Since then I have discovered that my main problem was the lack of a scope & sequence for our work. I was overwhelmed when I opened one of my seven albums and saw a list of hundreds of presentations for each subject! Then, often I would think to myself "My boys aren't going to like this" or "I don't have the materials to do this" or "That's way too complicated." I would skim the book, find one or two things to do, then set my shelves up. But the next week I felt like I was back at square one, wondering what I should do next!
That usually leads to me browsing blogs and collecting files and ideas. I have a huge folder on my computer full of things I have found while browsing. It had gotten to where I didn't know what I had or where it came from. As I was going through my hoard this week I found a few scope & sequence files and thought "Hey, that would be useful!" In some cases the TOC was the scope & sequence. I didn't know where some of them came from, but here are the ones that I found the source for:
Maitri Learning - Planning Book/Record Keeping (3 to 6+ Curriculum)
MOTEACO - Albums for ages 3-6
Montessori By Hand - Meg's free albums (you have to be a member)
Montessori Research and Development - Early Childhood Albums TOC
Montessori Primary Guide - Math Presentations
First I took the Maitri learning list and deleted 90% of the list, until I felt like I had something manageable. But still, I felt like something was missing - cohesion and flow. So I went to the Montessori R&D TOC. These seemed very manageable, as long as I had the presentations to go along with them. So I started looking through my albums and found that I did have some, or at least access to them in some way. But I wasn't crazy about my selection for Botany and Zoology. Link is 5 years old, so he's at the tail end of the primary period. So for him I've really been wanting Geography, Culture, Math, Botany, Zoology and Language. Meg only has a free album for Math. I have all of Karen Tyler's albums, but they don't have all that I was looking for. So what did I do?
I made a scope and sequence using the Montessori R&D albums TOC for Geography, Botany and Zoology. Then I went through Gettman's book, pulling what I felt was missing. I used Meg's math album TOC for math. I discovered that Jessica, at Keys of the World, has albums that cover ages 3-12, and bought her Zoology and Botany "Keys" albums. (I also bought her music album based on advice from MBT in the comments of this post).**Edited to add** I'll use the KotU Botany and Zoology for Elementary, and Karen Tyler's for primary** I sold my Math-U-See materials on eBay and purchased the Golden Bead Material. I still plan to use my Logic of English curriculum, but to also do Montessori works to supplement. (at this point that includes sandpaper letters & sound boxes) I have a plan and I feel better! We will still be doing Classical Conversations, but mainly for the chance to hang out with other kids. I don't have a play group and I don't know anyone in the area with kids around the same age. We'll see how we like it and decide if we want to continue it next year. There is also a chance that we'll be joining a Charlotte Mason group. Its a mixed age group that meets once a week for "enrichment" or nature study. I really hope that works out!
My scope and sequence is a work in progress since I don't have my Keys of the World albums yet. I also have not finished going through all of my Karen Tyler books yet. But, I thought I'd post it anyways. It is linked directly to my copy, so as I change mine, this one will be changed as well. (I guess that doesn't help you if you download it before I am finished)
You can download it here.
So that's where I'm at! Stay tuned for our work plan preview!