How I Handle Montessori Mornings
My goal is to set up my little man’s activity area each evening post bedtimes.
I am sure this set up will evolve as my boys grow up and as our space begins to cater more to homeschooling (we’re considering finishing the garage into a classroom/playroom). Actually, I know this set up will evolve over time and that is okay.
Our mornings ideally begin with all of us piling in our bed and, if my husband and I are lucky, relaxing for a few minutes, at least, with books in bed. Then my two year old typically hits the point when he races out of bed ready to start the day.
I don’t want to put too much structure around our days too soon. However, I do believe some structure is important – with wide parameters. So the mornings are spent with “choice time” or “free play”. The night before, my goal is to lay out a few activities on mats, on his reading chair, in a basket, and on his activity table. He can choose one of these activities, or all of them, or as many as he’d like. Observing this behavior is one my favorite times of the days. He may race from activity to activity, bypass some activities altogether or spend a lot of time on one or two, not caring about the other activities laid out for him.
While he is exploring his activity area and reading corner, we begin to talk about what to have for breakfast, with which he typically helps out. We also love to listen to music during this time.
This ‘morning time’ generally lasts a few hours, basically until my infant goes down for his morning nap. Then we’ll grab a mid-morning snack and settle down to focus on Mandarin with books, song and occasionally an educational DVD. The energy of the next 1.5-2 hours is definitely taken down a notch or two from the earlier hours. Some days this time is simply story hour!
In all honesty, in the early morning, most days lately he ends up at his train table. That is okay in our view. Train tables are wonderful for hand-eye coordination and storytelling. It is also his choice during ‘free play’. I can only do my best to guide him.
So to give an example of what I may lay out for him, you can see the image below includes: homemade play dough with a few animal cutters and rollers in his table, a [amazon_textlink asin=’B00005RF5G’ text=’Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Cube’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’blogpost’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”], a [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XD2597L’ text=’Thomas the Train 24 piece puzzle’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’blogpost’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”], his music basket, his Letter Basket of the Week (this week it is the Letter C), a mat with tongs, a jar full of caps I’ve collected over the past few weeks and an ice cube tray for transferring and a few recent (i.e. new to him) library books I picked up the other day. His train table is in another part of the house. :-)
I always look forward to the mornings. I am one lucky mama.
Thanks for reading!