Chasing Cheerios

Friday, September 19, 2008

Montessori Homeschool - Day 4

IMG_1041 (Large), originally uploaded by omamom16.

We took an unexpected and unavoidable week off from our Montessori homeschool, so we didn't have our 4th day of "school" until today. I was expecting O to continue "researching" the limits :) However, I was shocked when she THREW the lentils pitcher during the pouring work! What is going on with this girl? She was clearly doing it just to get a reaction, but I'm VERY consistent in my reactions (very calm, firm, etc). I'm a trained behavior therapist for goodness sake :( I just don't understand why she feels the need to continue "researching" the limits. I've made them VERY clear. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr
I'm holding out hope that this behavior will resolve itself once we are on a consistent school schedule, but I'd love to hear any advice that any of you might have :) Thanks!


  1. I have no advice as I have an almost 2.5 year old who is definitely testing some limits! She is stubborn and argumentative. And yet she is a toddler! LOL

  2. Maybe she just isn't ready for "school" yet. Maybe the "unschooling" approach is better until she shows more interest.

  3. Sorry, my daughter is just 3 months, so we haven't hit this stage yet. Please include any solutions that work for you though! I have been anxiously reading your blog.

  4. "Researching the limits" . . . that's a fun euphemism!

  5. I agree. Maybe she's just a little young yet to be on such a schedule? You know your DD best but maybe keeping things loose for a while longer would be best? I know much of the Montessori stuff is fun stuff that you'd do daily anyway but maybe it's too much. Good luck!

  6. Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far!
    It's definitely not a lack of interest in "school" that's leading to this behavior. She LOVES school, and she talks about it all the time. She tells everyone that she goes to school, and she seems very proud. Her 4 year old cousin is in school, so I think she thinks she is a big girl since she has school.
    I actually think our lack of a school schedule is contributing to the problem. We had school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week, and only on Friday this week. O is definitely in the sensitive period for order, and she does better when things are consistent. These comments are really helping me figure out her behavior a little more, so THANK YOU very much! I'm hoping for more suggestions on how to handle the behavior in a "montessori way." :) How would a Montessori teacher in a "real" school enviroment handle a child throwing materials?

  7. I didn't know you were a therapist as well! I am used to dealing with behavior problems of school aged children but the little toddlers are certainly hard to handle at times aren't they? I have a very high-spirited little girl. Sometimes it is frustrating but at the same time it is so one of the reasons I love her so. I'm going to be honest here-my daughter does things like this all the time. I kind of feel it is part of toddlerhood. I agree that they are testing their limits. I would probably be more concerned if she were always good and sweet if she's a toddler, lol. However, I too would love to hear how a teacher in a Montessori school would handle this!

  8. I'm a certified behavioral analyst so I can completely sympathize with your concern over handling this the "right" way. But one thing I have had to realize in having a child of my own vs. working with special needs children is that not every behavior in my toddler needs a behavior plan in order for it to extinguish itself. It was a little out of my realm of thinking at first but it seems I've had to accept that my little girl is simply going to go in and out of stages, exhibiting behaviors I don't understand and can't find an antecedent for. Many times I will have decided I need to handle a behavior a certain way in order to see it diminish just to find out that the behavior has resolved itself. So I don't know the "montessori" way but I think that the best "mother" way is to continue handling everything in a loving, clear, and firm way with an understanding that it will pass. Good luck!

  9. You might like to email a question to Laura from My Montessori Journey as she teaches in a Montessori classroom, otherwise I think Montessori Mama has done a post on similar issues!
    Good luck with it all- I too have been there and it does get better (I tend to wonder around the house singing "Noone told me there'd be days like these!")
    We have the warning and then time out. My son hardly ever goes on his spot because a warning is all it takes.

  10. my daughter is a week older than yours and doesnt do anywhere near as much as O..

    she cant match anything or do any of the type of games you do...

    so maybe she is just being a normal 2 year old...which would make us readers happy!! I really think 0 is a genius!! with all the things she does

  11. I think one thing you have forgotten is that Montessori education is not designed to happen in a vacuum. Maria Montessori said that a child needs to learn from other children as much as from the materials. The point of a Montessori education is that it is a social experience as well as an academic one. In a school O would see other children using the pouring exercise without help or an adult observing (or at least not visably), she may invite a friend to come and do the exercise with her, she would see older children working and that watching would feed into her learning- maybe not for weeks or months but it would all add up eventually. She would nalso see other children testing the limits and see that they would get the same reaction. I am a montessori teacher who has worked with 2-7 year olds at various times, including my own 3 children and I can tell you absolutely that the difference between home-schooling and school-schooling is the social learning. Do you have freinds who would like to join in? it would make all the difference!

