Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week 5, day 5: A few minutes here, a few minutes there

Again, I didn't plan to get into the room today. But I was cleaning the kitchen and Nugget was playing with some stuffed animals, and suddenly I realized that I hadn't heard her in a while. I checked her room and the playroom, but finally found her in the Montessori room!

She'd pulled out the new Sandpaper Letters I set out and the noun cards, and was busily matching by beginning sound. How fabulous!

She did those just fine and then did a few puzzles. We didn't have time to go any further because my husband got home from work and needed to head to bed.

I had been a bit torn about her recent jaunts into the room to do the puzzles. We purposefully separated the Montessori area from the rest of the house to keep it special. That she was going in there more frequently but for shorter bursts only for the puzzles -- even though I love what the recentering does for her -- causes me some concern that I won't be able to get the longer work cycles out of her when we do "school time".

But seeing her chose another activity besides the puzzles (the letters, in this case) gives me hope that she's choosing to use the room when she's in a receptive state for a particular skill.

If things worked out that we spent 1-2 hours a day, 2-4 times a week in the Montessori room together and that she felt free to choose to work in there independently for short bursts, I think that would be just perfect.

There've been some interesting posts up on other Montessori blogs recently about length and frequency of work time (for instance, this one from Walk Beside Me and this one from What DID We Do All Day), so this is a topic that's been on my mind. I'm trying to figure out how to balance the benefits that I believe come from a consistent and extended work period (one of the reasons I chose Montessori) with the flexibility that our family wants in our day to day life (one of the reasons we chose homeschooling). Add into that that we're just beginning all this, so I lean toward being less flexible in order to establish a good pattern and work habits... and, on the flip side, that we've got a newborn due any day now which will, of necessity, disrupt things for a while.

All that to say... I have no idea what I'm doing. *lol*

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