The boys go to a Montessori kindergarten. T and I consciously chose Montessori; it's not close to our home, it's in the opposite direction to our workplaces, and it's not a typical "long" daycare.
The reasons we chose it are simple, really. We believe in the underlying principles. That children thrive when they are busy, when they feel useful, when they're learning practical skills, and when they can do things at their own pace.
I like that every activity can be extended upon, depending on their interest, ability and learning level. I like that you can incorporate it easily at home. I like that you don't have to buy special things or set up special spaces.
I like the way children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work, and for putting it away when they're finished. I like that they can choose what they want to work on and independently get on with it.
I'm no expert and I'm most certainly no purist, but I try to support what they're learning at kindy by incorporating Montessori principles at home too.
This is how we Montessori :)
|Learning shapes, colours, letters, sounds and words. This activity also incorporates fine motor skills.|
|Roc's favourite is the pentagon, although lately he's started asking for dodecahedrons (weirdo!). These cards are simply hand drawn with markers, laminated, and matched with coloured match sticks from the craft shop.|
|Shelling peas. Fine motor skills. Food familiarisation. And helping out with dinner preparation. This activity can be extended to a mathematic one - counting, grouping, addition, subtraction, etc.|
|Baking. Measuring. Pouring. Stirring. And cooking. Learning how to provide nourishment and where food comes from. So important.|
|This gorgeous activity is wonderful. It addresses fine motor skills as well as maths. We can count, add, subtract, group, make patterns, and all sorts of other things.|
|Kids love drawing. Setting up a station gives them a place to work, a place to put away, and a place to take responsibility for keeping tidy. The pen holders help with grouping, colour recognition, and so on.|
|Pouring. Fine motor skills. Hours of fun.|
|Building, counting, colour grouping, shape grouping, much imagination.|
|Exploring nature. Making shapes. Collecting.|
|And listening to the sea. A wonderful jumping off point for all sorts of stories, imagining and lessons.|
|Another home-made activity. Number recognition. Counting. Colour matching. Simple maths.|
|A designated space for reading and relaxing.|
|Simple toys that aren't automated. I don't think that toys that have lots of buttons teach kids anything except how to press a button! Everything in its place, and returned to where it belongs.|