Last summer I spent a while planning and setting up activities that I would do with Little-N. This summer I can't plan anything because he's learning so much without my help. So I've decided to stand back!
All the activities in a Montessori classroom have a common purpose, Independence! When a child is young you can see them being independent in their environment, helping themselves to a snack, cleaning after themselves, getting dressed and so on. But when the child gets older you see another side of independence and if Montessori is done correctly in the 3-6 age group you should have an independent learner at the end.
Looking back at my posts from last summer, I can see a huge difference in Little-N. Here is what he is up to:
Little-N loves encyclopedias, he has about 5 big ones and a few topic ones. I usually buy them second hand. Almost everyday he will independently take out a few and flick through the pages until he finds something that will interest him. Then he would read about it and sometimes draw it. I've shown him how to use an index. He isn't very confident with it yet, but sometimes I'll find him trying to look up a word. I leave him to find things out himself and I stand as far back as possible. Children can't develop independence if we are always there trying to help them, sometimes we've got to leave them to work things out for themselves.
A few days ago Little-N was reading about vultures and eagles. He had the animal encyclopedia open on a page of interest and he was drawing something about that animal. Sometimes his pictures are beautiful with lots of details that I can clearly see, but other times he's draws to much I have no idea what he's drawn. The important thing is that he has somehow recorded his understanding.
Little-N is a confident reader and with the correct reading books at his reach I often find him reading independently for hours. The other day he had about 12 books out and he'd read them all. As a Montessori mother it's so warming to see the fruits of all the effort I put in to helping Little-N become an independent learner. Those of you who are homeschooling don't give up its just a matter of time and your Montessori child will grow.