Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Re-educating myself

My BS is in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. I had a lot of good and interesting classes on how kids develop, but honestly, I think I've forgotten a lot of what I learned. Additionally, I think that some of what should have been taught in that major was not offered.

I have been interested in the Montessori Method since my sister told me about how much it helped her son. I haven't done a whole lot of research on it, but I've taken a heightened interest in it since Dean's more aware of his surroundings. You know you have a boring home when your kid starts crying when you turn onto your street after running errands! (That happened twice yesterday!) So, I'm trying to find more meaningful activities to do with him.

I started reading some of this e-book on the Montessori Method for ages 0-3, and it's very helpful. It has reminded me of a lot of information I've already learned, plus it's introduced a few concepts I never thought of. (Teaching a small child to use and respect beautiful and breakable items. Keeping only toys that are played with and have purpose. Keeping only as many toys as you can keep orderly. Storing toys in small baskets on a shelf rather than in a large toy box they have to dig through. )

Some things I already do, but there is much I do that can be improved upon. I need to keep reading and start practicing!

7 comments:

Mrs. Hass-Bark said...

Your post made me think about how I could apply those organizational principles in my house now (which is sans kids for the time being). I think it's so important to learn to really use and get enjoyment out of a select few posessions. I am so guilty of just buying, buying, buying and not really enjoying. Time to re-evaluate!

Erin S. said...

I LOVE the Montessori method! We had to design a Montessori school for one of my last school projects and did tons of research on the method and I was hooked! Such a practical way of teaching things, and letting the self-discovery happen too! (I'm glad you're feeling a little better!)

Heather and Ryan said...

We LOVE montessori ideas. We don't do everything we can, but we make an attempt. One thing that my kids especially love is having all of the dishes down in a low cabinet. We bought a little cabinet for $20 at DI. It has 2 drawers on top and shelves on the bottom. We have our cloth napkins in one drawer and silverware in the other. All the other dishes go on the shelves. The kids love helping unload the dishwasher and putting the dishes away. They also get to set the table before meals. And, they don't have to ask me to help them get drinks or snacks. When they're hungry or thirsty, they just get what they want. The kids love the independence and responsibility that comes with having everything at their level. At first it does create more of a mess, since the kids think it's just fun to play with the dishes, but they soon learn the responsibility that comes with having things within their reach and come to really respect that.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Mrs. H-B, I agree!! I was thinking as I was reading, "Ah, dang. I need to do that myself!" I'm not super good about putting things away immediately, and I think it's a good habit to be in and to teach.

Erin, that's pretty awesome you had to design a Mont. school! You'll have to share with me some of your research if you have any of it left!

Heather, I've been wondering about the low dishes. It did seem like a whole lot of mess potential. I guess that's why it's good if you can keep on top of it. Helps them learn to put stuff away and get it out properly. What do you do about the dishes when you have a newly crawling exploratory baby?

Heather and Ryan said...

You just keep a close eye on them and show them how to use it properly. Yes, they do explore for a few weeks and it is messy, but when they watch how others use the dishes, they tend to pick up on those things. Kids are very observant! And if that doesn't work, you can always give them their own cabinet with their own dishes to play in. If it is really necessary, you can always put up a gate to keep them away, but I definitely prefer to have a little (or even a lot) of mess rather than trapping my kids in an area. They learn responsibility so easily when they are allowed the freedom with a little direction from parents. Good luck. These stages pass by way too quickly and when they are gone, you will miss them and all the messes that come with them!

Amanda said...

Hey Celia, I am so glad that you read the Montessori book and liked it. I LOVED that book and applied a lot of the principles, but it also seemed like it was one where they were so sure that their method was the ONLY way to go, that I hesitated to recommend it, since I felt like a lot of their principles were simply NOT practical, especially for someone with limited time or money or someone with multiple children in different stages (a crawler who would pull over the ceramic-bowl hand washing station). I love having my babies in cribs (not on mattresses on the floor), for example, and I have had enough babies and have known enough mothers to know that every mother and baby experience is different and you shouldn't feel like you HAVE to do something the Montessori way or it is wrong. Anyway, sorry to ramble on so long.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

I totally thought that it seemed geared toward a one-child family, but there are still a lot of great principles!