  12. I am going through the same thing with my 2 year old! I am trying to be consistent and I agree that maybe after we have had school for a few more weeks, things will get better. The hard thing for me is that I am homeschooling my 4 year old as well, so I can't just say school is over - because my 4 year old is usually working just fine! I will be reading regularly to see if you find a solution that works. Good Luck!

  13. I agree with the poster who mentioned that in a traditional school setting, O would get a lot more modeling from other kids and now she only gets it from you :) We have the same problem since we homeschool as well. My kids don't have other kids to test the limits for them.

    You didn't specify exactly how you reacted - maybe she's trying to get a reaction out of you? When she throws something, maybe you could simply put it away instead of responding to her.

    Maybe she is telling you she needs to throw stuff. Throwing provides wonderful sensory input - offer blocks or beanbags instead or play catch? Or is she frustrated? Is the pouring not going as she would like it? Or is it just time for a transition to another activity? Hmmm just "throwing" a few thoughts out for you. :)

  14. I'm not a Montessori teacher, just a homeschooling parent, but I wonder if she's like my kids who sometimes get annoyed/stressed with doing things "just so" and like to explore other avenues or assert her autonomy. In that case, I might say ala Naomi Aldort style, "Oh, you don't want to pour anymore.Is there something else you want to do?" or give her something you don't mind letting her throw, like a drawer of clothes, and say with obvious mock horror, "Oh no!" until she gets sick of it. She'll laugh and the power struggle with be diffused.And later, when she's relaxed, I would slip in a story about a girl who liked to throw things and discuss appropriate ways of expressing frustration. But really, kids at this age, show their frustration by actions rather than words. Obviously, I don't know O, but this works with my kids.

  15. Thanks, everybody! I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions. This really is a wonderful communtity :) I really like the idea of having O throw appropriate things more often. That's definitely something we need to do!
    Anna- I REALLY wish that I had other children in our Montessori school, but there are just no children around here :( Almost all of our neighbors are retired, and we live pretty much in the middle of nowhere. You're right that she would learn from other children and wouldn't have to test the limits so much. Thanks for your input!
    Sarah- O was DEFINITELY trying to get a reaction out of me. However, I don't really give a reaction. I was trained to stay calm, firm, and to keep a *flat* expression on my face when children react. I'm so used to extreme behaviors (from working with a girl with autism who physically attacked me almost daily) that I don't get mad or have any trouble at all staying calm. So...I'm wondering if maybe I should show more of a reaction. Maybe I've been too well trained to not react. I'm very firm with her and make her pick up whatever she has thrown and then put it back on the shelf. I explain that the behavior is not acceptable. She totally gets it, but then she does it again. I'm sure its her age, but I just want to make sure I'm handling it in the best possible way. This parenting thing is so HARD!
    Freak of nature- O chooses all of the activities. I don't tell her waht to do at all, which makes it harder to understand why she would choose the activity and then throw it :( GRRRRRRR If she didn't want to do it, then why did she choose it. Why do toddlers have to be so complicated :) ?
    I'm realizing that I'm probably making a bigger deal out this than is necessary. It's very likely that this behavior will extinguish itself without me really doing anything differently. I'm realizing that its impossible not to second guess my parenting/discipline style at times like these :)

  16. I think you're doing the right thing by being calm yet firm, and consistent. What I have learned from my own children, though, is that it takes more than a day, a week, sometimes a month to correct behavior. That's why we have to be SO patient as moms, because things do not always happen in our time frame! I would say just keep being consistent, and eventually she'll get it.

    Also wanted to say that I just recently discovered your blog and I am really enjoying reading it--you are giving us some great ideas! Thanks!

  17. I used to be a High School teacher and do find myself out of my element with my toddlers, but I think one of the things you might be missing is that there's nothing wrong here.

    You can respond perfectly, and she will still want to throw things. And that's okay. I mean, it might not be okay that she actually does, but it's okay that she wants to, it's okay that you don't want to, it's okay that you have a conflict with it and you haven't done anything wrong and she is normal. You know?

