Thursday, February 16, 2012

Montessori, Reggio or Tot School Printables?

It all started a couple months ago when we were remodeling the house. We decided to put a playroom for the kids. I typed in cool playrooms in the Google search key and a bunch of images showed up. One that stood the most from the rest of them was from a blog called Play At Home Mom 3. She had a bunch of really cool stuff and next thing I am reading through it and come to find out it was all Reggio Inspired. At that time I had no idea what “reggio” was. I spent days reading as much as I could about it and was so eager and ready to make our playroom reggio inspired.
Now I have a B. A in Hospitality Management which deals mostly with restaurants and food service. I took one psychology class and no education course related subjects. I didn’t have any idea as to how to start the “teaching environment.” I would refer back to Play At Home Mom to check out how her room was set up. Then I decided to like her page on Facebook and follow her blog.

As I was looking and reading I came across another approach, the Montessori way. I found a website called Living Montessori Now and a couple of other ones. Then I started getting confused. I like the Reggio and Montessori approach. How should I set the room? The battle of Reggio vs. Montessori began. I went on eBay and bought a book on both approaches. I read both books and couldn’t make up my mind. I began searching more online.

Then I wondered if there was a Montessori Spanish or bilingual educator out there. I found a blog but it was not what I expected.  That’s when 1+1+1=1 and Homeschool Creations came across my world. I was really impressed to see the bloggers daughter who is younger then my son trace, cut and do all these activities. It seemed like a class oriented type of setting. Some is Montessori Inspired and that is what I was looking for.  I started searching for Bilingual packs and there were some in Spanish but it was the basics. Not what I was looking for.

I decided to make my own blog and called it Bilingual Creations. As I make them for my son I post them. I was getting really excited and thought maybe my son is ready to cut, trace and learn more so then just play with paint…right? I made him the lap book and printed out the bilingual activities. He seem interested for the first 3 minutes and then said he wanted to play with the Moon Sand or Oatmeal.

Maybe he is not ready for school type setting. Will try again and so we did. The following day he cuts the squares and colors the hearts and follows directions. I was really happy and thought hooray he is ready for a school type curriculum. I am going to start making more printables. I went to the library and checkout books about homeschooling and how to create curriculums. 

I started creating some more printables and for the first week he was really into it. He kept asking for the lapbook. He would trace and color. Then it slowly started getting boring. He was losing interest. They say kids feed off from their parents. I said to myself “why am I rushing him to learn all this stuff. He is only two? Am I competing against all the mothers out there? What is the big hype of two year olds knowing how to trace a line anyways? ”

I know its educational and a way to make learning fun. Is it impressive to see two year olds recite abc’s, count from 1 to 10 and so on…

There I was again searching online and found a really cool blog called teaching two and three year olds. Its reggio inspired and the children look like they are having fun!  So now I am in love with that blog. We did the marbleized heart activity and he had fun. We colored pasta and he had fun. He is in the process of getting confortable painting without using a brush. It was all fun, fun, fun!

I love Reggio, Montessori and Lap book printables. My son doesn’t care for tracing, but give him a paint brush and he will start creating beautiful works of art. He enjoys pounding on the play dough and pouring sand or oatmeat in containers.

How is our room set up? It has a little it of everything. Some are ideas taking from Play At Home Mom, Living Montessori Now and 1+1+1=1. Yes we still have the lap book in case he asks for it and I continue to make Bilingual Creations.

There are probably a lot of moms out there that want the best for their children. Thanks to the vast amount of information online, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed.  I visit all three blogs and in the end its about spending quality time with my children.

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