Have you heard of such a thing as a Montessori peace table? What in the world is that? How does it work and why is it important? But the one question you may be asking the most is “Why do you say that every homeschool should have a peace table?” Let me explain.
International Peace Day on September 21st, but it is imperative for our world to try its utmost to grow, develop, encourage and spread peace throughout ALL THE TIME. It is up to each of us to gain control over our emotions and choose peace. To be a peacemaker… a peacekeeper… wow, what a difficult task it seems to be!
Do you know how to promote peace in the world? It begins with our closest friends and neighbors.
Peace Keepers and Peace Seekers are Lacking
Teaching peace to kids… this is why we must make peace a mainstay in our hearts and minds, but we would do our children (and their generation) a favor by helping them develop it in their own heart and minds. It is common for human beings to have intense feelings and/or have run-ins with other humans.
I mean, let’s face it, when you put two or more children in one room, chances are that they will have at least one conflict. Sometimes, these conflicts can get out of control because:
A) they don’t know how to channel and communicate their intense emotions
B) that is how these situations are handled around them
C) they haven’t learned or been taught that being a peacekeeper is important
How the Montessori Peace Table is Set Up
This is where the Montessori Peace Table comes in. You DO NOT have to use Montessori as your method of choice in your homeschool to embrace this activity. All you need for a Montessori Peace Table is a child-sized table, two child-sized chairs and a timer (I like an hourglass that is set for 3 or 5 minutes).
Additionally, to make it beautiful, you may choose a delicately carved table or tablecloth and a candle or a flower to be placed at the center of the table. If you feel that a regular candle would pose a danger to your child instead of inspiration to seek peace, then you can use a small potted plant, a flower in a pretty vase or a battery-operated faux candle.
Lastly, you will need a peace object at the table. This peace object can be as simple as a smooth river stone or a beaded necklace made of natural fibers. Try your best to place it in a quieter area in your home, but the surrounding should be open and pleasing to the sight, preferably near a window or a place lit with natural light.
Montessori Peace Curriculum
Lessons on Peace, Courtesy and Grace
Teach your children a lesson on grace, courtesy and most importantly, about peace before using the Peace Table for the first time. Yes, focus on teaching peace to children. Read them books about peace and how to be a courteous or be a good friend. Bible stories are great resources to teach character traits such a these.
It would be important to point out what the Peace Table is for. Children sitting alone there is because he/she need to spend time in silence and that child is not to be disturbed at all. Explain also how the timer/hourglass works and let them learn to operate it on their own.
When the child sits at the Peace Table alone, he/she can close his/her eyes to calm down, stare at the hourglass as the sand goes down, look at the plant, flower or candle on the table or the child may choose to hold the peace object in his/her hands. Practice this skill with each child.
When and How the Montessori Peace Table is Used
When you feel your child needs a moment of peace and quiet, gently walk that child to the Peace Table as you whisper to him/her in a peaceful and clam voice. Allow your child to spend a minute or two there to be in silence and calm down. The Peace Table is mainly used to encourage conflict resolution between two children, but it is just as effective for inner conflict resolution.
When a child is upset at another, that child should refrain from reacting in anger or by crying or raising his/her voice. Instead, he/she should invite that child to the Peace Table. They walk over and sit together at the table. The child who is upset should begin talking and explaining in a calm manner why he/she is upset at the other child.
Taking turns, their goal is not to keep the conflict going, but rather to resolve it in a quick and thorough manner. When one person is speaking, he/she holds the peace object in his/he hands. When that child is finished talking, then he/she gently hands the peace object over to the other child, for a chance to speak. If a resolution isn’t reached by the time the timer goes off, then a mediator (an adult only) should step in.
In short, using something as simple as a Peace Table will empower your children to take control of themselves and their emotions. They will also take control and responsibility over the conflict resolution as well as be a peace seeker and a peacemaker.
Will you give the Peace Table a try in your homeschool? And yes, sometimes moms also need to make us of the Peace Table. And you know what? It is perfectly alright to do. 🙂
Peacemaking for Kids
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