School Plan

Working a New Plan

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School has been very simple here of late. We have transferred out of Montessori work almost completely. Pup still does a bit here and there, like the hundreds board or the golden bead…..but really just to illustrate a point in the book we are learning from. She is as happy as can be learning Math from a book and so far she is doing amazingly! I am keeping a close eye on how well she is grasping the concepts, but so far she picking them up and able to use them at any moment! I am using the Orange Book from the Miquon Math series for her. Plus we have our large assortment of Cusinarie Rods that she uses daily with that. This year Pup is learning to read and with Bunny having such a hard time, I decided that I needed to have a program for Pup. We started All About Reading level 1 with her and she is doing great! She loves the readers and the games, an I am loving the short sweet lessons! ūüôā Another thing that we are doing this year is some at home religion instruction. For pup we are using the Image of God series book for Kindergarten. She loves it, I love it……what else can I say! ūüėČ Science has been a bit of an issue for me. I cant find a program that I really like and so far we are hanging in limbo. Right now our science is all about watching the monarch caterplillars we have turn into butterflies! Super cool and super fun, but we are just about done there. After that I am not quite sure yet!

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Bunny’s work is much the same as last years. We are using First Language Lessons for grammar and this year we are in the third grade book. She doesn’t love it and she doesn’t hate it……for grammar its good! I like that it focuses on the parts of a sentence much like the Montessori grammar boxes…..but without all the cutting. ūüôā For math she will be finishing up the Miquon Series. We are in the green book now, and she still loves it! She was able to pick it right back up after a summer off and keep going! She has a good head for math and this program allows that to shine. I got her a reading program this year as well. All About Reading Level 2 was supposed to be summer work, but we didn’t get to it! lol. So instead we are doing it now. This summer was epic because she started reading for real! She can read books on her own and I couldn’t be happier. If you have followed along here for a while you know that this has been a struggle years in the process! So the reading program is easy for here, but the tools they teach is worth going through for her. Spelling is All About Spelling level 2 (and hopefully 3) this year. We are moving ahead with that and it is working out……if its not broke don’t fix it right!?! History is Story of the World 2. She loves reading this and I love she is into history. I got the activity book, but aside from coloring pages, we don’t get to much of it. However, she is retaining it and loving it. Pup joins in on this too. Religion for Bunny is Faith and Life Series for third grade. We just read and discuss. She seems to like it and it does get us talking about stuff we may not have other wise gotten to, like prophets or angels. Science wise I am in the same boat as with Pup. Nothing is really jumping out as something that will work for us. I don’t want to focus on just one thing the whole year (¬†I think that they will hate it) so I am looking for something that¬†touches on¬†some of the main areas of science (chemistry, physics, geology, etc). I am will keep looking, but¬†until then there is butterflies!¬†ūüôā

So there you¬†have it! Simple, Sweet, Effective. This is our plan for the year! We are doing an art class with our homeschool group once a month and things like that, so there is other add ons, but this is the spine of our work this year! SO share some thoughts. What you doing? Did you stick to your stuff from last year or change it all up? I would love¬†to hear what you are doing (especially for science)! ūüôā

Back to School Shopping Guild!

So one thing that everyone asks me a lot is where do I get my materials for school. Since it is that time of year, I thought I would put together my list of shopping places that I really like to use! These are my tried and true places to go for great learning materials. Some are Montessori specific, some are just really great at what they do! Bear in mind some of these places are affiliate accounts I hold, so if you stop by using my link and order, I get a wee bit of a kick back! But here we go!

1) Montessori Services: This is my first go to place for all those little bits of Montessori fun. They have the best prices on nice plastic trays (a must for water work and scrubbing) they have the best practical life material I have ever seen! Plus they have some elementary materials and LOTS of great science work!

2) Kid Advance: This where I buy ALL of my Montessori Materials. The quality is pretty good. It wouldn’t last through gernerations of kids, but it works just fine for the few kids that use it here! Plus, if you have an order over $200 you get 10% off! Another thing about them is they have been good with some of the little issues I have had with some of my orders. They always make it right!

3) Kiwi Crate: Love this company. If you are feeling like you need a little art mixed with learning this is just for you! Each month a box full of learning and art comes right to your door. It has everything you need for each of 3-4 projects, plus some little extras! One thing I love about these boxes is that you could easily use this as a Montessori art tray,  since all the directions are in words and in pictures for the non readers! These boxes are just way too much fun and really great way to add art with out too much work!

