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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Montessori basics

Although I do not agree with the way some teachers of Montessori early/preschool have a tendency to infiltrate fictitious evolutionary and feminist principles, I have found that the concepts of a child learning through the use of five senses is really good and can be done in the home.  It is rather simple and if done with a more orderly approach and demonstration initiative, the child will pick up on what is taught and will learn the basic principles.  I especially like the practical life teaching scenarios.  Many of us don't think about how much we must learn to to the daily tasks of life appropriately.  To forget such simple concepts, leads to utter decay in lifestyle.

I have compiled a summary of the basics from a book for teaching Montessori in the preschool years.  Although I don't necessarily think preschool is essential to education, and can be picked up in one day with an older child, it is fun to practice the principles anyway when no other obligations for education are required in the home school curriculum.  Free materials can be found on the internet as well to make cards and such items.

Summary Teaching Montessori preschool in the home

Practical Life Exercises
                        -Opening and Closing Drawers --Teach to open quietly with no noise
                        -Dressing Frames – Teach to open and close garments (buttons buckles, zippers) appropriately
                        -Pouring Rice (then water milk etc) – pour in neat fashion and use sponge if things spill
                        -Dusting – Teach that no dust should remain
                        -Carrying a Chair – Teach to do noiselessly and to avoid bumping people/objects
                        -Folding a Napkin – control and show the various shapes (square, triangle etc), teach neatness
                        -Setting a Table – Explain where each piece goes.  Start with play equipment then do real dishes
                        -Washing Dishes – Teach how to do neatly and orderly
                        -Washing Hands – soap, nailbrush, towel, hand lotion.  Teach complete washing of hands
-Washing a Table – child’s table, rinse bowl, washbowl, sponge, drying cloth.  Dirty then have child clean with no traces of dirt
-Sweeping the Floor – Broom, dustpan, wastebasket.  Teach how to hold eq. appropriately and leave no dust
-Polishing silver…..
-Shining Shoes – Point out when errors are visible
-Lacing a shoe – old shoe or dressing board.  Remove shoe lace and allow to replace lace neatly.
-Lacing a Bow – old shoe or dressing board.   Take shoelace and tie it neatly.
Finger Dexterity Exercises
                        -Bead Stringing – Multicolored beads and strong with knotted end.  Teach to sort colors and put on string
                        -Bottles and Tops – Various lids and bottles. Teach how to put on appropriately and coordinate appropriately
                        -Using a Dropper – Transfer water between two bottles
                        -Cutting – Cut narrow strips, teach to cut over wastebasket
                        -Painting and Coloring – Trace hand/body and fill in, draw shape and keep in line, trace pictures in coloring book
                        -Working with Clay – Allow to create objects etc
                        -Doing Puzzles – Work at child’s pace and increase complication as appropriate
                        -Sewing – Cardboard Sewing cards, burlap sewing figures with wool thread
                        -Nature Study – Allow child to grow own garden, collect insects, rocks etc., fish to care for, animal pictures
                        -Geography – Puzzle map, show where live, teach about clothing and homes in other lands
Early Sensorial Exercises
                        -Three period lesson – large/small, rough/smooth, light/heavy, hard/soft, large/larger/largest, small/smaller/smallest, big/little
                        -Tower – stack building blocks of varying size large on bottom
                        -cylinders and solid insets….
                        -Fabric basket – match pairs of fabric with out  seeing but by touch
                        -thermal bottles – have child order bottles coldest to hottest
                        -button games – place 6 buttons of 4 colors in separate bowls or containers, 6 buttons of 4 different sizes sort
                        -rough and smooth – differentiate
                        -silence game – have child remain silent and listen to sounds around him/her and count the sounds
                        -walking the line – 6 ft yarn placed on ground that child balances and walks upon
                        -weighted order – fill bean bags with various weighted items and bags are all same size, order correctly
                        -mystery bag – fill bag with 8-10 items and ask to identify without viewing
                        -sound bottles – fill bottles with various items, shake and order from loud to soft sounds
                        -color tablets – order colors by shades
                        -scent bottles – match bottles according to scent
                        -geometric shapes – put shapes in correct place on puzzle insert, or cut out with frame, graduated size of shape large to small
Reading and Writing Exercises
                        -Sandpaper letters – allow child to trace letters with index finger and middle finger
                        -Command cards – allow child to follow instructions from a card.  Start instructing and then silent
                        -pictures and sounds – allow child to sort pictures with matching letter.  Ie. B = ball
                        -moveable alphabet – allow child to select letter and spell out picture place in front of him/her
Arithmetic Exercises
                        -number rods – with rods of boxes place a numbered card next to appropriate rod.
                        -spindle box – number boxes (or egg carton) 0-9 and then add appropriate rods or objects
                        -sandpaper numbers – match number of objects with number cards and explain greater/less than
                        -writing numbers – allow child to write number in a squared space in appropriate manner
                        -number progression – make chart 1-100 and have child match appropriate cards. Explain even/odd #’s
                        -measuring exercises – have child measure with measuring cup.  Show how many ¼ go into cup.  Tablespoons in ¼ cup etc.  use rice/beans

Practical Life

finger dext.

Early sense





three period


number rod


bottles tops




pour rice













# progress





set table





walk line



weight ord

w table




sound bot


color tabl


scent bot


geo shape

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