We had our first real lesson the other day. I had bought those sensory materials that I could never diy, got a mat, read all the books and blogs. I felt well prepared, had rehearsed what to say and how to introduce the pink tower! I may have been more enthousiastic than Seb.
I quickly realised my first mistake. The day before we had gone to pick up these awesome materials. . The plan was for Seb to sleep once we got home I could quietly open the package and play with the goodies. Of course, he didn't nap and I didn't have the patience to wait, so we opened everything together. No harm there, right?
Wrong. When I introduced the pink tower, Seb insisted on the "black stairs" as he calls them. Ah well, we build them together. So I go on to model how the tower is build and Seb gets upset. The tower had to be build flat, horizontall, not up. Ah well, we'll do that then.
He had no interest in my 3 part lesson teaching big and small. Ah well.
I let him have a go, but he's not too interested. In fact, he wants me to do it! "Mummy do it". I oblige, because i have no idea what else to do and i don't want him to become upset. At some stage he even wiggles me off my chair and sits there watching me! Of course, I don't mind playing with the pink tower, but none of the books talk about this. This is not how it is supposed to go!
He's distracted too. He moves and sees a toy and plays with this. Quickly he's incorperating his cars in the tower. Seb loves his cars and they do seem to be permanently attached to his little hands. He explores the tower and stairs with them. He parks them next to the stairs, rides them up and down, lines them up. I feel he's exploring the size and dimensions, so I let him, but I know it's not proper montessori.
After a while, we're done. So I encourage him to clean up and put things away.No way! He's too busy playing with the next thing. Again, I'm dissapointed. I see all these blog posts of other mums talking about how their child just cleans up after themselves. I'm feeling jealous. And annoyed, because I know this too is a learning process and yet another thing I have to teach him. Gah, why can't he read these books and learn himself!
|Seb exploring the dimensions of the blocks with his cars|
So here are the lessons I learned:
- kids actually need to do things more than once to learn. Yes, he's got an absorbent mind, no, he can't do telepathy.
- seperate work from toys. I find it hard to admit, but toys actually are distracting!
- I need to meditate more and relax.
I think Seb learned stuff too. But I realise, I learned the most.
From here on, he's done the tower a few times, always incorporating the stairs too. Oh, and the spare 1cm cube and stair. Cause the package came with 2, there needs to be 2, end of toddler discussion. He lost interest after a week and I tried to keep things going by getting the tower out myself and playing with it. It's a calming activity anyway! I think now I have to conclude he's actually just not ready yet. Now I've read the absorbent mind, I understand why, too. He's not conciously absorbing. These materials don't need to be introduced until he's 3 and becomes consciously absorbent. And we should start with the knobbed cylinders first anyway (I've ordered them now!). And I should teach him work ethic first and do all the practical life stuff first.
I'm finding it hard. Because I see those beautiful blogs, with their beautiful photos and I don't realise these kids are older and often have older siblings to learn from. Having older siblings, mum probably got more experience too! which is all great, but I am not there yet and that is absolutely fine. He's be 5 before I know it. I'll be experienced before I know it too.
I have to apologise for the staged photos. Being in the moment and not a blogger yet, I didn't document this lesson. But a blog without photos looks boring, so I made some. The only photo that was made while life was happening is the one where Seb is playing with all the fun materials we got and unwrapped together. I put the cylinders on the tower, of course.