Saturday, January 22, 2011

Repeating Work

I confess. I am not a trained Montessori infant / toddler directress. I am trained in Primary. So please take the last and the forth coming posts as simply my curiosity about the whys and ways of a toddler and my observations - post mental scrutiny.

Prior to spending the day with Julia recently, her mother told me with a wonderful smile that Julia was now frequently removing her clothing and then, later, attempting to put them back on. It was after breakfast, and we were upstairs so that I could quickly check my email (I am still the editor of Rochester Woman Magazine and need to stay in touch with my writers - Julia's parents found no issue with this as they too use the computer in their home with Julia present), when it began. Julia had all of her clothes off in a flash and then started putting them back on again. This cycle of activity continued for a good while. I silently watched and then asked myself, "Is this her work and if so is she simply repeating her work?" Each time she pulled on a sock she was so specific about making sure the fit around her toes was perfect. Here was: attention to detail, a period of concentrated effort, silent activity and the pursuit of perfection. So...Julia was repeating her work - learning to dress and undress herself - moving towards greater independence.

She was so utterly focused on each garment of clothing that she was absolutely quiet. I remained also. And then something new caught her eye. She became captivated by that small detail.

She sat right down to study it closer:

It was the plastic tag left over from holding the price ticket:

After removing her clothes for the third time and starting to put them back on - one more thing drew her eye - her own shadow.

Shadow Curiosity:

It was a wonderful 45 minutes. I could have written two dozen pages of observation notes.

And then she saw her boots:


thesecretofchildhood said...

I love this! A picture truly speaks a thousand words with a toddler!

MarĂ­a said...

What an opportunity to observe!!! thank you for the pictures.

Stephanie said...

I love your observations! It is something that I forget to do with my kiddos! I put your blog up on my blog list! :)