Children are such an amazing human being! They can let you wonder how each day they have learned something new but without you teaching them. It might be because of their natural or inner urge to learn or what we call “auto-education”.
Practicing Montessori Method at home or school is more effective when done repeatedly, consistently, routinely just like your daily ritual. With this, you will be amazed of your child’s capability to learn.
This is how I teach Montessori method at the classroom and at home. Take note that the method will be effective if your doing it consistently as in everyday. I also follow my observation from my experienced teachers and directors. They are extremely modest! in presentation and communication. If you have the chance to observe an experienced Montessori guide or Director you need to take note of these important things:
- Body Movement– Finess movement, using slow and clear presentation of each Montessori materials takes a lot of practice. Make sure you use your two index fingers when you are pointing to a specific object or material. With this, you are like highlighting the part of the object or showing the object more clearly when you use your two index fingers.
- Using simple and short words- Using simple and short words is the key. Present materials using very few or no words at all. Childs brain cannot multitask hence forth if presenting a material or a task make sure child’s eyes are on you. Use a simple and short words and minimize using long complicated words. The same when you are communicating to your very young child.
Example: During meal time and I’m talking to my daughter, I will say “Eat, food, sit down.” In a manner of clear but soft voice. The child can easily understand you and will remember the words clearly rather than using a complete sentence method of communication.
3. Use Plain Color Working Rug- I use a cream rectangular working rugs at school and at home. We wanted to emphasize on our presentation effectively and precisely so the child will focus on the material and not the background. It is important to only use white or cream rug and avoid colorful or printed rugs.
4. Avoid Attractive Jewelries-Using simple accessories in your hands like a ring is okay. The child should focus on your beautiful presentation rather than your cute bracelet charms.
5. Action Speaks Louder Than Words– Children are extremely good in observing adult. They like copying whatever they see from their parents, older siblings, teacher, care taker. Make sure you show them good stuff only.
Example: During our dinner, my daughter likes to watch and observe what I’m doing at the kitchen. For me, this is an opportunity for her to learn something. So I let her watch me doing some stuff like cleaning up the counter. I show her how I wipe and clean the counter top by using a slow movement so her eyes can follow what I’m doing.
One of my favorite areas in the Montessori method is the presentation of Botany lessons to my class. It is my utmost desire to present a unit of study with passion and detail. I love nature so much and to show this, I prepare and collect nature objects whatever the kind or wherever I could find it I will surely pick it and bring it home.
One time, while doing my grocery shopping at Costco, I found a beautiful pine cone under a tree. It looks perfect, for me it shines with beauty. I clean it at home and carefully arrange together with my other findings.
What is Nature Table?
The Nature Table is a special table, tray or place in the classroom. This is where we introduce an item of special interest to the children. The presentations or discussions are usually done in a small group.
Ways and How to use the Nature Table
- A low table or a tray that can be place low for observation and then placed up on a shelf for storage.
- Each time we use the table, we clear off the previous material and get the same table ready for the next presentation.
- A nice “scene” featuring the item of “focus”.
- A cloth or background that gives the item a context.
- An observation “tool” like magnifying glass.
- A card and pencil to record what you see.
Topics for the Nature Table
- Introducing fish, frog, reptile, bird or mammal
- Introducing plant, root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit or seeds.
- Land form, landmark, or place you are studying.
- A holiday celebration (Diwali)
This is from my classmate who presented a Diwali unit of study
Tips for the Nature Table
- Make it child centered
- Simple and clear concepts
She likes to put the pebbles inside the coconut. In her age at thirteen month, I take a close look due to small parts that poses a choking hazard. This activity is best for 3-6 years of age.
Importance of Botany in a Classroom
A Montessori classroom should be rich in botanical specimens. But with the introduction of plants into classroom comes the Practical Life care of those plants. The cosmic notion of the interrelationship of all living organisms demands that top priority be given horticulture or the care of plants.
