Our first day went well! We got started at 8:30am and stayed in the room for an hour. That's a great length, I think -- my eventual goal is 2 hours, but right now an hour is just fine. Today, I would have been happy with anything over 30 minutes. My husband was home to be able to hold on to Sprout, so I just had to leave once to nurse him.
I'm not taking many pictures while Nugget is working -- it's a big distraction for her. But I've got some pictures of our environment and materials.
This is our set-up. It's part of our master bedroom. I have one shelf for Practical Life, a couple for Sensorial, and one each for Language, Math, and the current topic. The shelves are pretty bare because I don't want to swamp her with a ton of stuff right off the bat.
This is our Practical Life. I have a sorting activity and flower arranging (a perpetual favorite). I spent a lot of time setting out an assortment of beads so that she could sort by either color or form -- I was interested to see which she would pick. But she poked at it, didn't find any matching pairs (nothing matches in both color and shape), and turned it into a straight transferring activity.
Current Sensorial materials. This will slowly grow as the days and weeks go on. She completely ignored them today, as is usual.
New Sensorial material to go along with "muscles" -- weighted containers. There are pairs of 3 different weights. Nugget did a great job with these -- she was able to pair, grade, and name (heavier, lighter).
Language. On the bottom is a Melissa and Doug activity, on the top are sequencing cards available for free from Montessori for Everyone. I chose to start with these because Nugget seems to have a hard time with picking the "first" letter when looking at a word. She often picks the last letter instead.
Our topical shelves. I have out some things to pick up and look at -- a paper mache skull and a remarkably nicely done skeleton from a Dollar Tree garland. (I'd like to highly recommend doing a unit on skulls around Halloween.) Behind those are the skeleton matching cards, and on the bottom is a skeleton puzzle she's had for a while but I tucked away so that it would feel new for this unit.
Here's a fun craft project -- my version is on the left, hers on the right.
We started out our time in the room with a silly song ("Dem Bones", and Nugget looked embarrassed for me) and then read some books about bones. Nugget then went right for the animal skeleton matching and did it perfectly -- even recognizing some skeletons without seeing the animal picture. I introduced the idea of "checking your work" for the first time, with stickers on the back, and she used it (before, she'd just matched the backs without attempting the activity).
She proceeded to do the craft, investigate the hands-on bones, try the sorting, and assemble the skeleton puzzle. Then there was a break to look through the "Visual Dictionary of the Skeleton" together (she loves books like this). Then back into the room for sequencing, flower arranging (and unarranging), and weighted containers. BACK to the "Visual Dictionary of the Skeleton", then she started to "play Pixar" on the bed, so I got her to straighten up the room and we called it a day at 9:30am.
Outside of the room, we've been soaking a chicken bone in vinegar (to dissolve the calcium and make it bendable) and looking at an x-ray of her metal-skeletoned Bullseye stuffed friend (gotta love having a family member in the health care industry!).
Back tomorrow for heart, lungs, and brain. I won't do such a detailed review every day; I've got enough on my plate just preparing for the next days! But I do want to track what she's up to, so there'll be SOMETHING here.