I couldn’t sleep and though I was trying to get my children to stay in bed for at least 7 hours each night, I couldn’t swallow my advice tonight, so I started playing Candy Crush Saga! You know that popular, on the go game, most of us have on our phones at least one of its so many versions.
Yes, I play it too!
I actually got to No. 1 for the week though I know that someone will knock me off the champion league probably even before I finish writing this post. Not that it matters, but it did get me thinking…
I first of all used to think it was just luck when ever I had a winning streak, but when I lost one game tonight, I replayed and read through the goal which was always indicated at the top, I sometimes don’t bother to check though. Now that I knew the goal of the game I kept that in focus and did not allow some juicy little wins knock me off course, and viola it led to victory!
I finally began to see at a deeper level the reason why Maria Montessori insisted on focus, concentration and repetition as some of the basic objectives of the early years activities in the Montessori environment.
Some may wonder how on earth I could connect Candy Crush with Montessori!
But here is the thing, when you play the game if you do not know the main/crucial objective and concentrate mainly on reaching that goal, there are many distractions that look so important but will lead you quickly along the road to losing!
The skills needed to achieve this are also the basic life skills such as focus, concentration, critical thinking, all the skill sets you need in the 21st century. These are skills that we concentrate on in the early years in our Montessori classrooms.
In the face of cramming numbers, the multiplication tables, spellings, and can I include States and capitals we may sometimes ignore important tools the children need to help them navigate the world and become successful winners.
If you are not a Montessori school, you may consider including a bit of Practical Life and Sensorial Education into your curriculum, or at least encourage your parents to engage with their children with these activities. These may include sweeping, dusting, setting the table, helping with folding clothes, looking after themselves, sorting, picking stones from beans, smelling flowers, tasting different food and discussing the tastes etc. There are hundreds of activities that can be adapted to meet the needs of the child.
The goal is to help them focus and concentrate. As they absorb information their brains make connections. As the achieve and reach specific simple goals of beginning and then completing activities their capacity to put things into beginning, middle and ending grows.
Order is established in the mind of the child and ultimately intelligence blossoms. This is where critical thinking is birthed.
So stay the course, if you do not want to go down this route at least play games with the children, they enjoy them and especially the primary school aged child appreciates the rules, questions them and them becomes the rule maker! It is a process. They will become great minds if you just let them.
My easy solution for this age group is to make sure they learn how to play chess. I wish I did when I was a child. They need to be forward thinkers, think out of the box, figure out what to do next. These are life skills.
Let’s get to it and make out children great winners as we nurture them to become their very best selves.