November 14, 2008 11:25 PM

Putting on a jacket - your toddler can do it herself!

When I was a Montessori teacher, my assistant and I simply could not put on jackets for 25 preschoolers (if that seems like a high student/teacher ratio, that's because the Montessori method works so well and creates such independent learners that one teacher can have 25 preschoolers working in small groups or individually and just kind of float around to help whoever needs it. Ideally you reach the point where you can just sit and watch your class at work - and I've been blessed to experience that).

In my very first book - Small Beginnings - I described the method we taught our children to put on their own jackets. That first book went out of print but was eventually replaced by the much more thorough Mommy, Teach Me! which includes pictures sent to me by readers. Which is how I have this wonderful set of pictures from a mom who used the Montessori ideas in Small Beginnings through her daughters' early years.





Your child will be so happy when you teach him how to do it himself! Remember, God built a drive for independence into your children, and a child who has opportunities to channel this drive in a positive direction - like dressing himself early on - will be a happier child.

And happier children make happier mommies!

Thanks, Agatha, for these beautiful pictures!


Posted in Homeschooling, Montessori, Mothering, Preschoolers, Toddlers | Permalink


You're welcome! :) Thank *you*!

Posted by: Agatha | November 15, 2008 7:01 AM

Lovely! My daughter was taught this at nursery school, too.
My husband and I were very amused to see that Martin Sheen, when playing the President in the West Wing, also put his jacket on this way!

Posted by: Elizabeth H. | November 15, 2008 5:16 PM

Dear Barbara,

First, let me say that I am thinking of you and your family (husband Tripp & your children) during this hard time for you all. I can relate. My husband is suffering from PTSD & major sure can feel like a roller coaster out of control, but I am thankful that our God is the one at the switch. HA!

Second, I also wanted to let you know that you really inspire and encourage me. Being able to communicate your hurts/imperfections/bad attitude at really make me see that we ALL have our days/times and that we ALL are the same no matter what our status in life. (Gee, I think maybe that didn't come out so well....but you get my drift...right???!!!) :-)

Third, I also wanted to thank you for your wisdom and gracious way of teaching us mothers with children that have challenges. Every child is perfect in God's eyes. I am so glad to read about other children who's parents understand and are proud to the mother/father of these wonderful, beautiful gifts from above. Even though the job is tough; even though somedays I run out of energy/motivation/patience; even days I don't want to face the thought of one more ounce of guilt because I was too distracted by other life events to teach him that day like I had planned....being reminded who I am and Who I belong to comforts me. Thank you for reminding me on those "somedays". You are a wonderful person and I thank you for being so open with your past and present. :-)

May God continue to bless you and your family Barbara and give you Shalom.

Cheryl :-)

Posted by: Cheryl | November 15, 2008 8:27 PM

I remember my grandmother teaching that to me! happy memories. . .

Posted by: TulipGirl | November 16, 2008 2:25 PM

I am praying for you and your family. You and your husband have done an amazing job opening your life to such amazing children who have Down's Syndrome. May God Bless you all.
God Bless You,
Caroline Blackwell

Posted by: Caroline | November 16, 2008 3:08 PM

I taught this to my 3yo and it saves so much time! She is also getting the hang of putting her own shoes on. Do you have a trick for teaching toddlers how to put their socks on? That's something that's missing for us right now and I'm not sure how to tackle it.

Posted by: Addie | November 16, 2008 7:04 PM

Addie - try having your toddler practice with larger socks. Then when she's successful give her plenty of time and let her practice with her own.

Posted by: barbara | November 16, 2008 7:34 PM

How would this be altered by having mittens threaded through the sleeves?

Posted by: Katie | November 17, 2008 3:55 PM

Right on! The "Flip" method is fun and works well. It's how I taught my 5, ds and 4 to put on coats with such a sense of accomplishment!!!

Posted by: amymdmom | November 17, 2008 3:56 PM

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