Tuesday, January 6, 2009

a bit of Montessori

So, Pete and I have been reading into/researching Montessori education a little bit more. And have found quite a bit that we agree with. There's a lot that we love about Waldorf -mainly the emphasis on nature and rhythms- but it's not a perfect match for us as a family or for Aurora. While I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of play for young children, I also believe that more formal 'learning' has it's place as well. Montessori alone isn't a perfect match either -we love the practical life skills, emphasis on independence, more traditional academics ect..., but feel it is lacking somewhat in imaginary play and the creative arts. A combination of the two, however, fits our family nicely I think.

Here's Aurora doing some of her 'work' (she loves doing her work, by the way, and will do almost anything if you call it work or a job).
Transferring lentils from one bowl to another with a spoon:

Vacuuming up her room (she later did the living room and helped sweep the kitchen)
I've been pretty amazed at the level of concentration she employs when doing her tasks. She worked hard at the lentil transfer activity- and got each and every one- she figured out to tip the bowl as it started to empty, and if she spilt a couple she put them back on her spoon and continued. Everything we've read has talked about this- the deep and extended concentration, respect for the materials and activity at hand when it's presented as work, the confidence (which you can clearly see in her eyes in the first picture) that builds as they complete a 'job'- but I've been surprised to see so much of it in my two year old.

So, we've got more books requested from Yale and the collegiate inter library loan, both Montessori and Waldorf. I think it will be a happy blend.

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