I finally ordered the guides from New Child Montessori. I'm really looking forward to looking over it and having a bit more structure. I know there's a whole big debate about a "curriculum" versus "follow the child". And I have a whole rant in my head about it. But I'm just too tired to get it out now. Suffice to say that I don't think homeschooling can HELP but be "follow the child". If we're "studying" the five senses in our Montessori time, and Nugget asks about spiders later in the day, that doesn't mean we're not going to look at pictures of spiders online, talk about what's neat about spiders, and go look for them outside. The "curriculum" is just a way for me to keep things moving in the school area in a reasonably organized fashion and keep me from totally giving up because one day I think I want to focus on swamp animals and the next day I think we should learn about magnets and it all seems too overwhelming.
Okay. Maybe that was a rant, anyway.
In other news, we continue to go into the school room for a bit every other day or so. Nugget still wants to do lots of counting, which is fun. She's had a huge leap in number recognition, and can now identify numbers and count out items for them. Still in a holding pattern on assembling words -- she knows the sounds, but can't seem to make the jump to laying them out in order. I have a few ideas for intermediary activities that might help. And, as should be of no surprise, sink and float is back out.
The other day, while I was nursing Sprout, Nugget pulled out the tree puzzle. We hadn't really talked about any of the puzzles before, but I took the opportunity to make a game of having her identify and pull out various pieces -- the roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. She had all of those down flat. She went to the flower next, and this gave me the chance to introduce the parts of a flower vocabulary. She got a real kick out of it, and asked me to repeat it numerous times.
Since she was so taken with it, I proposed that we go to a florist and find a real flower for her to examine. She loves the florist, so this was pretty exciting. They had a beautiful yellow lily that we bought, and she got to look in the flower cooler while there. We got home and matched all of the parts of the lily to the puzzle.
The next day, I noticed that one of the buds had fallen off. So I got a knife and dissected the bud with her, pulling out the immature parts (which were still identifiable). She's gotten a kick out of looking at those all day today, and when her Pop-pop and Nana came over, she brought the pistil over to show them. :)
And in other, other news, I've started slowly assembling infant materials for Sprout. He can't sit up or even hold things consistently yet, but I'm slowly gathering things as I see them. I found a couple of baskets on sale that seemed perfect -- not too tall, no pointy pieces, and flexible enough that he won't damage them by smooshing. My first order of business, I think, is some beanbags made with different fabrics. I've already raided my scrap boxes and chosen some that I think will work great!