17 July 2013

more order... and concentration

While Little Sister was organizing and ordering the Jesus t'ings, her brother was engaged in somewhat similar work. He had found a new card game in our games drawer, featuring characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He spent a lot of time, certainly more than an hour, working with the cards. Much of the work seemed to involve sorting them into different categories.

When he first found the game, he asked me a couple of questions about it, but as I had never even taken it out of its cellophane wrapper I was unable to help him very much. I encouraged him to open it and have a look, and we had a super-brief glance at the instructions together. At one point during the evening I heard his mother reading some of the instruction leaflet to him, and a while later I heard him ask her questions about a few characters, whether they were good guys or bad guys. Mostly, though, he worked with the cards alone. 

For a brief moment the next day I felt bad that I had spent so little time with him and so much time with Little Sister. But then I reasoned that with a little sister, it's probably rare that Big Brother gets to work alone and uninterrupted. One of the principles of Montessori education is the importance of non-interrupted work times, and the surprising finding that children can work alone and stay focussed for a long time (3-4 hours!). I hope that Big Brother experiences our house as an oasis, a place where he knows he is welcome and where he can get attention when he wants it, but also a place where he can work alone in quiet and calm.

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