Well…..I’m Not perfect!
I have really been having a hard time with Bunny, so i started to think about what has been going on. There is a lot of crazy personal crap going on here in my life right now, and it has made me rather stressed out. My solution to stress (after consuming large amounts of chocolate) is to absorb myself in the computer. It gives me a nice world that is perfect and controllable.I used to browse ebay (very expensive) now I browse blogs and Montessori websites! My excuse is that this is good for my kids education. I AM getting ideas, but I am also not focusing on the kids that I am supposed to be teaching. Not only that, but I start to feel like Bunny is not in the place she should be at the age that she is in her lessons. So I start to push her when we are doing school. For example, she has been trying to count higher then 20, but once she get past thirty she jumps to sixty. So I pulled out the tens board. She loved it! She did really well and she was even able name some random numbers that I put on the board. So I thought, “hey, that was great why not pull out the hundreds board”. So I did. She was bursting with excitement. Well….lets just say it was too soon. She was in tears and screaming after a few minutes because I wouldn’t tell her what went where, and I promptly put the board away and was frustrated! Oooohhhh. I knew I shouldn’t, but I did anyway. I wanted to control my Montessori world and in the process I am NOT following the child! So I am a greatly flawed and really need to back off. So this week I have backed way off and am focusing on getting our next theme, Farms, together, and I am planning things that should be fun for her. She likes to make books so we will do that. I ordered a farm set so we can play eye spy with it, and maybe try some small words with the moveable alphabet. I am going to make some small barn shaped papers with golden bead addition on it. I hope that I will be able to bring the fun back into our school room! So thank you for listening to me! I really hope that facing my short comings will allow me be a better person!
June 2, 2011 @ 2:39 am
I do exactly what you are doing…consume a large amount of chocolate and change the pace in our homeschool. I bet the farm additions will give you a fresh start. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only imperfect person.
My Boys' Teacher
June 2, 2011 @ 3:25 am
I know how you feel 🙁 Bunny and Kal-El are the same age. I’m happy with our progress until those moments when I click through my reader and see pictures of three year olds doing addition with golden beads. Grrr.
I try to compare myself to the local public instead of a good Montessori school. Kal-El wouldn’t even be IN school until fall, so what am I stressing about, right? Same with Bunny 🙂
The Montessori by Hand album says to hold off on teens and tens boards and the hundred square until: “Wait until children are getting into collective exercises a bit before you begin the Teens and Tens. The child should be comfortable reading numbers the other way, specifying the categories.” The collective exercises include static and dynamic addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. I noticed that when Kal-El “renames” the quantity (‘twenty three’ instead of ‘two tens and three units’) he loses track of the meaning of the number. I also noticed that he keeps track of the categories beautifully most of the time, but if we don’t look at it for two days he mixes them together. All signs to me that he isn’t ready for the other stuff.
Also, if it helps experience has taught me that if you move on to the “next” material too fast you usually notice it when you get to the “next” material past that one. My kids are fine with the first “stretch” and implode on the second.
My Boys' Teacher
June 2, 2011 @ 3:47 am
Oh, and to put things in perspective some more. This week ALONE Kal-El has 1. thrown a brick at his brother’s head (missed)_ 2. threw a rock at his brother’s head (didn’t miss) 3. Dug seven big holes into his bedroom walls with a screwdriver 4. poked holes in the outside of my bathroom door with a wire hanger while I took a shower 5. cut one of his socks in half with a scissors 6. dropped a rock on his foot and ruined his big toenail 6. Lied about cutting his sock in half telling my husband “the scissors fell off the shelf onto my sock a little bit.” 7. Told me he hates me.
I’m not winning any awards over here…
June 2, 2011 @ 9:04 am
It is always messy in real life, however simple it looks on paper. I have to say that as a Montessori teacher in a classroom it is very rare that I teach a “classic” lesson. Although they are very firmly in my head I have to adapt what and how I present lesson to individual children.
It’s the same at home – simple on paper and messy inreal life!
June 2, 2011 @ 12:45 pm
I think you are right about moving too fast. She does just need to work with golden beads more. She just keeps telling me she needs “new work, its no fun cause we dont have new work”. So I try to pull new stuff out. Like I said maybe I will make some theme addition problems so she can so those. Do you guys do any addition with the bead stair yet? We dont, but maybe I should be. I dont know (On a side note I started Karen Tylers Course yesterday, so maybe it will help me figure things out a bit). She does the Golden Bead so easily that she gets alomost board. I guess I will have to try some new ideas to keep it interesting! That’s what Maria Montessori says though, we need a scientific mind. I hope Kal-El’s toe gets better. I dont feel so bad about the paint Bunny picked off the door or thescreaming sh is doing whenever Pup has an idea that’s not hers! 🙂
Anna~ I’m glad that its not just me thinking this should be easier. It does sound SO easy! I just wish it was in real life all the time! 🙂
You all have no idea how much it means to me to get so many helpful hints and comments telling me I am not crazy! Thanks you all for your support! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!
