Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Increasing Attention Spans

One ethos of Montessori that I try hard to adhere to, is her advice to 'never interrupt a focus'. This leads to healthy levels of independence and greater periods of concentration.

But this isn't always as easy as it sounds - yes, I let them finish work/drawings/reading before I interrupt and yes, I never interrupt them when they are nicely playing by themselves (even if they aren't playing properly with the toy in question - like using a china tea set as a building tower) but there are mornings when I am sorely tempted to do otherwise.

Take this morning, 9:45 am and Rose is happily using bendaroos to make an ocean scene for her crocodile to play in, never mind that our work period should have started 45 mins ago or that she's been there for over an hour and not had a shower yet. I had to really take a step back and remind myself that I'm aiming for something more. 

Or last week when Lilly was writing and I wanted them at the table for lunch.

Am I seeing the payback? 
I have children that will happily sit for ages engrossed in their activities (and lessons) but the downside is I am constantly biting my nails and talking to myself - the mantra I mutter, you guessed  - 'NEVER interrupt a focus' : )

Sharing this at Montessori Monday


Jessica said...

It is SO hard! And it took me years to work out just what this all means, especially coming from a traditional background of the adult-knows-all and the child-knows-nothing.

But there is a balance to be had - especially at the elementary level when a child also has internal needs that deal with society (in this case, the family!). When it is lunchtime, it is lunchtime - lunch should not be held off for the entire family because one person is busy. Depending on YOUR comfort level, you can interrupt to ask if she'll be joining for lunch; either set food aside, let her eat quickly and return to her work; or the meal is simply missed; or another idea according to your comfort. I just wouldn't allow lunch to be "served" multiple times throughout the day either is all.

Freedom WITH responsibility ;)

Deb Chitwood said...

This is a great reminder! I was definitely thankful that my kids could concentrate well because I had focused on not interrupting them unless absolutely necessary. Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

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