4) Rainbow Resources: This is the ULTIMATE homeschooling website! They have just about everything you need to make the perfect curriculum! I ordered a lot of stuff from them this year since we are starting to need some more books! I bought research resources and I bought actual curriculum. This place is awesome and HUGE! Plus orders over $50 ship free!

Amazon.com

5) Amazon.com: This is my go to to find reviews and sometimes less expensive prices on….well everything! What I love about amazon is that there are a lot of reviews and sometime hearing what other have to say can help make a decision! Plus, I have prime shipping so I can get things in 2 days when I am in a pinch! ūüėČ

Montessori at Home

6) Montessori at Home! This is the best place to start with preschool work in my opinon! It is simple, it is straight forward, and it has a ton of pictures (I need pictures)! Plus there is a whole printable bundle that you can buy to go with it!

So there you have it! These are some of my main picks for places to shop and look for great homeschooling products! The thing about homeschooling is that everyone is different and everyone is looking for different things. So what are your favorite places to shop before school time? What are looking to get for your classroom this year?

 

School Plan for Next Year (as of now)!

 

Well I have been pretty MIA! But I will tell you why. Today I think I finally have a working plan for our school year, at least for now! I am sure that things will change as we go and as I break it down into a plan, but honestly you have to start somewhere. So I thought that I would share some of our plan (so that if you have a better idea, I have time to work it out)!
We have a ton of changes coming to our homeschool and I think that the biggest one is that Bunny is going to be moving away a bit¬†from a Montessori. Now pick jaw up off the floor! We are still doing some, but we are going to be using some text books this year. Why you ask….well after trying to do the elementary work for the Montessori method last year with Bunny, I realized that it just didn’t work well for her. She likes to have structure and having such a big field of study was just too much for her. I felt like the beginning of the year was very scattered, but once I started picking a topic and working through it, Bunny was happier and leanred more. The other things that I noticed was that Bunny was done with a lot of the¬†materials. I was trying to get her to work through the math serquence with materials, but once I let go of them and just let her do some worksheets, she excelled. So as a true Montessorian, I realized that following the needs of the child was more important then following what I thought I¬†had to do. Another major factor for me in this change is the fact that I cant keep trying to make all of the materials. I feel like each subject¬†has so many parts that I need to make and keep track of, there is no time for me to do some other things with the girls. We didn’t get to do a lot¬†of art or music or other studies that are fun. I felt like all of my energy was¬†being funneled into making work for simple subjects. Math and Language are pretty¬†well researched and there is a lot out there. I feel like I¬†am wasting so much time making things that others have perfected. Why reinvent the¬†wheel?¬†So this has led us to look into other ideas of learning this year. So what exactly is Bunny going to do this year? Let me show you!

MATH: BUNNY: No doubt about it, the Montessori math work is the best! However, Bunny loves her worksheets for practice. So this year I am going to buy Modern Curriculum Press for math. I have looked through a lot of books and I think that this is really just worksheets in a book all organized by the different parts of math. Since Bunny is really good at this and a little further ahead of the average greade, I am getting her the Third Grade book. My goal is to use this book with the Montessori math materials. When we are learning a new concept of she is stuck, there is still shelves of math work to use! ūüôā
PUP: Is going to start really working on the traditional Montessori math sequence. We will be starting golden bead and bead boards with her. I think that she is going to have fun!

GRAMMAR AND WORK STUDY: BUNNY: I looked long and hard for a great grammar program, but came up without anything really good for us. First Language Lessons is a good program (best I looked at), but it was just not going to be a good fit here. So¬†I am going to be using my Montessori albums in a modified way. I hesitation with using the Montessori method for this is the grammar boxes. Bunny doesn’t like to use work cards for anything and the thought of maing all those materials was really daughting. She does however LOVE LOVE LOVE the grammar symbols and¬†building things. ¬†So I will be writing words on the board as we talk about each part being the building blocks of a great sentnence! Writing it out on the board will work much the same as word cards, but more directed and less independent. However, I think that this will meet the need here. Plus I will use some of this as Bunny’s copy work to help with handwriting. Plus she will be reading something everyday!
PUP: is going to be starting some moveable alphabet work and some object boxes. She wants to read SO badly. I am also hoping that she can sit in on some of Bunny’s lessons and pick up on the grammar things as we go!

