Is that something you think about? How we can kindle the child’s interest?
After class today I was catching up on some podcasts while preparing for the next session and I always love listening to a new episode of the Montessori Bookclub Podcast with Jana Morgan Herman. I was honoured to have Jana visit our classes back in 2015. She is one of the most well-read and experienced Montessori educators and always finds the most wonderful treasures from the Montessori archives.
Jana reads parts of Dr Montessori’s books to highlight different aspects for educators but is suitable for any adult raising young children. The episode I was listening to was Episode 27 Creative Development in the Child volume 2 Chapter 15 The role of the adult. Whilst I recommend listening to the whole episode (and indeed every episode) three words in particular jumped out to me.
Dr Montessori said, our role is to “kindle their interest.”
It made me think, are we kindling their interest?
So to kick off the new school year, here is a small list to use as a starting point to kindle our child’s interest at home.
Kindling our child’s interest – a list by me
- Listen to what they are wondering about, exploring, touching, learning. Try creating some new activities to follow these interests.
- If we are feeling energised, remove everything from our shelves and put out only those things they are interested in right now.
- Can we find a beautiful jug to encourage pouring their own water? Or a tray that is a size they can manage to make an activity even more engaging.
- Are we showing wonder in the world around us ourselves and sharing this wonder with them?
- Can we find a way that they will find fun to get them involved in getting themselves ready in the morning (instead of nagging them)? Allowing them to choose their own clothes the night before and laying them down in the shape of their body might start the school year off a little easier.
- Can we fall in love again with observation, find a fresh new notebook, and look for those small sparks of interest developing or deep concentration so we can follow these.
- Do we keep our language engaging? Can we use rich and beautiful language? Can we become interesting story tellers when we tell them about our day?
- Go to the library and check out as many books as we can carry – this was one of my favourite things to do with my children.
- Provide a bucket of digging implements and sticks for them to find worms, wood lice, and other creatures in the earth.
- Keep blocks of unscheduled time for them to continue exploring their interests.
- With younger children under 6, can we model a new skill by breaking it down into small clear steps engaging them with a “Look!” or a gasp as we snip through a strip of paper? With older children can we light them up with some interesting fact or discovery for them to explore further on their own.
- Do they like helping to build things? Can we offer them real tools to try out? For a toddler it might be hammering nails into a log of wood; for 3-12 years olds it might be setting up an atelier for them to explore.
- Can we think of our homes as invitations to explore? Do they look interesting? How can we make our spaces fun and inviting (without buying anything new)? Can we add beauty with plants? Or print some new artwork and hang in a thrifted frame?
TAKE ACTION: choose one of the things on this list or come up with your own and let me know your plans!