Did you know that those IT guys who design ipads “so easy even a baby can use them” don’t allow their own kids to use them? Did you know that more than 50% of those Silicone Valley smart tech families send their children to Steiner schools (and many have been to Montessori schools themselves). Why? Because they observed that these children were so alert and open, so socially confident, so articulate, so observant of their environment…
Early childhood is the time that their spirits grow into their bodies, that they learn about the world by acting in it and on it and learning how to use their bodies as a tool like this little fellow who is practising to use the scissors. He is learning to coordinate his hands and eyes without cutting his fingers. He is totally focussed on the job. His brain is actually making neural pathways on which other skills can be built. Learning how to do things and do them well is a child’s job. And knowing you can do them is the basis of self- esteem and self- confidence. Don’t deprive them of that.
Children like to do what they see the grownup people do. In this case it's washing of the windows.
Preston has been shown how to wash a window. He enthusiastically tried to do it himself.
These type of activities help the child to focus his attention, because his hands can't do anything unless he wills them to work. One can't "will" one's hands unless the focus is on what you want to do with your hands.
These activities will always help to settle a child, especially after he has been upset.
We have three birch trees in our Montessori Playschool garden. They have been chosen for good reasons: Their black and white textured trunks have a magical, fairy tale quality about them. The small leaves make a soft rustling sound in the slightest breeze and create dappled shade in summer time, while they blanket the grass in red-brown leaves in autumn.
Those leaves can be raked up into lines to follow like a mediation trail or pushed into heaps to jump in, on or over and the seeds, now dry and brittle are scattered in the wind or used as decoration for the children’s art & craft work.
But on this morning, under the bare thin twiglike branches, the leaves were gathered up, put in the wheelbarrow and tipped out over the empty flowerbeds and under the daisy bushes in a spontaneous and very social and cooperative activity!
Each child is unique and so is their way of solving problems. Here is an example of a child who many would judge at first sight as a ‘snatcher’, for he simply takes what he thinks he needs when he plays regardless of whether or not an item is held by another child.
Let’s call him Charlie. He is a very active three and a half year old who can speak in full sentences and totally zooms in to whatever his eyes are attracted to in a kind of tunnel vision manner. He is quite a fearless child and because of his verbal skill appears older than he really is.