SPELLING: We were working on All About Spelling Level 1 and we will be continuing on with that! Plus it does start to cover some word study, so that will be helpful there too!
PUP: well she isn’t working on spelling exactly. But we will be working on sounds and making words!

WRITING: Will be covered it all the other things we do. Writing about geography or history or just writing a story! She can pick that each day!
PUP: is still trying to write words. I am going to really be working with her on the moveable alphabet, but she loves to write the letters so it may just be done on paper instead of with the letters! ūüôā All that tracing have paid off for her!

SCIENCE: BUNNY:¬†This year science will be rather laid back. We have done ALOT of science in the past couple of years and I think that we need to work on history and geography a bit more. However, that being said, Bunny wants to do nothing but science! ūüôā And more then anything she wants to build a robot! So I found an awesome robotics science program that I think will really get her excited! It called OLLO and it is for younger kids. I am planning on getting the starter set that has a 12 week program to go with it. My hope is that it will help her better understand how things move and what it takes to get them to move!
PUP: Well she is probably going to be getting a random bit of science as she finds something that interest her. She is wanting to learn about her body and about animals. So we may start there!

HISTORY: I love the Great Lessons and while I think it is really important to study all of history and have NO idea where to start and how ti do it without a good base. Enter Story of the World! If you have not seen this history program, you should look at it! It is amazing! It starts in prehistoric history and slowly goes all the way to modern time over about 5 books. These books are told from a story perspective and offer just enough information to be interesting and get a kid interested in a time period, but not so much that there is no more to learn! I am going to do book one this year and I have ordered the guild so I have all the maps, charts with early writing, book lists, and coloring pages that go with each chapter! I know that Bunny is going to LOVE this and even if we just read it as a story she will learn at TON!
PUP: will be doing this with us I am sure! Whether or not she remembers it is just fine! I think she will love to listen to the story and color some coloring pages!

GEOGRAPHY: Our homeschool group had decided to take a trip around the world this year and each month we will¬†pick a continent to study together for the day. I thought that this meant we could do a deep study each month! So we will have a monthly contient that we will be studying! This is one area where I think my Artful Homeschooling will really come into play! Each week we will be picking an activity to do for that contient. So one week we will make a map, another week we will cook a food, another week we will find some landmarks, and the last week they get to pick something that they think looks interesting! It is going to be an overview, but enough that if they find something deeper they want to study they can! ūüôā
PUP: will be doing the same thing here! I was thinking that she could learn about an animal from each continent and make sort of a zoo! Maybe sculpt each animal and create the habitat for the animals!

ART: For art we are going to be working that into our other studies. However, I did buy Artful Parent, and ArtLab for preschoolers incase we lacked inspiration! ūüôā That will be for both girls!

Curriculum Week in the 2013 Not Back to School Blog Hop

So that is our plan for the new year! I have linked¬†this post up with the¬†Not Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Now I just need to order the books, organize the school room, and write up plans by week. I am also hoping to get back into some regular blogging! I feel like things have been rather busy with little summer things that haven’t been recorded because I really just haven’t had my camera on me! We are relaxing and having ….well summer! But school is coming and I think that it will be a good year! What are your school plans for the year? Do you have a brilliant resource to share? Are you doing something new? What about extras in your school work?¬† I would love to hear your ideas! Plus if you are stopping by from the NOT Back to Homeschool Hop, WLECOME! So glad to have you! Happy Schooling!

 

Artful Homeschooling

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We have been having lots of fun with art the past few days. I really love all the creativity and the happiness I see on the girls faces. This has really factored into my schooling planning for the year. In the book, the Artful Parent, she talks about how she makes art a part of her home life with her kids. She calls it artful parenting. I am thinking that we are not only going to do that,¬† but take it a step further and become Artful¬†Homeschoolers! Art is important to me girls and I love it too. I read about the Project Based Homeschooling and I loved the idea of it. However, that is based on what the child chooses to study. While I love doing that, I have the issue that my girls are going to need to do certain things in their school work, even if they don’t want to. So instead of waiting for them to choose something to work on and dig in, I am going to make the art a part of the school plan for the lessons that I am going to give. If we are learning about Africa, then they can create a map or an animal that they are learning¬†about. If we are learning about Space, then they can create planets¬† and solar systems. The possibilities are endless and they can even create with their math and language work. Make puppets to go with their story or make fractions out of clay. You see the more I think about this, the more I realized that they need to¬†create to learn thing on a deeper level. They cant¬†just read about¬†it or hear me talk about it.¬† They need to¬†discover¬†it on their own.¬†As Maria Montessori said, “Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment”. Their work is so important. The work of their hands is really what is going to help them learn. I can see Bunny and Pup both moving away from a lot of materials. It makes me sad, but at the same time I am proud that they are mastering so much. However, their need to work with their hands hasn’t gone away! So I see some of their work this year becoming more artful. As they make things they will need to know the information to do it well. So our Montessori journey has led us to be artful homeschoolers! My goal for their education is that it inspire them to want to know more about the world around them! I want them to dig really deep into the things that mean a lot to them and to know how to find the information. So I think that our path is changing and I am excited to see where its going!

