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Friday, January 12, 2007

Monty Who?

I was at a relative's house few days ago, catching up with family members and old friends after havent meet with them after so long. Most of them came back to KK for the long holidays.

Received 101 questions about my previous trip to KL(we used to say to KL, eventhough we are visiting other places apart from KL, because its easier to explain and understood by most Sabahan. The term to KL means we are flying to Semenanjung) and also what have I been doing all these while.

Told them that I am doing a Montessori course, and they go "Monti-who? Apai tu oh? (what is that)" I told them it's one of the Early Childhood Education thingy.. and they go,"Ko mau jadi kindergarten teacher?????? (You wanna be a kindergarten teacher)" Then they go 1001 theory about life etc etc etc.. "jadi ko punia degree apa macam lah?" bla..bla.. "sayang oh, gaji rendah!" "Diploma?? Napa nda ambil Masters/PhD sija??" "Waste of time/money" "Saya tidak pi Montessori school pun, ok juga!" bla..bla..bla.. What the %&*^$@@ ??? Grrrr.. whatever!! As long as I know what I want to do with it in future and I dont have to justify with anyone. (having to write about these conversations again.. just makes me laugh on how ignorant/negative people can be, no wonder tidak bulih maju)

My main reason to take this course is to learn more about a child's development and what can I do to assist the lil one for future. Seriously, it is for lil C and his future siblings. Sounds like a kiasu mother, but hey! .... whatever! It's very difficult to explain... Got tired in trying to make everyone understand why am I taking this course... I have always wanted to get involve with Child Development/Psychology since young, esp now I got to know about the Montessori approach. But it was quite difficult coz such courses wasnt available in KK, not even through distant learning.

Then, having lil C around, I wanted to bring lil C up in Montessori way, a way that lil C is able to create his own personality without much intervention by us. Sound tough and confusing, but possible. So, one way to learn, understand and practise is by taking this course. I have to admit that it helped so much.. Whenevr lil C is being very nakal/irritates/ throw his tantrum at us, i told myself that he is at a learning stage and I try to understand/start investigating why did he act such way - to see if he had followed his normal routine or not. I try to observe the things that he does daily, to understand him better rather than telling him off and do the way I wanted him to behave.

It's not easy though, esp when lil C's cunning behaviour shown in front of people that doesnt understand the approach. I do admit that sometimes I, painfully, would scold and spank lil C in front of them, so those people (with the mentality that a child needs to be hit and shouted at when he did something wrong) would stop nagging! Of course, kids will always be kids, being curious and excited with whatever is new to them. That goes the same to the adults too, for example when they bought a new handphone, the one that they have always been dreaming of..?? hahaha!!

I am a strict mum, yet still give him that liberty he has earn.. not fully but controlled freedom, until he deserves it 100%. I give him liberty to choose if he wants to put on his shoes or sandals before we go out. or if he prefers to eat noodle and not rice. Simple decision making that build his self-esteem in future....

Montessori did say that "Adult's intervention cause retardness in a little child's personal development, in creating a man."

When adults keep saying NO, DONT and STOP to the kid, the poor child will be too scared even to try new things, what more to make own decision. In future, they will be too rigid for change, scared to try new things!

Yawn! tired to elaborate.. just feeling a lil upset with remarks I got previously.
Will update more on my Montessori Child plan.. haha


Here's some pictures of the Montessori didactic materials (taken during my workshop).
Practical Life Exercise - Living Skill for every child
The young child is attracted to activities that give independence and control over their own life. In the Montessori classroom children practice such activities as pouring, hand washing and polishing. The purpose of these activities is to develop concentration and attention to detail, finishing each task and putting away all materials before going on to another activity. The child may repeat each activity as often as they like, therefore perfecting coordination and extending concentration.

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Sensorial - to refine a child's 5 senses individualy
The child explores dimension, shape, color, texture, weight, aroma, taste, pitch, and their relationships through a series of exercises called the sensorial materials. These materials isolate various qualities so that the child can experience each one individually. The materials are largely self-correcting so the child can accomplish the exercises alone. Moreover, they are structured, building on what has been previously learned. A sense of order is found in these materials and the child acquires the joy of learning that their environment also has order.

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Language - Phonics
The child is exposed to an endless variety of names as well as appropriate uses. Each of the separate skills involved in the mastery of reading and writing is pursued by the child at their own pace. Montessori introduces grammar, geography, geology, biology, art and music to children. At this stage children joyfully absorb many difficult concepts when they meet them in concrete forms.

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Mathematics - to make a child understand its concept
The Montessori mathematical materials isolate each concept and introduce it to the child in a concrete form using manipulative equipment. Children first learn to associate each numerical symbol with the proper quantity. The child progresses one step at a time to a more abstract understanding of the concepts of arithmetic.

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Culture (Geography/history/science) - a holistic approach about our world from zoology,botany, timeline etc
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Dragonmummy said...

I'm at your side!! I took up the course for the sake of my little one..so to be a better mother. (but in real life I still need to practise alot)
Recently spoke to someone that she mentioned not many chinese keen on montessori, those who take the course are actually having this $$$ in mind..to open own kindy in future..that has never cross my mind. :P (unambitious!!)
Hey..i suggest you read the book "parenting pre-schooler" by Ruth Liew, unfortunately I can't find her book "parenting toddler" in the bookshop. Only when I read her book I realize she's also montessori trained.

Joan D'Arcy said...

Thanks for sharing, dear! I will look for the book you mentioned. I remembered, when we took the montessori workshop course last dec, one of our workshopmate, who took this course for business purpose, made a remark, saying that all parents should actually sit for that 10-days course, to understand a child ~ from a child point of view. Too many of us, adults has taken the little people for granted, thinking that those lil darlings are mini-adults... Well, Elaine, we have a BIG job to do! ;) Thanks for dropping by.

hazel said...

My hats off to you mommies for taking up this course. In melbourne, it's a norm to teach montessori in kindies. I would love to put C SR to a nearby montessori school (only 5 mins walk) but the waiting list is long...... I think i'm on a 2 yr waiting list!:(
I think you are doing an exceptional job! Keep me updated, who knows, I might actually take it up as well! *wink wink*

joandarcy said...

Hi Hazel,
After a long time, thanks for visiting my blog..again.. hehehe!!! how's life over at Melb? So sorry that you couldnt bring C Sr along.. but no worries, I would visit him one of these days, before he joins you both in April. Its good to know that you intend to put him into a Montessori School. Wish I could sent lil C to a full-on Monty Kindy here in KK.. sad to say, its no way to be found!! boo hoo.. psst! Why not take up the class and we start a monty kindy?? *wink*wink*

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