I’m coming late to this Montessori challenge, but I thought it would be a perfect bandwagon to jump on as I was planning on tracking our journey into Montessori anyway.
Challenge 1: Set up a self serve area for your child
Since moving four short weeks ago, J and I have been working hard to implement many self serve areas for the children. But, in the spirit of this challenge, I looked for a new place that could use improvement which would be quick (less than 30 minutes) and inexpensive. I decided on the “condiments” section of our refrigerator. L (6) and M (5) are working on packing their own lunches for school this year. Condiments have caused a problem because they inevitably 1) get too much and 2) spill it all over their box during transport to school.
My solution was to get 4 of the 3oz bottles from the travel section of Wal-Mart. Our policy is to refill them once per week- so if the kids use too much, they will run out early in the week. The bottles are on the lowest shelf in the door of the refrigerator. They also fit perfect in the kids lunch boxes, so they can take the whole thing!
Challenge 2: Encourage good habits at snack time
This one made me think! We have been encouraging the kids for about a year to sit down to eat, stay until they’re finished, and to put their dishes in the kitchen when finished. They still have trouble- daily- with wandering off during meals, but they are getting better at remembering without being verbally reminded to sit back down. I think I will take this into a little spin-off; encouraging the kids to have good habits when preparing their lunch. We need to work on bringing one item at a time to the table, packing a food item and putting it away before moving to the next item, and cleaning up materials when all done. Look for an update on this, probably around Sunday when we pack Monday’s lunch.
Challenge 3: Let your children use real materials
J and I purchased some glass pitchers and cups over the summer for the kids to use. However, they have been using plastic water bottles since they came home from mom’s this summer. Today I showed them our pitcher and cups, and allowed them to pour the water for each other. There were a few spills, but it worked out alright. L cleaned up his spill with cotton balls he had brought home from school (where they had been used to wipe the leaves of his plant). I also allowed N (10 months) to use a shot glass at lunch time. She immediately spilled it on the floor while trying to bring it to her mouth- and I’m okay with that. I think if I set it carefully and nicely on her table at each meal, it will give her a chance to practice using it.
That’s it! Hope to see some other responses!