Wednesday 6 February 2008

A regular morning

We try to have Montessori mornings three times a week, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. By Montessori mornings, I mean we specifically work with the Montessori materials and try and get into that 3 hour cycle. Recently we haven't been doing it upstairs because it is too cold so we now go up and choose which thing he wants to work with and will help him bring it downstairs, it is a bit of a faff but is working OK.
So, I thought I would share a typical morning.
6.20am we get up. Breakfast, get washed and dressed to the chores (Babyebi helps with the dishwasher and the laundry). I check my email and BabyEbi watches NHK educational programs for a while, by 9ish we are all organised,
8.50am wash the placemat and table

9.20am Get out the weighing scales. I picked these up a while ago at a bargain price of 500 yen, since they are wood I was very chuffed but they didn't come with weights so I made some out of salt dough. This is the first time he has worked with them and I don't think he will really get the concept of weights so I just stuck with heavy, light and the same. He got that and spent some time experimenting with the scales - as well as trying to pull them apart to see how they work!

9.55am tidy up and prepared and ate his snack, this morning it was an odd combination of sembei and ham with cinnamon milk. he then tidied everything away.
10.30am took out the sound pouches and worked through about 15 of them then he decided he had enough.
11.05am put the sound pouches away and got out the balance game he was much better at taking turns today and got excited when one of us was "champion" he had to do a dance no matter who won. He really got into it and played with this for a long time, he went mad when I had to get up to go to the toilet hahaha.
11.45am put the balance game away and got out metal insets he worked with this by himself whilst I started to prepare lunch. He finished up for lunch about 12.15pm
After lunch he takes a nap, and is currently curled up on the sofa, he looks so cozy and warm I am half tempted to go and join him.
I'm not sure how close this runs to a work cycle in a Montessori school, or how long, on average a child will work with one piece of equipment. Somedays he will sit for well over and hour with the same thing, the next day he will get it out for 5 minutes and put it away again. As long as he completes the cycle of returning the equipment to the shelf when he has had enough I don't worry about how long he works with it. I suppose sometimes he is just not in the mood or can't find what he really wants to do.
A while ago I bought 
The Tao of Montessori, when I first got it I tried to sit down and read it but found it really hard going. Recently I have it next to my bed and open it up at a random page and just read one verse and Catherine McTamaney's interpretation of it. I find it very thought provoking and insightful, it gives me something to ponder as I drift off to sleep....


  1. To give you an idea here school starts here at 9.00 and finish at 11.30. Snack is at the end of the session at 11.00 then we regroup for the goodbye circle. Activities in general last for long as the child is interested. Some kids do the activity longer it depends of their age and with whom they do the activity with. Max about 30mn. At the school we have also bakers for the snack too. I found that kids do usually some activity by pairs/groups. Some are involved on their own but then will switch with a group activity. I guess (as you probably know) the attention span of a 3 years old is little compare to the 5 years old. I guess 20mn to 30mn is the max they can do unless they are engaged in a activity with an older kid. At the end of the session around 10.15 am i see lots of kids very tired though and it is difficult to keep their attention span to a minimum.

  2. Thanks Gigi, we always have snack around 10am, I think because we have breakfast so early buy 10 he is getting hungry again. It is interesting to hear about other routines.

  3. you are welcome. In some montessori schools where i work the routine is different esp. for snack. For some it is around 10.15 for another one children decide to have snack when they want as there is a little kitchen with tables and chairs. Personnally i prefer free snack, snack at 11.00 is too late and lots of kids eat anyway their lunch after that when they go home. But the school does not want to change for some reason ;(


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