Life works in funny, circular ways sometimes. Well, actually more than sometimes. Many of you have read about the journey with our middle son, our four year old. From toilet learning to explosive behavior, we've worked hard to proactively make the best decisions for him. Now as he is nearly five years old and still requesting not to attend the Montessori school his brother happily attends, we're back on our Montessori Homeschool trek and excited for it!
I always thought I'd homeschool my boys. As they grew older I became unsure if I could give them what they needed while still being, well, their mama. I decided about a year ago that I could not homeschool my boys. My oldest son is doing well his third year in the same Montessori classroom. He has had for all intents and purposes a typical development. My middle son has had some obstacles to overcome mostly related to his high level of intelligence (not a bad problem to have, I suppose) and rigid personality.
Developmentally speaking, he lags in problem solving skills, which means that he is cognitively unable to make transitions and to be anything close to “easy going”. For example, Starbucks is all out of the seasonal cookies means a melt down. No, my son is not a spoiled brat. He actually can't come up with those other ideas like, “oh well, I guess I'll have a chocolate chip cookie, or skip my treat today, or I'll ask my big brother to split it.” So, just as you would work with your child if he lags math or reading skills, we have to work with our son on his lagging problem solving skills.
So, after much debate and a heavy decision, we pulled him from Montessori preschool (again). I could go into more explanation as to why but let's just say we hope to minimize the tantrums to be able to focus on developing these lagging skills. If you have read Dr. Ross Green's book, The Explosive Child, we have put school into Plan C.
So, we here we are back to Montessori homeschool again. That was a long introduction to let you in on what we've been doing these past few weeks. We don't have a fixed schedule per se for any day or any week for that matter. I have a list of activities and lessons I'd like to cover during a given week. I allow my son to lead and I make sure to stay within the wide parameters of our routine.
General Montessori Homeschool Guidelines
- There is not a set schedule, the day is abundant with “ranges” of time
- Eating happens when we're hungry
- Outdoor time is often combined with learning or work time
- Life sciences is typically integrated into our daily routine by taking hikes and exploring the yard. There is no set “curriculum” per se. I educate myself on plants and animals in our area and hope that I have something to offer my sons. If not, we put the question or thought on our wonder board.
- Outdoor learning is ripe for all areas of learning
- Check out my favorite books for outdoor learning and creating an outdoor classroom
- Check out my recommendations for Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
Our Montessori Homeschool Schedule
- Wake 6-7
- Eat Breakfast as a Family 6:30-7:30
- Read & Get Ready for the Day
- Outdoor Play 8-9
- Snack 9-10
- Work Time 10 -12
- Lunch 12-1
- Work Time 1-2:30
- Pick up big brother from school 2:30
- Outdoor Time 3-4
- Snack 3
- Down Time 4-5:30
- Dinner 5:30
- Bed, Bath, & Books 6-7:30
Montessori Learning Topics this Week (for example)
- Human Eye (parts of the eye, how the eye works, blindness)
- Planting a bean to watch it sprout
- Parts of the Seed cards
- Introduction to Invertebrates
- Identifying patterns in nature (e.g. spirals of a fiddlehead fern)
- Marble run with the brown stair
- Binomial cube review
- Knobless cylinder work
- Identifying symmetry in nature
- Short Bead Chains
- Short Bead Stair Addition (we've been using other objects as a variation)
- Number Rod Maze
Reading & Writing
- Short Vowel Object & Word Label Match
- Pink Level Beginning Sounds
- Pink Level Sight Word Bingo
- Play dough work to build hand strength
- Writing / Tracing Short Vowel Words
- Sound Hunt Bags
- Reading out loud
Using our indoor trapeze and a mini bean bag to see if we can swing on the bar with the bean bag between our feet and get the bean bag into a small bucket.
- Calendar Work
- Digital Clock Awareness
- Pet Store
- Plant Nursery
I will work on getting more detailed lessons to you. In the meantime, here is my “brain dump” of ideas. I hope this brainstorm inspired you!