Teaching Preschoolers: My Notes, Part A

I'm reading the best book right now: Mommy, Teach Me! Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning. It's got so many great thought and ideas on how to practically implement Montessori ideas in a homeschool setting. I wish I'd read this 2 kids ago! Here's some of my notes I'm taking as I read the book (only 3 chapters in at the moment) in case you're interested:

Observation is important. I need to take time, even if just 2 minutes here and there to watch my kids and ask some of the following questions:
  • What does she like to do and how could we adapt it to create more learning opportunities?
  • What activities help him stay calm and focused?
  • What frustrates him, distracts her, makes her worried?
  • What produces a feeling of accomplishment? What a feeling of discouragement?
  • What brings out her best? What brings out her worst?
  • What hurts her feelings? What encourages her?

My example is so important! I need to observe myself to find actions that aren’t good examples and conversely, begin to exhibit actions that are models for them to imitate.

And what about my attitudes? My children don’t need a harried, distracted, depressed and frustrated mother. They need someone that’s patient, focused and filled with the joy of the Lord (key to remember - not my joy...His.)

God gave children a drive to become independent that starts quite young! When they do something annoying, messy, etc. (like trying to pour the milk themselves), don’t react in anger and frustration. They’re not being bad and you don’t want them to feel like they are. If your child shows a desire to learn something and isn’t quite ready, find a way to get him there.

Life is rushed, but it’s vitally important that we slow down and give a child time to learn how to master things himself. “Children are born imitators.The best way to avoid spills and messes is not by keeping everything out of their hands, but by using exaggerated care in the little things they watch us do and then giving them opportunities to join.”

Find ways to encourage my children in independence. As they learn to tell time, give them a clock to let them regulate their own schedule. Teach them to make food for themselves, and then have them do it!


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