For many people around the world, the month of January marks a time of fresh starts and new celebrations. As an inclusive educational model that cares about what brings joy to individuals and cultures around the world, Montessori programs make room for children to learn about holidays with meaningful activities and opportunities for discovery.
Learn about five January holidays that are perfect for helping Montessori primary students celebrate themselves and others.
New Year’s Day
Many people living in the United States and other countries around the world celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st. This is a great time to give Montessori primary students the benefit of learning about history, especially that of Roman mythology and culture.
Teachers can provide children with illustrated books about how January 1st came to be known as the New Year for people around the world. Primary students can also be taught about how and why it symbolizes new beginnings and what traditions different cultures may have surrounding New Year’s celebrations.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Compassion is a core value in Montessori education. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect opportunity to teach primary-aged students about promoting and showing peace and kindness to others.
This is another holiday where illustrated books can present a great opportunity for cultural learning. You can also provide photographs and other hands-on materials that depict peace and an appreciation for diversity.
In schools in the United States, Inauguration Day falls on January 20th in the years following a presidential election. While Montessori primary students may not necessarily learn about elections, teachers can certainly provide learning opportunities about citizenship, fairness, kindness, and respect.
It’s also an appropriate time to introduce songs and poems about a range of cultural elements. For instance, you can use the holiday as a jumping-off point to discuss history, the White House, and aspects of the American election process.
Braille Literacy Month
Braille Literacy Month is celebrated in January because the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of the popular reading system for the blind, falls on January 4th. This month represents an excellent opportunity to introduce songs and poems about Louis Braille, as well as provide tactile books and materials for very young children to experience this reading system for themselves.
You can also check to see whether your local community has appropriate historical or museum resources that children can visit or find a specialist who can provide them with an in-classroom braille experience. Either way, it’s an opportunity to promote inclusion for all students and people around the world.
International Creativity Month
Self-directed learning is one of the premier principles in Montessori education. It inspires creativity in primary-aged children by encouraging them to explore the senses and inviting them to discover the world through music, language, and other art forms. \
International Creativity Month is an invitation to take that exploration up a notch. You can do so by providing art in different forms, including audio, visual, tactile, and more, and by allowing children to experience and explore as they see fit.
Building a Culture of Discovery in Montessori Primary Programs
In Montessori primary programs, it’s important to ensure that children have an opportunity to discover a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. There’s no better way to do that than by starting your calendar year off with some holiday learning opportunities.
At Montessori West, we have worked hard to build a culture of inclusion and exploration. We offer a place where your child can learn about the world through geography, history, science, art, and music. Through self-directed learning, children in our Montessori primary program develop a lifelong love of learning. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your child grow their appreciation for cultural exploration through rich experiences inside and beyond the classroom.