As I have discussed before, we are integrating some aspects of Montessori's philosophy in our home. It should be noted that our home does not follow the Montessori approach or any other educational or parenting approach other than our own 100%, nor do I have experience as a Montessori educator. One of the primary reasons we are integrating Montessori's philosophy into our household is to encourage unrestricted exploration in Q-ball as a means to encourage a love of learning and self-discovery as well as respecting her as a person (albeit a little person) with her own interests, abilities, and work towards independent mastery.
According to Montessori, Rousseau, countless other educational philosophers and psychologists, and a bit of common sense, in order for me to meet her current needs, I must observe Q-ball's daily explorations. Montessori believed that parents and teachers should maintain a rather "passive" role in their children's routines. In lieu of guiding their play, the adults should be observing in order to provide the correct materials for the children's current interests and abilities. Rousseau would agree with this child-centered educational approach, especially in regards to the focus on offering developmentally appropriate materials. He said, "Treat your scholar according to his age."
Given how quickly Q-ball is developing, and with the new influx of Christmas toys, in the New Year, I will begin more formal observations of her activities throughout the day. My observations will include, but not be limited to, the following:
|Q-ball making her way through bookshelves.|
- To what toys/objects is she drawn?
- How does she use this objects? Has she mastered the object?
- How long does an object keep her attention?
- What distracts her?
- How does she move around the house?
- Where does she go? Are there certain areas that attract her?
- What foods does she like?
- How is she eating her food?
- What is her attitude during various activities (mealtimes, bathtime, travel, outdoors, etc.)?
- How does she interact with other people?
Beginning next week, I will include an overview of my observations in my new Thursday posts. My hope is that these posts meet a few goals:
- Distant relatives and friends can track Q-ball's development.
- It's encouragement for me to do the observations (and fill in empty questions in her baby book...)
- Beyond monitoring and adjusting the materials I provide for her, I want to pay closer attention to her eating and sleeping routines, and any meltdowns to note where I might need to make changes.
- I (hopefully) will get feedback from parents and educators out there who know more about Montessori than I do, and I can adjust accordingly! I love and deeply appreciate advice, recommendations, and any suggested resources!