Do you see a new path for your school plan this year? What new ideas are you thinking about?

School Work Storage

Do you have a million papers and art creations all over the place? I did. I felt like it was overwhelming as the school year ended. There were stories, drawings, math problems, art creations, and a bit of everything else! So what do you do with all of this wonderfulness? We can save it, but what will they do with it later in life? Pitch it? Probably. So I decided that I would scrapbook it. I started by taking pictures of each piece of work (yes this took a while). I used a light box that I made using this tutorial. This allowed me to get good, clean pictures of their work without any shadows. Then I scrapbooked the pictures using my digital scrapbook program. I added some pictures of the girls working and some of the other fun things we did that I didn’t have papers for. My hope is that this will become a fun way to look back over what we have done this year! I made sure I wrote out¬†some of the details of what we learned for each subject so we can remember (I didn’t include any of those pages for you to see though, since they have the girls names all over them)!¬†¬†I think that they turned out pretty well. Here are a few of pages I made for the girls:

Here are some pages from Pup’s book:

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Lily's School Work - Page 016

Lily's School Work - Page 013

 Lily's School Work - Page 008

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There are some from Bunny’s Book:

Carly's Work - Page 018

Carly's Work - Page 013

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Carly's Work - Page 004

This project took me weeks to finish, but I think that it is worth it. Not only was I able to save their work digitally. It also made me realize that we did a lot more work then I thought! It was so cool to put them together and see how the girls grew, changed, and learned over the year. It really was a blessing and helped me recover a bit from the burnout I was feeling. To see the great learning and the fun we had made me ready to start thinking about how to work next year too! Plus clearing things up is always a great way to feel accomplished! ūüôā So here is my question for all of you:
How do you save, preserve, and keep all those memories? Do you save them all or do you toss things out? Do you have a portfolio or just a box? I would love to hear what you do! Happy Summer!

PS. Yes I did throw out most of their work after it was photographed. They did each save a folder full of their favorites!

Summer Reading Program!

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Well today kicked off our little summer reading program that we are doing here! I was inspired by seeing the ADROABLE printables from How Does She! This whole set was free for their subscribers. It is just too cute! What we have is a banner with pieces that the girls can write about or draw a picture of their favorite books that we read. I also printed off the bingo cards, and everyday the girls can do one of the reading things to cross off. After they get five in a row, they get a prize ticket. These tickets are simple little surprises! One is go on a picnic together, another is get a pack of stickers, and another is getting ice cream from a new ice cream place! They are kind of like a bucket list! I think that we are going to be able to get about one prize a week! When the whole bingo card is filled up, they the grand prize of going to the book store to pick out a book! (Bunny is over the moon about it)! My hope it to get the girls, especially Bunny, to work on reading! Pup wants to learn, so we may use this to practice together a little bit this summer!

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Another thing that we are going to do with this program is have a bit of a weekly theme. Now it is summer, so when I say theme, I mean it in¬†a loose sort of way. ūüôā I will get out some books to read together on the theme and maybe we will do a small project or take a related trip to round it off! Here are some of the themes I think we are going to do:

Cooking: Read some booking with recipes and cook together and make a restaurant.

Books: Read stories about authors and ways to write and write a book

Ocean: Read books about the beach and ocean, and go to the beach!

Art: Read about artists, paint and visit the museum.

Space: Read about space, make a rocket, and maybe watch the stars!

I am sure that we will find more ideas as things go on! I think that this will give the girls some activities and ideas to refresh their play and also make me spend some time doing something with them (this has been something they have complained about me not doing). This is a going to be a fun way to (hopefully) inspire some play, learning, and new skills!  So that is what we are going to be doing! I am linking this up to Montessori Monday!