My Boys' Teacher
June 2, 2011 @ 7:17 pm
I took the Karen Tyler course, I don’t think it will help you with this. It’s not so much a “course” as a set of albums and there is nothing that tells you to do “this after that” or which activities run in parallel or even which albums run in parallel. You will have to use your Gettman to keep that straight.
The Montessori by Hand albums will though. Have you tried subtraction, multiplication and division yet? They are supposed to start them all in quick succession. Both Meg and Gettman call them something like “collective exercises” and they are listed as ONE activity in the sequence unlike many albums which by breaking them up into four activities makes it seem like you master one and then move on to the next. Meg says:
“Next, we present the operations. We call this the “Collective Exercises” because we do it in a group. The purpose of introducing the four operations at this point is to give a strong sensorial impression of what the operations mean. We give a ‘concept of addition.’ We do not have the child memorize anything at this point. We simply want the child to understand what the operations mean. These exercises are given with large numbers because it leaves a stronger impression. For the same reason, it is presented with groups of children. All four operations are presented in quick succession. The child needs to see the four operations close together because each will help in understanding the other. The child will experience something like:
-Addition is putting together quantities. -Subtraction is having something and taking away from it. -Multiplication is putting together the same quantity a given number of times. -Division is having a quantity and sharing it out equally among a given number.”
No, I haven’t done the bead stair yet because it goes in parallel with the seguin boards which we are starting a little further in to the collective exercises.
I think it is harder to get the child to do the repetition that they really need without the “group” to keep it interesting. It helps to be really really dramatic. Meg gives some sample sentences to help with adding the “drama.”
The girl who painted trees
June 3, 2011 @ 1:41 am
I feel in part responsible since I am one of those with a three year old who is at least a year ahead. Sorry! Please don’t hate me! Remember she is not the norm. My son is totally not headed down that road and it will be interesting to see how I deal with it. However, even though she is ahead, or perhaps because of it, I tend to push her a bit past her comfort zone. I am really interested in going to Meg’s album however and reading it cover to cover so to speak, because I didn’t introduce all the operations at once. I really should read my Gettman too. I agree about Karen Tyler’s course. It did not answer any questions I had to ask and though I like her albums as they are easy to read and follow, esp for the sciences, there isn’t much direction. I have extremely bad days with Bear too. Thank you for being brave enough to share yours.
June 3, 2011 @ 12:49 pm
Ok….so I guess that I need to look into reading Meg’s Albums. Does she have a website? I guess that I am a little confused because my Gettam book doesnt say how to introduce the collective operations. I guess that is one of the reasons I was taking the course was to learn how and when to present. Alot of the other things I read introduces the bead stair early on as a counting exercise so that they become familier with the color/quatlity relationship. I guess I want to make sure that I am giving her enough “new” stuff without pushing too fast. Do I need to make a mulitipication board, and get the division stuff? I guess I just need to read more!;) I REALLY appricate you taking the time to help me think this through. I know that you have limited time. I dont think I would be able to figure this out on my own! Talking other poeple around me is hard because they have no idea what I am talking about! 🙂
Oh, dont worry about Bear! I love to see her work! She is such a smart kiddo! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your encouragement too! I couldnt do it without you guys!
June 4, 2011 @ 2:29 pm
Hugs from the virtual Montessori world. You are doing a great job with your children!
Meg’s albums are posted in her yahoo group Montessori By Hand links area. You have to join the group to reach the files.
June 4, 2011 @ 3:06 pm
Thanks so much!!!!! It means alot!
And I sent a request to join her group! I hope I can . It look great! Thank you!
My Boys' Teacher
June 6, 2011 @ 2:13 pm
No, you don’t need the multiplication and division boards yet. The Gettman does not give presentations for lessons that typically occur at age five or above (see, we’re right on target). When you get to the last couple periods you need to switch to Meg’s albums or to the elementary albums you plan to use. It can take a while to be accepted into that group (Montessori by Hand), be persistent. They seem to moderate in spurts.
June 6, 2011 @ 3:14 pm
I got accepted yesterday! Now I just need to browse through the massive amount of info and ideas there! I think that this might help out alot! Thanks again! And as a side note, Bunny has had a revelation! She figured out how to sounds words out and write them! I’m sure what happened! All I did was make a new tray and not school for a week. Thank you SO SO SO much for all of you advise! I love that Kal-El and Bunny are at the same point and I see someone else’s work too! You are amazing!