Discovering Ability: A Reflection

As part of class assignment from Ibu Profesional, we were asked to observe our children in order to discover their ability. So, I have been making conscious observations on Alula from the past fifteen days. I let her decide her own playing activities without directing her. Basically, I just be with her and observe, no interventions.

By conscious observations, I realise that child's development is really amazing. I realised what Maria Montessori meant by absorbent mind, that young children are like sponge. They can absorb anything surround them very quickly. I also believe that children are natural learners. Like they learn how to crawl, eat, walk, they will eventually learn things in their own way and with their own pace.  

This assignment is to be honest is the easiest for me. I just have to sit back and observe how Alula has been doing. I have been going with the flow when I accompany Lulu learns. I prepared educational toys on open shelves so that she's free to choose what to play. Whenever she plays, I just sit there with Lulu and accompany her without much direction unless she asks for a help.

During my 15 days of conscious observations, I have witnessed tremendous development in baby Lulu. The most apparent skill is her language aspect. She is very quick in learning new words.

The Journals

These are the activities that we have been through for the past 15 days:

Day 1: Posting activity and drawing

Day 2: Sensorial activity and drawing

Day 3: Posting with straws

Day 4: Finger painting

Day 5: Bird chasing

Day 6: Exploring nature

Day 7: The search for kitty cat

Day 8: Practical life exercise for toddler

Day 9: Implementing The Three Period Lesson

Day 10: Practical life exercise

Day 11: Love for the furries

Day 12: Ride a bus

Day 13: Ride a train

Day 14: Playground activity

Day 15: Road trip to Malaysia

What I Learned

"Sometimes it is the quite observer who sees the most" - Kathryn L. Nelson

It is surprising that I actually learn about Lulu the most during this observing game. This game made me realise that discovering child's ability requires conscious observation, record the observation and always pray that Allah will always guide us to be able to unleash Lulu's potentials.

Here are the highlight of my observation:

  1. Lulu loves to be outdoor, or in the nature. She loves to see vehicles, animals and observe plants
  2. Lulu loves when she is given a chance to do an "adult" tasks by herself, like brushing teeth, holding adult cup, washing hands from the tap, throwing trash into a trash bin, etc.
  3. It seems that Alula is now in a sensitive period[^1] of language. She catches new concept and can say new words very fast.

The Follow Up

Based on the observation result above, here are the follow ups that we want to incorporate into Alula's activities. Each number represents the follow up for the subsequent observation point.

  1. We will continue to bring Alula for a morning/evening walk every day. On top of that, we plan to bring her to a special outdoor activity once a week (e.g. beach, farm, parks, etc.)
  2. First, we will set up practical life exercise stations for Alula, mainly for self care. For starters, we will buy a stepping stool for Lulu so that she can reach the water tap to wash her hands or to brush her teeth. Also, we will also set up a child-size mini wardrobe for her so that she can start to help herself with her clothes. Second, I will let Lulu to take part on house hold chores. For starters, I will let her sweep the floor with me using her mini broom.
  3. We will speak with her in a full sentence and emphasise the name of the object that we want to introduce to her. For example, instead of just saying "bike", we will try to say "That is a bike." or "Uncle rides a red bike."

[^1]: Montessori sensitive periods refer to a period of time when a child’s interests are focused on developing a particular skill or knowledge area. During what Maria Montessori describes as the child’s absorbent mind, birth to age 6, is when most sensitive periods occur.