Thursday, May 9, 2013

Classical Montessori Mason

In the time since I disappeared I have spent a lot of time reflecting on why we don't seem to get much school work done.  Link would have days where he was very interested in the work on the shelves, but he didn't repeat work often.  So I found that I was constantly needing new material, and since I couldn't keep up, we would often abandon the school room until I had time to come up with something new.

I really like the Montessori Method.  I see how it has worked so well for some kids.  But for some reason, I can't make it happen correctly in my house.   I feel like I am not educated enough in the process.  I'm not a teacher by training.  I have developed an increased respect for the profession.  

So, I have been looking for something to help me be more prepared and to keep me accountable.  I feel like I need something that says Lesson 1 "do this!"   At the end of 42 lessons, you are done! (hanging my head in shame)  I have bought math, reading and writing curricula, and signed up for Classical Conversations.  (there, I confessed!)

That being said, I still plan on keep true to the Montessori Method in many ways.  The curricula that I bought is very compatible in my opinion.  I plan to use it as a guide to make sure we are keeping on track and progressing, but the Montessori materials and the freedom of choice (within a work plan) will still be there.  We'll participate in the Classical Conversations lessons, but the way I'll follow up at home will be with lessons from my Montessori manual.  We'll do the lessons from the math curriculum, but (hopefully) supplement it with Montessori presentations.  Same with the reading and writing.  

In case anyone is wondering, I'll link to the curricula that I bought.
- Reading and Writing - Logic of English Foundations Level A
(I bought The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading first, but then decided that I liked LoE better, I'll probably end up using some of it)  Before I realized that the Foundations curriculum included writing, I also bought the Rhythm of Handwriting book from Logic of English.
- I also bought Handwriting without Tears, because Link really likes trying to make letters with all sorts of things (pretzels, toys, whatever) and I thought it would be a good supplement.
- Music - Pfeiffer House Music Kindergarten (just for fun) and maybe the Nienhuis bells manual.

In addition to all of this, I will also be implementing a bit of Charlotte Mason.  Right now, its mainly nature study that we'll add.  But later, I'd like to add the "living books" aspect.

I've put a lot of thought into WORK PLANS as well!  So far, I know there are certain things I want Link to do every day - reading, writing and math.  I don't want to stop him if he wants to do lots of one, but I don't want him to put off doing any of them either.  So far, my biggest inspirations have been from (surprise, surprise) MBT over at What Did We Do All Day, Jessica at Montessori Trails and Lisa at Our Country Road.

I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to work it out.  Below is a screen shot of how I've been working through combining all of this mess :)

I've also made these cards that I think I'll use in my work plan.

Right now I'm thinking that I'll have these on a board or in a basket.  Then Link can choose what he wants to work on and move the card to a "finished" location.  Or something like that.  I'm thinking along the lines of the Montessori Trails idea.  I was originally thinking of having lots of copies of these and using pocket charts like MBT, but I think for now, the simplicity of the Montessori Trails idea will work for us.  I feel about the same as Steph over at Discovery Days and Montessori Moments :)

So, thats where I am.  Maybe later I'll post some picture of what the kids have actually been up to!

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