parenting personal stories

On sowing seeds, both for the garden and in our lives…

All winter we’ve been helping Everly to sow the seeds to her intellectual future by introducing her to Montessori style learning both at home and once a week for preschool. Adalyn has also been giving some of the activities a try.

I’d always been on the fence about sending my kids off for someone else to educate. I personally wasn’t a fan of the educational system I came up through and expect my girls to be intelligent but perhaps not all that interested in book learning. I suspect, based on how learning has progressed here at home, that a more hands on approach would be needed. The knee jerk response is to just homeschool… however, the Montessori method of learning is both intriguing and it seems to meet our needs.

Montessori teaching focuses on a self led learning experience that is hands on. It’s not so much about meeting obvious external educational goals as it is about nurturing the child’s curiosities and guiding them so that they teach themselves.

Over the winter break, while I was cutting some gift tags Everly’s Montessori learning reared it’s head at home. She was immediatly drawn to the shapes of my discarded paper from the gift tags. She wanted my scissors and the scraps… I was reluctact because I didn’t want her to cut herself and becaue I didn’t want a huge paper mess all over the house.

Needless to say, she was granted permission to carefully use my scissors and she did make a mess… We just ignored it and let her do her thing, despite our parental objections.

The strangest thing happen, she was eerily quiet and 100% focused on her task, for about 20 min (which is much more focus or time than she typically had spent on any “work” before)!

Once she was ready, she proudly showed us her creation. She cut the scraps to make them in to the letter E, F, T, V, I, L and X. All of the scraps were turned to letters by her careful clipping. Once clipped, she laid them all out to admire. This potentially dangerous, mess creating activity was her self led learning in action. She was taking her knowledge of letter recognition to letter creation and she felt enormous pride in the finished activity.

We were blown away by her level of focus and her determination and that she spotted this chance for a learning activity.

More and more often I am recognizing the ways we are subconsciously stuffing our kids in a box and in turn stifling their educational opportunities and their expression of individuality. My gift tag cutting was just one instance that could have turned to educational stifling. Thankfully, it didn’t.

Speaking of sowing seeds, it’s already time for us to sow those seeds for garden planting! So what have you been sowing lately?

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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