I wrote about introducing a water glass when Annabelle, my now three year old, was a baby. Her little brother has just turned one and has recently become obsessed with drinking water from a glass, so we’ve had fun letting him try out various drinking vessels. The kitchen in our new home has far, far more cabinet space than our previous space, where we stored all of our kitchen goodies in the original 1950’s cabinetry. What that change means in practical terms is that a whole lot of space has been opened up for Annabelle and Elliot’s things, including their drinking glasses. Continue reading
If you’ve been around this space awhile, you already know this, but: Since April, two year old Annabelle has slept in six different beds, lived in two houses and slept in two different hotels in between. She has adapted to a few different schedules for both her daddy and for me, only to have them change soon after. Oh yeah, and she had a baby brother. All of this seems to have made it hard to settle into a comfortable groove during mornings at home, and many days it was a huge struggle just to get out of the house. Some days I simply gave up because I didn’t want to struggle anymore, and we stayed home when I really could have used a bit of time out of the house. See, Annabelle would start playing, reading, drawing, or doing something else important to her and would suddenly decide that she had no interest in doing any of the things one must do before going out, like getting dressed. She seemed to feel so much better, and rest so much better, when she engaged in something in the outside world each day, but it was not easy to get her in to the outside world before rest time came. Continue reading
I’ve been talking about early math and language skills here for the past couple of weeks, and today for part three I’ll talk a bit about preparatory activities for writing. The main point of this series was to highlight the fact that many skills actually precede reading and early math, and that these academic skills are often pushed far too early. The skills I talk about can and do unfold naturally in children with time, but I believe it’s best to give them time to unfold before guiding children toward formal academic reading and writing work. If we wish to work with our children and move toward the mastery of these academic skills, we can begin with some of the activities discussed in this series.
Once again, I’ll look first at how these skills are fostered in the Montessori classroom. That’s the inspiration for my ideas, and can surely spark many in addition to mine. Continue reading
Last Monday, I talked a bit about early math and language skills. I mentioned that I don’t believe teaching numerals and letters is typically the best focus with toddlers or young preschoolers. I also described the complexity of the prerequisite skills children develop as they prepare to read, write, and do basic math – with foundational math skills actually being an important preparation for early language skills. Today I’d like to look at how some of those prerequisite skills are fostered in the Montessori classroom, and how we as parents can nurture them in the home.
For my fellow parents, I’ll reiterate something that I have to remind myself of frequently: Most, if not all of these skills are learned naturally and implicitly. If creating activities and trays is not your thing, your child will still learn to sort various objects. They will eventually figure out that when we count, each number corresponds with one and only one object. Don’t worry. If you enjoy creating trays and coming up with games, go for it! They’re sure to be enriching and fun. If that’s not your thing, just an awareness of the skills your child is building will hopefully help as you go about your days together, by giving you ideas for language to use, attributes to point out, and the various ways you can approach the experiences that come up in your everyday life.
Welcome to the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Personal Care
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles relating to their children’s personal care choices. Continue reading