We were able to get started a day early this week because my husband got home later in the morning than he usually does. I like that it worked out like that, since we weren't able to do anything on Friday, which means we're 3 days out from our last school time.
I swapped out a lot of the practical life. In fact, all I left were the containers, stamping, and snap frame. I added (sorry for the dark pictures; I was taking these early in the morning as Nugget was just waking up):
Cylinder Block #2,
spooning individual counters into ice cube molds,
sorting jingle bells from non-jingle bells (half have the internal jinglers removed),
homemade rough and smooth boards,
threading heart-shaped beads onto pipe cleaners,
and a buttoning frame and buckle.
I thought things seemed pretty positive going into it. Nugget slept in a bit, she was in a good mood in the morning, and she eagerly trotted off to the Montessori area as soon as I suggested it.
Once inside, though, things deteriorated. She flitted from item to item, trying things once (or only half doing them) before moving on. That wasn't so bad, I'd half expected it. She had trouble with the buttons, and gave up nearly immediately. She placed the counters in the ice cube tray with both her fingers and the spoon. She gave a quick try at the beads and pipe cleaners, but didn't have immediate success and moved on quickly (she's threaded beads this size before). She did the bells once, and gave a quick visit to the rough/smooth boards.
But then she decided she wanted to do the Brown Stair.
Only she didn't really want to do it. She wanted me to do it. She picked the first 2 or 3 blocks correctly, but then jumped right to the smallest. And she wouldn't try others, or work to correct what she'd done. She just wanted me to put out the next one or ask me if it was right. Every time I suggested putting it away and doing something else, she freaked out that she wanted to do the Brown Stair.
I finally got fed up and took a shower (right next to our Montessori area). While I was in there, she worked a bit with the containers. That seemed to help her calm down a bit, enough to try Cylinder Block #2. But when she wasn't even very interested in that (did it once, then wanted to carry around the smallest cylinder), I got her out of the room.
So. I'm wondering if the deterioration is due to us being out of the Montessori area and mindset for 3 days (I know I've heard that even in Montessori schools, the first day or two after the weekend can be rough) or whether it's the sudden influx of new materials.
I'll see how things progress this week. Next week, I may try having no new materials on the first day after our break, but instead introducing one new material each day after that. My husband has suggested having a small Montessori annex somewhere else in the house that we could access even on days when he's sleeping, so that we could have one or two materials out for her to work with during the break. He thinks that might soften the re-entry into Montessori work in the beginning of the week.
Hmm. I'm also having vague thoughts that she might enjoy some more traditionally academic activities. She's already a master at beginning sounds/letters and has been getting a kick out of rhymes for the last few weeks. She really loves Language Arts sorts of things. It might be something interesting to try, something different from the Practical Life and Sensorial that don't seem to be grabbing her right now.
Lots of logistical questions yet. I'm a bit frustrated, but I think a lot of that is being tired (and feeling very pregnant -- 33 weeks!). I'm not really excited about going back to it tomorrow, but I know I've got to keep moving or we'll never get past these hiccups.