Thursday, December 16, 2010

Every Child Deserves Beautiful Learning Tools~ Maria Montessori

I love this quote and I love the idea of my children having all the beautiful Montessori supplies that a school house would have.  Let's face it, I just do not have the budget for that!  I do get some for them as presents at this time of year, but the other day J saw me watching a presentation on the hundred board.  He knows how to count, but has some issues transitioning between the tens and I thought that  a hundred board activity would help.  "I want that!" he exclaimed as he watched the video and has requested several times a day to see the video again. While he watched the video for the hundredth time, I set forth making a hundred board set for him. If he liked the video that much, he must actually want one. I already had the Plaster of Paris, paint, and a spare board, so why not try to make my own.  The tiles are not perfect, even though I tried my best to get 1" by 1" squares ( not having the best mold, but wanting to do it by Christmas), the board is not framed or as precise as it could be either.  My son got to help in the smoothing of the tiles after I cut them from the larger mold and as we worked on it he was so excited.  My heart melted as he danced around and then he said. . .

"I am the luckiest boy in the world!" 

Our Hundred Board
It was at this simple statement that I realized that beautiful to the child is not always as harsh a judgment as beautiful to the adult.  My four year old thinks his board is just as beautiful as the one he saw on the computer.  He doesn't care that   the tiles are not perfect squares.  He doesn't mind not having a frame around it (though I do plan to rectify this for practical application purposes).  What he does know is that this board was made just for him, by me and that he got to help.  That he was worth my effort and time.

As I look around at other things I have made for my children but wish were better, I realize my children still love to use them. They know I have taken the time (and often not small amounts of time) to make them to be as nice as I could with what I had at hand.  Or, even better,  they have helped in making them.  When this is the case the item is even better because they are in their eyes fully their own.  In reflection, I think this follows the Montessori principles as much, if not more, than buying them.  We are working together using our hands to create the tool for the educational success.

1 comment:

  1. I love your comments: "he was worth my effort and time" and "they are in their eyes fully their own." What perfect reasons to spend time making your own Montessori materials - and for letting your kids help when possible! :) Deb @