Monday, 5 December 2011

Watch and learn grasshopper

According to Montessori if a child is allowed to work in an environment where they can choose their work and concentrate for as long as needed on that task, they come out of this period of concentration (or meditation or contemplation) refreshed and full of good will toward others.

Wow, good will towards others is like the holy grail for a parent whose child has just learnt to push his friends.

I must admit that I find it really difficult to keep quiet and not interfere when Freddy (23 months) is concentrating.  But this is one example of what happens if I do manage to just let him get on with it.

This is just a simple basket with coloured blocks which has been on our shelves for a few weeks now.  There is nothing that 'must' be done but many things that 'can' be done
First they get tipped on the floor - they make a great sound as they hit the wooden floor.  
A little later they are formed into four towers.  I stacked them but Freddy passed each one to me saying "red one goes there, blue one goes there, yellow one goes there.."etc 
Then each tower is carefully kicked over.  Freddy then says "Mama, look, colours still together!" as he notices that they are still grouped close together on the floor.
This little activity really got me thinking about how we spend most of our time as parents thinking about what we have to teach our children but I am desperately trying to change that mental model so that I allow my children to teach me about how they want to learn.   All it needs is for me to fully respect them as the perfectly made little people that they are.  

This post is linked to the wonderful Living Montessori Now site.


  1. I often included a simple basket of colored blocks when I had a Montessori classroom. It's interesting to see the variations children can come up with. And I love your ideas on following the child. Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday, Rachael! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  2. What a great post. Its so true that us parents can get carried away with teaching and forget to watch how the kids learn for themselves.
    I love the simplicity of your basket of blocks. I will try that - I always put out the whole back of stacking blocks but just outting out a few is much more sensible.


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