Mothering Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, let me give props to those of you who have the patience to homeschool your children. I could <i>never</i> do it. I get frustrated way too easily. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
We just enrolled our 3 year old DD into a Montessori preschool (that I absolutely LOVE!) and she has been twice now and so far she really likes it (she has a wonderful, gentle teacher). Unfortunately, they only had a 1 half day/week available (we wanted at least 2 and possibly 3), but they are going to let us know when another day become available for her. So, in the meantime, I'm trying to be creative at home by making a lot of fun materials on my own for her. I've decided to make a lot of my own from the book "Work Jobs" as to not have the same materials at home that she has in her classroom. She sometimes seems to be so uninterested in learning. It frustrates me to no end! Am I being unreasonable in thinking that she is going to want to learn every single job/activity that I show her? (I already know the answer to that, but feel free to beat it into me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
For example, today I found a bunch of free stock photos that are very colorful and famaliar to her (a zebra, a pink tower, an apple, flower, butterfly, cow, etc.), laminated them, cut them out, then cut them in half so that she can play a matching game. She was helping me laminate and seemed VERY interested and could hardly wait. When I was finished, I started to show her how to match the pictures and after the first one she said, "I don't want to play the matching game. I want to play with my horse." and got up and left.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
She does this a lot and I'm not sure what to do exactly. Should I just let her play at home with her dollhouse and her animals and her puzzles and other toys that seem to interest her? She mostly has non-flashing, non-battery, non-noise making open ended toys. She loves the Littlest Pet Shop gigantic village thing (we bought that for her for being very brave on her first day at preschool) and she is very creative in making them act out little scenes together. It holds her interest for hours during the day and while I'm not keen on Made In China plastic toys, this is something she really loves to play with. Her other favorite thing is her Schleich animals. Those two toys get the most play, by far.<br><br>
I also notice at school she has gone for the Piggy Bank w/pennies job both days that she has been there (by the way, what is the lesson behind putting pennies in a piggy bank? Why just pennies and not quarters, nickles, and dimes Is it just a fine motor exercise?) and I'm sure the teacher will soon pick up on that and start giving her lessons with the other Mont tools in the classroom. She also goes for a lot of practical life jobs (mostly the water jobs) and I do let her do a lot of that type of stuff at home since she enjoys it.<br><br>
When doing art projects, her attention span is about 5 minutes (which a teacher told me is normal for a 5 year old). I just wish she'd put more than 3 brush strokes on a painting before she says she's finished.<br><br>
I know she is learning in her own way in other areas, but I just want her to branch out.<br><br>
What would happen in a Mont classroom if she tells the teacher that she doesn't want to do something once she starts it? Do they just clean it up and move on? Will a good teacher make sure they they are well rounded while moving around the classroom? I really can't wait for her to go more days so it's more consistent for her.<br><br>
Will she at some point pick the sandpaper letters, get the lesson, and just do it? Will the teacher notice that she has never picked the sandpaper letters and introduce them to her? Does the teacher usually let the child pick or do they help them when they notice they aren't working in certain areas?<br><br>
Sorry for the long rambling post. I'm just frustrated today. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
I can't answer all your concerns but there were a few things I wanted to try to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
First, I'm really surprised there is a Montessori program out there that allows one day a week! At least in our area, most of the schools are 5 days per week with a few of them allowing 3 day a week programs - hopefully you will get that extra day or two soon. I think it really helps the children to have the consistency.<br><br>
What we did at home was set up an area that gave Teagan access to certain "materials" like you described making - we had certain cards, puzzles, etc all at low levels, very clean (uncluttered) and I just let her go to it when she wanted. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Otherwise, I made everything in general at her level - cabinets in the kitchen with her own cups/bowls/spoons/forks, etc for self serving - containers of snacks she could access and a small pitcher of milk she could pour when thirsty. We also had/have a small broom set, rags available, etc....<br><br>
Mainly at home, I just offered to let Teagan help - help with laundry, dishes, etc. It worked wonderfully.<br><br>
You are doing great - just follow your instincts! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I don't think many people have their child going 1 day a week there (especially half day!), but after I explained my situation with the former preschool they thought that easing her in to the school with 2 days would be perfect. Unfortunately, when they looked on the transition room (that's what I call it because the other classes are 24 students with 2 teachers/2 asst's and this room is just 1 teacher) schedule, they noticed that they only had 1 day where there were only 6 children in the room. The other 4 days they are full with 9 children (9 is the max allowed in this room and on the day my DD attends there are only 7 - including her). They do have on their fee schedule a 1 day a week price and they offered that to me since I really was semi-anxious to get her started. It was either that or be put on a waiting list. I thought at least she'd be "in" and then have priority when something opened up. I am hoping by the summer there are some kids that drop out and she can fill their spot. Then by fall I think they will put her over into the bigger classroom once she gets familiar with "the montessori way" (is this what they mean by normalizing?)<br><br>
