.

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