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How to teach Montessori style at Home

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When you teach your children a new skill at home, you’ll have a lot more success if you teach them the way a Montessori teacher would do it. It will take a little longer, but it certainly pays off in the long run.

First of all, observe your child to make sure that he or she is ready for the activity in question.

For example, if you want your child to learn how to pour him/herself a drink, you need to make sure that the child not only has the manual co-ordination necessary, but also has the strength to hold a 3-litre bottle of juice (or a 2-litre bottle of milk or whatever you have) and the height to reach the cups (hint: keep your child’s cups in a special place they can reach).

Next, demonstrate the task. Take it slowly. Of course you can do it without thinking and in a matter of moments, but your child can’t. Break the task into steps and demonstrate it slowly, explaining using the proper words.

For example, if the task is pouring a drink, then it should go something like this.

Let’s get a cup out of the cupboard and put it on the table. Now we get the milk out. Remember to close the fridge door. We unscrew the lid [assuming you have a plastic milk bottle] and put the lid down. Now you pick up the bottle and hold it over the cup. Keep the mouth of the bottle close to the top of the cup, but not touching. Tip the bottle very slowly and carefully so the milk pours in. The milk’s near the top of the cup so stop pouring. Put the lid back on and put the milk in the fridge.

Helping your toddler learn language

Children learn language by being spoken to by adults, so the best thing you can do to help your child to learn language is to talk to them. When you talk to your child, don’t simplify your language.

You will have been instinctively using what linguists call motherese and other people call baby talk  and this is perfect for infancy, but once your child is talking, you can use a grow up  language.

Don’t force conversations.

Just talk about what you’re doing and where you’re going, even if this means you give a running commentary on what you’re making for dinner. Use the proper words for what you’re doing, rather than just anything and don’t forget to use adjectives (describing words like shiny, red and disgusting).

Your child will try to copy you, and they will make mistakes in their grammar.

You don’t really need to correct these mistakes usually a child makes mistakes because they’re applying a general rule to an exception.

For example, your child knows that the past form of the verbs walk and talk are walked and talked so they will use the add “ed” rule to verbs like sing and say I singed Big Red Car.

These mistakes show that your child has, without knowing it, learned an important grammatical rule and is trying to apply it. You can correct vocabulary mistakes “if your child calls a spatula a spoon, you can tell them it’s a spatula.

Just keep talking. Your child will learn to talk, because that’s one of the things that make us human. Don’t worry if your child seems slow to talk. It seems like a long way off now, but by the time your child is eight, he or she will be talking (some never stop talking!) because of their Montessori Gold Coast way of learning.

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