Ongoing Montessori homeschooling thread? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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But.... how do you explain living vs non-living to a not-quite 3 year old? DH suggested "living things eat food and have babies".
Add "and they grow," to your hubby's explanation, and that sounds like a good way to phrase it. At less-than-three, if she doesn't get it, she doesn't get it. Then just set it aside and try coming back to it in a few months. In the meantime, you can casually bring it up from time to time while outside for walks or whenever seems fitting.

If a child isn't ready for something, there's no forcing it. Watch and be ready for her sensitive periods to arise, and the learning & understanding will come easily.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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"School Room"?

We currently have no physical boundaries between "living areas" and "learning areas." However, as I look toward beginning more formal preschool this fall, (and the many more materials that will come with it...) I am thinking about designating a "school room." I like how, currently, we so fluidly intermingle living and learning, but I'm just not sure that I want our living room to be overtaken by materials! (...as beautiful as they are)

So, I'm wondering...
Do you have a school room / area?
Why or why not?
What do you see as the pros & cons of a school room vs. intermingling?

Thanks for any input to aid in my decision-making!
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Add "and they grow," to your hubby's explanation, and that sounds like a good way to phrase it. At less-than-three, if she doesn't get it, she doesn't get it. Then just set it aside and try coming back to it in a few months. In the meantime, you can casually bring it up from time to time while outside for walks or whenever seems fitting.

If a child isn't ready for something, there's no forcing it. Watch and be ready for her sensitive periods to arise, and the learning & understanding will come easily.
Begin with the basics. Living things are plants and animals. Everything else is non-living. From there, you can add things all living things need: food, air, sun, water.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I'm wondering...
Do you have a school room / area?
Why or why not?
What do you see as the pros & cons of a school room vs. intermingling?

Thanks for any input to aid in my decision-making!
Thanks for the help on living/non-living!

In the beginning, we didn't have a real, dedicated school area. We had some shelves with Montessori-esque materials in the dining room for a while, then the breakfast nook. When we got more materials and started taking things more seriously, we set aside part of our master bedroom (we don't have any extra rooms).

I found that having the materials visible and accessible all day, every day seemed to make them less special. DD burned out on them faster, and there was no way to get her to concentrate on her "work" for an extended period of time. When we moved into the less-visible area, there became more of a distinction between the rest of her day and work time, and there are less distractions to pull her (and me!) away.

I know that all materials, all the time is the way in a school setting, but kids aren't in that setting 24/7. I feel that school time is special simply because it's limited. I don't think DD loses anything by not actively seeing the materials at all times; she knows the room is there and has shown that if she really wants to work with something, she won't hesitate to head back there on her own. It's just that the materials aren't right along side her play space, to be picked at and incorporated into daily play.

Of course, I don't know how much of this would be moot with an older child who can concentrate more and who understands better the play vs school distinction.

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 03-10-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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We have a dedicated school area for several reasons. Some of their toys are not learning toys (Jocelyn's playing with a huge stuffed Dora pillow right now for example. LOL!)...I don't want those non-learning toys to be a distraction. Otherwise, she'd play with the Dora all day long. I also don't want to be cleaning up the pink tower and the sorting materials and the rice all day long when our 13 month old tornado comes through. Having it all in a separate room minimizes the time that the baby comes through and knocks everything down. : And perhaps the most important reason--most of the montessori stuff involves choking hazards for the baby and I want to make sure those stay contained in one room where it's easier to supervise. If I had that stuff in the common living area, there's no telling what she would stick in her mouth if I had to walk out of the room.

So for us, it's a safety measure to keep it contained. Now the baby's montessori stuff is all over the house, and I do keep some of the montessori-based toys in the common area. But for the most part, it's all in one room.

~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 03-10-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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[QUOTE=
So for us, it's a safety measure to keep it contained. Now the baby's montessori stuff is all over the house, and I do keep some of the montessori-based toys in the common area. But for the most part, it's all in one room.[/QUOTE]

Safety...that is a GREAT point. I'm due with baby2 in September, so I'll have to start thinking about choking hazards again!

Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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I have been home schooling my 3 and 4 year old. I can't decide if I should put them in a Montessori school next year or keep them at home. I have always incorporated Montessori methods into my homeschooling. What are the benefits for you all all who do it at home ? I can't decide. I like being at home although a few hours a day might be nice to have them at school. I don't want them sick all the time. I worry that if they are even at school for three hours that they will be very tired when they get home. Is there a benefit for kids in reading if they go to a school ? I want all of your comments and advice. How much of their day is spent playing outside and cooking and cleaning. I am a little nervous about them do a lot of cleaning and cooking because I could be doing this at home also.It will be expensive to send them but if it is best I want to do it. I will observe next week and the kids will shadow the following. Did any of you do Montessori and then pull them ? I don't think I would send my kids anywhere except this school. I like the director and school a lot.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been home schooling my 3 and 4 year old. I can't decide if I should put them in a Montessori school next year or keep them at home. I have always incorporated Montessori methods into my homeschooling. What are the benefits for you all all who do it at home?
Well, we chose to Montessori homeschool because homeschooling is our long-term plan. I just chose Montessori as the best method for my DD at the moment, given how she tends to learn.

I think Montessori can be tricky at home because of the specialty materials -- buying them is expensive, making them is time-consuming, and not using them means you have to be very thoughtful about incorporating those lessons in other ways. There's also a lot of back story in how the materials are presented and used which means that, even with some training under my belt, I have to work hard to feel prepared for each new stage we move into.

On the other hand, Montessori seems to lend itself to being practiced at home. The Practical Life skills are easily worked into daily life, and having the materials available whenever your child wants to work with them means you can really hit sensitive periods (not just "2.5 - 4 years", but "after breakfast but before library storytime").

I don't have any insights about getting sick, since DD has never gone to school. I don't know that you can pin down how much time will be spent cooking and cleaning -- it's left up to the child, so if that's what they're interested in, that's what they could do all day. But then they'll master it and move on to something else.

It's definitely a hard choice! Even though we were nearly positive we wanted to homeschool, we did investigate local Montessori schools. I was totally charmed by the school and materials and education of the guides. If we'd have the money, DD might even be there now. And I can't help but compare the tiny corner and limited materials I have to offer to that environment. But, given everything, homeschooling was the right choice for us. That'll be different for each family.

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 03-10-2010, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, over lunch with DH and DD, I was mentioning to DH that LoveToBeMom had suggested adding "they grow" to the list of "eat food, have babies" that living things do. DD overheard and piped up with the fact that living things go away, too (I vaguely remember having a conversation with her about plants "going away" a while ago).

She then proceeded to make the connection that Mommy and Daddy and she are living.... and that we will all go away... and started to get upset....

Did I mention we were eating lunch in the Magic Kingdom, the happiest place on earth?

So I talked with her about it a bit ("yes, we are living and will go away, but it won't be for a long, long time", etc).

But, finally.... I ended up distracting her with a french fry.

So.... yeah. I've got the living/non-living cards ready (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jojoebi...7604544053666/). But this could be interesting.

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 03-11-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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I have been reading this thread and your blogs with much interest. It seems like Maria Montessori thought that having a class full of multiple ages to help the little ones, to then act like leaders, etc, was important. How does homeschooling take that into consideration? I'm curious as I have been bitten big time by the homeschooling bug. I am drooling over your works. You mamas are so creative.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been reading this thread and your blogs with much interest. It seems like Maria Montessori thought that having a class full of multiple ages to help the little ones, to then act like leaders, etc, was important. How does homeschooling take that into consideration?
Yup. *sigh*

This is one thing I feel we've definitely given up by choosing homeschooling. You can recreate it somewhat with siblings, but the oldest will never have someone to look to, and they're not going to be as close in age as some kids in a classroom. Also, you (as the guide) can also work on materials while they're working on something else -- this often draws a kid in or peaks their interest.

But losing that multi-age aspect was part of our compromise. We gained some things, lost others. And it was one of the harder parts for me to let go of.

AFM -- our living/non-living cards went well! DD and I had to talk out a few of them, but in general, she understands the idea. And no more death conversations, too. She mentioned the "going away" part again, but didn't bring it up or apply it to anyone. *whew* I'd hoped to have another year or two before having to get into that!

