Ongoing Montessori homeschooling thread? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-11-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Some of it was from there, but some of it was from normal big box stores. Meijers had these spoons with smiley faces carved into them and some small mixing bowls, a little wooden cutting board, towels & sponges, a dish pan, a small measuring cup, and a syrup pitcher (the small glasses she uses are actually shot glasses that have never been used and don't have any sort of markings on them and her small pitcher is actually a syrup pitcher). I just had to learn to think small....I went down the kitchen aisles at stores and tried to look at things that were easy to hold for a 3 year old but resembled adult-sized things.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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I never have any luck finding small pitchers!
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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I never have any luck finding small pitchers!
Here ya go!

http://www.forsmallhands.com/store/i...x&cPath=1_4_28

LOVE that place!

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Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD and I made chocolate chip banana muffins today! She got her first experience with a (plastic) knife to cut up the bananas. And, of course, she got to dump ingredients in, mix, and taste-test.

And when I started washing the big mixing bowl, she asked to help! So I pulled the Learning Tower over and gave her a presentation on washing dishes. She not only did the few I gave her that didn't fit well in the dishwasher, but then asked for more and finished up the pile!

AllyRae, I'm so into the idea of buying her a bunch of kids-sized kitchen implements for her 3rd birthday now!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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A question for you guys

I am setting up the "classroom" downstairs, and so I am setting up the official pratical life area there. But I a questioning whether I should also set a small area for that upstairs. (things for cleaning, cooking...not the pouring exercices and all) Have you had to set 2 areas or have you only set one area in the classroom place. I am wondering if they will get confused?
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would totally spread things around the house!

In my mind, Practical Life breaks up into two subsets. There's the tray activities -- things like pouring and spooning. Those are great for refining motor skills, and I keep them out in our Montessori area.

The other subset, to me, are the practical implementations of Practical Life. And I think we, at home, have an advantage over the schools because we can spread that sort of thing throughout the house and the day. I think that's probably closer to what Maria Montessori intended Practical Life to be.

I'm working on increasing what we have, but right now we have a small broom near our cleaning tools, and a part of the kitchen counter (accessible by Learning Tower) where DD can either play with messy things (like play dough) or help cook. I want more small tools and a mini-fridge that DD can actually open herself to store self-self snacks and drinks.

What else have people done around the house?

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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thanks

This is exactly where I was going with my thoughts this morning.
I have set up an entire practical life set downstairs, and I am preparing the material needed to clean, cook, and participate in the chores of the house. Just need to find a spot to put it...

I have just redone the kid's room since we had to merge the both of them in the same room to leave some place to this LO that I am baking... Very Montessori inspired
Took some pics, I love the result!
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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I am planning on spreading everything all around the house (and outside the house). I need a lot of shelves, though, which is holding me back.

Still having a hard time knowing where to get started . . . I'm thinking yoga basket, silence game, and get some seed starters going for now. We have a kiddie piano, and I think we could store a "music basket" under that, but we need to replace some instruments that have gotten damaged over the years. Also, child sized hooks and a shoe shelf by the back door. We always are scrambling to find our shoes and coat. I really have to get with it. This is the biggest house we've lived in, no excuses!

Can't wait to order the continent puzzles! Going to need the cabinet for them and hoping we can find a spot in the house for that.

**I guess what would help me is knowing what "stations" to set up. Anybody want to help list these for the thread?**eta

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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Hi, everyone! I've enjoyed lurking on this thread for ideas.

We are doing a Montessori set up for my home-schooled kiddos, and I will update as I get areas set up. I have found that it is difficult for me to leave many stations up and available for work. Lately, we've been having more success with doing one activity at a time. This defeats the independent work angle, obviously, but I find that the kids are more likely to work longer and in a more concentrated way if items are not always out.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have just redone the kid's room since we had to merge the both of them in the same room to leave some place to this LO that I am baking... Very Montessori inspired
Took some pics, I love the result!
Ooo, pictures, please?

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I am planning on spreading everything all around the house (and outside the house). I need a lot of shelves, though, which is holding me back.

Still having a hard time knowing where to get started . . . I'm thinking yoga basket, silence game, and get some seed starters going for now. We have a kiddie piano, and I think we could store a "music basket" under that, but we need to replace some instruments that have gotten damaged over the years. Also, child sized hooks and a shoe shelf by the back door. We always are scrambling to find our shoes and coat. I really have to get with it. This is the biggest house we've lived in, no excuses!

Can't wait to order the continent puzzles! Going to need the cabinet for them and hoping we can find a spot in the house for that.

**I guess what would help me is knowing what "stations" to set up. Anybody want to help list these for the thread?**eta
I had a hard time with shelves, too, until I realized that I could buy the plastic shelving units and use them just 2 high -- they're the perfect height!

We have a shoe cubby from Ikea from the front door, and DD is so very independent with that. She automatically takes her shoes off and puts them in the cubby when coming in, and can get her own shoes when we're leaving (but not always put them on ). That's one of the things I'm happiest about with her independence. No real need for coat hooks most of the time in FL.

Are you talking daily Practical Life stations, or more traditional Montessori activity stations? I'd love ideas about daily PL stuff.

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Hi, everyone! I've enjoyed lurking on this thread for ideas.

We are doing a Montessori set up for my home-schooled kiddos, and I will update as I get areas set up. I have found that it is difficult for me to leave many stations up and available for work. Lately, we've been having more success with doing one activity at a time. This defeats the independent work angle, obviously, but I find that the kids are more likely to work longer and in a more concentrated way if items are not always out.
Hi, MamaDona! I also had the problem of DD getting too used to having materials available when we used the breakfast nook. We've since moved into the master bedroom, which has more room and also seems special because it's not in her face all the time. I struggled with the fact that things aren't accessible at all times like in a Montessori classroom, but then I realized that while they're out all the time in the classroom, the kids aren't IN the classroom 24/7 like they are in our house! It's just a couple hours, 5 times a week. So access really is limited by virtue of the kids not living there.

Now I take DD into the Montessori room in the mornings 3-4 times a week, and we work as long as things are going well. Sometimes she'll go in at other times and do an activity or two, but mostly it's scheduled time with me overseeing it.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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Are you talking daily Practical Life stations, or more traditional Montessori activity stations? I'd love ideas about daily PL stuff.
I am thinking both practical and traditional stations as well as some eclectic stuff thrown in (we will not be solely using Montessori for our hs, we really like our classical/eclectic approach too).

So I made a list today and here is some of it:

Outdoor-
sand/water table or tubs
garden
woodworking area
laundry-I think she'd like doing the washtub thing and we want to set up a little clothesline
? any other ideas?

Indoor-
art of course
goldfish bowl--we don't have any pets yet
science shelf
puzzle table
math manips are always available, but put away, maybe we rotate one on the shelf?
yoga basket
plant care basket-she loves misting and pruning, we just need the stuff together
snack station--like oranges and hand juicer, what else?
"regular" stuff like big doll house, doll baby care better set up, play kitchen
fibers basket with alternating activity--sewing buttons for a couple weeks, finger crochet for a couple weeks, hand loom, etc. she really gets into this stuff, but I've been inconsistent; I think if there was a basket on shelf all the time and I just had to replenish it; it would be easier
I'm getting this Greek magnet letter set that comes with a dry erase board, so that can be the start of a foreign language station? need more thoughts on how to pursue the academic stuff this way

That's all I can think of right now; will you all chime in what you think, could we add, etc.?

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Ooo, pictures, please?

.
they are all on my blog...

I'll try to post some this afternoon after my busy morning.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Thanks! Yes, I love For Small Hands. We have a lot of stuff from there. I just wish I could find a nice assortment of pitchers in stores near me. I always think I'll be able to find them in food industry supplies stores and such (creamers) but they never have them.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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Neptune2 I just subscribed to your blog. The areas you've set up look lovely and very inviting.

Thanks, Jen, for the welcome and commiseration. I think the very biggest challenge of Montessori homeschooling is being true to the presentation and use of the materials, while acknowledging the very different environment found in the home.

We are also eclectic here, like you craft_media, so we do not have a textbook set up, but both kids are very much enjoying the Montessori materials and methods that we have used so far. What about a general cleaning tools area? Are your kids too old for the pouring/tonging work?

They did the pink tower and brown stairs today, as well as a whole myriad of practical life stuff. We received a bunch of math materials from Alison's Montessori, and I am mostly happy with the quality and assortment.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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Neptune2 I just subscribed to your blog. The areas you've set up look lovely and very inviting.

I think the very biggest challenge of Montessori homeschooling is being true to the presentation and use of the materials, while acknowledging the very different environment found in the home.
Thanks!! you are very welcome!

You know, I wonder how, in a homesetting environement, how important it is to really be true to the presentations? I mean, I understand the importance of showing it properly (slowly few words,...), but I think that some "lessons" can be given in a not as formal way and still pass well. I understand that this might not be possible in a classroom of 25, but with a couple of (your) child, I couldn't see why not? At the end of it all, the true objective is that the child is able to pour, count, clean....

Anybody has an opinion on this?
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!! you are very welcome!

You know, I wonder how, in a homesetting environement, how important it is to really be true to the presentations? I mean, I understand the importance of showing it properly (slowly few words,...), but I think that some "lessons" can be given in a not as formal way and still pass well. I understand that this might not be possible in a classroom of 25, but with a couple of (your) child, I couldn't see why not? At the end of it all, the true objective is that the child is able to pour, count, clean....

Anybody has an opinion on this?
Also love your set-up at home! Your kids' room looks so calming yet interesting! My DD's room is so not Montessori-inspired....

I don't do presentations like you would in the classroom. I tried at the beginning, but things seemed so.... forced? Distant? Hard to find the right word. At least with DD and I, the familiarity we have means she doesn't sit and pay attention like she does in the more formal relationship she has with other adults. So our presentations are definitely more informal. And I'm not silent. Speaking through the presentation holds her attention and directs it better. I think this might change as she gets older, but right now a silent presentation just doesn't work for us.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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I notice a number of you have younger kids, and I wanted to say that I can't bump it because it is too old and thus closed, but if you search this forum using my username as the keyword, you can bring up a thread I started about four years ago on Montessori at home for older babies and toddlers. There were a few good things in there, worth looking back on.

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Also love your set-up at home! Your kids' room looks so calming yet interesting! My DD's room is so not Montessori-inspired....

I don't do presentations like you would in the classroom. I tried at the beginning, but things seemed so.... forced? Distant? Hard to find the right word. At least with DD and I, the familiarity we have means she doesn't sit and pay attention like she does in the more formal relationship she has with other adults. So our presentations are definitely more informal. And I'm not silent. Speaking through the presentation holds her attention and directs it better. I think this might change as she gets older, but right now a silent presentation just doesn't work for us.
THanks a lot!!

This is exactly how it feels right now. And the more it goes, the more I feel like this cannot be done like in a school setting. As you said, the familiarity between us makes DS not pay as much attention as I know he does at school. This is why I am in the path of thinking that at the end of it all, it is the practices that took place that is important, not the way it was done.
Does your DD has periods where it is hard for her to really use the material properly, or not change the way it is intended to be used? If so, how do you deal with that?

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I notice a number of you have younger kids, and I wanted to say that I can't bump it because it is too old and thus closed, but if you search this forum using my username as the keyword, you can bring up a thread I started about four years ago on Montessori at home for older babies and toddlers. There were a few good things in there, worth looking back on.
thanks! I'll go and look that up!
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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Sierra, is this the one?
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does your DD has periods where it is hard for her to really use the material properly, or not change the way it is intended to be used? If so, how do you deal with that?
We had a lot more of that when the materials were out in the middle of the house -- they got used for pretend play or mixed up. Now that our work area is tucked away and during her time in there, we're working closely together, she doesn't have the opportunity as much. That's part of the reason I chose to move the work area back there.

She often does things like turn spooning into "baking a cake", but she's still using the material appropriately, just telling a story while doing it. She also loves to tell a story about mice while opening and closing containers.

Earlier this week, her work with animal miniatures and beginning sounds began to turn into pure play. I could see at that point that she wasn't challenged by it (she'd completed it successfully a few times), and I gently directed her to something else (my first success at that!). I went back that evening and changed the material a bit to make it more difficult -- ending sounds instead of beginning sounds. She was right back into using it appropriately the next day, I think because the goal was challenging again.

But, yeah, "appropriate use" is one of my biggest challenges. DD is still so young and very imaginative

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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But, yeah, "appropriate use" is one of my biggest challenges. DD is still so young and very imaginative
Well, you see, I get the following situation right now. DD starts to use the pouring activty with a spoon (beans), but ends up just transfering the beans by pouring directly from one bowl to another. I am not sure how I should react... Have her stop, leave her be and not say anything since she is still pouring...
Any thoughts?
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, you see, I get the following situation right now. DD starts to use the pouring activty with a spoon (beans), but ends up just transfering the beans by pouring directly from one bowl to another. I am not sure how I should react... Have her stop, leave her be and not say anything since she is still pouring...
Any thoughts?
I've totally been there! Not sure I have a good answer, but here's my experience.

This actually happened the first DAY we were working on Montessori stuff. I posted about it, and got a really nice comment from a couple more experienced Montessori moms that might provide more insight than I can give.

http://homemade-homeschool.blogspot....first-day.html

I had a spooning activity with rice (pink rice, for Valentine's ). DD spooned a bit, then poured the rest. I tried to correct her back to spooning, but then we were head-to-head and we weren't partners in exploring all these neat things. The whole environment cooled, and things weren't fun anymore.

So next time it happened -- and it did, two days later -- I let her do it without comment. She spooned for a while, then poured the rest. Back and forth, for a while. She even used her fingers for a while! My Montessori teacher's manuals were all screaming in my head at me!

But she ended up getting a lot of spooning in anyway, and we had fun. I also put out another activity specifically for dry pouring after the first pouring incident and she used that a few times.

What I've taken from all that is that when I observe DD using a material inappropriately, I let it go if she still seems to be developing some skill. And I try to make sure that I have a new activity out the next day that reflects the way she chose to use the other one.

But, at only 3 weeks into this (and only 2.5), I'm not push appropriate use so far that it makes things not be fun anymore.

It's such a hard balance, though! I see part of the strength of Montessori being developing these skills to use in daily life (spooning, pouring), but also the internal motivation and control to use the materials neatly and appropriately! So to let them be used a little differently always makes me worry that I'm compromising too much and DD won't get out of this what I want her to.

(On the other hand, in a class of 30 kids, do you think a teacher would even notice if one kid chose to pour some rice instead of spooning it? That's how I reassure myself.)

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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So happy to have found this thread! Sounds like a wonderful group of like-minded Montessori Moms! <3

My son is 26 mos, and as a AMS-trained Montessori teacher, I have been raising him as a Montessorian.

We will officially start preschool (at home) Aug. 2010, and I am expecting baby #2 in late September. I have been devouring my old albums again, it has been wonderful to refresh my memory beyond Practical Life! I have been planning (and simultaneously trying not to get too hung up on the details... afterall I need to follow the child, not my own plans! This can be the hardest thing about Montessori, sometimes!)

My mind is currently on making and/or buying materials. This thread has given me many ideas and resources... as well as a boosted incentive to get those taxes done and get the return!

I have no question or specific thought to share... only thankfulness for you other moms in this thread. Looking forward to sharing and learning with you.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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What I've taken from all that is that when I observe DD using a material inappropriately, I let it go if she still seems to be developing some skill. And I try to make sure that I have a new activity out the next day that reflects the way she chose to use the other one.
I believe in allowing a child to use a material in a way other than how it was intended *as long as the child is being respectful* of the material, the environment, and others around him/her.

I followed this belief in the classroom as well as at home.

This reminds me of a quote I heard recently that goes something like this, "If we only ever did things the way they were meant to be done, we'd never do anything new."
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This reminds me of a quote I heard recently that goes something like this, "If we only ever did things the way they were meant to be done, we'd never do anything new."
Love this!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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I believe in allowing a child to use a material in a way other than how it was intended *as long as the child is being respectful* of the material, the environment, and others around him/her.

I followed this belief in the classroom as well as at home.

This reminds me of a quote I heard recently that goes something like this, "If we only ever did things the way they were meant to be done, we'd never do anything new."
Yeah that. I don't plan on being too rigid when it comes to technique, as long as the end result is the same. Really, your daughter is being creative, but in a good way. She figured out an easier way to get the job done.
Obviously, I'm not a Montessori purist. So if you are, please don;t go anywhere near my blog or you may just well end up with a heart attack!

Dalila, mom to two boys, 7 and 5

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Old 02-21-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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This reminds me of a quote I heard recently that goes something like this, "If we only ever did things the way they were meant to be done, we'd never do anything new."
Indeed, thanks for this. And thank to all for your input on this!!
Jen: THis is how I felt, I let it go went it happened, until I saw that the intent was not there anymore. But that took a while to happen. It is hard to find the balance between the rigidity of school, and the softness of home...I'll surely go and read the comments on your blog though


Another question for you more experienced mom then me. The other thing I have noticed is the changing of activity quite quickly. I dunno if this is because of over-enthousiasm, or what, but they (my son most of all) tend to want to change activity a lot. Maybe he is not challenges enough? The only thing I require is that he ends the one he got out. But again, where to draw the line between liberty of choice and not being consistent and concentrating?

thanks a lot for all your help!
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Neptune2 View Post
Another question for you more experienced mom then me. The other thing I have noticed is the changing of activity quite quickly. I dunno if this is because of over-enthousiasm, or what, but they (my son most of all) tend to want to change activity a lot. Maybe he is not challenges enough? The only thing I require is that he ends the one he got out. But again, where to draw the line between liberty of choice and not being consistent and concentrating?
I think when the activity matches the child's interest / sensitive period, then the child will be naturally drawn to the activity and stick with it for a reasonable length time. Try changing some activities (slowly; not all at once) until you get a "match"!

The quick changing could be due to age and not being normalized yet, too. Maybe the child just wants to see everything and explore for a bit!

As for over-enthusiasm, that's ok! We want our kids to be excited about all the learning activities we set before them. Again, *as long as they are being respectful* of the material, the environment, and others!

Hope this helps. Have fun!
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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I want to make our own Montessori globes (sandpaper and continent). Does anyone know where I can buy cheap globes??

I plan to just paint over them for the continents globe. And for the sandpaper globe, maybe mix sand in the paint for the continents? Or adhere sandpaper cutouts over the continents and then mod-podge over the whole thing?

Has anyone made their own globes? I could use some great ideas!

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LoveToBeMom View Post
I want to make our own Montessori globes (sandpaper and continent). Does anyone know where I can buy cheap globes??

I plan to just paint over them for the continents globe. And for the sandpaper globe, maybe mix sand in the paint for the continents? Or adhere sandpaper cutouts over the continents and then mod-podge over the whole thing?

Has anyone made their own globes? I could use some great ideas!

Thanks!
I'm in the middle of this right now, actually. About a month ago, Target had small globes for $1. I doubt they're still there, but they might come back later when they do a 50% off clearance.

I painted the water blue and the land brown. It took about 3 coats of the blue and 2 of the brown. It took a lot of patience, and I wiped a bunch of small islands off the globe.

I'd heard that mixing sand in the paint didn't work well. So I painted the land with mod-podge in increments and sprinkled it with sand while wet. Then I put another coat of mod-podge on top of both land and water, and I'll probably do one more coat.

The sand now stands a bit too tall to let the globe spin, the way the Target globe is made. But I'm going to sand down the plastic support; it shouldn't take much.

I really love the texture, though!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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