Do you do summer reading plan? If so how do you do it?

 

What We Learned

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Now that we have all been off of school for over a week or two, I feel like I have time to really sit and look at what we have learned this year! I think that I learned the most about homeschooling with Montessori and about my girls themselves! This is one of the beauties of homeschooling, not only do you get to see what your kids learn, but you also get to look at what you have learned too! So what did we learn this year? Well, here it is!

Bunny started the year off with some basic math skills, but as we moved forward, she was able to abstract in a way that was really surprising to me! She rock her way through the basic equations and was able to do a lot of them in her head all by herself! She even started to love it again after deciding (when I pushed too hard) and that she hated it! She managed to get herself to a third grade math level! She also learned to READ!!!!! It took forever, but she learned it and has been reading books on her own! Bunny also learned a lot about building with her legos, and has created complex structures that required a lot of thought. She was able to build complex things without directions. I also learned that she likes to have planned lessons better then picking her own subjects. She was so happy as we learned when I had planned things out more.  I think that having the choice of picking her own studies puts too much stress on her. So I need to pick the school subjects, but allow enough space and time to follow her own interest too! This is something that is really going to help me think things through as we plan for the next year!

This year Pup gain so much confidence with her control that she stopped doing most practical life trays and wanted to do much more! She started by wanting to learn the sandpaper numbers. She had a hard time working them out, but she did it and was very proud of her work! She then desperately wanted to learn her letters and learn them she did! She still has a few she needs to work on, but she loves it! She even wrote her first word! She definatly showed me that this next year she is ready for a lot more learning! She wants to read really badly! So we will be working on some of that soon! Another thing that she did was a large project on Cheetahs! She surprised me again with how much she worked on it and how much she learned! It showed me that she was really able to work with deep concentration when she was interested in in something. This was confirmed when she took to tracing entire books at a time!  The tracing not only helped her hand control, it helped her be able to write her letters really well! So this year, I hope to do lots more work with her!

Finally, I learned so much about doing Elementary Montessori work. I learned, that while you can do a lot of it, you will never get the same feel. Bunny is only one child and she can only collaborate with me or herself! This means that the Great Lessons, while making a great impression, didn’t inspire the learning that I was hoping it would. We need to have¬†planned learning here right now. When I came to grips with that we were able to learn a lot together and have a ton of fun doing it!¬†I also¬†learned that I need a core plan, a plan that we can do each day no matter what else is going on. A plan that Bunny could do without me right by her side. That made doing school work each day a little easier. She loves to have a goal and to check something off a list. This is something that will really be a part of next year for us I think. I also learned that I need to be willing to let go of materials! Bunny was doing worse math work trying to use all the materials that I asked her to. This doesn’t mean she will never do them again, but right now she is done. Same with Pup and her Practical Life work. She is done with all of the trays and things like that. She enjoys doing them once, but that is about it! So I am learning that letting go allows us to move forward! I also learned that we just don’t get in that three hour work period and that is ok. We just cant seem to get it all in, but I realized that we are always learning together so we don’t need to make sure we are in a room for three hours to do that! Letting go of something allows me to have a bit more peace!

So that is what we have learned this year! It has been a year of fun and of learning for all of us! This next year has us homeschooling again! I am looking forward to lots of fun, lots of learning, lots of new ideas (and maybe a few tears….hey I am realistic)! What about you? What did your homeschool year teach you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Oh and please take a moments to vote for use over at circle of moms! They are voting for the Top 25 Homeschool Blogs!

 

Montessori Work Plans for Kids!

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Today was the perfect day of Bunny’s work plan working really well! She knew what she needed to do, and she did it with minimual help from me! We even got in a new presentatio! She had fun, I was relaxed and work was done well! In fact Bunny did mre math problems on her own the she would ever do with me assaging a set amount! Every Montessori homeschooler (well…any homeschooler) knows the value of a good work plan. Every homeschooler does it a bit differently, but we all have one, and we all need one! However, it is something that I think really becomes a sticking point for so many Montessori Homeschoolers. How do you require certain work while still offering the freedom to choose their own work? It is hard, but it is not only possible, but necessary. Without a work plan we dont know what was covered and if it was covered consistently. Just doing something one day and not doing it again for months doesnt always guarantee a solid understanding of the work. So we need a work plan. There are many different ways to do this and it really depends on your child and how they like to plan it out. These are the¬†three that I have heard work really well.

