On October 12, 2017 the R.T.I Montessori Training Course under the auspices of Indian Montessori Foundation (IMF) held the Thursday Talk at Ubuntu Montessori, Tardeo, Mumbai.
The Speakers Ms. Sejal Shah* and Ms. Ritu Shah** guided the audience on “How to foster the Montessori path of learning for your toddler at home.”
The talk was aimed at teachers, parents, students and anyone interested in Child Development. The highlights of the talk were –
- Insights into Montessori education and the importance of providing similar environment at home.
- They elaborated on two important aspects:
- Preparing the adult – The Importance of how adults can do observations, collaboration and repetition with the child
- Preparing the environment – They showed videos and pictures to impress how easy it is to provide a basic child friendly environment at home which allows child to explore on his own and become independent.
The biggest take away of this talk was that the audience realized the importance of “Following the Child” and how the child will provide cues of his interests and needs. The other aspect that the audience were grateful to know was the Points to be taken into consideration while Preparing the Environment. Those points being-
- Have an environment that allows for independence.
- An environment that inculcates a joy for learning.
- An environment which provides freedom of movement within limits.
- An environment that makes the child responsible.
* Ms. Sejal Shah is the Head of the Ubuntu Montessori School and is involved with curriculum planning, parent-relations and provides overall leadership to the school. Sejal holds an AMI diploma at the 3-6 level from RTI ( Sir Ratan Tata Institute )
** Ms. Ritu Shah is a Directress in the Toddler Environment at Da Vinci Montessori. She has worked with children in the 0-3 years age group for 7 years and helped set up toddler communities.
She is an AMI diploma holder in the 3-6 years age group and has completed a correspondence course in Principles and Practices of The Montessori Infant Education with the Indian Institute of Montessori Studies.
Being a parent, grand parent, a sibling or an educator, each one of us at some point or the other have had to read to a child and most of us have gladly done so without realising that we have not taken the opportunity to read ‘with’ the child.
Most of us would say – “How does it matter to a child as long as he/she gets his/her story?” In reality this is what exactly matters! How or Why does it matter? Is something that was brought out beautifully and distinctly by Ms. Pavithra Rajagopalan* at the Thursday Talk held at Da Vinci Montessori on 14 March 2017
The audience was taken on a wonderful journey of understanding about how reading is essential and how one can make this an enticing and intriguing experience for the child.
The sessions highlighted that
- The child however young should be read to.
- An infant should be read books with contrasting and large illustrations.
- The toddlers and children from 3 to 6 years should be able to access books in the environment so they can make their choices.
- It is important that the adult reading the book is equally enthusiastic while reading every time.
- Children may choose the same book to be read daily. In such a situation the adult should still read the book to the child with the same enthusiasm as the first time.
- Conversations during reading should be encouraged as that allows the child to express and ponder.
- The books should have good illustrations.
- While buying a book one must buy books that are based on reality. Fantasy books should be avoided for children below 6 years.
- Bilingual and books in other languages should also form a part of the child’s library section.
- Reading should be a daily activity in order to create a conducive environment.
- It is never too late to start reading to your child.
By the end, the talk was highly interactive and most of the queries were addressed. The biggest takeaway of the talk was the understanding that reading is not a one sided activity but a collaboration where every member of the family must contribute.
To put the essence of this talk in a sentence it is best to say that “Children fall in love with books because of the memories created when they snuggle up and read with someone they love.” – Rising Readers.
We hold Thursday talks every month and they are always very educative. If you want one held at your school or want to attend one of our Thursday Talks, write to us at [email protected] and we will take it further from there.
*Pavitra Rajagopalan has worked with children for the last 15 years in formal, non-formal and informal settings in India, the US and New Zealand. Pavithra is currently a Trainer in Training at the Ratan Tata Institute in Mumbai.