Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Montessori for Infants: Object Permanence Box DIY

In our Montessori teaching album for infants and toddlers, we discuss the use and presentation of a lot of material that is designed to promote the brain-body development link.

This object permanence box for infants is a wonderful piece of equipment that can also be made at home. For example, you can take a small box (about half the size of a shoe box) and cut a round hole exactly the size of the ball on the top of the box. Using the ball shown, your child can experiment by putting the ball through the top round hole and then lifting the lid to find that the ball is inside the box.

Promoting this sorts of physical and intellectual interaction addresses your child's development needs in these early years.

For those of you who have purchased this teaching album, it is important to get or make as much of this series of material as possible -- it is all in the same chapter in the album.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Montessori for Children Under Two Years of Age

The Montessori curriculum for children between infancy and two years of age has been an active topic of discussion. The main focus of the curriculum is to help your young child develop in the areas in which he or she should naturally be focusing such as language, body and brain coordination and development, and interaction with others.

Some of the simplest material that we introduce for infants and toddlers is the most important. For example, there is a whole section of lessons in the album that addresses brain and body development directly: the object permanence box use that covers the stage of development in which children discover that an object continues to be the same, even when you cannot see it (e.g. Mommy still exists even if she has gone to work this morning); imbucare boxes designed for infants to work on hand-eye coordination as he or she works with cylinders, cubes, triangle prisms, and rectangular prisms (are you using the language of the pieces to introduce the vocabulary to your child?); supinated wrist movement exercises that help children work with hand and wrist movements that will be the foundation for writing, fine motor skills, and other key movements later, and; simple shape puzzles, bells, and mirrors.

We discourage you from attempting to push reading and other topics that might be considered more academic at this time. The building blocks for development are crucial, and your child is not helped by learning to memorize words on cards or other material that is outside of his or her developmental needs now.

The prices of material such as the imbucare boxes or the object permanence boxes can be a bit daunting, but you can usually find good deals online and the price of these pieces of material are inline with those of regular toys, so we encourage you to make the substitution when you buy gifts and toys for your child. A lot of our readers have had success putting this material on gift lists for holidays and other special occasions as well.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Toddlers: Suggested Reading

For children in the two and up age group, we recommend daytime read aloud sessions of 15-30 minutes using a non-fiction source.

We found some great (free) material online about water and the Chesapeake Bay that we wanted to share with everyone who is homeschooling or informally working with their children at home.

This daytime reading is not meant to take the place of time-honored bedtime stories!