    I don't have a montessori solution. I like what others said about seeing other students modeling behavior that is acceptable, I like the idea of giving her something els to throw, something that will allow her to explore that sensation cause/effect dynamic. Maybe spend a day outside throwing stuff. See how different things toss, fall, land. Leaves vs rocks. Dirt vs sticks.

    And maybe she is seeking a reaction from you. I think kids sometimes are there to teach us about ourselves. Maybe there is not a technique or tactic that will be the fool proof answer to throwing things and there needs to be a push pull experimentation for both of you.

  18. Unfortunately for you kids are always more difficult with their own parents than with other carers/ relatives that come their way. My 3 year old is an angel at nursery and a demanding whiney little so-and-so at home. Having said that she is coming out of it (and nearing her 4th birthday). I think your no response attitude is the best, it works at school too! If you could find a "camp" or a course the 2 of you could go to ( I believe you have homeschooling events that are held in hotels for 5 days with activities for all age cildren to attend. Maybe then O could see other children behaving and bring it home. It would be fun for you too.....!

  19. I love the idea of giving the toddlers something to throw!

  20. Anna- You're right about kids behaving better for others than for their own moms. I can't wait to see how O is going to do with my mom once my mom starts doing "school" with her on Thursdays.
    While we don't have kids around here that we can incorporate into our daily activities, O does get lots of opportunities to play with others (usually older kids), so she does see examples of children behaving well often. I just wish she could see kids behaving well in a montessori setting! Maybe I'll find some montessori videos of kids doing various work to show her. Since she doesn't watch tv, this would be a special treat :)

    Thanks again to everyone for the continuing comments!

  21. The flip side of peer social interaction and "behavior modeling" is that most 2 year olds aren't consistent examples of good behavior in the first place.

    Learning at home isn't the same thing at all as learning in a "vacuum". When children learn at home, there is popular a misconception among professional educators that somehow home schooled children are placed in solitary confinement without ever seeing another living soul or coming in contact with other children on a regular basis and are therefore at risk of becoming socially inept when, in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.

    In a home learning enviornment there are many opportunities for social interaction with people of many ages, just like the "real world". I think that the environment of "school-schooling" offers children artificial age segregated peer influences that are more often negative than positive, while at the same time limiting the desirable one on one, positive interaction between student and teacher.

    Although a child being educated at home is not interacting with peers during learning time, a lot can be said for quiet concentration and the freedom to learn without chaos and interruption. Home taught children are able to spend time exploring the world at their own pace under the loving guidance of their family and learning things from the people who know and love them the most while being afforded ample opportunities to enjoy social time with children thier own age.

    Being in the artifical environment of school has its benefits as well as drawbacks, but is in no way superior to learning at home.

    Peer interaction can be beneficial, but not day in, day out all day long like the unfortunate children in day care and schools must endure. At far too young an age, these tender souls leave the softness and warmth of their mothers arms and must learn to live by the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest. They must become passive agressive just to get through recess. A lot can be said for limiting negative peer influences at an impressionable age.

    Having said that, it seems to me that the behavior this little one is exhibiting is nothing more than a normal toddler expressing frustration during a tedious activity. At 2 years old, there is plenty of time to master "school" activities.

    One must remember that most Montessori schools begin their formal teaching methods at the age of 3, not 2. Education at home is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I would be very careful about putting too much pressure on her to accomplish tedius tasks before she is ready. "Play is the work of children", is a quote from Fredrich Froebel that says it all.

  22. i just wanted to say i found your blog today and i am simply amazed at your creativity and ability to put other people's ideas to work! i worked at a montessori school and totally have wanted to homeschool montessori, but since having my two little boys, i have felt bogged down. you were just the inspiration i needed to think thru some stuff! you are officially bookmarked!

  23. Melissa, there are some great youtube clips of montessori classrooms in action, complete with calm music (some of them!). My kids love watching them just because watching other children doing things seems to be fascinating.
    From (another) motessori perspective, O sounds as if she may be transitioning from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind and many children find this hard. On the 1 hand she wants to grow up but in the other she'd like to remain babyish with the lack of responsibility that goes with it. Stick with it!!

  24. I don't know much about Montessori, but I have taught kids from birth up to age 8 in a variety of settings. It sounds like the Montessori method has a lot of activities that must be performed a specific way.

    Perhaps she needs a definite time in the day, completely different from the Montessori time, to unleash her own ideas onto some exciting materials. Just to balance her experiences throughout the day.

