Monday, February 15, 2010

How Montessori Fits In

Many of you may remember all the blog posts I wrote on the Montessori materials my mom and I made before the school year began last fall. Right now you're thinking to yourself, "Yes, I do remember all those posts. I wonder how they've been used this year."

Um, they haven't.

My revelation came after completing many of the materials. First Daughter has three more years before she even starts kindergarten. Three years is a long time. I began to feel my priorities should be focused on First Son's kindergarten year and my own development in organization and planning for a homeschool.

With three years ahead of us and a houseful of puzzles, building toys, art supplies and pretend play, I truly believe our home allows for plenty of growth for a three year old without formal schooling. First Daughter also listens to all our stories, participates in our art projects and science experiments and is learning math right alongside First Son.

I haven't abandoned Montessori. I still think these activities are wonderful in the preschool years. The practical life exercises help us (adults) introduce everyday life to a child and encourage her to participate. Some of the suggestions I've read include how to close a door and how to turn the page of a book. You may think these are silly things to show to a child, but remember she learns by watching us and we may do these things too quickly for her to see accurately what to do. Then we may get upset when a task is done improperly. So here on the Range, we work on things like turning pages and washing hands. These are good skills for the three-year-old set. (There were a few things like buttoning that I wanted to encourage in First Son, all skills he demonstrated on his own just before we started school.)

So, we haven't pulled any of activities out on a regular basis. Every once in a while the girls request the scent and sound bottles or the dressing frames. Other than that, they sit and wait. It will be nice to be able to plan on them for next year without having to make everything!

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