Daily Archives: September 24, 2012

Montessori moments.

The way Dr. Montessori approaches geometry and spacial awareness with children fascinates me.

The basic tower whether you have the pink one or the natural one like ours, is nowhere near as simple as I had thought it would be.

The reason I decided to go down the Montessori route was because Heleyna showed such a strong kinesthetic learning style. Since the first lot of items have arrived however, it has become clear that it isn’t just Heleyna who needs to learn with some hands on work. All three of the younger ones are using the equipment and Ronan has found it useful when working through Life of Fred Honey.

There are a number of exercises with the Pink Tower and eventually I want to get the brown stair for the extensions.  The adult should begin with presenting the item to the child and demonstrating a way to use it. I have done this by making the exercises as pink squares on paper (pink squares from Helpful Garden). I found copying the exercises quite difficult at times (FMS causes vis/spacial problems anyway).

Heleyna is slowly learning to see the patterns and repeat them with the blocks. In this she is building her visual spacial awareness and learning some subtle things about size, before we start measuring the cubes.

She also built the tower with the hollow parts outward and blew up and down listening to the change in sound from small to large cubes. She also loves the smell of the wood, so this is a truly multisensory piece of equipment.

That leaves me with another question; how much Montessori stuff should I be making and how much do I need to buy?

You see, the equipment really does have a multi-sensory element to them, and back in the day I worked with children with shortened life expectancy and with children with autism, the place of multisensory objects was very important.

If I make everything out of paper, or even play-doh, what will  the children lose out on?

I think the balance is in buying some stuff, making some stuff and using other stuff to be similar. It’s a balance between cost in money, cost in time (and my meagre energy levels) and cost in educational experience for the children.

I made the hexagon pieces for Heleyna. Basically a large hexagon and then the triangle pieces that make the hexagon.

The real thing is demonstrated HERE.
With the paper/card version Heleyna was able to make the shapes and understood the words triangle, equilateral triangle or as we called it “EEEK a lateral triangle!” It’s a memory aid, honest.

She made the rhombus and trapezium and used the correct words.

Then she took the attribute blocks we usually use for her Critical Thinking work and used the equilateral triangles there to make a hexagon and to compare sizes of triangle.

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Life and finding real answers; death and self service.

As the next 40 Days for Life approaches I’ve been thinking about how the culture of Life can change so many things. The record of 40 Days for Life is really impressive. Prayer, fasting, counselling and care have saved many babies from the industry and saved their parents the follow on horror that comes for so many after abortion. In America 24 abortion mills have closed. 40 Days has produced some astonishing conversions along the way. Abby Johnson is perhaps one of the most well known but she is one of many abortion workers who have turned away and are now shining a light on the utter vileness of what goes on in the industry. I think Dr. Bernard Nathanson must be praying very hard for us all still here.

All that is wonderful, but I think more fruit will come from this stance on Life. Once we start to show our horrible culture the importance of life, of every human life, no matter how small or how broken, a whole lot of things will change and they will change in science and medicine.

Once we accept that every human being is a person with inherent rights and dignity we will stop looking at ways to kill off those too young and those too sick and those too old, and we’ll find ways to care for, heal and save lives.

Money will go into funding real research to find answers for those who are suffering so much. Embryonic stem cell research will be shelved and the much more productive and promising research with umbilical and adult stem cells will reap the benefit making therapies happen much sooner.

Instead of pulling back from research into Alzheimer’s, drug companies will put more effort into finding ways to help those patients because each life is precious.

No one will be telling those of us with ME that Ampligen or Rituxin is too expensive, because all the money we spend on killing people will be there to give people life.

There will be no more letters from insurance companies telling people in Oregon that their treatment wont be paid for, but if they take the assisted suicide route that will be. It will not happen because the “obligation to die” dressed up as “right” to die rhetoric will be seen for what it is.

Instead of looking for new screening techniques to dx Downs Syndrome and get as many of those children killed off as possible (one spokesperson apparently talked about eradicating Downs, not through treatment but by killing the babies), there will be research into how to best treat and care for people with Downs. No more stories of parents being told their child must wait for heart surgery because the child should never have been born.

Once we stop deciding that some people aren’t people and other people aren’t worthy people, we’ll all be better people.