Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finding more time

Nugget has been asking to go into the Montessori room every day for the past few days. We've been able to get about 30 minutes at a time in there, which is a nice balance for right now.

I've refreshed a few things in the room. I'd love to show you pictures, but Sprout is asleep and I'm not going to turn on the light for that. :)

For Practical Life, I put out a marble-placing activity again. This time I put tongs out as an option; she tried that once, then went back to using her fingers.

In Sensorial, I made sound shakers out of plastic Easter eggs. The ones from Montessori Outlet are really difficult to tell apart, even for me. The eggs are filled with coins, rice, and other household things. They're much more appropriate at her level.

I also found another way to display the color shade matching activity. Nugget helped me change it around, and also matched the colors so that I could write control of error symbols on the back.

In Math, I put out a number line and some stickers marked with numbers for Nugget to place in order. She really enjoyed this and did it two days in a row. She recognizes maybe half the numbers right now, and I'm trying to work on this lately. She learned her letters so fast, I'm not sure why the numbers aren't sticking as easily.

For Language, I put out a few new things. I bought a pack of small wooden hearts and wrote the letters on those, and stored them in a wooden treasure chest. We made a game of pulling out one letter at a time and saying its sound.

I also put out a beginning sounds game from a workbook, where you match ants with letters on them to the picnic food that starts with that letter. Because this involves animals that she can narrate, this is a big hit, of course.

Lastly, I set out 3 of the Controlled Word Building Cards from Montessori by Ayashy. I'm a bit disappointed in the images on these -- instead of photographs of real things, they're very cartoony clip art. But Nugget got the idea, so they work fine. She struggled a bit with this activity. She identified the sounds in the word and knew the sounds the letters made, but couldn't put the letters in that order. I'm wondering if it's a problem grasping the sounds -> words idea, or if it's simply a problem of not understanding left to right/first to last. Definitely something for me to try to tease out, and an activity for us to revisit later.

In Science, I put out Sink/Float. I didn't plan to, but Nugget begged for it. That is such a huge hit. I'm curious if a magnetic/non-magnetic one would be as engrossing for her.

Although I'm happy that we've gotten back in the room, I've been unhappy with how scattershot my approach has been lately. I'm not upset with myself about it; a 2 month old is a valid excuse, in my book. But I would like to be more organized and have more of an overarching plan.

So I've been considering buying the New Child Montessori curriculum. I like that it's designed to work with the Montessori materials, but provides a framework for studying other subjects that are outside of the traditional materials. I like that it can be reused each year, just at a deeper level.

If anyone else out there has used it, I'd love to hear your opinions!


  1. Re: Word Building Cards...If she continues to have difficulty, email me with more specifics. I instantly thought of several different ways to modify the task to pinpoint the specific error she may be making. I'd be glad to bounce ideas around if you need to.

  2. I used New Child Montessori seasonal guides with my two daughters and really loved it. I am Montessori trained and had left teaching in a school when I brought my daughter home from Ethiopia. My birth daughter was almost six and had been in Mont. school for 3 years. We're heading into our third year homeschooling now and are sadly past those books, but I am keeping them as part of my library and feel they were a steal at the price. Also, the author Gina is a lovely person who really put the heart of her teaching into her books. Don't miss them!

  3. I only wish she had a series for lower elementary!! :)


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