Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Montessori Method of teaching relies heavily on what is called a work period. During this time the children are given the opportunity to engage in any activity of their choosing without interruption. In this way the child learns to concentrate on one thing at a time, thereby allowing more intense exploration of the subject. All the while the child learns about the world and everything in it and more importantly develops independence and self-control, the ability to make decisions and an eagerness to work hard.

In other words, when we as parents refrain from constantly interrupting our children's work with trying to teach them everything we know and by constantly praising them for every little thing they do, we actually are giving them the opportunity to develop and grow in a much more productive and healthy way. This is something I had to learn through experience. Before Montessori, I was one of those mothers that would praise him for everything he does. In fact I am still that mother and it is quite hard to break the habit of saying: "Well done Rowan!"

So today I tried my very best and succeeded. I let Rowan go about his work and I am amazed with how much he concentrated on every little task. He spent an entire hour playing at the kitchen sink just pouring water from one container to the other and trying out many different types and combinations. He even knew to wipe up when he made a mess.

Below are pictures of Rowan putting pegs around the walls of a bowl. It is a very simple task yet there is so much to learn from it. At one stage Rowan had all the pegs on one side of the square based dish and the weight made it tip over. When he moved some of the pegs to the other side it didn't. So just to check he tried moving them all to one side again and again it tipped over. At this point he got frustrated and just packed it all away. I can't wait to see how he tackles this specific activity tomorrow.

So having seen how well he goes about his work when I am not interrupting him, I am going to try even harder not to open my mouth every time a thought pops into my mind. I think I will save them for the end of the day when I can express them through the blog and for that special moment in the evening when I tell him calmly and without too much excitement just how proud I am of him for all the good and hard work he has done throughout the day. Yes, I think I can do it.

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