    It reminds me of when I'd have a few kids who just couldn't handle sitting still in school. I'd tell the parents to make sure that they could run around wild in a safe place for some time in the afternoon because they needed that to balance the structure of formal school.

    But I also agree with the readers who said this stage will pass. My guess is that in another couple weeks she will be much more compliant. It probably just feels new and exciting to her now. I love reading your blog since all these activities are new to me!

  25. Why do you feel the need to set up the distinct "school" time in the first place?

    I've been reading your blog for a while and admiring the way you incorporate learning opportunities and Montessori approaches into your everyday home life.

    From this side of the screen, it looks like O is reacting to your investment in "school" time. Why not just go back to what you've been doing all along?

  26. It seems that this behavior only happens during "school". I wonder why you can't just have "life"? We are a homeschooling family, and still I don't really understand why you are "doing school" with her.

    You have some great ideas. Keep up the good work!

  27. Hi Melissa,
    I can't help you with any advice as my son is only 1 year old. But I would like to recommend you to enroll to an online course that I take. Karen Tyler is such a great teacher! Besides the albums and the theory that you get from her, she answers every week every single questions she receives, which is a great thing as you learn not only from her thorough answers on your questions, but from her responses to everybody else. I've been consulting with her on how to behave with my son in different opportunities, and she has helped me so much. And I have been studying with her only for a month! The course lasts for 2 years (she has a one year course too), and it is only 10$ per month, even cheaper if you pay for 4 months. But the most important thing, she is just an amazing Montessori guide, with 20 years of experience and 3 children of her own that have been raised in the Montessori way.
    Take care, Miri

  28. The main reason that I decided to go ahead and have a specific "school" time is because she was losing interest in the montessori materials since they were out on her shelves all of the time. She was never choosing to do them without me prompting her, and I really want her learning to be more self-directed. Our school is really informal. I ask if she is ready for school, she gets very excited, and proudly turns the school shelf around by herself. Then she can choose her activities. That way the activities maintain their "specialness" since they aren't out all of the time, and she is excited and ready to make her choices once the shelf is turned around. We only do "school" as long as she feels like it, which is usually about 30 to 45 minutes. I guess the main difference now is that I am more methodical when I present the new "work" to her. However, I am amazed by how focused and intent she is on watching me present the work. I presented a farm matching activity to her on Friday, and she kept asking me to do it again and again and again... I'm really curious as to how she will do tomorrow. I'll let you know...

  29. Oh... I forgot to say earlier... I decided to really focus on calling it "school" and making a somewhat big deal out of her going to school because her cousin is in school, and O LOVES her cousin. They play school together, and then O comes home and wants to play school. So knowing that she is in school "just like M" is a BIG deal for her! She and M talk on the phone in the afternoons and tell each other what they did in school. It's very sweet :)

  30. "The main reason that I decided to go ahead and have a specific "school" time is because she was losing interest in the montessori materials since they were out on her shelves all of the time. She was never choosing to do them without me prompting her, and I really want her learning to be more self-directed."

    I am not Montessori trained but I have spent 20+ years as an early childhood educator so here is my two cents. I have to say that I agree with the pps that feel she is reacting to your formalizing school. I think the above quote from your last comment shows contradictory thinking. Even though you want her to be self-directed in her learning you want it to be on your terms. In your evaluation, whatever she was choosing to do instead of the M activities was not as 'educational' and therefore you felt the need to set up a system where M activities are given higher priority and special focus. But that cannot then be considered truly self-directed. Perhaps whatever activities she was focusing on were something she needed to do developmentally? I present M activities to my son and they are available in his playroom at all times. Most days he spends time at both them and other activities but he has often followed cyclical patterns; focusing on the M works for a few days, then shunning them completely for a few in favor of his blocks and kitchen, then returning to them in a more balanced way. He often makes leaps of comprehension and skill in what many would consider the "down time" of imaginary/constructive play.

    Also, as a toddler with no true comprehension of time, O may not understand why or when the M activities are going to be removed at the end of "school". She may be trying to take control of the situation in a very toddler way - "I'm going to make them go away before Mommy has a chance to take them away". (Assuming that her acting out is one of the signs that you use to decide to end the session.)

    I'm sure she is excited about being a big girl like her cousin, and I'm sure it is adorable. It just may not be truly developmentally appropriate for her right now. Perhaps exploring other options for a "school" time, like a circle time perhaps, would work better? Good luck!