She does play on her own and with her little sisters a lot and we do have a great set up where they can reach most of their toys (puzzles, dollhouse, legos, trains, dolls, etc.) and they do pour their own drinks during they day (we got really small pitchers from Ikea just for this purpose). I let them cut their own fruit and they do help me a lot with laundry and sorting. They feed the dogs and fish (with my help). We do tons of activities with stuff like playdough, shaving cream, paints, crayons, markers, etc. I also have a lot of fine motor skill activities that they love. It just seems that anything to do with letters, numbers, or things that require a long attention span, she wants nothing to do with (but she will sit down and do a 24 piece puzzle or those cute little 12 pc. wooden Melissa and Doug puzzles - go figure!).<br><br>
I think that maybe I should leave the formal teaching up to the teachers in her school because she really doesn't like me to give her a lesson on anything. I think it will be much different when it's the teacher giving her the lesson. It just worries me that she is so stubborn with me when I try to teach her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,284 Posts
My DD reacts very similar to your DD when I suggest things to her. I get very frustrated because often when I want to show her something I think she'd really like, she resists it. I really feel like she has a completely different dynamic with me than at school, and so I just leave all that stuff for school and she plays with her toys at home, but then she goes 5 half days a week, so its not a big concern for me.<br><br>
One of the biggest advantages of montessori school in my mind is the child's ability to choose the works. I have been told on many occaisons that the children choose what they need to learn the most, they will often spend a significant amount of time with a certain type of materials, like sensorial works until they have mastered things and then slowly move on to other areas. My DD is very independent and strong minded she knows what she wants to do and doesn't like being told what to do, so Montessori fits her perfectly. The beauty of the M classroom, as opposed to home is that everything they can choose is a material designed to teach them something, unlike at home where you may have a mix of typical toys and more educational materials. I really think my DD has done so well at M school because we do not push her in what she does and we let her set her own pace. I am constantly amazed at her progress. In our last conference with the teachers they told me she spends most of her time with the math works, however I am still seeing her make significant progress towards reading, despite the fact that she doesn't spend much time on those works.<br><br>
So I'd say I think its great that you have these materials available to your DD, spend some time and show her how they work, then set them out and wait for her to choose them. Let her set the pace. A tip I got from the parent education nights at my school is that when they present a work they try to talk as little as possible, they *show* the child what to do, and will often check that they still have the child's attention.<br><br>
As for the pennies, I believe based on what I've learned from our teachers that this is a work that's designed to help children master fine motors skills in picking up small objects. We have many works like that in DD's classroom, from picking up marbles and placing them on little circles, to using tweezers to move rice, etc. I'm sure pennies are used becuase a bucket of pennies costs less than a bucket of quarters and if a few go missing, less is lost. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
I had to smile at one part of your story. I'll tell you which part when I get to replying to it.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10691466"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
We just enrolled our 3 year old DD into a Montessori preschool (that I absolutely LOVE!) and she has been twice now and so far she really likes it (she has a wonderful, gentle teacher). Unfortunately, they only had a 1 half day/week available (we wanted at least 2 and possibly 3), but they are going to let us know when another day become available for her.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I hope that happens soon <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Especially since she enjoys it so much.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So, in the meantime, I'm trying to be creative at home by making a lot of fun materials on my own for her. I've decided to make a lot of my own from the book "Work Jobs" as to not have the same materials at home that she has in her classroom. She sometimes seems to be so uninterested in learning. It frustrates me to no end! Am I being unreasonable in thinking that she is going to want to learn every single job/activity that I show her? (I already know the answer to that, but feel free to beat it into me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )</td>
</tr></table></div>
hehe. Yes and no. Don't expect her to learn exactly what you're trying to teach. Expect her to learn something. Your story below is the one I smiled at, and is a great example of what I mean.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">For example, today I found a bunch of free stock photos that are very colorful and famaliar to her (a zebra, a pink tower, an apple, flower, butterfly, cow, etc.), laminated them, cut them out, then cut them in half so that she can play a matching game. She was helping me laminate and seemed VERY interested and could hardly wait. When I was finished, I started to show her how to match the pictures and after the first one she said, "I don't want to play the matching game. I want to play with my horse." and got up and left.</td>
