Implementing Multi-age and Individual Learning in your Home – Part I

By Yvonne

Warm greeting to everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! It is a tradition in our family to count our blessings during Thanksgiving. I am especially thankful that I have two precious daughters that God has given me to take care of.

When they were born, our family and friend’s said they looked like their father. As they continue to grow, people are saying E. looks like a mini me and H. looks like my husband. In fact the grandparents sometimes have difficult time telling them a part by their voice, as they sounded almost identical. But did I give birth to a set of identical twins? The answer is no and even identical twins are individually made with their own set of distinctions and uniqueness. Every child is being shaped since the beginning of being conceived. E. is nearly four years old and H. is a year and half now. They are similar, but yet very different individuals. The question is how can we help them to be uniquely their own individuals and yet teach them to love each other as siblings from the same family? I made an acronym called OIGE. In the first half of my sharing, I will like to invite you to do try “O” and “I” for about two weeks. After two weeks I will have another post to share what “G” and “E” stand for.

Observe the needs of your child individually

  • As a Montessori teacher, it is part of our training to learn how to observe.  Do you do people watching when you are at a café? When I do these exercises I imaging myself as a private detective trying to find clues through my observation skills. Could you give it a try and maybe you will find out a new skill within you. What does it mean to observe? Here are some of activities I engage in when I do my observation.
    • Watch
      • It is very hard to slow down and quite ourselves down to watch as our culture does not allow us to do that. But when we do it can be very rewarding. For today how about setting aside five minutes of your time, quite down, sit down on the side beside your child and see how your child leads you in that five minutes. Make sure in these precious five minutes that you do not have your cell phone, computer or anything that can take your attention away. Then as you get use to the idea of observation, you may slowly increase the time as your own family time allows you.
    • Listen
      • As you watch your precious one interact with you or with other siblings take the time to just listen. It is a special skill to just listen and try to understand your child.
    • Notice
      • As you watch and listen, your child will lead you to another stage of excitement which will make you notice something that you may not have noticed before. But or after watching and listening it confirms what you have in your mind.
    • Make Note
      • Now after you watch, listen and notice; you can write in a notebook or put it on your cell phone or computer what you have observed each time. When you write it down, it helps you to process what is on your mind. It could be as simple as giving thanks to have the time to observe your child or details about your concerns about your child.

Individual Attention

  • How can we have an interlocking relationship with our children? Think back, when you were dating your significant others or spending time with your best friend, how much time did you spend together? Maybe you were like me wanting to be with each other as much your time allows you. It is because of spending quality time together, you are able to know one another, understand one another. Spending quality time with each child it is just as important as your marry relationship. You want to build that special parents and child relationship since they are place in your family. You want to also build a trust between the child and you. Your child treasures those special times/moments you have with them.
  • Suggestions for Activities to do with your individual child (please keep in mind of their daily routines and age abilities)
  1. Lunch date with just mother or father.
  2. Going to parent and child class together such as creative movement class, a pottery or a clay painting class for children.
  3. Going to concert together.
  4. Have a nature walk.
  5. Going to library.
  6. Spend time to do homework together if need it depends on the child’s age.
  7. Watch a sport’s game together.
  8. Do volunteer work around your community.
  9. Special activity planned for individual child with individual attention when other children are not around. Such as making a craft project, learning about the planets.
  10. Have a special project that is over a period of time together such as planting the flowers in the garden and see it grow or have a recycle challenge.

I am excited to hear what you have discover in the next two weeks after you have a chance to try to do some observation and learn the special gift that each child has in your family. Are you excited? I am, I am learning everyday to find out what skills my children have within them so I can help to foster that inner gift and help them to achieve what they have never discover. Happy sharing everyone!

 

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1 Comment

Filed under 18-24 Months, 2 years +, Relationships, Yvonne

One response to “Implementing Multi-age and Individual Learning in your Home – Part I

  1. Rhea

    Terrific article 🙂 Just a question for you as I have been trying a few of those activities on your list… My two children are 17 months apart and very close. I have attempted individual “dates” with each but each child resists leaving the house without the other. Also when we are in the house and I am trying to give individualized attention to just one child (via a craft activity, reading a story, having “conversations”) the other becomes insistent on being involved as well. What are your thoughts on whether to insist vs. respecting their wishes?

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