Even experienced parents sometimes forget the basics.
Last Thursday I had a meeting with E’s Montessori teachers. “It’s really hard to get her to do anything,” I griped. “I find myself threatening loss of screen time, but I know that’s not the Montessori approach.”
The teacher nodded sagely and suggested a visual schedule so that E could choose the order of activities and keep track of them herself. You know, kind of like the magnet boards I made the other kids.
You might have heard me slap my head and groan. Of course. This is, like, parenting 101. How did I forget?
So this morning I made her some schedule cards based on the assignments her teachers suggested for the week. I don’t have an extra magnet board, so I put elastics through a hole in the top of each card and wrapped them, luggage-tag-style, around the bannister railing on the main floor.
Did it work?
Sort of. She did the first three things eagerly enough, even snack prep. I found that amazing, given that she’s always been able to make her own snack, but almost never did it before the schedule board told her to. It’s almost like magic!
She very happily brushed glue along the lines of cursive letters and then sprinkled them with sand, making her own sandpaper letters. She dove into the stencilling work I’d prepared for her, holding her pencil and the stencil carefully. And she made her own strawberries and toast with cream cheese for snack, all by herself.
To think, she could have been doing far more these past five weeks if only I’d remembered the power of this kind of list. D’oh. At least I finally got my act together.