When we initially started Hayden in Montessori school at the age of three. I learned something that has really stuck with me. The Montessori way is creating life long learners. Live long learning is one thing that I really want for my children. I want them to have a thirst for knowledge and understand why they are doing what they are doing. As a parent I want me kids to want to learn.
Hayden taught me very quickly that academics was on the back burner for him. What we wanted for him was to develop social skills first. This is a concept that while at a Son-Rise training I came to total peace with. I came to the conclusion that what good would academics do for my son if he is unable to communicate. I wanted him to have a love for people and feel comfortable in his own body. We incorporated scholastics in Hayden's Son-Rise program, but they were never the focus. We would count jumps while jumping, verbalize letters as writing words, count cars that went down the slide, and talk about colors. We kept the scholastics light and natural. We never forced Hayden and respected him when he asked us to stop counting.
I am grateful that I stuck with following Hayden's lead with scholastics. He is open to learning to write, read, and do math now. In fact he now seeks out those activities on his own. I have worked hard at incorporating different activities to motivate Hayden to practice his reading, writing, and math.
Less than a year ago Hayden refused to hold a pencil. He had absolutely no interest in writing. I didn't force him. I thought of ways to prepare him to be a successful writer. We worked on eye hand coordination, fine motor skills, and I modeled how much I love writing and how helpful writing is. Hayden now has confidence in his hand writing and is writing words of motivation like a pro. He loves to write names of family members, words related to angry birds, and words related to mario. He can write all letters and numbers in manuscript. Hayden's school teaches cursive. Hayden has chosen manuscript as his preferred writing method. I am trilled :)
Hayden has always loved being read to. He has recently started to underline words with his finger and pretend read. Hayden knows several words, but it is hit or miss on demonstrating what he knows. Hayden is an extremely visual learner and has some sound sensitivities. He would not allow us to sound out letters until the last month or so. Much to my surprise he knows all the sounds the letters make. With in the last several weeks he has started to spell words. It is crazy how easily he has picked this up. Everything we have done with Hayden has been on his time schedule. No matter what goal we set for him and how hard we worked to achieve that goal. If Hayden was not ready to achieve that goal he didn't. It has always been when we let go of our expectations of him Hayden not only meets that goal but exceeds it.
Ruby is always learning at a lighting pace. My sweet little girl a year ago could not count to 10. She had no desire and would become extremely frustrated if we even talked about numbers. Ruby cakes can now count to 100, she can count to 100 by 5's, count to 100 by 10's, and even by starting at 1 and ending at 100 (not sure what to call this). She can count to 20 in Spanish. Ruby is now adding 1,000th place numbers. It really makes me giggle to think my little girl a year ago was so adamant that counting was not going to be part of her life.
Ruby is now writing sentences in cursive. She is my little writer and fills up a writing journal on a monthly basis. Ruby is well on her way to reading bob books.
This winter has been a huge area of growth for both my kids. So exciting!! I love that my little loves have a hunger for learning. I feel that it is my job as a parent to fill that love, nurture it, and respect their pace of learning. They are my guides. I often simply observe them to see what kind of new learning activities they are ready for. Hayden and Ruby are in charge of their learning. I am happy to guide them, follow their lead, respect them, and find innovative ways to motivate them.
|Hayden using his incline writing surface to do a hidden picture find.|
|Ruby is my little worker bee. She loves learning.|
|Going over the check list she made for me.|
|Just doing some electrical work :)|
|My 5 year olds math work|
|A work I made for Hayden with a focus on reading and writing. He mastered it in 3 minutes.|
|My little scientist|
|Hayden made sponge bob at lego club.|
|Spelling with ease|