Oct 19, 2011

Montessori Madness

8 years ago Dean was in the military and I spent a lot of time at home with a young toddler (14 months or so).  This was a time of great stress for our family and as my M.O. I turned to research to calm my mind.  I would raid the library and take all the books they had about one topic, then I would stay up all night devouring book after book and website after website.  It was at this point I started thinking about our childrens future education. 

My initail research was actually into Montessori and Waldorf educational methods.  At the time my interest was piqued on both methods.  I spent hours looking at school websites as our goal was to enroll our kiddos in private school.  My interest in Waldorf was quickly put out but Montessori hung in there.  I read what I could (which was limited at my library) and found what I could online.  The amount of information at that time was limited and I was able to draw one firm conclusion.  I had nothing available to me in my geographical location.  Bummed and defeated I eventually stumbled into the homeschooling movement.  Amazing, life changing and wonderful.

But 8 years later I am still drawn to Montessori methods and theory.  I once again have been devouring all I can get my hands on.  I have all the books from the library either in my possession or on hold.  Currently I have 16 tabs open with information regarding Montessori education.


Sensory Bucket

{Sensory bucket.  Not a Montessori manipulative but a great way to encourage pouring, scooping, colors, adding, etc.  This was Laurens favorite activity hands down.  I got the idea from Counting Coconuts.}
This weekend I decided to begin working in bits and pieces of Montessori into our daily routine, mostly with Lauren and Laina.  I went to the craft store and purchased supplies to make a few of the manipulatives as well as some others like sensory  buckets.  Over the next few weeks I will be changing things around the house to make Practicle Life skills easier as well as making more manipulatives such as the pink tower, brown stairs, red rods, sand paper letters and so on.  I hope to get the grammar farm going for Ian as a concrete way to reinforce what he knows about grammar.

Practical Life Skills

{I didn't plan on doing a practical life activity today, in fact I don't have anything set up for it just yet.  However Lauren was bored so I grabbed a few pennies, a dish of water and a cloth.  She proceeded to clean those pennies for 45 minutes.  Not very practical but oh so great!}

Today Lauren got to try her hand at a few.  She is in love.  She was thrilled to have her own school time but she was even more thrilled to be doing something for herself.  It was pretty amazing to watch.

Color cups

{Color cups.  Laina will have a small pile of colored items.  She will then match the item with the colored up.  This will help to learn colors as well as sorting and matching skills.  I have no idea if this is a Montessori activity or not.  I saw the idea on a random blog and decided to make it my own!}

I know its all new to me right now (and the kids for the right matter) but this change feels so right.  Knowing my kids like I do, I know that this change in our daily routine and method is going to be a good step in the right direction.  Classical education is still our method of choice overall but as I read and learn more I will be going a more Montessori way.

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