  31. My daughter is 1 1/2 and we live in the middle of nowhere a retirement area. lol. Good luck!

    Will you write a new post when you try new methods to tell us how its going?

  32. I wanted to ask another question: how did you learn montessori methods and decide what materials to make/incorporate? also, do you have certain resources/books that have helped you? thanks!

  33. My daughter is turning one on Friday, so I have no advice. I do however LOVE your blog! I read consistently and hope to one day incorporate some of your ideas in our home. You are so creative! By the way, we too live in the middle of nowhere. My husband and I are the youngest couple in our neighborhood. In fact, my daughter is the youngest and I am the second youngest. :) Lots of retired neighbors.

  34. I'm a former Montessori teacher (older students, though). Anyway, a couple of suggestions to try to cut down on the throwing stuff...
    You mentioned on an earlier post that she had gone through 7/8 different pieces of material in 45 minutes. That seems like an awful lot to me. I would guess that she's never really getting to a deep level of concentration with any of them, she's just sort of flying through to the next thing available? If you feel like that might be so, you might want to reduce the number of choices available for a while- try starting with 6 activities or so, plus books available to have read. Since you mention she's been using the materials for a while, they may no longer offer her sufficient challenge to develop deep concentration. You might want to tweak them some- smaller spooning/pouring activities that require more small motor control, putting toothpicks in a spice jar, etc. If you can get her fully immersed in something that may cut down on the throwing. You might also modify your presentations to show continuing with something more than once all the way through, not just going through one cycle then putting it away, to encourage longer work.
    When she does throw materials, I'd consider saying to her, "Materials aren't for throwing", and then redirect her to a quiet activity that doesn't involve material- "Let's put this away and go read a book. Would you like to read The Hungry Caterpillar or Goodnight Moon?" After you've finished the book you can suggest she choose something else off the shelf to do. I would worry that by ending "school time" when she throws something it might send the message that when you're bored/not sure what to do next you should fling something :-). One of the most important and most challenging skills to develop early on is the ability to be self-directed and find a next activity for yourself, and since she has your full attention it may be easier for her to rely on you to do it. You don't mention what you're doing when she's working with the materials independently, but you might try bringing a magazine to read or similar into the school area so that she'll hopefully not become too dependent on you to be right at hand when she's not sure what to do next. That's not suggest it's as simple as that of course- it takes a long time to develop. But ideally you should be aiming to get to 2.5 or 3 hours of work time with a few lessons from you sprinkled in, but mostly fairly independently.
    One last suggestion for this very long post :-). If she's a high energy kind of kid, you might think about going for a walk or playground time before starting work time- sometimes running off a bit of steam first can help. Best of luck!

  35. Wow! I can't believe how many comments this post has generated :) Thanks to everyone for your input!
    illuminated attic- I should have been clearer when I wrote earlier...I want O to be more self-directed in her *montessori* learning :) She ALWAYS has access to her kitchen, blocks, felt board, dollhouse, and books as they are all in the same room with the Montessori shelf. I don't limit her access during school time, so if she chooses to play kitchen during school that's fine. However, she's totally into her Montessori materials as soon as she turns the shelf around, and that is the reaction that I was hoping for :)
    Through reading everyone's comments and really analyzing O's behavior, I've gotten the *why* figured out...multiple reasons depending on the day. Today (day 5) she threw the dropper purely out of frustration. Not because the activity was too difficult but because she took the dropper apart and wanted to put it back together by herself. I am *very* careful to only give her activities that she is ready for. If I introduce something to her, I can tell whether it is too hard and should go back in the cabinet or whether it's something that she can work on and eventually master through focusing and determination.
    Thanks, Christina for all of your suggestions!!! O always has access to books, so it's a good idea to prompt her to take a book break. Also, she's not a high energy child AT ALL so your suggestion to go outside first is a good one, but not necessary. I actually have to set a timer to make her go outside to play! Although, she loves it once I finally get her there :)
    Miri - good idea about the class. I'll look into it further :)

    As for the Montessori books that I find most useful...I really like How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way and Gettman's book that I linked to in my 1st "school" post. I have a million other montessori books, but those are the best in my opinion. Also, there are some GREAT montessori blogs out there that I read everyday (and I'm sure most of you do, too). My favorites are A Bit of This and That, Montessori Free Fall, Montessori Mama, Shannon's Sharings, and My Montessori Journey.
    Thanks again everyone for all of the comments. It was very interesting to read so many different perspectives :)

  36. I know this is late and I hope you see it (I just read this post tonight :)) but I wanted to verify the comment that you should play a "disobeying game" with O. I do this with my daughter and she LOVES it. It really helps diffuse the frustration in general around the house, lets her be in control, and get in pretend trouble. Especially since you don't normally react at all, this might be fun for her.

