Montessori Had It Right: We Learn By Doing

Most four- and five-year-olds can sing the alphabet song and print their names, but few can actually read. So, what does it take to push these kids to accomplish this cognitive milestone? A majority of parents and teachers alike think the answer to this question is lots of practice naming letters and sounds out loud. But, reading practice isn’t the whole story or perhaps even the most important part. Practice printing letters turns out to be imperative to reading success. When the body figures out how to write letters, the mind follows suit in terms of being able to recognize them.

Case in point, a few years ago, neuroscientist Karen James found that preschool children who took part in a one-month long reading program where they practiced printing words improved more in their letter recognition than kids who did the same reading program but practiced naming (rather than writing) the words instead. Letter recognition isn’t enhanced as much by reading letters as it is by printing them.

Learn more about James’s research at Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/choke/201304/montessori-had-it-right-we-learn-doing

The Prepared Environment at Home

One of the fundamental principles behind Maria Montessori’s educational theory is that the child needs to learn in a “prepared environment.”  Order, simplicity, beauty and accessibility are fundamental to a prepared environment.  This article by Maren Schmidt offers great suggestions on how to view your home from the child’s perspective and make the necessary changes to prepare your home environment.

Our Kids are Deprived of This Essential Ingredient for Happiness — Victoria Prooday

Montessori explained both the importance of the connection between the hand and the developing young brain and the link between purposeful work and healthy feelings of self esteem and self worth. The following article shows how modern life is impeding both developmental processes.

https://yourot.com/parenting-club/busy-hands

Want to be a great parent? Let your children be bored

From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development?

I began to think about boredom and children when I was researching the influence of television on children’s storytelling in the 1990s. Surprised at the lack of imagination in many of the hundreds of stories I read by ten to 12 year-old children in five different Norfolk schools, I wondered if this might partly be an effect of TV viewing. Findings of earlier research had revealed that television does indeed reduce children’s imaginative capacities.

For instance, a large scale study carried out in Canada in the 1980s as television was gradually being extended across the country, compared children in three communities – one which had four TV channels, one with one channel and one with none. The researchers studied these communities on two occasions, just before one of the towns obtained television for the first time, and again two years later. The children in the no-TV town scored significantly higher than the others on divergent thinking skills, a measure of imaginativeness. This was until they, too, got TV – when their skills dropped to the same level as that of the other children.

Read full article

Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash

Kids Talk – Understanding A Child’s Love Of Order

As parents and teachers we are concerned about doing the right things with our children. When our children go through difficult periods, we can spend nights tossing and turning about what can be the matter.

As our tools can be friend or foe, depending on how we use them, it can be helpful if we understand the innate development characteristics of children under the age of seven.

Read More Here

We will like to thank the babystroller reviews for sponsoring us.

I learned something new today – Ancestor Appreciation Day was this week-end

Many people are completely unaware of their ancestors and the lives they lived, yet these people almost certainly went a long way towards shaping our habits, traditions and values today. Ancestor Appreciation Day gives people a reminder to learn more about those who came before us.
Building a more complete picture of your relatives and their history can help to promote a greater appreciation for life and form a better understanding of the individual journey your family has been on.
If nothing else, why not spend the day with your living relatives? Ask a few questions, let them tell stories and find out about previous generations that way.

How to Prepare Your Child’s Home Environment

A beautiful, organized, and uncluttered home environment can help in many ways: dressing and undressing is simplified; the favorite book and toy is always within reach; the child can participate in the life of the family and feel needed; challenging work that focuses the child’s attention and fulfills her needs is always available; a more fun, creative, and peaceful life comes into being for the whole family.

The Joyful Child Montessori Company has a very informative article advising parents on how to prepare their young child’s environment at home to facilitate and maximize independent learning and exploration.

You may read the article here.

Shared with permission of The Joyful Child Montessori Company: www.thejoyfulchild.us

Free Montessori Webinar for Parents

We encourage parents to attend the free 45-minute webinar Finding Motivation the Montessori Way on Thursday November 1, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM PDT.

Motivation is too often thought of in terms of carrot and stick methods of rewards and punishments. Join Maren Schmidt, a certified Montessori educator with over 25 years experience, as she shares how self-motivation develops the Montessori Way.

During this webinar, Maren will explore the following:

  • Why rewards and punishments rarely motivate behavior for the long term
  • What three psychological needs motivate each of us to be our best
  • How Montessori environments of school and home support these three critical need

Register now

The Prepared Environment at Home

One of the fundamental principles behind Maria Montessori’s educational theory is that the child needs to learn in a “prepared environment.”  Order, simplicity, beauty and accessibility are fundamental to a prepared environment.  This article by Maren Schmidt offers great suggestions on how to view your home from the child’s perspective and make the necessary changes to prepare your home environment.

Read the article here: The Prepared Environment at Home

Read more