It seems that I have been thinking a lot about the materials that make up a huge part of the Montessori way of educating. They seem to quickly becoming less and less necessary and I have say that makes me a little sad. Plus a little unsure if I did it all right. Since we didn’t use all the materials, I am afraid that I missed something really important. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bunny is doing really good and understands everything in her math work. But she didn’t do the memorization sequances because they bore her horribly. She began to hate math and that is what I didn’t want to happen. So I switched to doing what she thought was fun and that was worksheets. So we went with that. She would rather use her hands and head to work things out and I think that the memorization will come with time. However, it means that all those materials I bought are now sitting on a shelf and have been replaced with an $18 workbook. We do use them, just not often. Pup…well she is DONE with so much of the 3-6 sensorial and practical life work that it worries me a bit! After all she is only four! I managed to get her interested in the knobless cylinders, but it is forced and not something is wanting to do. So I ask again, when is letting go of materials good and when is it too soon? After what is the goal of the materials? The goal is to get the child to a place where they can know the information and apply it on their own without the materials! So if Bunny is applying her math skills without the beads and boards, then that is ok. She is learning, abstracting and understanding math. Pup is pouring her own water, sweeping the floor, and easily grading and sorting things. So maybe its time that I let go. Some materials are needed long term and some,…..well some just aren’t needed any more. I think that we are there. They are growing, changing, and so should I. Nothing stays the same and if the materials accomplished their work, then its time to make way for new learning opportunities! Plus, if we missed something I can always grab then back out right? 😉 What do you think? Weigh in! I would love to hear how you handle this issue of moving forward and maybe what you do when the materials aren’t working! Happy Schooling!