Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday–Introducing the Peace Table July 12, 2010

Filed under: Preschool — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:16 am
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Jedi is 6 years 7 months, Monkey is 3 years 5 months, Bitty Bug is 1 year, 5 months
 
This week, we introduced something new into our Montessori routine…not quite a homeschooling thing, but just part of the “being a Montessori family” tool.  Like most siblings, Jedi and Monkey fight.  A lot.  Over everything.  It’s compounded because of Jedi’s Asperger’s and Monkey’s Reactive Attachment Disorder and processing issues.  The typical pattern is that one does something, even accidental, and the other just blows up with a full blown meltdown complete with attempts at retrobution. 
While reading How to Raise an Amazing Child, The Montessori Way, I learned about something called the Peace Table.  On the peace table, there is typically something symbolic of peace–a dove, a white flower, etc.  For ours, we chose a non-breakable vase (we actually got it while in Vietnam, so Monkey loves it!), a branch of red silk flowers to (so that it doesn’t stick out with our current decor in that room), and a little dove figure.
When one child (or even an adult I suppose) feels hurt or wronged, when he or she is ready, (s)he goes to the peace table, grabs the vase, presents it to the other party and invites them to the peace table.  There, the person who feels wronged holds the vase and talks about what they feel and what might have caused it.  Then (s)he passes the vase to the other party to say their piece.  The vase keeps getting passed back and forth as one party talks and the other listens.  Once the issue is settled and both parties are happy, they both put their hand on the bell and together they ring it to let the rest of the house know that peace has been restored.
The vase with flowers and dove on the peace table

So far, the kids both need an adult mediator to help them with the listening parts, but they seem to be enjoying the process of working things out without hitting eachother or tantruming.  Jedi was having a hard time realizing that he can’t sit there and demand that Monkey do 100 jumping jacks as retribution for an accidental hit.  So, a parent still has to mediate in order to prevent Monkey from having to do hard time…. ;)

And other pictures from this week…

Monkey and Jedi...

Monkey liked working with the metal insets

Not really pure Montessori, but it was in the music cabinet and Monkey wanted to do it. The child puts together various "pipe-like" pieces, and then add a flared end to the bottom and a mouthpiece to the top to make a flute.

Monkey finally chose the pink tower again, after months of not wanting to touch it. She got it stacked correctly the first try. Next we'll try to work on centering each block.

After Bitty Bug worked with this last week, Monkey decided she wanted to as well. She chose the card where you match each bug to the matching bug and color on the card.

Monkey's using the shape puzzle again where you choose a scene and put the shape pieces into the slots to form the rest of the picture.

Parts of a horse puzzle

Monkey was playing with her wooden kitchen and decided to sort the foods by color since we've been doing a lot of color sorting lately.

 

 

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6 Responses to “Montessori Monday–Introducing the Peace Table”

  1. [...] Montessori Monday – Introducing the Peace Table from Barefoot in SuburbiaMontessori Journey [...]

  2. Lovely peace table, Ally! I featured your post and peace table photo in my Montessori-Inspired Peace Education Activities at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/01/19/montessori-inspired-peace-education-activities/.

  3. [...] Montessori Monday – Introducing the Peace Table from Barefoot in Suburbia Peace Table Cards (Image from Montessori Print Shop) [...]

  4. Evelyn Says:

    Hello there! I’m so glad I found your blog. It was all thanks to Playschool6 yahoo group. It was even nicer to know that my 2 little rascals aren’t the only ones that fight a lot. I have a peace set up as well but haven’t been very serious about it. Your post has inspired me to implement it. THANK YOU. Another question, how do you know your kids have the disorders. I’m always wondering what if my children have something that I don’t know about. My 3 yo is actually the one who need help with his emotions.

    • allyrae Says:

      I actually have done a lot of work in the autism field and am also almost finished with my PhD in counseling, so when Jedi started showing symptoms really early on, we had him evaluated. He originally tested as moderately-severely affected by autism & sensory processing disorder, but after a lot of intervention, he’s now on the asperger’s end and doing really well. Monkey was adopted from Vietnam as an infant, but when we got her, her throat was badly burned, she had severe reflux (due to what we now know is a dairy allergy), and was hospitalized for 3 days due to being extremely dehydrated and non-responsive. During the first year after her adoption, she had to have her hearing tested a few times because she never responded to sounds, never made sounds that weren’t screams–it turns out those were some of the first signs of her Reactive Attachment Disorder with Selective Mutism. Over the course of the next couple years, we saw a lot more signs of it, ranging from intense aggressive rages to very notable social anxiety. We took her to the same psychologist Jedi sees, and he made the diagnosis and started working with her as well.

      Our defining point was “does it affect their ability to grow, thrive, and learn?” When it was clear that it did, we went for help. (hugs)

  5. theattachedmama Says:

    I LOVE that peace table idea. What a cool thing!

    I am so impressed with your set up at your house.


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