More Summer Ideas!

Well I am sorry for all of you having to listen to all of my ramblings, but I am still thinking of how summer (and next school year) is going to go. I was all set to continue doing light school during the summer, but after our last day of school, I think we need a break! Bunny told my mom that she doesnt want to ever talk about Montessori ever again! 🙁 I am sad that I all the work I ave done to make things fun , she still doesnt want to do it. So We need to rethink how we are going to approach our work time! For the summer, we are not doing school work in a formal down in the school room. We will read, play, and explore out interests. We can relax or learn like crazy! When I think all about what Bunny and Pup learned this year, I realized that what they learned the most about where the things that they wanted to learn about. Pup learned her numbers because she loved them, Bunny learned SO much about plants because she planted maple seeds during playtime and watched them grow. They still needed a couple of presentation to help pull it all together, but they learned on their own. So this leads me to really think about how I do things. I think I got caught up in trying to cover all of the album material and to finish our Waseca study. While all of these are really awesome, it wasnt meeting my kiddos needs.Bunny covered more then most Kindergartners, and even some first graders this year! She is smart and is learning like crazy! As I have read through my theory album and through some of Maria Montessori’s work and I realize that I am over thinking and complicating things here! Maria Montessori was a scientist and thought it was really imperative to observe the child at all time! She was willing and able to try something and to throw it out if it didnt work. Sure the albums are important, but they are after all guidelines, not a bible. There is more to Montessori then albums and materials. It is a way to think and observe the child so you meet their needs and inner drive for knowledge. I think that I got away from that and started to focus on the materials and presentations instead. Both of these things are good, but if you only do the presentations and use the materials, it just becomes a glorified curriculum plan. Without deep sensitivity to the child and lots of observation the method doesnt work out super well. This is where I made my mistake this year I think. I set a plan, I made work for the girls, and I had things they needed to do. I put too much on their plates and pushed. We did alot of work, they learned alot, but it wasn’t really driven by them, so the work became a chore and in the end we are all done. So we need to regroup! Rethink how to make out classroom more them and less me. I read in my theory album, I read that in the elementary year, having a list of the things the child needs to know by the end of the year is there so that the child can help make sure they know what they need to know. After that the work is up to them! Whatever they want to learn about is what they do! How simple is that? So long as Bunny does what she needs to be done, she can learn whatever she heart desires! This takes some of the pressure off of me to find work and she can reignite the fire! So that is our goal for the summer. Easy, fun, and really following the child. I hope that together our relationship will really improve as Bunny and I have been rather upset with each other. Pup usually just rolls with what is going on! 😉
Today we kicked off this plan and it has gone beautifully! Bunny has a real interest in the ocean right now, so we headed out to the beach. Never mind that it was only 56 degrees (it was 98 two days ago! Welcome to Ohio!), we went out there and had a blast listening to the lake, playing in the waves, and building things with sand. I even grabbed a few books to read while we were there. They loved it! Both my girls talked about it all day and Bunny said it was the best day ever. What did they learn? I dont know, but I dont need to! My job is not to know everything, its just to sow seeds of information so that they can sprout when the time is right. But I can tell you one thing, I spent the whole day with happy, smiling, peaceful kids! What’s better then that!

We ended the day making pizza and both girls were so excited with the chance to make dinner! 🙂 It was a really fun summer day, and it its essence, very Montessori! 🙂

So that is what is going on here! Even though we arent doing any formal
 school work, keep stopping back this summer for all the learning fun! Right now we are learning about oceans and I foresee alot of great work with that! So I hope that you all are keeping the passion going in your homes! Happy Schooling!