Monday, September 17, 2012

Back to School: Homeschooling Infants/Young Toddlers 6-9 months old

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

The last post on the topic of homeschooling infants and young toddlers covered birth to six months old. In this post, homeschooling infants and young toddlers in the age range of 6-9 months old will be explored insha'Allaah.

Initially, this post was to cover 6-15 month olds but the information for both would combine to make a very long post therefore they will be covered in separate posts insha'Allaah. For those who are waiting for 10-15 months, your patience is asked and appreciated. Insha'Allaah, the time between this post and the 10-15 month old post will not be long.

Homeschooling your 6-9 Month Old Child

At this stage in your child's life, he/she is quite possibly able to roll from his/her stomach to his/her back and vice versa. He may also be reaching for objects now and tracking objects with his eyes. Now you may wish to begin introducing activities that will help your infant start developing hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, develop his/her concentration, balance and coordination insha'Allaah.

Your little one still needs regular naps throughout the day and this will be taken into consideration as you plan what you would like to teach your child insha'Allaah. Athkaar and Quraan are still essential just as they were for the newborn to 5 month old.

Baby's schedule at this age can include activities such as:

  • Treasures baskets: fill a wooden (not plastic) basket with various objects for your child to explore. These baskets have lots of potential as you can choose to have items that have a particular theme such as: colours, textures (i.e all wooden objects, all red objects, lots of different colour fabrics, various pieces of velvet, etc), items that represent places in the home (i.e. safe items that we use for personal care- soft brush, wooden comb, clean sponge, soft small towel, etc.). You can change the items in the treasure basket every week or when you notice your child has lost interest in the current items.
  • Parts of the face: teach baby the following names: nose, ears, face, hair, and mouth/lips by touching each part and slowly and clearly saying the name of the body part.
  • Give baby a pot and its lid to explore. First show baby how the lid comes off and how we put it on and then allow baby to explore on his own.
  • Pincer grasp activities: Give baby a bowl of cheerios (or other similarly healthy cereal). With your thumb and forefinger only, show baby how to remove the cereal from the small bowl and place it on the table. Then show baby how to put the cheerio back into the bowl. Allow baby to try on her own. This activity requires that you show and you do not need to explain your actions.
  • Creative Commons: Steakpinball
  • Sound bottles: These can be easily made using empty film canisters. You can place safe non-edible things into the canister, seal it to make sure it cannot be opened by the infant and allow him/her to shake it to experience the sound different items make. Items that you may consider placing inside include: sand, a large button, a or a coin. Try to choose items that have distinctly different sounds. It is extremely important that you make sure the canister cannot be opened by the infant and that the items you place inside do not present a choking hazard.
  • To help baby work on fine motor skills and grasping, you can still present beautiful Montessori Inspired Wooden Toys for play and exploration insha'Allaah.

  • You can also take a soft toy and place it in your child's field of vision. When you notice he/she has noticed the object and is paying attention, slowly move the object from your right to your left (or left to right if your child will read and learn in English or any language that is read from left to right), allow the child to track the object (visually).
  • Since baby may be sitting up and rocking (but not yet moving forward), you can assist baby in developing the ability to move forward by placing a soft toy (that you feel confident she likes and will want) in her direct line but not too far away. Allow baby the time to try to move forward to obtain the object. She will be using the large muscles in her legs while trying to obtain her objective. Do not allow baby to become frustrated but do not give the toy to baby too soon. Allow her time to work on trying to move forward to get it independently.
  • Play hide and seek: With a toy and a pillow, hide the toy under the pillow leaving a large part of the toy showing. Invite baby to find the hidden toy.
  • Montessori Object Permanence Box with Tray and Ball:The child drops the ball into the hole in the top of the box. The ball will roll out of the box and into the attached tray. This action allows the child to experience object permanence by seeing that the ball did not just disappear. "It practices precise hand movements while sending information to the brain as well as develops hand, wrist and finger control - also known as "refined hand movements" {from}.

Activities such as those mentioned above do not need to be long in their presentation and can last a few minutes or several. Again, if your child wishes to continue with an activity allow him/her to do so uninterrupted but if you notice the child has lost interest, end the activity and take the child with you as you clean up the materials and put them in their correct spot.

Your baby's weekly schedule may resemble the one below:

Click for larger view insha'Allaah

Present such activities 2-3 times each day insha'Allaah (i.e. after breakfast present a treasure basket, after baby's first nap play hide and seek, before dinner give baby a pot and pan to explore after showing her how to remove and replace the lid). Change the activities up as you notice baby no longer shows interest. Hmm...that sounds rather like a prescription from the doctor does it not? "Present activities 2-3 times each day...repeat until baby no longer shows interest". Unintentional of course.

Insha'Allaah, the next post will cover 10-15 month olds. Check back!

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