In a traditional classroom setting, children sit at their desks, listen to the teacher, and receive instructions. Montessori students are encouraged to learn with a much more hands-on approach. Instead of sitting and learning with paper and pencil assignments, children have free reign over a classroom with a variety of educational activities at their disposal. Working with their hands gives children a solid understanding of the learning materials, and information is absorbed more effectively.
Hands-On Learning in the Classroom
Children tend to learn better when they are completing tasks on their own rather than receiving constant instruction. When kids learn using their hands, the lesson is effortlessly committed to memory instead of relying on verbal or written repetition. The Montessori hands-on experience can be applied by using:
- Sensory materials. Learning materials with a variety of textures and colors help children make a connection between their hands and their brain. For example, letters cut out of sand paper give a physical feeling to learning the alphabet.
- Moveable activities. Instead of sitting at a desk, children move around the classroom and choose from a variety of activities. They can take their activity to a table, chair, or floor mat to explore their materials.
- Enticing assignments. Hands-on learning keeps children interested and focused on the lesson at hand. A movable alphabet that they can touch and feel is more entertaining than a simple worksheet. Similarly, learning to count by manipulating rods and beads is more interesting than being told how to count to ten over and over.
Practical Life Skills Through Hands-On Learning
Children learn most from what they see; they learn better by copying the actions of others rather than being told what to do. Your child will learn much more by working alongside an adult than being given instructions from afar. A few ways to apply this concept are:
- Cleanup time. Children love to do simple chores like sweeping, wiping tables, and cleaning up messes side by side with a parent or teacher. This way, children can use their hands in a productive way, gaining a sense of accomplishment.
- Snack time. Preparing small snacks or pouring drinks for themselves establishes confidence and encourages independence. Simple tasks like these also promote hand strength and enhance motor skills.
Admn January 30th, 2017
Posted In: Montessori
classroom. Montessori, Hands-On Learning
Montessori students are not typically assigned homework. Montessori educators do not believe in dictating the work of their students at home, instead reserving that time for family, relaxation, and the child’s own interests. There are many benefits of a no homework policy, as well as alternatives that allow children to continue learning while home.
The Benefits of Homework-Free Time
Children spend all day learning with the help of their peers and teacher. The last thing they should be worried about when they get home is hours of school work to complete. A no homework policy makes education more fulfilling rather than stressful. Some key points to consider are:
- Kids require wind down time. If children can come home and relax, they are more likely to return to school refreshed and ready to challenge themselves. Homework can often cause burn out, affecting the child’s ability to enjoy life inside and outside of the classroom.
- Family bonding time is crucial to development. Lack of homework creates more time for families to spend together. This enhances social skills, confidence, and behavior.
- Children need time to pursue their own interests. Some of the time left over after school should be spent on hobbies or extracurricular activities such as music or dance. You can get an understanding of your child’s interests by watching them and asking questions.
Alternative Homework Activities
Kids have a natural desire to learn, absorbing information everywhere they go and from everything they do. Although they may not be completing traditional assignments, there are still many things they can learn at home.
- Household chores as homework. Education goes far beyond reading, writing, and math. Children must also learn how to care for themselves. Allowing your child to help around the house promotes social skills and independence.
- Making math out of household activities. Pairing socks and cutting food items into equal pieces are a good example of this concept. Your child can also help with shopping and making change.
- Read together frequently. Reading to your child often helps to hone their language skills. If your child is of reading age, take turns reading books to each other each night.
Montessori schools generally avoid homework for the benefit your child, but that doesn’t mean your child’s education will come to a stop at the end of each school day. You can teach your child a variety of things by spending time together. This quality time may not be available if your child is busy with homework.
Admn January 25th, 2017
Posted In: Montessori, Montessori Educators
homework, Montessori, Montessori educators