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 03-12-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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I'm actually feeling pretty good about chipping away at my goals for setting up a Montessori home environment! I WILL get this done before our baby arrives in July!
I am clearly on the same schedule you are! Baby coming in july, and trying to get ready on time...
I would LOVE to see how you have incorporated Montessori everywhere in your house! Do you have a blog?
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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I have been reading this thread and your blogs with much interest. It seems like Maria Montessori thought that having a class full of multiple ages to help the little ones, to then act like leaders, etc, was important. How does homeschooling take that into consideration? I'm curious as I have been bitten big time by the homeschooling bug. I am drooling over your works. You mamas are so creative.
Well, it kind of works well for us--we have a 1 year old, 3 year old, and 6 year old. The 6 year old actually attends Montessori school (he'll be our only child who isn't homeschooled). So when the three of them are in the same room, the older one helps the 3 year old with the material, and then the 1 year old observes and tries to join in. :

Our county also has a homeschool co-op that has a montessori program (for 1 1/2 hours a week) that we hope to get her in when fall comes around. We also want to invite homeschool children to our montessori room starting in a few months.

~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 03-12-2010, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our county also has a homeschool co-op that has a montessori program (for 1 1/2 hours a week) that we hope to get her in when fall comes around. We also want to invite homeschool children to our montessori room starting in a few months.
I'm really curious to hear how this goes for you (or how it's working for anyone else trying something similar)! I've had vague thoughts of doing the same thing, but I have concerns about whether the short amount of time the other kids would be around would benefit them at all and whether it would be a help or distraction for DD.

I'm very interested....

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 03-13-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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We also want to invite homeschool children to our montessori room starting in a few months.
I'm so curious about this, too!

It was ironic to read the last couple posts, b/c I just had an encounter yesterday where two separate people asked me a question about whether I'll be having other children at my son's homeschool. (Another person asked the same thing a couple months ago.) It made me feel as if providing my son's education isn't worthwhile unless I'm providing it for other children as well. Besides, we'll be welcoming a newborn in the fall!!! I think my hands will be full!

I do have aspirations of teaching again someday, but for now my own children are my top priority. I believe so strongly in Montessori education, but the closest school is a 45-min. drive from our home, which is one of the large reasons we have decided to homeschool.

How can I respond to comments like this? They were not said unkindly or disdainfully, but I'd like to be able to explain myself somewhat without necessarily delving into a huge philosophical schpeil!

I guess as a homeschooler, this is something I should expect to encounter again and again. Maybe I should have business-sized cards ready to hand over with clear bullet points explaining our choice.

Or maybe I should just smile.

Ahh. I little venting feels good. Thank you, Montessori Moms. <3
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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I am clearly on the same schedule you are! Baby coming in july, and trying to get ready on time...
I would LOVE to see how you have incorporated Montessori everywhere in your house! Do you have a blog?
No, I don't have a blog (yet), but I've been thinking about starting one.

So far in our home we just have a few activities sprinkled here and there, and then I set up stuff as we go (like practical life activity on the counter just for the day). We are pretty eclectic and relaxed.

I'm glad to see you here in the same boat as me! It will be good to compare notes as you get materials ready; please keep me updated!


**Note on the New Child Montessori materials---I think they rock! I got all the guides and the supplement but not the yoga and art manuals, and I think they are so great, I wish I had gotten the other two books as well. There are a ton of ideas in those books, even beyond the fact that it's a super-cheap way to go for the album (supplement). Only trouble is that there's so much, and I'm just a newbie in the method, so I'm having trouble zero-ing in on what I want to use. There is a really sweet "bathing a baby doll" presentation and other stuff that I haven't seen elsewhere (like online albums).

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was ironic to read the last couple posts, b/c I just had an encounter yesterday where two separate people asked me a question about whether I'll be having other children at my son's homeschool. (Another person asked the same thing a couple months ago.) It made me feel as if providing my son's education isn't worthwhile unless I'm providing it for other children as well. Besides, we'll be welcoming a newborn in the fall!!! I think my hands will be full!
That's so weird. Maybe it's because they know you're a teacher (do they)?

