Let me preface with this: I really know next-to-nothing about Montessori methods. BUT I like the idea behind it. And I’m in the process of being certified as a Catechist in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which is based on Montessori. That’s all I got.
Yesterday I thought I’d attempt to do a little teaching on cleaning skills. Concept is simple: break it down into the fewest words that get the process across and show them how to do it. Then live and let live.
Let me just say, I’ve never, ever, ever had any sort of domestic desire to wash baseboards. But someone I was talking with recently must have mentioned it as a possibility for children to do, so that idea started walking through my head. Spencer, who has school right after lunch with me, was the first to be assaulted with my plan. He is the first-born, after all.
It went well enough. I left him to continue and about three seconds later he was in the kitchen with the bowl and cloth telling me he was done. Like, done all that baseboard done or done with washing done? Cause you know they both mean entirely different things but my six year old doesn’t (yet). Done with washing. But, could he maybe wash the windows?
So. El-window washer extraordinaire is spent his time (about an hour) washing windows and loving it. He may be using more than the two sprays I instructed him in, and perhaps more paper towel than anyone would like, but he’s learning and I’ll keep reminding him about the reduce part of our lifestyle if he continues (let’s hope). He even wanted to spend his quiet time (aka play time in bedroom) cleaning the windows. He wondered aloud to me if he might grow up to be a window washer cause he was enjoying it so much. Let me just refresh, his list of things he wanted to be on his birthday included (and I quote): “Be a scientist or a race car driver or a construction worker. Or something else.” Clearly he has found his something else.
And then it was Cassia’s turn with my experiment. She was all over the idea of washing baseboards and sooooo super keen to do it herself. Now, she sucked horribly at it, but then again she’s never really tried to wash anything before, just soak up spills. BUT, about ten minutes into this activity, she announced that maybe she’d just like to wash the floor instead. Erm….yes. I’m going to go all cool-mom so you don’t see how super excited I am that you might wash my floor. Have I mentioned that we don’t wash floors here? Like, it might happen once a year. And really, when Fr. Darryl comes to visit with Chloe we all cheer cause that dog is my mop (a very cute mop) (and just to clarify, I do sweep. Mostly.)(sorry Jacqui – you’re a super friend).
But, Felicity? Well. She could make a mess with that water much faster than Cassia could wipe up, despite being relegated several times to the living room area. So we had to stop Cassia’s hard work before she would have liked, but she happily scrubbed that floor before her sister messed that up for her.
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