Friday, July 17, 2009

Montessori Teaching Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers: Time and Attention

For those of you who subscribed to the curriculum newsletters or purchased our Montessori teaching binder, we will be posting additional notes here on our blog, so do check back from time to time or subscribe to our handy Montessori at Home rss feed!

In our curriculum for infants and toddlers, we discuss the presentation format, materials needed, and sequence of events for each lesson or exercise. You will notice, however, that there is no particular length of time for the duration of each lesson. This is key because the length of time that an individual child will be focused on a particular exercise depends on that child.

Once you set up the exercise with all of the equipment and present it, the number of times your child decides to, for example, pour water from one pitcher to another, is an independent choice. At the right stage in a child's development, he or she will has the ability to be completely captivated by a certain type of lesson, for example, a fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination practice lesson such as the Practical Life Water Pouring Exercise. This means that your child's current stage of development calls for this type of skill practice and development in terms of the Montessori Sensitive Periods of Development.

Importantly, make sure that you allow your child to engage his or her periods of attention during these projects without adding interruptions. It is really tempting to go up and talk to a child who is being super cute by doing the same thing over and over, but this is the time that you need to step back and let your child develop the particular skill that has caught his or her attention!

For step-by-step lessons, check out our Montessori teaching curriculum for parents and teachers.


DeeDee Schultz said...

I’m the director of a preschool and early development center in McKinney, TX called Heritage Learning Center. At the preschool, we are always helping parents with the same gentle concerns. To alleviate this worry, we tell parents that they are welcome to talk with us at any time, but that the development of each child is unique. Also, we offer a great deal of individual attention so that every child can discover themselves fully. I agree with this article that it is important to follow the same material for each child, but the lessons should be easily modifiable for different learning styles.

Montessori House said...

Thanks for your post!

You can see Heritage Learning Center in Texas here: