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What does HS Montessori look like at 2.5?


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#1 Kjirstyn

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 02:24 PM

What does Montessori look like in a 2.5yo? Specifically, how long do they tend to stick with a given activity? 

 

We are implementing an informal Montessori preschool at home. We do have several classic Montessori activities (pink tower, color boxes, etc.) as well as just several ideas off of Pinterest. I will point out ahead of time that we are not religious about the whole thing, but more taking the philosophy as a whole, for many reasons. (It suits our kids fabulously; the organization component suits me; it fits in with our goal to involve the children in real life chores in the first place, etc.) The kids love it. I am enjoying it, even though it's a lot of work to teach two toddlers how to do each activity, carry trays, clean up, etc.  

 

But what is normal for a 2.5 yo in a classroom, when a real teacher is teaching this?  Do they stick with a project for very long?  Mine feel a little bit like rabbits to me, constantly jumping up and wanting to move on to the next thing. Depending on the activity, I will either help them clean up and complete the process properly (regardless of how NOT long it has been) or if I know they are fine with it but just too distracted by so many options that they keep switching...then I'll insist they stick to it for a few more minutes.

 

How does this work? Is this all just new (one week in) and they'll settle down and do a project for longer?  Is this just 2.5 talking?  (And 1.5, but either way. Similar behaviors.) I look at the projects and am a little confused as to how they could spend very long on a given thing, but then I figure I'm not 2.5. Except they don't spend long on anything.  :-D

 

ETA: Oh! Also. We only have so much space for activities, although I have worked hard to carve out as much as we can and will continue to do so. Since we don't have a whole classroom to fill up with trays...how often is realistic for switching things out? Once a week? I've read about swapping out things that just don't get used, but I'm uncertain about that...for example, the first go round, my 2.5yo will decide he doesn't like it because it's hard, so given a choice he won't do it again. But when I have brought it out for the second lesson (or third), then he decides he likes it, because he can do it now. So how does this fit in with the "child led" component? 

 

Please share anything that comes to mind, I'm interested in all you know!


Edited by Kjirstyn, 01 September 2017 - 02:35 PM.


#2 PeterPan

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 01:24 AM

I'm no help on the Montessori side, but yeah 2.5 and rabbits would be about right. :)

 

It sounds like you're doing a really good job, and you should just keep doing it. The cleaning up is EXCEPTIONAL. A lot of instruction that you're doing for the next 3 years is HABITS. You're laying down the HABITS you want them to have for the next 15+. 

 

Yes, if the manipulative or tool were immediately obvious, he wouldn't need to do it or could do it as independent work. You want the task to be within reach, doable, not frustrating.

 

As far as encouraging choice in a child-led environment, you can still give them structure. Like you could have a yellow shelf, a red shelf, and a green shelf and say today we're going to choose one thing from each. Or don't worry about it and roll with what they choose. Or take turns choosing. It's not healthy to say the only things they have to do are what they want to do. Normal people take turns or care about the feelings of their playmate. So if you say hey you choose then I choose, that's still good. 

 

The more kids veer toward ADHD (which I'm not saying your kids are, just saying), the more they're going to respond well to structure. So if, say, you really like pure Montessori but your kids maybe benefit from a bit more structure, don't be afraid to give that structure, kwim? My ds is one who benefits from predictability and structure. He needs a lot of choice, because frankly with his autism he really struggles with compliance and NO, haha. So you're going to make the amount of structure fit your dc and have it be what makes them comfortable. You can also use visual choice, like putting choices together by category or using a daily checklist or visual schedule. Some kids really thrive on having a plan and knowing the plan.

 

You could also consider getting them into some gymnastics. That's where rabbits belong, in gymnastics. Let's them hop, skip, and jump without driving anyone crazy. :D


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#3 Kjirstyn

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 03:32 PM

Thank you, this was actually VERY helpful!

 

As far as encouraging choice in a child-led environment, you can still give them structure. Like you could have a yellow shelf, a red shelf, and a green shelf and say today we're going to choose one thing from each. Or don't worry about it and roll with what they choose. Or take turns choosing. It's not healthy to say the only things they have to do are what they want to do. Normal people take turns or care about the feelings of their playmate. So if you say hey you choose then I choose, that's still good. 

 

And thank you for this. I don't personally adhere to kids getting their own way all the time (far from it) so I was a little unsure how to implement the other components of Montessori with my parenting philosophies! But as I understand it, a child will choose what is best for them at a given time, or something like that. As I mentioned above, my 2.5yo will not choose something simply because it was hard the first time. I do that! It's hardly a barometer I want him to choose according to. So yes, I will just stop fretting about it and add a little more structure to it.