I am just starting some Montessori activities with my 2.5 year old son. What I am getting confused about is how to implement the boundaries (of doing a particular activity a particular way, staying on a rug as well as putting that up before getting something else out) while letting him - well - I don't know. I feel like I'm "putting him to work" and spoiling his childhood in a way. I don't even know if those Montessori supplies should be out all the time. Advice?
We do Montessori at home, but we don't try to be a full Montessori school at home. What that means, is that some things, like the rugs, I don't worry about. We have rugs, but rugs are mainly supposed to show the boundaries between one's work space and another's work space. In the home setting, the child has free reign of work space without having to worry about 20 other kids. :lol: It just wasn't a battle I wanted to fight. I do require they put one thing away before starting something else, and I usually have to keep modeling that for the girls.
As for the supplies being out all the time--we do have some work integrated into our main living areas. But, we also have a toddler in the house, and most Montessori things are very small. We have a special area that we use as our classroom so that all the small parts are confined to one area of the house (where I can watch the toddler closely). They're out all the time, but DD never goes down there alone, so it's not like she's using it all the time. We have worked in "school time" into our daily routine though.
As for doing things a certain way--I give a lesson on a work, and then observe as DD does it. If she doesn't do it the way it was intended to be, I don't correct it that day (Montessori believed that adults correcting a child's work de-motivates them to work, or changes their motivation from internal to external--instead of working for their own good, they work to please the adult). Instead, I just give the lesson again the next day, emphasizing the area that needed work from the day before.
http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=6 Here are quite a few of her books. I'd probably start with "The Montessori Method" before any other one.
Whenever you are introducing a household or classroom procedure to a child, try for a matter of fact attitude and model the procedure yourself, the child will eventually follow. It helps in the classroom to have all the other "little teachers" to reinforce the procedures. But this is what makes our community flow. So, you will likely have procedures that you will want to have in place at home as well to make your family life run smoothly, like hanging coats by the door.
It's best in the beginning not to turn it into a power struggle. Most of the time, we work parallel with the youngest children. We put the coat on the hook and encourage them to do it with us. Let them do part of the work. The child can take one sleeve off but needs help with the other sleeve. Then can carry the coat to the rack but cannot hook it. Eventually, the child takes over the entire procedure.
I would definitely keep your child's materials in their reach and accessible at all times for maximum potential.
Also, I like Montessori Method but also like to recommend "Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook" especially for folks working at home.
Yeah, you can find most of Maria Montessori's translated work online for free since they were written long enough ago that their copyrights are up. :D I also like The Science behind the Genius as a more modern book that analyzes Montessori's methods. And for toddlers, I love Teach Me to Do It Myself and How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way.