Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cotton Ball Montessori Job

Yesterday, someone asked me if you have to be a naturally crafty person to homeschool your children...  My answer is: definitely not!!

Look at this job I threw together this morning - it's proof that you don't have to get complicated to homeschool and have fun with what you already have in the house....

2 baskets, plates, bowls, etc.
Cotton balls
Salad tongs

Demonstrate with tongs picking up one cotton ball at a time and moving from one side to the other.  Over time, you can add in counting the balls, organizing them in groups (like groups of 3, 5, etc) or other variations.

Helps them build muscle in their hands, motor skills, concentration, hands on understanding of numbers and quantity, etc.

Remember: As soon as your child looses interest in a job and starts being destructive or using the objects other than the intended purpose, remove the job.  It's important that children understand there is an intended purpose for everything and that there is a difference from creativity vs. destructiveness.

I.e. If your child starts throwing objects, remove it from them.  If they discover a new or different way to do the job - like picking up more than one cotton ball or making a tall mound; encourage them.  At first it can be hard to know the difference, but after a while you can recognize it sooner.

Also, pay attention to their demeanor.  When they are doing a job properly, they will have a certain look of concentration - usually their brows will be down and eyes focused.  They probably won't hear you if you call their name when they are in this mode as their little minds are processing lots of data.  As soon as their eye brows relax and their eyes wander from in front of them, they are not concentrating any more.

And I have a confession...  I'm a real mom... Yes, my son is still in his pjs at 8am and we spontaneously started school at 7:30am (and yes, those are chalk "crumbs" on the table in the picture...).  That's what I love about homeschooling - there are no limits on when or where we learn!  :)