Teaching at home

How to use Montessori at home – part 1

 

READING

Recently during Parents teachers’ meeting, I have been asked about how Montessori can be a based of curriculum. She seems to think that it is a bit strange to based an educational system on everyday’s life. I smiled at her thought, but I could relate to that. It’s exactly how I used to think so too. Maybe it’s the culture thing too, to believe that education should be something serious and far from home. That it is something to be done in special place, certainly not at home.

, the thing is, it is so simple to try to educate our children ourselves. And education can start at home. It is of course not necessarily important to teach reading, writing or math at home the way school is, but we could actually start to introduce them at home. Many ways can be used to do so. Let me give you example on how to use everyday’s activity to engage our children in learning.

  • Reading material

Every child is most certain to be attracted to reading material with pictures on it. Magazine, comic books, story books and newspaper should be put where they can see it and becoming their daily routine. Introduce them to different reading; story books with colorful picture as a source of story, magazine as a source of knowledge and newpaper as a source of news. Let them see a picture on the magazine or newspaper and try to tell their own story on it. Bedtime story is one perfect way to introduce reading to them.

  • Gadgets

Nowadays it is impossible for anyone to not have at least one communication technology at home; cellular phone, tablet pc , smartphone are something very common for any household to have. We can actually use this to introduce literacy to our children. You can involve your child when writing emails or text message. Let them see the keyboard and what you write, and read to them. Even when they aren’t able to read yet, they can start to recognize letters and words. They’ll also learn the many purposes of writing.

  • Signs

Have fun exploring your surrounding! Take time to read road signs, labels on supermarket’s items, menu in a restaurant (especially the one with pictures on it) . They will learn to recognize letters and sound. They can start to match pictures with the words or certain clue and in return will have rich vocabulary basic.

 

 Basically there are so many ways to introduce reading to your child, and by introducing it doesn’t always mean we really teach them about phonic and reading, unless we want too. And parents should not be afraid to engage themselves in their child’s learning process, that we should not just stop at a point simply cause we think it’s the school’s job to do so

 

Learning at home (?)

Recently, during  Parents / Teachers’ meeting s, I have been asked by a mother about how Montessori can bebased on curriculum. She seems to think that it is a bit strange to have an educational system based on everyday life. I smiled at her thought, but I could relate to that. It’s exactly how I used to think so too. Maybe it’s the culture thing too, to believe that education should be something serious and far from home. That it is something to be done in a special place, certainly not at home. 

Montessori is relatively new for parents in Indonesia. We are very accustomed to the classical environment of teaching where teacher is the central to the lesson. And most are still believe that the learning process is supposed to involve sitting in a classroom, workbook, test etc. That is why when it parents seeing children doing practical life activity in a classroom and actually being observed on it, it can be a bit strange sometimes, and I do understand that.

Strangely, we have been said that education should start at home, yet not many realize that it is more than just a saying. More than just moral lesson, the introduction to writing, reading and math can be easily performed at home. And that is why in Montessori we have a Practical Life section. 

Children like to play, and they absolutely love to copy what their parents are doing around the house. This could be a great way to teach them the basics of writing and math. 

Cleaning a table is a fun way to teach them to draw a circle for the basis of writing letters like ‘C’, ‘O’ ,’P’ etc. By making circular moves, we have taught them the core of their writing skills. Or during cleaning windows, the line pattern we make using the rubber squeegee on the window can help them in making straight lines.

Pouring water from a jug to a glass  can also be a good exercise for concentration and early math. Because when we ask them to pour it to a certain point on the glass, they will start to grasp the concept of measuring. Having a rote counting when you ask them to take something from the table like spoons or napkins are also good way to introduce math. 

The thing is we should not limit the chance for them to learn. Because more than just the introduction to reading, writing or math, having our children to perform variety of practical life around the house is also a good way for parents to bond with their kids and produce a happy environment for them. Make our house as a place for practical life and our children shall be bright ones.

ps: I shall write more about learning at home here soon 🙂