This site is aMAZing for teaching your kids at home. I've been taking myself on my own field trips lately to learn things. I take Lukas, but the learning is for me. We got a tour of a Montessori School. I even asked to take pics to show my husband. I got some awesome ideas for things to make, things one could hope to expect from a little person that I hadn't thought of, and ideas for philosophies that I am a fan of, mainly these:
I'll start with HOME ORGANIZATION:
|Things their size: Tables and chairs. We put these by the big dinner table. They were by the window on this afternoon for our "cafe" lunch together so we could watch the rainstorm.|
|Easily accessible and nicely presented: Goop is a new addition to our household supply of fine motor skill toys.|
|Game: Cut paper, glue scraps to another paper, Glue pompoms to paper, trace something with glue, then sprinkle with salt,flour, candy sprinkles, playground sand, etc.|
|At their level: Even Pictures on the fridge can be at their level to enjoy. These are family members and close friends our child knows and adores.|
|Playdoh tools in a basket.|
- Making the child's world his size. Little furniture. Pictures hung at their level. If I could build my own house, I would find it awesome to have a child sized potty and sink.
- Lots of beautifully presented tasks that have hidden purposes (like fine motor skills, order, hard work, etc) -- like polishing silver, or polishing wood. Or washing their own dishes.
- Steps to get up to kitchen sink when one can't set up a lower independent wash station with two buckets.
- Quiet pictures that promote peace, and a bit more spartan instead of a rainbow thrown up on the walls with tons of "things" presented on the walls. (Opposite of my elem. classroom)
- Major presentation of a new 'concept' where I "show you something" by walking myself all the way through the activity, describing my every move in detail, then give you a turn. I can't believe how much he catches on this way. It lessens the trend (my trend) to want to correct as he goes, and doesn't let me cripple his wanting to try by giving too much praise or too much criticism.
- Being around very many different ages benefits a child immensely. I felt grateful for visiting older ladies from church, and people with older kids. And for working with a church youth group where he gets to mix with older girls often, and learn from them (and vice versa).
- Switching out Tupperware containers for open wooden baskets from the dollar store. Looks more uniform, and peaceful, and inviting. Who knew?
- Making learning toys/cool things from wood myself. My Geo-Boards (previous post) cost a total of $4.04. For two. And maybe with more scrap wood there will be three!
- Introducing cursive before print. Teaching pre-writing at such a young age by tracing sandpaper card letters. Stressing only sounds instead of letter names, and using only lowercase letters first. They're most common in books. Duh. I'm so glad there are people to teach me things like this. Just little changes that can make big differences, right?
- Speaking in a kind voice constantly. I know, I know... but it was a reminder. And when there is an argument to redirect, redirect, redirect. I tried it in a heated moment with him and another friend and was happily surprised at how it worked... and at how hard it was to not just put my kid in time out.
- If he can do it himself, he should do it. I bought a rod extender for his closet. He can hang up his own clothes. He can pull them off hangers when choosing his clothes in the morning, and replace hangers to the rod immediately. He CAN dress himself a lot of the way, but it's still a challenge for him, but I have to let the time be spent to let him, and really let him. No prompting in-between. Almost easier if I lay out the clothes right side up (like underpants) and then encourage him happily and LEAVE so he has 'space' to do it himself, and the expectation to come find me when he's done.
Anyways, the site has step by step directions for how to introduce even the most basic concepts. I LOVE it!!