In September last year, #1 started at reception year and she was five. One of the challenges was to teach her reading. She knew her alphabets and was eager to learn but quite rapidly we realised that she was struggling with the concept of blending. It was just like putting some toothed wheels together and not knowing how and where to start the mechanic. #1 suffers from ASD, she is high functional which means that her struggles are more subtle but they are here and we try to help her as much as we can each time we have one in front of us.
Since baby, I used to work with her with the Montessori pedagogy but just by doing some Montessori inspired activities. I never drown myself into it properly. I just liked the fact to involve a young child in our day to day life and let her be. At two, she was folding the clothes with me, cooking with me and able to snack by herself. All these little engaging things we made together.
So when I realised this little blending issue –it is not really an issue– the penny dropped ! Montessori was the key for her as everything is more tangible. Each aspect of the curriculum is dealt with “physical” real items to help with abstract concepts.
And in November, we realised that our toddler might be in the autism spectrum too, we did not want to stay passive and wait for the referral and all what it means to help our daughter.
So everything started to be obvious really. We had to change our life and really bring Montessori at home.
The first thing we have done was to revamp the playroom and make it more engaging with only Montessori inspired toys and Montessori materials. None of us is a Montessori teacher or trained to Montessori pedagogy so first to do, was to get informed. I tried to read a lot and find some support and suggestions from Montessori retailers to help us in our new journey, because I just did not know where to start.
I am grateful to have encountered Barry who is the owner of Montessori Supplies UK. He is definitely the one who helped us start with his advices, expertise and helped us start by directing us to some materials to start with.
Montessori Supplies stock a wide range of affordable materials under their own brand which are very well suited for nursery, school and home use. They have been selling these to customers in the UK and Europe since 2009 and they are very popular with customers wishing to purchase a large range of items on a budget.
What I loved from Montessori supplies and first attracted me are their Saver sets that give even greater value for home schoolers plus their loyalty points program that guarantee you save in the future too. They are the only one in UK that provide a loyalty scheme, at least the only one I found.
So when I was looking for some help, Barry from Montessori Supplies -with the help of his wife a certified Montessori teacher – advised me to read and to start with few items and see how it goes. He explained me the importance of how your present the materials to a child and the three time lessons and I looked at a superb easy to understand book that he stock in his shop : “Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years”.
People are more and more looking at alternative pedagogies and I should say Montessori is one of those that are quite famous and “in vogue” for the moment. Personally, we have turned to this because we deeply believed that it is going to help our daughters reach their full potentiel and not to wait to integrate NHS cares. We are the own actors of our lives and time should never be wasted. A child mind is amazing, ASD or not, and is easily mangeable : “The Absorbent Mind”.
And you, what do you think about alternative pedagogies?