1) Have a Daily standard plan: This is what we use. Everyday Bunny knows that she has to do a reading work, a writing work, a math work, and a spelling work. After those things are accomplished, she is free to choose whatever she wants to do. Usually this is where she is chooses some creative work. I will usually toss a presentation in here or there when she seems in between something that she needs to do. What I like about this plan is that it never changes. Bunny knows everyday what she has to do. The negative side to this is that sometimes Bunny will finish her “list”and be done. The thing we do is to have a set work time. We usually work after breakfast until lunch. This way everyone has time to choose more then just those few things. A positive is that on days when there is alot going on, Bunny knows the minimum that she needs to do, so we always seem to get something done!

2) Build a Weekly Plan: Over at What DID We Do All Day, they have a pocket chart for the week. The boys have a certain amount of work that they need to do over the week and they choose which cards go in which pockets. This allows them to place their work in the order they want it to happen while still have all the freedom! One positive to this is that they are learning to plan their time and week well! Another positive is that you can add specific things to the basket that you think need to be covered in a week. A negative to this (in my opinion) is that you need to make sure that you remember to get the plan done each week ( I tend to be a little lazy about that stuff).

3) Daily Plan Cards: This idea is from Jessica over at Montessori Trails. She used this idea with her son when he was younger, but it can be easily used with an older child too. Each day there was a basket with tasks that he would do, and baskets of other tasks for him to do in his free time! Each evening, she would make sure the tasks were replaced in the right baskets. Sticky notes on the back of the cards allows her to make sure that it was customized to the tasks! The positives of this is that it is incredibly customizable! If you dont do something, then it can be moved to another day with no problem. On the other hand it does require some work every evening to make sure it is all together. However, you can also sit down each morning with your child and work out the tasks that need to be done! It is a good way to go. If you think that cards take up too much space, you can use her paper clip idea too!

My hope is that this will help you to see how choice and freedom can still work even with a plan! We are not just making sure our kids have freedom to learn at their pace, we are also making sure that we are preparing them for life. Life requires a plan and time management and this is something important that kids need to learn! Learning this early is sure to help them manage their learning goals (and other goals) later in life too! There are many many ways to make a work plan for your family. In fact if you one that works really well for you, please share it in the comments! Sharing ideas makes it easier for everyone to find a plan for them! I hope you are having a great week! Happy Schooling Everyone!!!!!

Montessori Monday~ Work in the Elementary Room

This is some of the playful work that Bunny has been doing over the past couple of days. We have a book about a medieval monk who found that ink could be made in different colors when he boiled different plants. So this has inspired Bunny to think that rose petals could make some good paint. So she has been exploring what she can do to make it happen. We have ground then up, soaked them in water, and boiled them. Nothing has quite worked, but the materials are still sitting on my kitchen table for some more work tomorrow!
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Well I have been doing alot of thinking (again). I have been struggling again about what to teach Bunny and how to pull it all together for her. And I think that I have¬†realized that trying to do cosmic education with one child is really hard and almost impossible. Everything is connected and everything can be learned together. It is beautiful, exciting, and perfect.¬†But where to start? There is so much in my albums that we can do,but I am getting overwhelmed and not sure how to get it all in without a plan. I want to let Bunny to choose, but when she doesnt choose, what do I do to help her find something¬†that excites her? In a Montessori classroom, as far as I can figure, the children are inspired by each others work, and if there is a child who cant get inspired, the teacher is there to help pull out a material to help with that. However, I feel like I am out of time (and space) to get more materials when I am not sure Bunny will even use them. So I am going to make a radical move and maybe move away from strictly Montessori work. Bunny needs some direction and I need a plan. History and science to me seem better if they follow an organized path. I dont want to jump from spot to spot and offer a fragmented education like we are doing right now. I want to make sure that she can see things connect and in proper order. I know that everything is connected, but everything follows a natural path and that is missing right now. Plus Bunny really loves alot of everything. She would be interested in plants as well as China, and also Writing around the world. I want to make sure we are going get things done in a fun, playful way! So I have started reading Project- Based Homeschooling and it is really offering a great view into some things we can do that will really reach Bunny’s method of learning. Bunny loves to have books, lots of books. She is really visual and many time reading a book will spark so much excitement she will think about it, draw about it, write about it, and want to know more! This is exactly what project based homeschooling is all about: learning across all the creative areas, child led, and thought through. The goal is observe the child, prepare the environment to be open to creativity, and guild them in their quest for answers. Sounds familiar? It is SO very Montessori is its essence that it will work really well with what we have going. I am excited about this because when I really think about Bunny and how she learns, I realize that she is a creator and a having alot of open materials to add to her exploration of a subject is going to really appeal to her. She is going to love taking a subject and not just writing a drawing a picture of it, but to create with it, play with it, and live it for as long as she wants. This is something that I can facilitate and help her to achieve.¬†¬†We can learn about a subject and really just play with it to absorb it. She will love it, Pup will love it, and I will have fun with it too. It means that I am going to have to sit and observe more, but I think that it will help us out. It¬†also means that I am going to have to carve out some time each day for project work, but isnt that more fun then TV? However, instead of me spending time making¬†materials for Bunny¬†to learn with, she can make some of them herself as part of the learning! She loves to make things and I think that this idea will really appeal to her and will make my life a little easier. School should be fun, while still offering a deep learning that will stick with her. The goal is not to know tons of stuff, but to learn to think and absorb information with enthusiasm. What better way then to create with it and play with it?¬†Does this mean I am leaving Montessori behind? No, I am just going add elements that will really reach Bunny in a place that I think will mean alot to her. Which is really about observing the child and finding what works for her! I guess we are still sticking to Montessori! ūüėČ

