Montessori may be different from the way that you learned, and grasping its benefits can be difficult. Simply put, Montessori allows your child to learn by exploring their environment and mastering their education in a way that works for them. Starting your child in a Montessori kindergarten is likely to expand their learning in ways you’d never expect.
For example, old-fashioned modeling clay transforms into a critical and essential part of a child’s education in a Montessori kindergarten class. If you are interested in Montessori schools and you want your child to start young, learn how clay benefits your child’s early kindergarten years. Doing so will help you to understand Montessori as a whole.
The Benefits of Clay in a Montessori Setting
Hands-on work is one of the central tenants of a Montessori classroom, and working with clay gives kindergarten student the chance to learn in many creative ways, as the tactile sensation of the mud on their hands will make it easy for them to craft a variety of shapes and items.
In this way, your child can better understand concepts in geometry, such as squares and triangles. Your child will have fun and learn through games and lessons like:
- Crafting letters of the alphabet and saying them out loud
- Creating fun and abstract shapes for pure creativity
- Designing their favorite pet or creating an imaginary one
- Molding different shapes and stacking them together
- Making their house and creating a whole town with classmates
- Experimenting with different play methods, such as using their action figures and toys in their dried clay homes
Just as importantly, working with clay lets the teacher figure out what learning method works best for your child. For example, some children work best as visual and hands-on learners, and others are better with instructions.
Once the teacher fully understands your child’s learning method, they will adjust their Montessori lessons to best suit your child’s needs. In this way, your child can start their education properly in kindergarten and succeed in later, and more difficult, grades.
The Methods Teachers Use to Direct a Child
Teachers have a unique role in the Montessori classroom. Instead of directly telling the child what to do, they allow the child to explore their education in ways that benefit the child’s needs. However, the teacher will still need to subtly direct students in a way that improves their learning.
The idea behind this method is for the teacher to be like an oar steering a boat and to promote a child’s education as subtly as possible, including techniques like:
- Asking the child what they want to create
- Encouraging them to craft it with clay
- Assisting if they ask for it
- Pairing up children who get along so that they can play together
- Presenting the child’s artwork and let them discuss it with the class
Montessori kindergarten classrooms use these methods and teach parents like you how to use them at home. For example, you can sit down with your kindergarten student and play with them using clay. As they craft different items, ask them about each piece and create your own to share with them. In this way, you are subtly directing them to learn while letting them do it on their terms.
As you can see, clay is one of the best tools you can use in a Montessori kindergarten. Using clay provides students with the chance to increase their finger dexterity while learning more about their environment at the same time. Please contact Miniapple International Montessori Schools to learn more about these teaching methods and how they benefit your child.