Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Frequently Asked Montessori Homeschool Question #5

Q5:  My child can't seem to stop working on "fill-in-the-blank" and I want him to be working on "fill-in-the-blank."  He's not repeating the works I think he should be repeating. What should I do?

A: I believe your Montessori space should be a space where the child can choose his own work, particularly at the primary level.  However, it is called "the prepared environment" for a reason!  There shouldn't be work in the environment that you are not happy with him doing.  Stock the room so that you are happy with ANY of the child's choices.  If you don't want them doing "fill-in-the-blank", what is it doing in there?

If there is work you believe your child should be doing the first thing you need to remember is that you might be wrong. When you are just starting to have Montessori work periods at home finding the right spot in all of the sequences for your child is by FAR the hardest part. The work you think he should be doing might be either too easy or too hard (the most common reasons for disinterest or not repeating work).

Another problem can be that some sensorial materials just don't have the appeal in modern times that they did when Maria Montessori created them.  It is not a big surprise that my children who had a beautiful set of unit blocks among their  playthings nearly from birth were not as excited about the pink tower as Maria Montessori's students many of whom had nothing.

If there is something you feel they should be doing all you can do is keep presenting the work.  It will either catch on or it won't.  Also, if there is something I want them to do and they don't seem to be choosing it I think about what I can do to make it more attractive.  Kal-El and Me Too both put their completed equations in a treasure chest for their memorization work.  Me Too pretends its a robot that eats equations.  Usually putting the image of a dog on just about anything makes Me Too think it is the coolest thing in the world.  Montessori makes it very easy to "theme" a work to tie in with your child's interests so take advantage!

If you would like to read all sixteen frequently asked questions and their answers right away, you can find them at the FAQ tab at the top of the blog under the header.

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