Friday, October 27, 2017

Using Instruments as a Preschooler: Is it too Early?

Using Instruments as a Preschooler: Is it too Early?

Childhood prodigies are extremely rare, but the only way to discover one is to give them access to instruments. Instead of pushing your child to be one, consider the benefits of having access to musical instruments, and allow natural talents to emerge on their own. There are other purposes for instruments at early ages, and using instruments should begin as early as possible.

Early Music Appreciation

For many infants, music is the equivalent of auditory bright colors. When a baby hears musical notes that they like, they may become more active, expressive, or even vocal in their own babyish way. Obviously, you cannot expect an infant to play a symphony, but allowing him to touch an instrument and associate that instrument with sound is an important way to encourage his enthusiasm. The goal is not so much to learn how to play the instrument at that age as to give the child a tangible association between music they hear and the instruments which make it happen. Just as children must learn to associate a face with a voice, they are also learning to identify sounds with specific objects.

Brain Development and Music

Few people realize the relationship between music and mathematics, even though the two are very closely entwined. Musical compositions rely on several types of mathematical functions, including timing, spatial concepts, and repetitive patterns which are easily detectable. Even a toy xylophone makes it easy for a young child to discover that identical patterns will produce different results based on the force and timing used to produce the sounds. A young child does not even need to be able to count to form an understanding of how these facets interact.

Learning Musical Concepts

Teaching a child to perceive the underlying concepts of music can begin as soon as the child is able to manipulate an instrument, regardless of their level of motor control. Pitch, timing, and rhythm are all concepts that can be learned, though probably not mastered, before children have learned to talk. Discovering the sounds associated with various instruments is a simple and entertaining game parents can enjoy with their preschooler - no talent required.

Introducing Musical Instruments

It is not necessary to start out with complicated instruments. Even simple bells are a great way to explore tones and help children grasp the link between size and sound, and then they can discover what sounds to expect from different types of instruments. A simple instrument such as a set of drumsticks will allow children to discover a wealth of information about patterns, music, and their own ability to manipulate one to create the other. The process can be very empowering.

Access to musical instruments is an excellent way to both discover natural talent and to assist development of the brain and fine motor skills. Giving a preschooler access to musical instruments is equivalent to giving them a headstart on many developmental skills, and should begin as early as possible.

The Montessori Method encourages children to explore and learn at their own pace, including diving deeper into areas that interest them, such as music.  Incorporating music from a young age can have a positive and lasting effect on students.  Give us a call and set up a tour of the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus today to see how our teachers encourage students to learn through hands-on, interactive learning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Preschool fall fun in the Bay Area

Preschool fall fun in the Bay Area

There is no doubt know that the Bay Area is a fun place, but may not have realized how many options are there for preschoolers. This area is filled with attractions that will arouse even the littlest ones' natural curiosity. Taking your preschooler to visit one or more of these attractions is a great way to give them something to do this fall and help them learn something new in the process.

Children's Discovery Museum

There is a wealth of fun for your child to experience here, with over 28,000 square feet of space. The exhibits are a mixture of both traveling and permanent options, and the museum's website even lists related activities that you and your child are likely to want to do at home. This museum introduces children to the subject of the exhibits through experiments, manipulation, exploration, and touch. Just a few of the highlights include a fire engine kids can play inside, block-building, and experiments featuring bubbles and water.

Randall Museum

This museum is very popular with preschoolers and their parents because of the number of hands-on opportunities it offers. Some of the subjects your child will learn about include natural history, science, and arts and crafts. Arts and crafts workshops are offered for several age groups, with preschool classes of particular interest. Some of the other highlights include a scale caboose model, exhibits related to California wildlife, and an earthquake refugee shack replica.

Habitot Children's Museum

This children's museum is of particular interest to parents of preschoolers because of its scaled-down size exhibits. These exhibits are designed with the youngest children, including infants and toddlers, in mind. Some of the highlights include:
  • A Wind Tunnel, providing an authentic experience with wind
  • Little Town Grocery & Cafe, where kids can mimic grocery shopping
  • Waterworks exhibit featuring a water table, river ramp, and pumping station
All of these exhibits combined help create a sense of curiosity in even the youngest preschooler.

Lawrence Hall of Science

One of the things that attracts many families to this museum is its selection of exhibits designed for preschool children. The exhibits are designed to encourage natural exploration, be as hands-on as possible, and also encourage learning about cause and effect. Highlights include a planetarium, a gravity wall, and a place to design raceways. Exciting workshops will keep your little one wanting to come back.

All of these attractions are some of the best places for preschoolers in the Bay Area. You can be sure they will arouse your child's curiosity and spark their imagination.  At Montessori Children's House, we teach the Montessori Method through hands-on learning.  We encourage parents to take their children to interactive and exploratory museums to further foster the Montessori Method outside of school.  To learn about the hands-on activities we incorporate into our curriculum on a daily basis, schedule a tour today.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What Nature can Teach your Elementary Student

What Nature can Teach your Elementary Student

Nature - Fremont Montessori West

As a parent, it is up to you to teach your children. While they will learn plenty at school, they need to learn at home as well. This means more than working with your children on their math, spelling, and reading. You should also be teaching your child about nature. There are plenty of benefits of your elementary student learning about nature and the outdoor world around them.

Learning About Nature Helps Your Children Appreciate the World
Most kids are curious. When they see a bug or a caterpillar on the sidewalk, they squat down to get a closer look. When you take your elementary student outdoors and teach them about nature, they will realize that when they interact with nature, they are a part of it. Over time, their love and respect for nature will grow. When your children grow up, they will want to protect the world around them.

Learning About Nature Encourages Scientific Study
When your children study nature, they will be curious. They will want to explore the world and learn more about it. This is the foundation that your child will need later on when they are in an advanced scientific study class. When your elementary student starts studying nature early, it will benefit their education later on.

Nature Study Gets the Kids Outdoors
In today's technological world, it can be difficult to get your children to put down their electronics and go outdoors. When you teach your children about nature, it is the perfect opportunity for this to happen. Your children will put down the video games and go outdoors. Not only is this good for their mind, it is also good for their bodies.

Nature is an Easy Science
When you teach your children about science, you won't need any special equipment or books. Everything that you need is right outside your door. Your children will learn by observing different animals, insects, and plants. This is one of the easiest sciences to teach.

Studying Nature Will Make Your Child Want To Learn
When your elementary student studies nature, they will want to learn more. For example, if you are taking a nature hike and your children spot animal tracks, they will want to find out what type of animal created the tracks. Nature is full of mysteries that your children will investigate and solve. When your children solve the many mysteries in nature, it will make them want to learn more. This is a great way to instill a love of learning in your children at a very early age. This love of learning can help them through their entire lives. A child who loves to learn will grow up to be a successful adult.

Teaching your elementary student about nature is just as important as teaching them to read and write. You want your children to grow up to love and respect the planet. You also want them to understand science and find the fun in solving scientific mysteries in nature.  Montessori education at the Montessori School of Pleasanton is meant to teach your elementary student as a whole, incorporating nature into daily lesson plans.  Contact us today to schedule a tour for you and your elementary student to learn more about the Montessori method.