Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Early years education

I am still pondering the shape I would like Little Cherub's early learning years to take. (What fun to have so long to ponder ... I can change my mind lots of times ... just think of all those plans I can make and discard.)

I have been reading Montessori books, and trying to work out what would work for me and what would not. I think taking some Montessori ideas would be good, but that diving right into Montessori is not a viable option for practical reasons - investing in "proper" Montessori materials for one child would be too expensive, physically it simply isn't possible to provide a Montessori environment (not enough space, too much clutter), and I think Montessori ideally needs a small group, or at least a couple of siblings. There are aspects of Montessori I think would suit us, though - practical life activities, some of the easier sensorial materials, the whole-to-parts approach to geography and history, and possibly the bead materials for maths.

Over the past few days I have been reading a lengthy thread about Waldorf-inspired education on the 4 Real boards. This has brought into focus the overall shape I would like our days to take - kind of Waldorf-ish in following daily and seasonal rhythms, and with a greater emphasis on art and crafts than I had with the older two. Waldorf in its entirety does not appeal to me - all that anthroposophy is a turn off, and while I like fairy tales it has too much in the way of fairies and gnomes for my taste - but the rhythm and art aspects do.

Next stop in my ponderings is Charlotte Mason. I want to re-read her ideas on early education in the light of the reading I have done on Montessori and Waldorf.

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