What are your thoughts on this? Have you changed what you do to make things better for your school experience? Share your thoughts!

Want more Montessori fun? Stop by the Montessori Monday link up! I am linking up there!ÔĽŅ

School Days {And a plea for answers}!

Well today we did some school work since yesterday was a “holiday”. (One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can have different days off then the school kids)! So we were back to work and did some interesting things. Bunny wrote a book and did some very detailed drawings. I tend to be rather resistant to Bunny working on drawing during school time since she will draw the WHOLE time. Today started to turn into that, but it seemed different somehow. She was really focused and the fact that she was drawing small and with great detail seemed to tell me that she was working on alot of pencil control (her pencil control is really lacking and we do need to work on it). She finished 4 pages and told me she was done. There was no words though, so I asked her to write her story and she did. She always asks me how to spell things and I usually just tell her right off since she is working so hard to get the words on paper, that spelling is not the goal here! The results were really good and I was surprised and proud of Bunny’s hard work.

 
 
Another thing that we finally did was The Fundamental Needs of Humans presentation. I have really been struggling with which direction to go with presentation and how to start working on where mail came from. I just dont know how to get that research going and where to start. So I thought that discussing the fundamental needs of all people could start us thinking about how people need to communicate and share their ideas with others. She seemed interested, so maybe this will work as a jumping off point! ūüôā

 
Bunny and I also working on the subtraction snake game alot this week. I am not going to lie, of all the Montessori math materials, the snake game confuses me! It took me about 10 minutes of working with it all on my own to just figure out where the beads were supposed to go! Then Bunny and I must have repeated one problem 5 time before it worked out. Argh! This is leading her to be less interested. I thought it would be fun to figure out the multiplication snake game and help her start to work with some memorization. But I am rather at a loss of where to start! So here is my question to all of you Montessori Mamas out there, where would you continue on the math sequence with Bunny? She knows her operations well, but she still seems unsure on some division sometimes. She has memorized some addition facts, but that’s about it! I feel like there are SO many things that she can be doing, but I am not sure what will be the best thing to start first! I would love to hear your ideas about that!
 
Pup has been working along too! She and I have been working on alphabet sounds and rhyming games. She loves both! ūüôā She is also still doing a ton of puzzles and playdough.¬† I showed her how to roll a snake with her playdough and she is doing that alot. I think that the highlight of her week though was trying to read with me. I put some of the sandpaper letters together and she was able to say the sounds and read the words! ūüôā I loved seeing her so excited about it!
 

 

 
I think that Pup and I are going to start working on some continents. She is interested and i think that maybe doing some study would be good for her. She is really uninterested in any of the Practical Life work, and I have been having a hard time getting into any of the sensorial extensions either. So maybe some geography, and some more math will be good for her. I am thinking that she will love some number go fetch games!
 
Anyway, there is our week all laid out! It was full of observations and some questions. I felt like I was floundering, but it looks like we did a pretty good job! Do you have weeks like that? I really hope that if you have thoughts on my questions I would really love to hear them! Happy Schooling Everyone!
 
 
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gilding-vernell@mailxu.com