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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Montessori - Introducing Activities

Hello again! This is the third post on Montessori that I have done and I feel like I have just skimmed the surface! I wanted to lay a basic framework for mothers wanting to introduce Montessori to their toddler and I think these 3 posts will do pretty much that.

So now that you have a basic gist of the philosophy of Montessori and what type of environment suits it best, the next step is how to introduce the activities to your child.

When demonstrating activities to a child use a minimum of words and movements. The child should be allowed to work with the materials only after they have been presented to him. Introduce new materials gradually and be patient, remember that your role should be an observer. It is hard for mothers to restrain themselves and not show the child how to do it. Let them work it out on their own and eventually they will.

All Montessori activities have a "control of error", which allow the child to see his mistakes when doing the activity in the wrong way. Even so, children must be guided in their proper use.

An atmosphere of quiet should be kept during school time. Absolute silence isn't completely necessary but an atmosphere conducive to concentration is key.

The child should be allowed to choose what they want to work with, even if it is the same thing for three days in a row. As the child masters and progresses beyond certain materials they should be removed. Children are always looking to be challenged.

Once the activity is chosen it can be worked with as long as the child pleases but the task must be completed before the material is returned to its place. Perseverance is a good lesson in self-discipline.

The time spent with school should be no more than one and a half to two hours at most. In the first few weeks, especially if you are working with a very young child, forty-five minutes should be sufficient.

But now what activities do you do??? There are a TON of books that would be great resources for you, the local library should carry all you need to know.

Here are some links as well that I have found very useful for activities:

I was a little concerned at the beginning of my Montessori craze that I would have to spend SO much money on new activities for my daughter, but in reality I didn't. Many activities use items found in your home, just try and be creative. Also, most craft stores have a plethora of ideas/items to make your own activities for relatively cheap. Although I did invest in stacking blocks, puzzles and a few other standard items that any growing brain needs :)

Of course I would love to transform my home, put in new shelving, ya know just totally make it a Montessori home....but that will have to wait.

I will be posting activities that my own daughter has done so I hope that gives you ideas too! And if you have any activities to share, please do!!

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