What is My Works Montessori???
We get that question a lot. 🙂
My Works Montessori is a web site created for parents by fully certified AMS (American Montessori Society) preschool teachers and parents. Using a video format we show parents ways to inspire young children and spend time together exploring all the amazing things in our world.
Young children are naturally curious and we have created play-based lessons to encourage this curiosity.
We include lessons such as:
Science: The planets in our solar system
Language: Sound lesson bingo
Math: Estimation jar
Art: Projects to encourage creativity
What My Works is not:
My Works lessons are NOT designed to be at-home drills or feel like homework for your child. These lessons should be fun and children should enjoy this time spent together. If they seem bored with one activity, move on to something else!
What kind of parent are you?
The recent hot debate over the book: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua has brought to our attention different styles of parenting and created an important conversation about what type of parents we want to be.
We walk a fine line as parents. We want to support our kids and appreciate them for who they are. Yet we also feel a responsibility to encourage children to reach their full potential. Not to mention the fact that each child is different and what works with one child may not work for another.
Are we too tough on our kids or do we expect too little? Sometimes it depends on the day and how tired we are!
There are many helpful books for parents such as “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Jim Fay and Foster Cline. The authors describe different types of parenting styles such as helicopter parents that rush in and “rescue” their kids from life’s struggles and drill sergeant parents who control their child’s every move and make all decisions for them.
Fay and Cline explain that while either of these styles of parenting may work with younger children, it will not serve them well once they become teenagers and the backlash can begin. Allowing children to make mistakes and learn from them is one of the best tools a child can develop as they grow. Independence is ultimately the key.
Research/ Studies on Parenting:
One consistent finding in parenting research is simple. Spending time with our kids whenever we can. When they are young of course, but just as importantly when they are teenagers.
Talking with them. Laughing together. Dreaming/ thinking about the future.
Parenting is about choices. There are many times we are not able to spend time with our children because of work etc. If we are honest with ourselves there are situations when you do have time, think about the choices you make:
- Reading a story to your young child. VS Spending time on Facebook, on the phone or surfing the web.
- Actively learning about the planets in our solar system or different types of frogs. VS Children passively sitting alone using electronics.
- Taking your 15 year old to a movie on a Friday night. VS Going out with the neighbors.
By slowing down and taking those moments – it can make all the difference.
Always encouraging and motivating your child to be curious and to try new experiences and challenges.
Heading to college…
It has been a time for reflection at our house, as our oldest (and only daughter) will be graduating from high school in four short months. After years of intense hard work and determination she has been accepted to a college that is perfect for her. One of her dreams has come true and she is so excited for the future that she actually glows.
Our daughter’s success was 100% her effort and ultimately the decision to work hard had to be hers alone.
We did our best to be in the background if needed for support and encouragement. When she was little we read books to her every night. As she grew we would get excited about whatever excited her. Softball at age 5 , Harry Potter at 7, theatre, soccer and most recently Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks 🙂 – we were “following the child” before I even knew about Maria Montessori.
Always trying to stimulate her curiosity and encourage her to be fearless in trying new things.
Of course she stumbled a few times over the last 18 years – but always gets back up swinging… perseverance is truly a beautiful quality. Making mistakes and learning from them.
As a teenager, her Dad and I casually attempt to strike up conversations in the kitchen as to how things are going and keep in close contact. (Trust us – NOT always easy!!!) We also try to go into our kid’s rooms in the evening to say goodnight. This can be especially hard to do when you are tired but sometimes that quiet part of the day is the only time you discover an issue that you may be able to provide some guidance on. Not solving problems for them – but being there just to listen. Of course you can offer suggestions but ultimately they must make decisions on their own.
At times as parents we have been too strict perhaps, and other times too lenient – making lots of mistakes. Walking that “fine line” as best we could. It goes by so fast.
We have two boys as well so lots more parenting mistakes to look forward to in the coming years!
Taking the time – when you can.
My Works is one way to find fun activities for you to be present with your child in their earliest years, exploring the world together.
Getting into early habits of talking with your young children, laughing together and dreaming about the future.
It will be here before you know it.
We (at My Works) will be here if you need any inspiration/ ideas in the meantime.