I was pleasantly shocked (is that a thing?) when I was given a sunshine award by Curly Q’s Hairdos! I have seen this award passed around on some of the blogs I follow and it is supposed to be for blogs that inspire and spread sunshine to their readers. I have to say, receiving the award definitely added sunshine to my day! I’m so excited to be able to pass this award on to other bloggers!
I know I say above that this blog isn’t about unattainable ideals, but these bedrooms are sooo adorable! And probably attainable, if you are willing to simplify and wait for the right materials to come your way.
Isn’t this just the cutest room ever? I love the colors!
My blog is far too young (and rarely posted on) to get questions from readers, this post refers to the questions I frequently ask myself, or Google, about the Montessori method and how to make it work in my household.
I haven’t posted much recently because we haven’t *done* much recently. Or at least much Montessori-ish. And the things we have done haven’t gone as hoped.
Like last week I brought out this bean spooning activity.
She actually watched me do the activity and then repeated it fairly well (although a little haphazard at the end) the first time through. Then she wanted to do it again. And again. And suddenly it wasn’t an activity so much as it was beans all over the floor.
This was also the first activity that I left out when not in use. Usually I put activities like this UP, very high, so I’m in control of when and how it happens. Of course, this is not part of Montessori’s philosophy at all! The materials should be available at all times for the child to get out when they want to use it. Unfortunately, in this house that turns into a lot of playing with beans and not a lot of organized activity. In fact, I think almost all these beans have been lost to the vacuum after I got sick of picking them up.
So here are my questions to anyone who stumbles across this blog with more experience than me.
How do you teach respect for materials and make sure your child doesn’t just play with them while you are, say, doing the dishes?
How do you effectively stop an activity when it’s obviously degrading yet the child doesn’t want to stop?
How do you present materials that have already been demonstrated?
That’s all I have for tonight, but I’m sure I will have plenty more in the future!
This is the title of a COMPLETE course that teaches the Montessori reading method available for free online. It’s an amazing series of videos featuring Margaret Homfray, a Montessori teacher who studied with Maria Montessori for 20 years. I have not watched all the videos, considering Ryann is a few years away from reading, but the ones I have are certainly interesting. She has a very blunt style that I both like and abhor, but once you get the whole picture of what she’s talking about it’s really quite cool. Anyone who is looking to do a traditional Montessori reading curriculum, this course is the place to get your info!
Some general things I liked about her introduction: She stresses always showing the proper way to do things, don’t let the child figure it out on their own if they aren’t doing it right. It is much harder to correct something that has been done wrong for a long time.
Children pick up reading the best between the ages of four and six. She says any earlier and they are bored with it before they have a chance to really use it and any later they are likely to not catch on as fast.
Don’t read small children fantasy books, only present them with facts. This I thought the most interesting tip of all. Homfray likened it to being exposed to a country you had never been in and when you asked about the culture people just told you made up stories. It would be so confusing. Let young children get a grasp on reality and then introduce fantasy when they understand that it is fantasy. I’m not sure that I’m going to go pitch three quarters of Ryann’s book collection, but this gave me much to think about!
I will probably reference this course in the future as it’s got a lot of gems in it. I just have to find time to watch the whole thing!