Thursday 2 April 2009

Finding some focus

Recently Ebi-kun has lacked focus with his Montessori work, I tried adding new work to the shelves and also introducing new extensions to old work but he still seemed unsettled. So yesterday I tried a different approach. Most of our equipment is set out upstairs, but yesterday I selected a few things and set them up on the bench downstairs. Ebi-kun looked confused but got his apron out and picked which one to work with. I couldn't believe the difference, he was settled and focused and worked on each item for a good length of time, no getting up in the middle to run round or jump on the sofa, I'm not sure why this worked. We do work downstairs quite often especially when it is very hot or very cold, the Montessori room doesn't have a heater. I suspect that it was restricting the choice of things to work with, any ideas?
Anyway, he started with the number rods, I added the number tiles so that he could copy the numbers, he hasn't quite go them down yet. He did really well with this and after we did 2 together he asked to do the last ones by himself.

Then he got out the metal insets, these have always been a favourite. I showed him an extension where you draw the first shape then move the inset and draw another that overlaps but you don't cross the lines that are already drawn. What interested me here was the fact that he switched hands so he could complete the circle with ease. I am not sure if most kids do this or not, I am ambidextrous and it is a handy skill to have, it will be interesting to see if Ebi-kun turns out to be able to use both hands equally too.
Here, he is drawing stripes in the shapes. He spent a long time doing these, I wasn't timing but it must have been about an hour. He also did some using the same technique but mixing up the shapes.
I left the equipment out and later in the day he got out the gold bead material, we reviewed the decimal system with the beads and numerals and then he made a number using the cards and counted the beads out to match.
The postman arrived in the afternoon and we became billionaires - yeah!! This was a prize that we won over on Mozi Esmes blog when they doing competitions to raise awareness for the awful situation in Zimbabwe. Thank you guys, we will be sure to invest it wisely!

After dinner, Ebi-kun asked to do some painting, so I requested a nice spring picture to replace the snowman, being the sweetie that he is, he whipped up a lovely spring flowers picture.
And it looks great on the art shelf :o)


  1. I'm happy to find your site. Looks like you're enjoying Tokyo with a small son, too!

  2. I have mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Your son's art skills amaze me. He does such beautiful work. My 3 year old paints what I call "mud"!!! My 5 year old will paint but nothing like your son!

  3. I love that painting!

    Like mother like son...creativity sure is inherited :)

  4. Well done. What a great day. Love the flower painting. (:

  5. You sure do have an artist there! Was he looking at any inspiration material or did it come from his imagination? It looks like you may have put out just a few spring colours of paint - am I right?

    Congratulations on mixing it up to refocus energies with the Montessori work. Sometimes it doesn't take much to re-spark things.

    I was wondering how you like the wooden 1000 cubes you have with the golden bead materials. How many 1000's do you have? I've just posted about making some temporary bead materials from lego but am interested in what I might invest in in the future.

  6. thank you everyone!

    Amber - I asked what would be a nice spring picture and he said flowers then I got out a new acrylic paint set, he picked out the green he wanted, I suggested he used all the different greens to paint the stalks, so he did that. Then he picked out which colours he wanted for the flowers, he did yellow first, then pink then orange. So for my part, I suggested using other greens and then I was just the tube squeezer! he even asked for black at the end, I was thinking - oh no! but then he painted tiny little dots inside the flowers :o)

    1000 cubes, we have one made of beads and then 9 wooden ones. I wish we had enough lego to make them :o)

  7. Glad the bill made it to you okay!And that really is amazing artwork. I wish I could paint that way.

    Esme seems to be ambidextrous too - I keep waiting for her to grow out of it!

    And it's interesting that a change of location would make a difference on the activities. I'll have to remember that...


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