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Monday, February 21, 2011

Montessori Monday #1

I thought I'd keep track of every time I actually post something about Montessori, on a Monday. If you'd like to know more, there are tons of great blogs, or you can just google "Montessori." I've started reading a couple of books, and hope to compile some information myself, but hey, I'll be proud if I can actually keep up with posting about what we're doing.

First of all, I want to mention how cheap (or even FREE) utilizing Montessori concepts with your children can be. I was overwhelmed when I first began looking at blogs and all the cool gadgets people had. But all the things I use are free. Or at least, they were left over from other projects or things I had around the house. You'll see what I mean. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to have Montessori play time each day. You don't need to buy an expensive calendar to do circle time, or fancy beads for any activities. It's amazing how, the more you look at what people are doing, the more you see the potential for a Montessori activity in almost an object! (For example: buttons, beads, ice cube trays, rocks, leaves, pillows, straws, empty jars, cups, the list goes on and on!)

So, without further ado, here is our general morning rhythm, and what we did today during play time. *Rhythm is not the same as schedule. I like how flexible we are, and if something doesn't work out one day, I don't beat myself up. I'm working on consistency right now so my kids can know what to expect, but I like having a general outline, at least for our morning!

7-8 am: wake up and eat
8-9: shower, get dressed, etc (You can use Montessori Practical life here, your child can pick out their own clothes, practice buttoning and zipping, etc)
9-10: Clean a little (dishes, make beds and pray, etc)
10-10:30: Circle time (Calendar, numbers, shapes, songs, and stories, I'm trying to incorporate scripture stories here, but we're still working on getting through the days of the week and the weather, to be honest!) Here is a picture of my homemade calendar, my preschooler helped paint a cut up cardboard box and glue things on. Really easy, totally free! I also added a space for weather, and number, letter, and shape of the day. I'd like to start doing a scripture verse every day too!

10:30-11:00 Activity time. Many people do boxes or trays or other ideas where they have the activities all ready, and have trained their kids to know how to get them out, play, put them away, choose between multiple activities, etc. I'm not there yet. I'm just getting started, and I don't have a "space" for trays or boxes. Work In Progress! But here are some things the kiddos enjoyed today (DD1 just turned 3 and DD2 is 17 months. Yes, our 3rd is due in August. We're crazy. But we sure love them!)

We did play number memory, but DD2 kept trying to grab the cards, so I got the parmesan cheese jar and some straws for her to develop her fine motor skills. DD1 got jealous, ditched the memory game, and tried to take over DD2's activity. So I got out spaghetti noodles and an old garlic powder jar for her (a little small, a little more difficult.) Montessori moms with multiple kids: how do you get them to play together nicely!? ARGH!!

In the afternoon, we got out the pom-poms and some different colored plates to sort colors. That was a hit with DD1, and DD2 enjoyed the parmesan jar with straws again!

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Heatherlady said...

Okay, you are inspiring me. I so need to get my act together and get things ready. I feel overwhelmed by all the fancy gadget people have too sometimes. I LOVE it that you are using simple things. Oh, and congrats on the new baby! I didn't know. That is really wonderful.

Ewa said...

I think you had a great start. Making kids work together takes lots of time and patience but it's worth the effort. I like your ideas of free or homemade materials. I have a son who is also 17 months old and and older one who is nearly 6. We had the same problems with cooperation between the two of them but due to my consistency I started to see some results. Kuba became more patient, kind of a leader, and Antek learned to share and not to disturb ( though not all the time:-)Keep the good job and thank you for sharing your ideas.
Ewa from