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 03-15-2010, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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**Note on the New Child Montessori materials---I think they rock! I got all the guides and the supplement but not the yoga and art manuals, and I think they are so great, I wish I had gotten the other two books as well.
Hmm..... I may consider getting just the yoga and art ones. I'd love to do more of that with DD, but I'm not the best at coming up with ideas.

AFM -- I've been having a bit of a crisis of (Montessori) faith. My DD isn't yet 3, so I expected to be spending most of our time concentrating on Sensorial and Practical Life activities. But over the last 6 weeks we've been doing this, she's shown little interest in those areas, and instead focuses on Language and Science.

I've tried to be all about letting her choose, but part of what I loved about Montessori was how the early exposure to Sensorial and Practical Life materials prepared the child for Language, Math, Science, etc. I've been worried that she's missing something by skipping over these, and so I've been trying to encourage her to choose them.... which has, of course, backfired and led to minor tantrums when I pull them out to work on them on my own (trying to set an example).

I put a post on the Yahoo Montessori homeschool group (playschool6) about it, and got some reassurance that I should just let her lead the way and stop all my attempts at coercion. Which I know intellectually... it's just hard to see all those beautiful Sensorial materials and not feel frustrated that they aren't being used.

Anyway. I'm working on it. Anyone been through something similar? Maybe I need to go back to the original Maria Montessori books to refresh my faith.

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 03-15-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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I'm really curious to hear how this goes for you (or how it's working for anyone else trying something similar)! I've had vague thoughts of doing the same thing, but I have concerns about whether the short amount of time the other kids would be around would benefit them at all and whether it would be a help or distraction for DD.

I'm very interested....

Oh, I should have specified...the kids we're inviting are part of our local API board and so my DD already sees these children on playdates. I don't know that she'd remember them or anything (she has Reactive Attachment Disorder and has issues being with other people), but I figured for a few hours a week, inviting those children to use the room as well would be good for her. The children we're inviting over already do montessori-type activities in their own homeschool but don't have some of the works that can't be made by hand.

~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 03-15-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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Jen...my just-barely-3-year-old would much rather do the paper snipping and the rice pouring than the pink tower or anything I actually bought. : Right now, we're just letting her pick what she wants and trust that when she feels she mastered it, she'll stop and go to something else (I once went to a presentation where the montessori teacher said that one of her students did the 100's board every single day for a year. She thought he'd mastered it, but the student actually was trying to do something else with it and in his head, he hadn't achieved what he wanted...his idea of mastery was something the teacher wasn't able to see).

Hopefully it doesn't backfire on me when three months from now she still hasn't decided she was done with paper snipping. :

~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 03-15-2010, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The children we're inviting over already do montessori-type activities in their own homeschool but don't have some of the works that can't be made by hand.
Ah. I think that makes all the difference. There's no one around here who does Montessori at home (and believe me, I've looked!), so anyone I brought in would be unfamiliar with the materials and how to use the room appropriately. I don't think that would work so well one day a week or so.

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Jen...my just-barely-3-year-old would much rather do the paper snipping and the rice pouring than the pink tower or anything I actually bought. :
Good to hear it's not just me! At least yours is still doing Practical Life stuff. I just can't seem to hit on a Practical Life activity that engages her. I'm hoping that maybe she gets enough of that in daily life that she doesn't see the point in/need PL shelf activities.

I've got a new one out today, pin punching, that plays off her interest in sticking pens though pieces of cardboard. So, high hopes!

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 03-16-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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That's so weird. Maybe it's because they know you're a teacher (do they)?
Yes, they do know I'm a (Montessori) teacher, so that's a good point. Thank you for that perspective.