    Set up a play area with anything that is easy to throw. Beanbags, socks rolled up, etc. Say to O "Now whatever you do DO NOT throw the beanbags! You'll be in BIGGGGG trouble!" very exagerated and silly. She will probably catch on. When she picks them up, say "Uh oh, what are you doing?!?!? You better NOT!!!" Tickling is a good form of punishment. Or chasing around the room on your hands and knees. This allows her to disobey in a game instead of testing you in real life. Also they love it when you pretend to cry or get mad when they disobey. Works for us! They always want to do this longer than I do! :)

  37. Great idea, Julie! O LOVES to pretend to be naughty, so this would be so much fun for her :) Thanks!

  38. I know I am *super* late in this discussion, but I couldn't read the anonymous post on September 20th and *not* respond.

    To the anonymous poster who defended the social element of homeschooling.

    You're argument is a wonderful and perfect defense of homeschooling. I have made that argument many-a-time.

    However, you missed the point the Montessori teacher was making, and from what you wrote, I can only presume you are not familiar with the Montessori model of education.

    Montessori is a very specific model of education that is quite distinct from other forms of education. In the Montessori philosophy, the children learn from one another how to use very specific classroom materials and set classroom norms.

    So, it really is beside the point whether or not a child is socialized outside of their "school" time. My child can't learn simply from hanging out with other kids at church or at the park how to use sandpaper letters for tracing with the fingers...a very specific Montessori excercise in which the child learns the hand motions s/he will later use in writing.

    A *Montessori* homeschool is missing a critical element of Montessori because there are not older children teaching the youngers (generally Montessori classrooms have a very broad age span...for example, there is the three to six year old classroom, so older kids who have "normalized" to the environment can mentor the younger kids).

    Don't get me wrong. I *know* that, and I still Montessori homeschool my kids. And I think Melissa has a great approach and have begun reading this blog religiously for inspiration.

    I just think you heard only a common argument against homeschooling and missed the Montessori-specific point. Thus your own argument was not applicable.

  39. P.S. Pardon my grammar and spelling. I am on my way to a party and in a rush. I foolishly did not read over my comment before hitting "publish." I now see several glaring errors.

  40. "I am *very* careful to only give her activities that she is ready for."

    I have a question about this particular line of thought. Why are you being so careful?

    The reason I ask is that I found that I was also careful with my daughter, and my husband (who is deployed A LOT) had no clue what she could do or not do. So when he would come home, he would really push her boundaries and I was always astounded at how she could rise to the occasion or use it as an opportunity to gain new skills. Being that he is a Marine, they were usually physical skills (like climbing up stairs, sliding off the bed on her own, playing on a slide, etc) but also others.

    Since that time, I've found that it's a good gauge of how she's developed when I show her new things that she might find difficult or a new skill. If it doesn't work, I stop and do it again at a later date. She "cooks" with me (tonight she cleaned pomegranates and I showed her how to do it last week) quite frequently. I've also found that it's a good teaching opportunity when she is frustrated on how to handle those emotions appropriately. If she's starting to get frustrated, I can remind her to take a deep breath (which she does literally) and she will almost always begin laughing and calm down. My daughter is 28 months old.

    I guess I'm thinking that frustration has its place in education and it's not always supposed to be eliminated. I know I didn't answer your original question, but I think she sounds like a normal toddler to me! Every once in a while they will check to see if Mommy is still in control. ;)

  41. I mainly don't want to give her things that are too easy for her because I find that she is constantly able to do things that I didn't expect her to be able to do. I've taught her to say express herself when she is frustrated and ask for help, but I like to give her work that she can be successful with instead of being frustrated with. It's much more fun for her when she is working at her instructional level rather than her frustration level :)

  42. That makes sense to me. For some reason, I at first interpreted that comment to mean that she was "not ever" given things that she might find more challenging, and it seemed so unusual compared to how the rest of your blog went that I was curious. You sound like a fabulous mom! I love your blog.