The new school year is still in the distance and so I’ve been thinking about activities to do with the boys. Things that will keep them from (oh I even hate to type it) the “brain drain.”
Here’s what we do in the Summer:
We stop a little longer to watch the bees hurry about their work. We breathe the heady scent of lavender a little deeper and we let our fingers run over the soft scented stalks a little more.
Whether at the beach, around town or through a good book of far off places. We allow time for exploration of all things. Quentin’s favourite is geography.
With paints and pencils and small world play, we encourage creativity and the expression of knowledge. Quentin loves to set up his Schleich farm animals and barn.
His Bruder recycling truck (pictured below) and tractor (pictured above) also offer him a chance to create with to scale and realistic materials.
How does all this have anything to do with learning you ask?
Well, in the Montessori pedagogy learning comes from within the child. It does not happen to the child. So instead of math sheets and reading apps we continue to prepare the environment that will engage the child. We cater to the senses and the inborn curiosity.
I often get asked about “the trays”. I answer that is doesn’t matter what’s on the tray. What matters is what is in the hand. What I mean by this is that a pretty tray of carefully designed sea shell work is nice, but it is incomparable to the vastness of learning happening when holding a shell at the beach.
And then, just like that, everywhere there is learning. From connections made from reading to real world exploration. From measuring and counting as we bake, to keeping the senses sharp with environmental sensory input (flower smelling) it all keeps the light in their eyes burning. Their growing brains constantly seeking.
There is this quote that rattles around my own brain often.
“Be careful what you teach. It may interfere with what they are learning.”