Montessori Monday~ Playtime Promises
“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”
Today we took a play day. Such a simple thing to do, sit and play all day long. Even I played! Bunny, Pup, and I all built Legos for most of the morning! We created together, talked together, and had fun! Plus we build a great salon/ restaurant! It also had me thinking about playtime. I really dont think that anyone debates the importance of play for young kids. They need it like they need sleep! However, I realized that sometimes we forget that older kids are still young kids! I know that Pup needs to play every day and so much of her school work is really just wonderful play! Bunny on the other hand needs to do school work, needs to do some other things. She is a first grader. Sometime i think that I forget that play is just as important for her too! School work should be mostly fun and rather play like. They seem to learn so much more when they are playing and the moments of setting up an imaginary world will sometimes even prompt some learning! So when do we start to put pressure on the little ones to learn more, learn at a certain rate, or even learn a certain way? Why is it at 6 or 7 that we tell them that now they are big now? Are they really old enough to work without play or are we told they should be? Should play be more a part of every single day? Just because school work needs to be done doesnt mean that it has to be boring or These are the thoughts that have been running through my mind. I tell Bunny she has to do school work, and she tells me she hates it. It is a far cry from my goals of creating a love of learning in my kids. It is how I make sure that she is getting all the learning in that she needs to by state standards. So how do I make sure that we are learning all the right things done, but that the learning is playful. Now playful is not something that Montessori is work is know for, however is really is. Montessori says many times in her writings that these exercises should be fun and like a game for the children. Yes they focus and concentrate and learn, but is fun for them! She has an example of her playfully showing a group of children how to blow their noses. She talks about games where the children were laughing, and shouting, and happy! This is not an educational system of work, it is an educational system of play! Play is the child’s work! It is no less true as the child moves into the elementary years. Maria Montessori stresses many times that the learning should be presented as exciting stories and should capture the child’s imagination! It should make them really want to find out more! So how does this all play out in real life? How do I make play a central aspect of our life. It is humbling to realize that we did get into a rut of doing what we had to do instead of making it all fun. Sure we have done some fun work lately, but really nothing has grabbed her attention and held it. I am thinking that maybe its me! So today I am making a promise to myself to try to bring play into our school room!
What are your thoughts on play and work?
Be sure to stop by Montessori Monday for lots more Montessori fun! Happy Schooling!
January 29, 2013 @ 5:07 am
What a wonderful post! I love the part where you mentioned that learning should be playful. I’m glad I stumbled across your cute blog and am looking forward to your posts in the future!
January 30, 2013 @ 2:57 am
Talia it is so wonderful to meet a new bloggy friend! I am working really hard to find ways to make sure learning is playful! Thanks for stopping by! I am on my way to visit you too!
Mommy to the Princesses
January 30, 2013 @ 1:41 am
I agree that it has to be playful, but during the course of keeping up with homeschooling it becomes difficult to remember! I try to include some fun play-like work. We play math and grammar games. The culture work is always fun! We also begun cooking and I recently got her a cookbook too! Thanks for this post!
January 30, 2013 @ 2:59 am
Ohhh…I know just what you mean. Bunny needs to do some work, but I just cant hep but think that there has to be a way to make it fun and playful too. I am going to keep looking for great ideas! Cooking is a great place to start! Thanks for popping by!
January 30, 2013 @ 2:38 am
My son went through a phase (after exposure to 2 girls who HATED their homeschooling – I would too, but that’s another story) that he decided school was boring. I had to get away from calling anything school for a while, but still had him track how he spent his day. And he did have “responsibilities” (new presentations, practicing certain skills; chores). He caught on to my ploy pretty quick, but then I pointed out all the schoolwork he had accomplished during his “play”. Now he routinely asks me “does this count as school?” as he notes the work he has done – both play and school.
He still has bouts of “this is boring” (not allowed to use that word, but he slips it in and has consequences (hard-work – like scrubbing windows)) – but a lot of that is cleared out by saying “I need your help to check this material and help me check this presentation for the people who buy my albums” – in your case, it could be “checking the material to be sure it’s ready for her younger sister”. Or “show me what you know and I’ll show you something new with this material.”
Even homeschooled/Montessori children have to learn (in small chunks) that sometimes things are just plain NOT fun – but there is a long-haul reward. I think it is very important that starting around age 6 (second plane) to really develop those skills. Sometimes it’s just not fun to sweep the kitchen floor, but if the flour from our fun baking just spilled, we *need* to clean it up so it doesn’t track through the house. Sometimes we have to hear a lesson that we’re not interested in – because if we didn’t listen, we wouldn’t KNOW if there was interest or not – and interest might pick up later when hearing it again. 😉 Little chunks to train up good habits and good skills, but not so much to quell their spirits 😉
January 30, 2013 @ 3:24 am
You know what Jessica, this is what is happening. I really dont know where she picked it up, but Bunny keeps telling me she hates school and it is boring. She thinks that Pup is doing only fun fun work even though it is all work she did before! 🙂 Silly girl! I was talking to her today and she really loves her writing, she loves her math work, especially the fractions, and I think that she even like trying to read even though its hard for her. So basically she likes school. She is just not finding anything that is making her excited. I have been giving geography presentations, but she is like “ok…cool” and thats it! I think I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I am not really giving the lessons with enough energy and giving her enough to think about. Sigh….I will keep working on it! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your expirience!