Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Montessori at Home ~ Diving in with Sensory Experiences

Montessori at Home

I’m purposefully not reading through the entire Montessori at Home! e-book, by John Bowman.  I’m trying to be realistic.  I rarely have time to read through an entire book before I begin using it.  By maintaining my impulsive habit of diving into Montessori at Home!, the plumb line for this series of posts, I’m proving to you how easy and applicable this tool is to use in your Tot’s learning journey.


When you create learning activities, according to Bowman, that allow your child to master skills and learn useful information, you are increasing your child’s confidence and positive self image.  A good self image does not blossom from compliments alone.   A child needs more than just a good brain, he needs to learn to believe in himself.  Our job as parents is to provide miniature test runs for our Geniuses. 


For example, you and I know how to pour water into a glass with a pitcher.  But a child first learns this skill by spooning sand through a funnel, then dumping it, and filling a bottle again with sand and nearby objects, etc.  By repeating such a simple task, they gain confidence that will eventually lead to getting a cup of water from the faucet or pouring milk from the gallon jug.  Simple.  But when done successfully multiple times with YOU nearby, a priceless and valuable skill is developed. 


Last month, we learned about creating a Montessori Moment and initiating an “activity cycle.”  This month, I decided to just flip through the back of the book and find an activity. 


What I loved about or Montessori at Home moment was that it featured my husband’s tools . . . objects that my kids see their dad using.   The only school thing we used . . . our trays.



It captured their imagination bringing real life into make believe.  I was inspired to dig out our socket set found in the Sensorial Experiences section of Montessori at Home!  Do to the small stature of our “borrowed” items it really helped all of my boys to focus their attention, which is what Maria Montessori discovered about early childhood education. 


And rather than cap the age on this activity, I allowed my 5 and 7 year old to “work” alongside Gabe, which created a think-tank of hands-on ideas.

For each activity cycle, I created a model of the desired outcome with the extra tools to achieve this goal on the same tray.


Sometimes I explained how to achieve the desired result.  Other times, I allowed the gears in their brain to devise a plan of action.


I worked hard at trying to make each activity age-appropriate. 


Gabe never wanted to do what his older brothers were doing . . . but they always wanted to do what he was doing!


While playing with all this metal, they discovered that they inadvertently created a few magnets.  Yet another learning tangent we could have pursued.

What are you waiting for?  Go and have a Montessori Moment at Home with your Little!  What object do you have multiples of?  Pull out a magnet, spoon or tongs and get that little Tot moving, stacking, and sorting some items!

signature button Jodi


CAM said...

You should look at this blog: they have amazing ideas that are a lot like this! I love these kinds of activities and have already started doing them with my 7 month old!

Lauren said...

nice! tools for school! the boys will love this!

Jodi McKenna said...

So glad!  Let's see this in action, Lauren!!!!

Jbowmanbooks said...

Great activities and extensions, Jodi! Kids really love those tools, nuts, & bolts. Next could be two wood squares or craft shop identical letters they could bolt together, including using a wrench or two. When they've mastered that, a board or wood scrap (sand the edges) with starter holes can be used for learning to screw in wood screws - start with phillips head. Great post!