Monday, May 21, 2007

How Montessori helps Christina

Montessori is helping Christina, age 5, because she is very headstrong, and only does what she wants after 8 therapy sessions a week, and all the other things I make her do (baths, hair combing etc) So Montessori is all about setting up a stimulating, themed, hands on learning environment, then letting the child select what she wants to work on, and allows her to do it herself. It's empowering to her sense of "I can do it", it cuts down on meltdowns when I 'sit her down to work', and she is very kinesthetic/tactile learner. Aren't they all at this age? I have seen her work on her pegboard for up to one hour, completely engrossed. And learning.
Another plus is that Early Education Preschools always taught way over her head, ie. learning letters and numbers BEFORE she can speak in sentences. Her developmental level is age 2-3, but her school was teaching her as a kindergartener last year, when her level was even lower. A homeschooling friend recommended the book, When Slow is Fast Enough to understand why preschool for her wasn't successful. Here's why: I taught preschool in my home, and English as a Second Language for 16 years, one thing I know is you must speak before you write. They made her sit still for 45 minutes at a time,encouraging passivity, there was minimal social interaction, and none of the artwork she brought home was truly hers. Do you know what the kicker was? Her testing showed no greater progress than she made the previous year, at home with therapists. That's why I homeschool her using Montessori approach, and we have a cooperative pre-school twice a week where she has some little friends to play singing games together(London Bridge is her favorite; she loves being "locked up"!)
In order to do this at home, I rely on "Natural Structure: A Montessori Approach to Classical Education at Home" by Edward and Nancy Walsh. You can find it at

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