Friday, August 12, 2005

Spontaneous Activity in Summer

One of Maria Montessori's big ideas was the focus on having the children have spontaneous activity and how, when properly prepared, this spontaneous activity was what spurred their development forward. I've been witness to this the past couple of weeks.

We have not yet resumed 'school' and an initial attempt at having a routine down, at least, went out the window with preparations for company and then their 3-day visit. That didn't stop the girls, 9 and almost 8, to still engage in spontaneous, purposeful activity other than play. I prepared some simple animal report sheets, which they couldn't help but use when they discovered them. Dd's been using a cursive practice placemat rather frequently. They've written down songs that they know by heart, practised recorder, played on the piano and just today, dd finished a story she found in a pile I had been going through. There is such joy and pleasure in these activities they spontaneously choose and which meet some inner need on their part.

I see how much many of the activities they have engaged in have been the result of some small lesson previously given or something suitable made available in the environment. It is a reminder to me to keep giving little lessons here and there and make sure there are new suitable things in the environment to capture their desire for work.

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