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!
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