Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Montessori this summer

With school being essentially over for us tomorrow (yay!!!! I'm so ready to be done!), I've been thinking about summer and some goals and educational things that aren't necessarily schooly, but definitely in line with Montessori. One thing I feel I've severely neglected with my kids, and am comforted by others telling me they feel the same way about their own kids, is not having them do enough practical life around the house.

I think I've brought this up in the past. I had made progress here and there, but it has always gone back to what it was. A goal for this summer is to have the kids much more involved in the care of themselves, the house, the pets, their laundry, etc. I decided even to start right away--why wait until summer? :D Ds got some serious mud marks on a brand new WHITE shirt (yes, yes, I know: 9yo boys and white shirts do not go together) and I was sorting the laundry and discovered it. I told him to come with me, that I was going to show him what to do about it. I took the bottle of Shout and explained what had to be done and *he* asked if he could do the spraying! Yay! Then we rubbed the fabric together (he was a little put off at first because it gets on your hands; I told him it does that and he can wash his hands after--all it took to remove the resistance). It was so simple, so quick, and he's perfectly capable of doing this himself. Of course, I continued doing the laundry by myself. *sigh* BUT, I discovered that the jumbo size of Tide (I think it's Tide I have) has a very cool dispenser where you push a button down to have the stuff come out and I know they are going to want their turns doing that.

And see, they want to do this stuff. Maybe not all of it all the time, but it so often happens that it's a desire to not have the other one do it, or a desire to not let me do it. Like tonight with the spray. Although, me TELLING them to do something doesn't go over well, but me having them come with me to do stuff, no problem. But I can't ask them, usually, it just has to be a direct... um... direction (lol) to come with me. I might give them a choice within whatever we are doing, but the direction needs to be there.

So, there it is, my goal for this summer: to direct them more in the daily practical life activities. They can help with supper, laundry, bathroom, outside work, scrubbing their own stains, etc. We can set up a chart about who is helping with supper one day, etc. NOT a reward chart. ;) (Those new to Montessori may not understand, but I can explain later, if you wish!)

It's not that they don't do things: they help set the table, clear the table, they are responsible for making their beds, they scoop out the cat litter boxes... But, they could be a part of it more. And for dd, who is nearly 13 and craving that sense of do-it-myself, it's vital.

Other Montessori plans for the summer: read Montessori books. I'm going to start with "Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful." I think I'll post in here what pages I've read and any notes and thoughts I may have on what I've read. It's such a fantastic book! While it deals with difficult situations with certain children, it so embodies the Montessori spirit, I'm always left feeling great. And with some great ideas. I recommend the book heartily!

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