</tr></table></div>
It sounds like Bill Cosby could do a stand up set on this.<br>
Look at what she WAS interested in. She liked cutting them out, laminating them, and making the material. That was where her interest was. She probably could not care about the matching game. She was learning...she just wasn't interested in the exact activity you thought she would be interested in.<br><br>
Leave the materials out somewhere that she can get them. She will likely take interest in using them again sometime. The activity she was involved in (making the materials) was over. Once an activity is over, it is time to move on to something else. It is not time to try something new with that activity...at least not in the 3 year old's mind.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><br>
She does this a lot and I'm not sure what to do exactly. Should I just let her play at home with her dollhouse and her animals and her puzzles and other toys that seem to interest her?</td>
</tr></table></div>
Yes. Let me show you your example of what a good thing that is:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">and she is very creative in making them act out little scenes together. It holds her interest for hours during the day and while I'm not keen on Made In China plastic toys, this is something she really loves to play with.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Adults do not always realize it, but these scenes do so much for a child. She may be acting out a situation and working through how she would handle it in real life. She may be pretending something she might have seen that worried her and the toys are her outlet for that. She may be building up ways and dialogs on how to approach people and make friends. She may be building up problem solving skills and acting them out with the toys. She may be pretending one of the toys is the leader and building up leadership skills with them. She may be...well...you get the point <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
It is a very active thing the child is doing.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I also notice at school she has gone for the Piggy Bank w/pennies job both days that she has been there (by the way, what is the lesson behind putting pennies in a piggy bank?</td>
</tr></table></div>
I would have to see how they do it. It is not necessarily part of the normal curriculum. Many of the practical life activities vary from teacher to teacher. This is one area we all look at when we visit a different classroom. I have a few guesses, and it may be this and more:<br><br>
--The ages of birth to 3 are characterized by understanding a sense of order. A 2 year old loves pouring things out of the basket and putting them back in. He creates a disorder (pouring them out), but loves the order acheived when he puts them back in. This activity may be an extension of that; especially for the younger children. The 3-6 age range is when a child is seeking to refine that order. This sounds like a great early activity for 3-6 to help with that. I may include it in my album. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
--Fine motor skills. The simple motion of picking up coins is not always easy. Also, when you hold a single coin, you naturally use a pencil grip (ever notice that?)<br><br>
--Concentration. Especially if the slot of the piggy bank is relatively small, a child has to concentrate to put in the coin.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Why just pennies and not quarters, nickles, and dimes Is it just a fine motor exercise?)</td>
</tr></table></div>
Imagine loosing a small bowl full of pennies because someone stuffed them in their bookbag. You might be out 25 cents. That's $6.25 in quarter terms, or (once insurance and taxes are figured in) half our monthly teacher's salary.<br><br>
There may also be the visual appeal. I'm picturing a small, white bowl full of pennies as opposed to a small, white bowl full of dimes. The pennies make more of a contrast and seem more appealing in my mind.<br><br>
Either way, the point of which coin is used is not as important if the goal is the fine motor skills, sense of order, and developing concentration. A nice extension may be to add more coins and have the child sort them first, then put them in. However, the child interested in this work would not be as concerned with sorting them and possibly find it a trivial activity. (Why sort them if they're just going to get messed up inside again anyway?)<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">and I'm sure the teacher will soon pick up on that and start giving her lessons with the other Mont tools in the classroom. She also goes for a lot of practical life jobs (mostly the water jobs) and I do let her do a lot of that type of stuff at home since she enjoys it.</td>
</tr></table></div>
She will be presented with things and develop the interest in them when she is ready. Right now, she has the comfort of the piggy bank.<br><br>
When I was in 3-6, I remember loving the penny polishing work. I vividly remember one day when I came in and it was not on the shelf. I asked my teacher where it was and she said she ran out of pennies and would put it out tomorrow. Immediately sensing how important this activity was for me, she went around and collected some pennies from the other teachers. This was a transition time for me. It was something I knew was going to be there and something that would help prepare me for the rest of the day.<br><br>
A great article was written in Montessori Life about this. It's called "Sometimes You Just Have to Polish the Duck." It can be found online (with a few typos, which were not in the original) here:<br><br><a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4097/is_200310/ai_n9314410" target="_blank">http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...10/ai_n9314410</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><br>
