If you have been reading along here for the past few weeks, you know that we are currently on a school break, but that we are still learning plenty! In the past week, my girls have done math, reading, biology, geography, writing, and a few other things as well. The best part of it all is that my girls have no idea that they are “doing school”! I love that! As you can see from the pictures above, Bunny did some follow up map work from the book study she was doing the other day! I love that watching what they are interested in and what draws their attention is giving me a chance to provide learning opportunities that are perfect and effortless! Bunny told my friend the other day that we arent doing school, and I said that we were still learning. Bunny said that she like to learn, but only when it is fun like it has been! 🙂 What I simply love is the ability to sit back and see what Maria Montessori saw, learning is seamless and deep if the child is allowed to work! Oh sure there is way more to this, but observation is a key! Without it, we can only give work that we think they need and this isnt always right. This is what I think happened to us at the end of the year. In Montessori, there is a plan, but following the child is the most important. To do this we need to watch and listen, to see what is capturing their passions and interest, and then present ideas accordingly. In hind sight, I realize that there were certain presentations that I should have done a LONG time ago, but I wasnt watching closely enough. I thought I needed to follow the proper path set out in the albums. But sometimes this is not what the child is trying to learn! One example of this would be the math facts with Bunny. She was so excited to learn them back in the winter. I should have pulled out the addition strip board then and there, but I waited until we had gotten though what I thought I needed to present to her. What happened? She lost interest and was board with the work when I showed it to her. If I had showed it to her back in the winter, would she have worked with it joyfully like a game instead of grumbling over it? Maybe. Maybe not. So once again, I find myself trying to get back to the basics of what Maria Montessori discovered about teaching children. Observation is important and should be done daily. Sitting and watching is good, but sometimes there isnt time for that. Sometimes it is taking note of something that your child shows you, and idea that they share, a picture that they drew for you, or a book they are carrying around! What makes observing easier is that kids usually want to share something that they think is really cool or that they are proud of! Are they pointing to letters and making sounds like they are reading, it maybe time for sandpaper letters. Can they count to 100 by 10s? Then they are ready for bead chains. It may not always be that easy, but alot of times it can be! That being said, I have been thinking that maybe it would be fun to have a book discussion here on the blog! I am hoping that some of you would be interested in joining me reading The Montessori Method or the Secret of Childhood together! Once a week, I will post my thoughts and you can share yours! We can all get back to basics together! If you are interested, please leave a comment and let me know! Happy Schooling!
Oh and if you get a moment, stop by Circle of Moms and vote for your favorite blog! I am there along with a bunch of other amazing blogs!
June 12, 2012 @ 4:28 am
Love this post. Thank you. Observation is something I am working on. It actually doesn’t come as natually as I would have expected. I would be interested in a book discussion.
June 14, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
I’m glad you would be interested! It is sometimes really hard to do things that seem so simple isnt it? I will post when I get the book discussion going! I think it would be a great way to get fired up again before fall!
June 13, 2012 @ 4:46 am
I love it too!! and I love the work that you’re doing in your “school break”!! You’re a Rock Star!!! By the way I Voted!!!! Big Hugs my friend!!
June 14, 2012 @ 1:22 pm
Thanks so much Karen!!!! You are the best! I am so blessed to have a friend like you!
June 14, 2012 @ 4:58 am
I totally agree with you on observation, as to how important it is in order to show more to children. Children give clues themselves so the best it to follow them. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie
June 14, 2012 @ 1:23 pm
This is one of the Montessori concepts that I find gets easily set aside and I am glad to take some time to remind my self about it! Thanks for stopping by!