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No Montessori happening here.........YET!

Posted Apr 11 2009 1:04am
I mentioned before that teaching Sophie using the Montessori method is turning into a thing. Well, it is, and I am --for sure-- NO expert! As a matter of fact, I'm not sure at this point if I should even try to continue-maybe just plan little 'mini' lessons that I can do with her in the way I have already been trained as a teacher. **SIGH** Who knew it would be this hard?
Must do more research.
In the meantime there is a really cool book I am going to pick up called, Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives, by David Gettman. There are a couple of more books I can get to help with the whole 'Montessori in the home' thing. I think my biggest problem is that the web subscription I have is geared for the actual classroom-and it's a lot harder to do most of this stuff at home.
In the meantime-while I am still trying to grasp the basic concepts of Montessori-I am doing activities with Sophie based on what I think might be the way to go--a child-driven curriculum, or maybe it's just child-driven activities geared toward a specific curriculum. See? I'm confused. But I think it means whatever she shows an interest in-is what we do at that moment or during scheduled 'classroom' time. I have different activities to go with areas of interest-arts/crafts, language, computer, math, and so on. I think my biggest challenge will be consistency--at least with sticking to a schedule. It's so hard here at home when I don't have a boss breathing down my neck or even a time-card to punch.

On Monday she was interested in painting so I brought out the finger paints and let her experiment for about a half an hour.

I tried not to 'teach' her but just to show her how to finger paint. Seeing as I have absolutely ZERO artistic abilities, no actual pictures were drawn. She did love playing with it though and she definitely loved getting messy! Then I went a little further and let her "clean up" in the kitchen sink, cleaning the tray and washing her own hands. Made a huge mess for me, but Sophie was so content when she was finished that she didn't throw a fit when I said it was nap time!

Yesterday was a different story. I have yet to master the whole 'circle-time' thing, considering it's just the two of us, so I thought that before I get out the calendar and teach her songs I would get her used to sitting with me and 'planning' her day by having her set up a schedule. First we needed to put some Velcro on the pieces that I already had made-she seemed to enjoy this, but wanted to keep going after we were done.

She did a fantastic job of picking out the activities to do yesterday and put them on the schedule board herself. We have to work on order though. That's OK. It's only our first try right?

She was so proud of herself when she was finished. I love that she put lunch first and wanted to take a bath before dinner and go shopping afterwards. It was cute.

I rearranged it to fit our actual schedule, thinking that maybe sometime I could follow her way of doing things and let her be in control. Not yet. I will be snapping some new pictures to make some more cards over the next couple of weeks. (I made this board after Sophie's first birthday, so all of the pictures are old, but she got a huge kick out of seeing herself doing things as a baby!)

I was starting to feel stress at this point because she started to play with all of the Velcro and then found her scissors. I got out the scrap paper and her 'fancy' pink sparkle glue and we cut and paste for about 20 minutes. Again, I attempted to make a dog, but with my lack of artistic abilities, it looked like a giant bunny. At least Sophie got some fine motor skills tuning time and giggled in the process. She is getting very good at working with the scissors. I think I'll try to get her to cut in a straight line next time.

Coming up later this week: music class (YEAH!), window washing ("practical life" skills to put up some Halloween decals,) and a tea-party breakfast. I might throw in the pumpkin patch if time just because it just opened and won't be that busy yet. We'll see.

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