Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mommy, Teach Me!

I've checked out a few Montessori books from the library and this book is the best preschool montessori book in my opinion. My library didn't have this one. I picked up at the homeschool convention. It was the first book I read out of everything we bought there. The picture is linked to Amazon and you can view inside the book there.
Summary of Book: Barbara Curtis starts out telling you her story, which is wonderful. She explains why your preschooler can thrive at home, how your the best teacher ever, and why the home is the best "classroom". She then shows you how to "release your teaching ability" and how to "release your child's learning ability". I found these two chapters extremely helpful and filled with points and ideas I've never thought about. Chapter 4 is filled with "exercises" that are all pretty much practical living skills. Then the rest of the book gives ideas on how to teach these subjects: Manipulatives, Imaginative Play, Beginning Math, Science, Geography, Fine Arts, and Spiritual Life. I probably will not try all of the ideas but there are definitely a lot of good ones I want to do. We have done almost all the exercises in Chapter 4. I figured these were the most important to learn since they are all practical living skills and are a base skill for something else.
What Meant the Most to Me:
  • Encouragement in my choice to teach at home was refreshing. (chapters 1 & 2)
  • the "take extra time" paragraph on page 40 was convicting. She is so right about when I'm in a hurry I find myself doing things for my boys that they can do for themselves. She suggests adding on 15 minutes to give your child time to get ready in whatever ways he has mastered.
  • "From the earliest days, give your child choices whenever you possibly can: 'Do you want to wear this red shirt or the blue one'?" ~ yeah I so did not do that whenever I first read this book. I am slowly working on that and getting much better at it!
  • She suggest to demonstrate things in slow detailed movements when first teaching your child a skill. I got an absolute kick out of picturing one of us walking painfully slow to bring a bowl of cereal to the table!
  • She had an interesting take on why we should make child size spaces for our toddlers/preschoolers that I enjoyed.
  • One of her suggestions for developing concentration is coloring books. Many "mason advocates" blogs and writings I've read have scorned against these. However, Curtis brings up some points worth thinking about such as we are created in the image of a Creator - it would take more than a mountain of coloring books to stifle the creative impulse of a young child. They also help develop fine motor skills. My own personal opinion on coloring books is - if your child likes them and you have a great art curriculum you are doing who cares if he/she colors in their free time. Seriously, there are worse things!

Most of our trays have come from Chapters 4 and 5 in this book. I plan on doing some of the activities in the Geography chapter as well as the Fine Arts chapter. Chapters 6 - 8 & 11 I didn't find that great. However, I think the foundation of what is taught in this book as well as there are many great activities will make it worth your time and/or money!

1 comment:

  1. Bridgett, I have this book also and it's one of my favorites. I thought the part about coloring books was interesting too. I had found myself putting them away awhile back but now I have them out again. Also, I replied to you back on my blog but you may not see it I realized. I'm loving the Revelation study you commented on. I also had never read Revelation much so it's been so good. And Happy Birthday - so glad you got the 365 kit. My girls love looking through it. It's been well worth the time. :)