NaBloPoMo by accident?

I’m not officially participating in this year’s traditional NaBloPoMo month, but it seems that I am currently in possession of enough things to say that I am almost doing so by serendipity.  Most of what I have to say seems to revolve around Little Miss Oh Waily at the moment.  I imagine that this could be starting to bore you by now, so I do promise to diversify my ramblings away from No.1 child and into other areas.
In the meantime, however, here is another of my activity posts along with some general comments on this whole Montessori idea in our house.

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Language Skills: Magnetic letters

This was something I threw together using the magnetic letters Little Miss received for a birthday or Christmas past, the computer and a laminator.   It is really just a variation on her wooden alphabet puzzle, you know the sort of thing you can pick up at any toy store.  This version continues to encourage her to recognise the letter shapes and where in the order of the alphabet they come.  In addition to this and unlike the wooden puzzle, Miss O has to use much more fine motor control to line up the letters successfully without knocking over its neighbours.

The first time we did this Miss O struggled to find the letters on the printed sheet.  My guess is that she was finding the alteration of letter placement between this sheet and her wooden puzzle to be difficult to adjust to.  That didn’t last very long and within two more attempts she was more than happy finding the letters.

Blank Sheet

The Blank Sheet

Starting Out

Getting Under Way

More Letters

A Bit Further On

Finished Letters

All Done All Finished

Now the angle of the N and the O are really down to me.  Or rather, my choice of font.  The typeface N is considerably wider than the magnet N and so is the O.  I’m guessing that this is why Little Miss tends to do this with these letters.  Meaning I need to overhaul the font on the sheet so she stops thinking Ns lie on their sides.  Other than that, she does a pretty good job – even if she has to take drink breaks towards the end.

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Since this entry is so full of pictures, I will only briefly write about why I am interested in the idea of taking the Montessori route and why I am doing these activities.

Montessori appeals to me primarily because it aims to and claims to encourage independence and a love of learning, among other things.  I want my kids to have a love of learning, a love of reading, a love of the outdoors and to be physically competent.  A lot of what I have read, so far, suggests that following Maria Montessori’s ideas could promote most (or all) of these things.  What I am not sure of, is what sort of standards the local preschools and schools set.  I simply haven’t had the time to visit them to find out.  And, there isn’t that much choice as far as I can tell.   So in the meantime, while Little Miss is still under 3, I have decided to instigate some ideas that follow the spirit of what I have read and continue to read about.

As a starting point to doing this at home I cannot recommend Tim Seldin’s book How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way enough.  It has beautiful images and simple ideas that can be implemented in any home and at just about any budget.  You really don’t have to spend a fortune.  In fact, I’d say you could save yourself a fair amount of money not buying toys your kids only play with once or twice.  Or worse yet, sit gathering dust in a corner while the box it came in becomes the best and most favourite toy for the next month.  Personally, I’m over that waste of time and money.  Not that I have anything against the boxes, of course. 😉
Oh, and I am all keen and happy to go with his idea that a beautiful and orderly home is a good thing to promote to your child.  Hence our new shoes in the corner rule, games / activities back on the shelf before starting a new one, and a little bit of good quality kiddie art in her activity corner (a cross-stitch bear my Mum made).

I could ramble on, but this post has already stretched itself out, so I will keep my long list of observations for more November non-participating NaBloPoMo Month blog posts so you don’t get completely fed up all at once.

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