Real Teacher Interview : Sylvia Juma
The Values of Montessori
Age two has been known for tantrums, disobedience and unruly conduct. On the other hand, this is one of the best times to develop a sense of independence in Kids. So, what better way to do this than through keystone habits? Sylvia Juma, a Montessori teacher was kind enough to let me in on Montessori’s approach to this.
First things first, Sylvia reminds us one of the values of Montessori. The approach aims at developing children holistically. This means that it is not just about the child’s intelligence, but their physical, emotional and social growth as well.
The children are engaged in practical life projects. Yes, I know it sounds complex but it’s not. These are basic or useful everyday activities such as pouring their own juice, carrying, rolling and unrolling a mat, opening and closing buttons and so much more. The activities are meant to help the child gain eye-hand coordination, motor control, attentiveness and again, to help the child be independent.
For the kids to master these skills, consistency is important. For this reason, parents should continue with these habits at home. Try assigning them simple tasks such as undressing, dressing themselves and washing their hands. Between the ages of 2 and 7 children should be able to carry certain things such as a jug or a jug, open the door, remove and open a book. You can also have your 3 year- old help you make the bed and clean up a spill in the house. They can also fill a pet’s bowl with water or help water a plant, with supervision. Two and a half- year- olds to four year olds can learn how to fold clothes too and at the age of seven, make a thank you note.
“There was a time some of the children helped prepare snacks at break time. This included cutting and serving them to the rest of the kids, I thought it was really great” Notes Sylvia. This goes to show that with independence, comes responsibility.
These activities for kids sound great but what about technology? At Montessori, children begin to use computers from age 5 and 6 when they are learning their 3-4 letter words. They are also able to practice sounds, identify and match pictures too. Therefore, technology does, play a role in child development.
Combine this with the simple daily activities and you are on your way to having your child becoming independent, responsible and all-round.