Monday, May 17, 2010

Montessori Mondays: Literally Cutting the Grass

Okay, I am the first to admit that I am a very “loose” Montessori Mom.  I have yet to discipline myself to follow the method to the “T” and, to be honest, even though I am making steps to adhere to it more closely, I think I will always blend it with an eclectic set of theories and methods I am attracted to.  That being said, I am all about practical work.  And, today, I mean “practical” in the Montessori sense, the yard work sense and the SPD Lens Sporting Mom sense.  Yes, the other day, I had kids literally cutting the grass as a part of Jammies School!

Now, from a Montessori perspective, “cutting work” is an activity for ages 2.5 and up (perfect!), aims to improve eye-had coordination, concentration, independence and preparation for writing (check!), and incorporates control of error when children cannot open and close scissors, cannot cut as intended or drop the scissors (no problems with any of this, although Nina reverted to a two-hand hold to cut the grass at times!)

From a Mommy-on-a-Mission perspective, literal grass cutting is an activity which tidies the yard where Daddy’s lawn mowing efforts could not reach (all part of my focus on home improvement and organization); provides fun in the sun for kids who were jumping for joy about being allowed to use scissors again after a recent "scissor fast" necessitated when I found Nina had been playing Auntie Jenn the Hairdresser again; and allows me to feel like I am still advancing the kids’ skills and learning even when good weather tempts us to play hookie from regular activities.

Finally, with my SPD Lenses on (and here I mean my new-found perspective as a mom of an SPD child who prefers to provide sensory diet activities as a part of day-to-day life activities rather than now-it’s time-for-a-sensory-break ones), the work provides ample proprioceptive, motor planning and tactile input.  Indeed, all that bending, crawling, kneeling and whatnot to get the best angles on the tall grasses around the garden edges works the muscles and joints.  Using scissors requires motor planning.  And, crawling over lawn and rocks while handling different textures of grass (and weeds!) – not to mention getting sprayed by “water” when cutting into some of the plants, which surprised and delighted Luke – provides tactile stimulation

So, with all this in mind, I cannot recommend literal cutting of the grass with young children enough.  Luke and Nina were entertained by this "work" for a good long while; skills were enhanced; needs were met and, we even worked on the habit of everyone helping around the home.  Score!

To see other folk's Montessori-inspired works this week (most far more traditional than mine!), please visit the links at One Hook Wonder.  Plus, I invite you to check out my prior post for links to Hartley's Life with 3 Boys, a rich SPD-related blog that I am honored to guest post at today!


The Sunshine Crew said...

Very nice post. We also love being outside doing work.
Thank you for sharing.
:) Colleen

Discovering Montessori said...

Fantastic idea!! Your kids look like their having so much fun. I will be doing this activity. Thanks so much for sharing.

Lisa said...

Great idea. I'll be trying this with my son, who also has SPD.

Nicole said...

"scissor fast" LOL

What a fantastic idea. Looks like the kids had a great time! Thanks for linking to Montessori Monday. :)

jojoebi said...

great post! if only we had some grass!
I will be linking. If you don't want to be featured please let me know.
The Montessori Goldmine


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