Thursday, 10 December 2009

L's new environment (long)

A little while ago I received a comment asking how I set up L's shelves and how we schedule our day. I've taken some pictures of our initial set up in our new home. This is still a work in progress but here is what we have so far.

L's activity shelves are in the office/study with the computer and piano. On these three shelves she has her activities. On the bottom shelf are her instruments and puppets. On the second shelf are her lacing beads, Christmas tree activity and a phonics matching activity. On the third shelf is her phonics box with sandpaper letters, Russian doll, button snake and puzzles basket. I will change these up as I make new activities and others get old. The puzzle basket and instruments will always stay.

On these shelves I have some activities and also her toys. My mom rocks and saved all of our now retro Fisher Price toys! She's also got her animals, frogs and insects in separate baskets plus her dominoes, dressing board and Melissa and Doug Rainforest puzzle. I will also change these up every few weeks. Her new floor mat is rolled in the corner.

The kitchen is a work in progress. This is her shelf for setting the table. Unfortunately we still don't have a small table for her so she is sitting up at the big table for all of her meals and snacks. This is fine for when we all eat together but allows her less independence. At the moment she only partially sets her table sometimes but we are working on it as she settles in more. She also sometimes clears her dishes into the dishwasher and cleans her place. She now has a little cloth on a plate that she has out at every meal to clean her mouth and hands and the table.

I love this bit. My mom has a huge closet and L has a whole side to herself. Her socks and underwear are in a basket and all of her swimming stuff is in another basket. Now I have to say that up until today she has had absolutely NO interest in getting dressed or getting her own clothes. It has been a nightmare trying to get her dressed every day. Today however for some reason she actually showed an interest in putting on her own clothes! Wonder of wonder.
I hope eventually to have her pick her own clothes and also help to put the clean ones away. She loves to put the dirty ones in the laundry basket.

This is also a new and really cool thing for us. We just set up our cloakroom with a low hanging rack for L's coats. She can now get them and hang them up herself and she also has her hats, mits and scarves in a basket.

Basically I think the most important thing is that everything has it's own place that she can access and it is always kept there. As time goes on and L gets older she will hopefully do more and more things for herself.
As for our routine. We we totally don't have one. We never really have. L's activities are always accessible to her and when she brings one out I will sit with her or get her started. Sometimes this is hard because I want to do something else. Sometimes I will just say no we can't do those right now but we can do them at this time. I will also instigate activity time when we have a set free period throughout the day. Like tonight she did four activities with extreme concentration just before she went to bed. It works for us.
As for just beginning with a 3 year old I would take it very slow, set aside a shelf just for Montessori and set out one activity at a time. After you've introduced it he can take it out whenever he likes as long as he puts it away when he's done. Every day you can put a new activity out so he looks forward to seeing what is out. Once he gets the idea you can add another one. Just make it clear these are not toys but activities and need to be used in the proper way.
You can also start with Practical Life activities and slowly get him to do more and more things by himself. Prepare his environment so he can do things on his own. It's a slow process so don't expect too much at once. Hope this helps a bit.
I'd also recommend reading this post from What Did we do all day?


Mari-Ann said...

Your set up looks great! Thank you for posting that link - it was very helpful (incidentally, I'm at "stage 5"! Start my training next month. Yay!) :)
Thank you also for your nice comment on my blog. I don't think you can comment via Reader - you'll have to go right to the blog. Thanks for taking the time to do that! :)

Karen said...

Yeah!! it's looks so nice!! I'm sure the will be just Perfect!! you're taking a good care on that!! You rocks!!!lol. Thank you so much for your kind and sweet comment on my blog!! you make me cry!!!!lol. so sweet!! Muchas Gracias! con carino

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