Skip to main content

A Lesson in Following the Child

A couple weeks ago I picked up a set of unpainted peg people from a craft store. Henry loves little people and animals and I wanted to paint him a set to use with his building and unit blocks. When I got them home, I painted six of the eight with rainbow colors. We've been on a rainbow kick over here, and I knew Hen would love them. 


As I expected, Henry loved the painted pegs and spent a great deal of time playing with them. After a couple days, though, he discovered that I had two unpainted people left. He immediately started asking for a black peg and a pink one. The pink was for Nora, he insisted. {Henry says that pink is Nora's favorite color -- despite the fact that she shows zero preference.}

But, then there was the black. I asked why he wanted the black, but he didn't tell me a reason. I thought it was a weird color choice, and pushed back by offering other paint choices. Still, he insisted, and again I brushed him off. 


Finally, he literally brought me the peg person and the black paint from my office and asked again. At this point, I gave in. I had already painted the pink person, so I didn't really have any other use for the final peg. 

Once the black peg person was dry, Henry couldn't contain himself. He immediately got his blocks out and got to work. This peg had a very particular purpose. "Sit with me Mom! Let's build a church!" Now, building a church is not unusual for Henry, he actually likes to do this a lot. But, then he completely surprised me. 


"It's the Father! See Mom!" Henry said as he held up the black peg. Henry had wanted a priest for his church. I was shocked. That's why he was so insistent. And, I'm sad that I almost didn't follow his lead and missed this amazing moment.

So, lesson learned...follow the child. Follow the child. Then, follow some more. You might be seriously surprised and amazed where they take you.  


Comments

Oh my goodness... what a beautiful story!! You're doing something right with that little boy. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Great story! Do u mind sharing what kind of blocks those are. They look fab. I like the natural color of thd wood.
The blocks were handmade by a friend! They are beautiful unfinished wood.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2020 UPDATE: This list is updated for another year! Enjoy a variety of Montessori friendly finds from both major retailers and smaller shops!  So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these

Our Kids' Montessori Gift Lists 2020

With the holiday season upon us we've been making lists and gathering gifts for the Kavanaugh children. It's always a fun process of observing my children, seeing what they would really be interested in and making some decisions based on what I see. This year is different because I'm also making decisions knowing that we are looking at a very long and quiet winter ahead. So that's influencing the amount I will buy and the specific choices I will/have made.  Henry and Nora are also at the point, being into the second plane of development, where they heavily influence the items on the list and what is ultimately purchased. So, you'll see that while Montessori influences what I will purchase and what goes on their list, so does their own preferences and personality.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore Teddy is 14-months-old right now and as the fourth baby, we have so many toddler things. But, there are a few things I've still found tha

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return.  That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains,  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables