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Teaching practical skills

on February 9, 2011

I am a product of the Montessori curriculum (this doesn’t mean that I’m all for it). Although there are so many other schools and programs out there, I must say that it is extremely important that kids are taught practical skills. I had a classmate in fourth grade who didn’t know how to tie his shoelaces. Sure there are velcro straps and snap buttons, but tying shoelaces is a good activity to develop fine motor skills.

Now the little one still doesn’t know how to tie laces — I’m sure he will in time. Meanwhile, he dresses himself with minimum help (buttons and zippers are tricky for toddlers) and we let him do a few chores like fixing the bed (after mild pillow fight) and sorting laundry (good activity on colors). Since he no longer has a nanny/yaya he has learned to put away toys after playing. Sometimes when the room is such a mess, I clean up because it is so much faster. But when I’m exhausted, I let him tidy up at his own leisurely pace. (even if it takes forever)

So since he is not getting any formal schooling, we teach him practical lessons at home instead:

1. Undressing/Dressing: shirts, jackets and buttons are tricky.
2. Brushing his teeth: with supervision of course. (sometimes I do it again just to be sure)
3. Going to the toilet and washing hands: he’s a bit obsessed with using hand sanitizer
4. Eating snacks and meals on his own: including opening small packages
5. Putting toys and books in designated containers
6. Making up the bed in the morning
7. Help in sorting the laundry
8. Bringing small things: absolutely no breakables

For now we don’t find the need to enroll him in a school just yet. I’m pretty happy with how he’s getting to be an independent little guy one step at a time.


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