How are you? Wow. It’s really Autumn now in Amsterdam. The clocks have changed and herfstvakantie has already been and gone!
You won’t believe where we went. Normally in the herfstvakantie, we like snuggling up at home with lots of pyjama days and a few low-key outings with friends. So imagine my surprise when my parents announced that they would like to send the kids and I to Africa for a 5-day safari to celebrate my approaching 40th birthday later this year. A-f-r-i-c-a!
Have you been to Africa? What an amazing place. There is such an energy to the place: inspiring, calming and breathtaking. And now, it’s quite surreal to be back cycling through Amsterdam to classes as usual. I’m carrying around all the positive vibes I received from my trip and bringing them to the children in class :).
In this post I’d like to share with you a book I just finished and some guest blog posts that I wrote. Hope you enjoy them.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”, by Susan Cain
This book had been on my radar since I heard a radio interview with Susan Cain about a year ago. And after receiving a copy at Christmas I’ve been picking it up here and there when time allowed.
The book opens with an analysis of why you are expected to be extroverted in today’s society. There is such a strong bias in this direction. Characteristics such as assertiveness, charisma, gregariousness and social dominance almost reflect a superior type of person.
Maybe it’s not you that has introverted tendencies, but your child. People want your child to be confident and chatty. And if they are not, they receive the label “shy”.
So it was such a revelation to read this book and think “a-ha, it’s because I’m (or my child is) an introvert!”.
I recognise myself a lot in this book. How I need quite a lot of alone time to decompress from busy social events, why at social events I’d rather just chat to one or two people than “circulate”, and why I love working with parents and children and also enjoy the quiet time in between classes to get ready for the next group.
The book looks at the biology behind introversion and extroversion, and how your environment affects who we become.
And I like the chapter on introverted kids and how schools should start to recognise that group participation and open-plan classrooms don’t work for every kid.
I talked about the book with my kids. And last weekend when I asked my 12-year old daughter if she wanted to do something together, she replied, “No thanks mum. I think I’ll have some introverted time to myself”. So cool that she is becoming so self aware at her age.
I must admit that I didn’t find it the easiest book to read and introversion/extroversion is just one personality trait that makes up who we are. But I would definitely suggest starting with her TED talk and plunge deeper into the book when time allows.
Guest blog posts
A tour of a toddler classroom in Amsterdam
Recognise this classroom? Yes, it’s Jacaranda Tree Montessori!
We are featured in a guest blog post over at Trillium Montessori with a tour of our classroom. Check it out here: http://trilliummontessori.org/montessori-toddler-classroom-amsterdam/
Some of my favourite Usborne books
There are some lovely Usborne books for young children and I was asked to pick my favourites for Buy English Books. Click here to see the results!
News from the Classroom
Next week is the last week of this course. So I am busy working my way down the waitlist to fill the last spaces for the new classes which start from 10 November.
A great idea from one of the mums! We had a great time making bats in class this week getting ready for Halloween.
First aid workshop for parents in English
This Saturday 9:30am – 3:30pm (now full)
Introduction to Montessori
Thursday 13 November, 8pm – 9:30pm
A free introduction to the Montessori approach including:
1. How Montessori works
2. A tour of our classroom
3. Demonstrations of how to work with the Montessori materials
4. Montessori primary schools in Amsterdam
5. Some quick tips for setting up your home
If you would like to join us, you can reply to this email.
I hope you all have a fun Halloween. And we’ll be getting ready for Sint Maarten from next week :).