The great power in Montessori is the directress’ is her observation time each day. It is a time when the directress steps aside and watches the world around her. Some days she may think about the child and his work. Other days she may ponder the environment and the child or the child and others.
I though I would share an example of Montessori observations from my journal for today.
Dr. Montessori discusses the joy that children experience when they value the lessons in their lives. It is very easy to achieve in young children. Their newness to the world leaves them open to the wonder of the smallest thing. However, the older the child is a bit more difficult to enrapture. Can I get an “Amen!”?
The divisibility lesson is one such lesson. BR commented today: “This is really fun work. This is like afternoon work fun!” He worked through 6 large numbers and their divisibility by 2 to 10 (including 7) with excitement and zest.
AV and JV don’t love math and are not enraptured by the study of divisibility – JV more so than AV. It has been interesting to observe the group’s varying reactions to this work. And it has been gratifying that they are “cool” with their uniqueness and other’s uniquenessess. They help and encourage each other when they are overwhelmed or don’t remember a rule or multiple. There is no race or “winner” to complete morning work. Nor is there excitement or relief.
Observation from today:
BR is rebuilding his domino maze/course which prematurely was set off. He exhibited no frustration or anger. He is engaged. Mentally and physically alert. His back is straight and his toes flexed. He is resetting after working on the details of the classification of Squids. His brain needs a break. He becomes frustrated during the research of materials because he can’t yet discern what is important from fluff. He is just typing lines of information which will later be grouped and gleaned. He is bouncy and his handwriting is unfocused. He is very interested in pronunciation of scientific words.
AV is reading Treasure Island in the big comfy winged-back chair in front of the fire after completing the algebraic layout of the mathematical trinominal cube. He spent two hours total over the past day and today precisely arranging each piece and “making the shadows line up”. I wanted him to get on with it, but he was not ready. When he finally wrote the tickets, they were all correct the first time. He even remembered that the faces were squared. Now, he pausing before beginning on grammar.
JV is taking all his reset moments while working out his pronouns. You can’t rush that boy. He has always moved at his own pace. (If I had a penny for every time we mistakenly locked him in the car because it takes him five extra seconds that everyone else in the family to exit the car, I would be rich – really rich.) He will always move hat his own pace. To drive him would change him at the core of his being and would be like trying to break a big rock with a toy hammer. He is on his stomach; chest draped over a bolster; scratching out the paragraph he is going to add pronouns into. He still has abandoned cursive for print. His spelling leaves something to be desired. He is resistant to suggestions of “slowly sounding out the words”. Today he has moved back to a regular pencil instead of the nub. He so doesn’t like to be wrong.
BR: provide a physical work that is precision based after he works through a writing based work. (Is he developmentally ready to hunt down facts from a paragraph? Is it age or personality based?)
AV: has to be right the first time. He likes to savor a work he enjoys or has deeply anticipated. His brooding nature requires perfection. He must be provided time to pre-think work. His aversion to writing may keep him in the thinking stage for a very long time. He prefers research to product. While reading he is relaxed and stretched comfortably. He holds his book close to his face. He pauses to provide BR with an audience.
JV: self-discipline is hard for JV to internalize. He lives in the moment and absorbs in the moment. This does not provide good time management. (How to provide him with an adequate consequence to encourage better time management?)