Dalton’s Trip to the Grocery Store – A Montessori Story

Dalton’s Trip to the Grocery Store – A Montessori Story

Dalton’s Trip to the Grocery Store – A Montessori Story

“What colour are the carrots, Dalton?” Mummy asks.

“Oooorrrrange…” says Dalton while he picks up a couple.

Dalton is 2 ½ years old. Mummy picked him and his 4-year-old sister Laura up from Learning Tree Montessori in Whitby soon after arriving at the Whitby Go Station after work. They stopped at their local grocery store on their way home in Brooklyn.

Dalton likes the grocery store. So much to look at. He loves all the colours in the vegetable section. He’s just tall enough to reach the carrots.

“That’s right Dalton. Let’s get some carrots for dinner tonight,” says Mummy. She knows both Laura and Dalton like carrots. “We’ll need six carrots, Laura. Dalton has two…”

“Soooo, we’ll need… four more?” says Laura showing Mummy four fingers.

“That’s right, Laura. Clever girl!” smiles Mummy.

“Fooourteen!” says little Dalton, looking at Mummy expectantly. He wants to be clever too.

“No Dalton, just four…” Laura corrects him, with her ‘big-sister’ huff!

Dalton stares at the carrots. This is all very confusing!


The Need for Learning Being Met.

The next morning Daddy drops Laura and Dalton at Learning Tree Montessori. He’s helping Dalton change into his indoor shoes.

“Good morning, Laura! Good morning Dalton!” Ms. U welcomes them. “Mommy told me you were going to help with the groceries yesterday?”

“Yes! Then we went home and made dinner with her too,” Laura says. “We made stew.”

“Yum! My favourite!” says Ms. U.

“I like carrots!” says Dalton. “Fooourteen carrots,” he says while raising four fingers. He’s imitating Laura from last evening.

“Oh, that’s a lot of carrots, Dalton!” says Ms. U smiling at him.

Laura huffs her ‘big sister’ huff again. “No Dalton, we only got six carrots.”

Dalton stares again, his mouth half open. Four, fourteen, six, two… the numbers he’s heard are floating through his curious mind. He’s trying to make sense of it all.

Daddy’s finished with Dalton’s shoes. “I know you like your carrots, buddy… but I don’t think you can eat fourteen of them. Not yet!” he jokes. “Mummy’s working late today, so it’s my turn with dinner.”

“I can help, Daddy,” Laura volunteers. “Or we can get pizza again?” she smiles with a sneaky twinkle in her eye.

“Once this week is quite enough, young lady,” says Daddy as he pecks a kiss on Dalton’s and Laura’s foreheads. “Thanks Ms. U. I’ll see everyone later,” he says cheerily as he walks out the door.

Ms. U kneels next to Dalton who still has his mouth half open, and is staring at the door that closed behind Daddy. “Would you like to work on your counting today, Dalton?”

“Yes, yes…” says Dalton excited, breaking out of his trance. “Ah! Yes PLEASE!” he remembers his manners.

“Great! Let’s talk to Ms. N about working on our counting,” she says as she walks Laura and Dalton up the rainbow stairs to their Casa classroom. “What are you going to work on, Laura?”

“I’m going to build words again today. I made a four letter word yesterday!”

“Foooourteen!” says Dalton, climbing up the stairs. Laura huffs!


How Is This Montessori?

Last week Dalton worked on pouring activities. He tried to water Mummy’s indoor plants and over-watered it. So he worked on different ‘Practical Life’ pouring activities at Learning Tree Montessori most of last week, and he’s getting quite good at it now. His muscles are getting used to the different weights and holding things steady while pouring and he controls it much better now.

Today he’ll switch to the ‘Number’ activities. He’ll be eager to learn it because it’s something he’s feeling curious about. There are so many different activities that Dalton will progress through. The Math activities he’s first introduced to will help him learn to identify quantities. He’ll then learn to match the quantities with the number symbols, and gradually progress through the Math activities. By the time Dalton is six and graduating to grade one in public school, he should be able to use the Math activities in the Montessori to add, subtract, multiply, and divide up to four digit numbers. Some may think that this is too much, but the capacity of the young mind is amazing, especially when it’s fed by interest and curiosity.

“The most important period in life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori


How Is This Different from Daycare?

Daycare’s use many different strategies to occupy children. Some structured and some not. However, a common theme is that the activity they do every day is planned for them, and they rarely deviate from it. Dalton may come to a Daycare with the need to learn how to count, but may have an activity to colour a picture, or sing a song, or watch a movie, already planned for him. His need to work on counting isn’t met, and the opportunity to learn effectively lost. Whereas at Learning Tree Montessori Dalton can work on numbers, Laura on building words Rahul on pouring, Megan on dressing frames… everyone on something they need to progress with in the same room.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this story and that it’s helped you gain some insight into how the Montessori method works. We plan to share many other stories here, that should give you more understanding into the method we at Learning Tree Montessori, truly believe in. We invite you to visit this space often to learn more.

Till our next blog!

Learning Tree Montessori

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