BTW, I decided to have a designated "school room." Thanks for your input on that as well! I'm soooo excited and immersed in the planning! We'll start in August (if I can stand waiting that long!) to get a month under our belt before baby #2 arrives in September!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, I decided to have a designated "school room." Thanks for your input on that as well! I'm soooo excited and immersed in the planning! We'll start in August (if I can stand waiting that long!) to get a month under our belt before baby #2 arrives in September!
If you don't mind the perspective from someone else who's getting started while very pregnant.... give yourself as much time as possible before your due date! I was totally motivated and on top of things when we started (and I was about 32 weeks), but it's gotten a lot harder as I've gotten closer and closer to The Big Day. In the evening, I don't really want to swap out activities and create new materials -- I want to relax and try to ignore the primordial contractions or go to bed early.

'Course, you have a lot more experience, so it might not be nearly as intensive for you to set things up.

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 03-20-2010, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you guys seen this?

http://www.postcrossing.com/

You send postcards around the world and get some in return. I'm thinking these would be great to have for continent boxes!

I've just sent out my first 5, haven't qualified to receive any yet (the receiver has to validate that they got your card). I sent them to Russia, Brazil, England, Germany, and China!

I put in my profile that I was collecting postcards for my kids' education and that I'd love for people to write a day-in-the-life or their interests or favorite food (or even a recipe!). I'm really excited about what we might get back!

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 03-22-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Hi there! I hope its alright if I join! I don't know how often I'll be able to post, but I look forward to reading all of your ideas!

My dd is 16 months old and we've been doing some "montessori" activities from the start, though not much. I have taken 2 NAMC courses, and I really enjoyed them (the 0-3 and 3-6), but I had them payed for in exchange for volunteering full time at a Montessori school before I had dd. I'm planning on homeschooling dd until at least grade 1 (dh is unsure about after that). I do plan on incoporating some Waldorf into our school, but the majority will be Montessori (specifically the academic part will be Montessori). I'm really lucky in that my mom has made a ton of Montessori materials when I was young, and as well in her career as a teacher for children with learning disabilities. I also find that the NAMC have a lot of activities that you can make yourself, as I'm not interested in spending a ton of money right now.

I really need to work on getting her to help more, we have a stool in the bathroom for washing her hands/face and she brushes her teeth and hair with some help. We don't eat most of our meals at a small table, as I find that dd focuses on eating better at the big table. She drinks out of a real glass (we got a set of 6 for 1.99$ from ikea). I want to get her to bringing her own dish to the table, getting rid of the high chair for a booster that she can easily climb in and out of and have her help more in the kitchen, especially with cleaning up.

I love reading about your experiences and what you're doing. We are moving in a month, so I don't want to get anything more structured started now, but I hope after we move and set up a more montessori play room we can have more time focusing on her work. I also want to set up a better rhythm/schedule to our days. I know she's still young, but she enjoys doing a lot of the sensorial/practical life activities that the 3-6 yo work on.

Tricia
Canadian Mama to E 2yrs
Someone new coming October!
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, brennan!

Hey, does anyone have any objections to turning this into a seasonal thread (new one in spring, summer, etc)? I don't want people to get too overwhelmed by the length of it.

I just had to write because I was so pleased at our time in the room today! We haven't been doing Montessori lately because DD's been in a really strong imaginitive/scattered thought phase, and I've been too wiped to spend my evenings refreshing materials (39 weeks, 3 days today and a day of primordial labor yesterday!). But she chose to start working on botany puzzles while I was in the shower, and I took advantage of that to put a few new materials out... and we ended up spending 90 minutes in the room! And we had a blast!



I feel so refreshed about the whole thing. I'm also really pleased that she started working in the room herself.

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 03-24-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfl View Post

Hey, does anyone have any objections to turning this into a seasonal thread (new one in spring, summer, etc)? I don't want people to get too overwhelmed by the length of it.
Yes, let's do that. Good idea.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I went ahead and gave us a new thread.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1208498

Hop on over!

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 07-12-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Before I do my intro post (because I'll get distracted by my son before that happens) I wanted to let you all know that I'll be lurking the Montessori section. I'm a Montessori teacher (3-6 year olds) and have been for 7 years, but I also have experience in 0-3. In 0-3 years I tend to pick and choose with the Montessori stuff (it's not very AP leaning and I don't agree with everything that is published in the Montessori from the Start). I am here for questions and my email address is in my profile (I think).

Off to do my intro post...
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