Welcome to 'A Montessori Home'.
With so many of our friends and family living in far-off lands, I hope that this blog might help our loved-ones get to know our gorgeous Finlay as he grows up. I also hope that these posts may provide inspiration, provoke thought and conversation about creating beautiful Montessori environments for infants and toddlers at home. I'm always happy to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to pop in now and then to see what we're up to!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Words, words, words

My my, it has been a very long time between drinks (well, posts!) here at A Montessori Home. It seems life got in the way this past month. Between Fin getting Measles (loooong story), Brent going away for three weeks (to play principal trumpet with the West Australian Symphony - how exciting!) and my mum coming to visit from Australia, there hasn't been much time to breathe, let alone blog. Happily, it feels like the storm is settling and life is getting back to normal.

That cheeky grin is back after a nasty case of Measles

Amidst all the craziness, Finlay seems to have taken a huge leap in development. As he approaches 15 months, he is becoming a more and more active part of our daily house-work and over the past three weeks he has absolutely exploded into language! I'm so pleased that my mum (Fin's Oma) was here to witness all this - is anything sweeter than a child's first words??

Quality time with Oma (showing off a jacket my brother wore over 35 years ago...!)

Fin has had a repertoire of words that he has been using for a long time ("Mum", "Daddy", "did it", "oh no", "oh dear", "uh oh", "OK"), but suddenly he has started wanting to name things and is repeating the words we say.
Now we have been hearing, "bye bye", "shoes", "boot", "chi" (cheers -which must, of course, be accompanied by a clinking of glasses and drinking water!), "chk, chk, chk" ("chook, chook, chook" - we have chickens in the backyard) "bir" (bird), "pane" (plane), "water", "b-b-rsh" (blueberries), "fsh" (fish), "more" and "ma" (Oma), with more added each day. He has been repeating "Bye, bye, ba-dee" all week and I have been trying to figure out what "ba-dee" means... then suddenly this evening he said "Bye bye, ev-ee-ba-dee" and I realised he was trying to say 'everybody'!

There are many ways we can support language development at home:

1. Naming items slowly and clearly.
2. Using beautiful, rich vocabulary rather than baby-talk.
3. Describing what you are doing, as you do it (e.g: "I'm wiping the table", "I'm washing your hair", "I'm pouring some water")
4. Describing what your child is doing (e.g: "You're touching the chair", "You're holding the cup", "You're rolling the ball")
5. Creating order in the home and through routines. Since the young brain is constantly being wired-up, we can help them create inner order by making the outer environment as orderly as possible. This will assist them to make sense of the many things they find in the world, and feel confident that they recognise objects along with the sounds that represent them.

It seems obvious to assist a child as they begin saying their first words, but we really need to be modeling beautiful, clear language right from the start (even before birth!). Young children are literally absorbing what they find in their environment, so let's give them the very best from the very beginning!

Now that he has the words, Fin can order us around... His favorite word right now is "more"!


  1. It's so lovely to have an update from you! I'm sorry to hear about the measles, but aside from that you seem to have wonderful things afoot.

    Finlay seems to have a wider vocabulary than Annabelle, but once again he and Annabelle seem to be very much on the same page. Just in the past 48 hours, I have noticed her eagerly attempting to repeat as many words as she can. She has been making initial sounds for several things for a bit now, but she is definitely saying many new full words. Tonight, she pointed excitedly at the window and gasped, saying, "Ge-go!" I looked, and sure enough there was a gecko crawling around.

    Wonderful advice on supporting language development - thanks for that!

  2. Melissa, that's so cute! I wish we had geckos here in New Zealand!

    We have been having many of those, "Did he really just say that??!" moments this week- so precious :)