When doing art projects, her attention span is about 5 minutes (which a teacher told me is normal for a 5 year old). I just wish she'd put more than 3 brush strokes on a painting before she says she's finished.</td>
</tr></table></div>
The question is, "why?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I know she is learning in her own way in other areas, but I just want her to branch out.</td>
</tr></table></div>
I hope with some of this, I have shown how her doing these activities is her branching out.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><br>
What would happen in a Mont classroom if she tells the teacher that she doesn't want to do something once she starts it? Do they just clean it up and move on? Will a good teacher make sure they they are well rounded while moving around the classroom? I really can't wait for her to go more days so it's more consistent for her.</td>
</tr></table></div>
The consistency will be key. As far as starting and finishing something, it depends on how appropriate it is for the child to be doing that work. It also depends on the work itself. Generally speaking, they can't just keep taking things off the shelf and not finishing them. If they are doing that, they're choosing things that they are either not ready to do or are bored with it because it is too easy. That's when the teacher should step in and help.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Will she at some point pick the sandpaper letters, get the lesson, and just do it? Will the teacher notice that she has never picked the sandpaper letters and introduce them to her? Does the teacher usually let the child pick or do they help them when they notice they aren't working in certain areas?<br><br>
Sorry for the long rambling post. I'm just frustrated today. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></td>
</tr></table></div>
Your child will pick the sandpaper letters.<br>
What is great about a 3 year cycle is the children develop and grow beyond certain things. 6 year olds do not normally do the pink tower on a regular basis. They are beyond that stage at this point. (They may do it with an extension activity, but not the first lesson of it). They have seen it for the past 2 years and it is just not interesting to them any more, so they move on to other things.<br><br>
Your daughter is learning right now, even though we don't normally think of learning in the same way. But all the materials require a certain order, a fine tuning of the motor skills, and a certain amount of concentration. What your daughter is doing now is forming those key elements. Without that, nothing will get her to be able to do the moveable alphabet or the advanced math materials.<br><br>
Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10694008"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that maybe I should leave the formal teaching up to the teachers in her school because she really doesn't like me to give her a lesson on anything. I think it will be much different when it's the teacher giving her the lesson. It just worries me that she is so stubborn with me when I try to teach her.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I'm going to say this, and it's going to come out wrong, so just bear with me and hear me out on what I mean.<br><br>
Ok...ready? Here goes.<br><br>
Of course you shouldn't teach her. You're her mom!!!!!<br><br>
Now...do I really believe that? No. What I am trying to say is this is the mentality of a 3 year old. Remember this sense of order and remember they think of school as school and home as home. So, what can you do that we can't (usually) do at school?<br><br>
Other things:<br><br>
--Field trips (which might include the zoo where you learn about different animals then tell her about the way they live when you see them at the zoo; or might include just you learning about plants and taking a nature walk and teaching her the different parts of the flower when you see it).<br><br>
--Cooking. Assuming she cannot read, take pictures of the different foods you are going to use as ingredients. Past those pictures into a word document then put the number of how much you need. If you need 2 eggs, put "2" then "eggs." You can ask her how many eggs you need. (Reinforcing numbers and applying them practically)<br><br>
--Reading to your child. Point to each word as you read. This will help them get the left/right top/bottom motion down.<br><br>
Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for making me feel so much better!! Matt, I was totally hoping you'd respond and I really appreciate your knowledge and how much time you take with your thoughtful posts. You should run a Montessori Q&A website. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Thanks again!!! I guess I am trying to put the cart before the horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10694571"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you all for making me feel so much better!! Matt, I was totally hoping you'd respond and I really appreciate your knowledge and how much time you take with your thoughtful posts. You should run a Montessori Q&A website. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Thanks again!!! I guess I am trying to put the cart before the horse.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I may try to do that.<br><br>
Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,119 Posts
My secret to getting ds to do some kind of work that I think he will like and he is convinced he won't is to put in on the counter in front of his learning tower. Then, when I am cooking in the kitchen, and he climbs up on the tower to visit with me, it's there . .. .and he usually does it. THEN he realizes he likes it. I don't say anything, just let him find it.<br><br>
ds loves to cook with the preschool cookbooks from Molly Kratzen (Salad People and Pretend Soup). Just as Matt described they have pictures and numbers. I got them used on Amazon/ebay.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top