- A Montessori classroom void of plants reflects that degree of non-participation in the process of life.
- A Montessori classroom with plants which are cared by the adult reflects the isolation of the child from the nurturing process of life.
- A Montessori classroom with plants cared for by the children represents the quintessence of the cosmic vision in the Montessori classroom.
- The child in harmony with nature and as a helper to nature.
Preparing your child in a Montessori environment takes time and research. Their future depends upon the method of learning applied to them starting from birth to six years or the first plane of development.
To get the best education for them, we do our research first by reading, asking questions, do our school visit and observe the method. It takes a lot of effort, experience and experimentation to fully adapt to this kind of learning approach. At first, you find it overwhelming and confusing. The sweet thing is, your effort will surely reap a rewarding future for your child. Your not only investing for their education, but You as a parent also contributed to our societies future by preparing your little one’s to fulfilling the next generation of leaders. Everything is possible. The best ingredient is patience, determination, and allow your self to continue to learn every possible day.
The question is: How am I going to do this?
- Take a moment to have a school visit: Most Montessori schools are open for parents doing their school visit or observation during active class. Let them know first by calling or sending an email. Director and administrators welcome your questions so make sure your list of things to clarify are ready. Don’t be shy if you think your asking too much questions. They love to know your concern and they are ready to give you informations about the method.
- Read, read and read: You had your recent class observation but there are still in your mind that needed enlightenment. Do your readings. Choose books that you know will be helpful and clearly lead you all the way to fulfilling your goals. There are several books written by Dr. Montessori and some authors that have a vast experience of the method. They truly speak from the heart.
- Online courses: There are a lot of online course offering Montessori training that fits your schedule. Here are some list of online schools to walk you through Montessori method of learning.
http://www.montessoritraining.net, http://ageofmontessori.org, http://www.guidedstudies.com, http://www.montessorilive.org
Disclaimer: This post have an affiliate links that have no cost to the reader. I only share informations which I know would be helpful and beneficial.
Here are my top list of recommended books to read if your a new parent and wanted to practice Montessori method for your child or children at home. This books are also the reference of student teachers practicing Montessori method. These are not just a book but rather Life Changing Books.
- The Absorbent Mind– by Dr. Maria Montessori. This book is about her personal insights and observation from her students. This theoretical book explains the education from birth or the sensitive periods of life.
Honoring The Light Of The Child: Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young Children– One of the important part of Montessori method is teaching peace. This book have a lot of activities to nurture peace in your child’s environment. Young children will have understanding about feelings and respect.
Discovery of the Child– Dr. Montessori, as keen observer describes the nature of the child and her method of working fully with the child’s inner urge to learn. This is a book with her observations base upon closely working with children. It also explains why OCCI was highly implemented in a prepared environment. Order, Concentration, Coordination, Independence. The science behind each activities.
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three– Helpful book specially if your a first time mom and wanted to implement Montessori at home.
The Montessori Method-The scientific pedagogy applied by Dr. Montessori in the children’s house.
Montessori Inspired Activities For Pre-Schoolers: Home based projects for 2-6 year olds (Volume 1)– This book is a good starter readings if you choose to practice the method at home or home schooling your child.
Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook-by Dr. Maria Montessori
It’s her thirteenth month birthday today! I wanna share to all parents, teachers, readers and friends this very important and precious milestones of my daughter.
Each day, she always surprises me of something new and interesting things she had learned. Although she’s only 13 months today, I’m proud to say that she’s a happy baby and always excited to discover and continue to explore and learn everyday.
As much as possible I only engage her into activities that are age appropriate. In my observation, she loves to learn. In this critical stage of her life, it is best to engage her with activities that focus on developing fine muscle movement as well as eye-hand coordination. Activities like ring stacking, shape matching, color recognition, putting back things and holding her sippy cup using two hands.
Practical life activity: Putting back toys in the bucket
Rainbow Stacker activity
Trying to climb the stair.
Exploring the counting abacus.
Shape match drop.