I've been thinking back over our first week of this adventure. Even though the beginning was rough, I'm really glad to have week one behind us.
- that it's not going to be perfect from the beginning, so it's better for me to jump in and start SOMEWHERE.
- to relax and have fun with things!
- that a little assistance (especially for such a young kid) can kick-start interest in an ignored area.
- to let her have some flexibility with the materials, especially things like story-telling while working.
I've been reassured (after some fears those first few days) that this method is very compatible with how Nugget thinks and works. She flitted around a lot when she was grumpy and everything was new, but the last day or two she settled down and was working a lot more like I had expected, given her day-to-day personality.
I've been surprised at the difficulty she has with some of the materials (the Pink Tower, specifically). She's done nesting/stacking blocks before, so I'm not sure what's different about the Tower. Perhaps that they're closer in size, or all the same color? Or maybe she's just not interested at the moment and can't concentrate on it, or doesn't want to build it correctly?
Next week, I'm going to extend our Sensorial area a bit. I'll definitely put out Cylinder Block #2, probably the rough/smooth boards, and possibly one of the "games" (smelling bottles or sound/no sound bells). I'll also up the difficulty of some of the Practical Life -- I'm going to change out the spoon in our spooning activity (from a nice, deep measuring spoon to something a bit trickier), switch from the buttoning ribbon to a buttoning frame, and switch from dry to wet pouring. As a freshening activity in the middle of the week (something fun to do together, not necessarily Montessori), I'm thinking of working in some activities with animal tracks.
I think the next few weeks will be a time for me to figure out how many and the best way to introduce new activities -- all at once in the beginning of the week, or spread out each day. There are advantages and disadvantages of each, and I just need to see which works best for her.