Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessons Learned

Today was our first morning doing some real Montessori work. I've incorporated a lot of the Montessori ideals into the home, but we haven't done anything formally. So this morning we worked with the Color Box and with sweeping up some pompoms and finished with puzzles. Some things came up that I need to address.

First, I need to get better mats for the table so that I can fit three on without overlap. I also need floor mats. Though, if we do move I can set up the tables that are outside as one big table and use that for school and then the mats I have now are fine. Hmmmm...

Second, I need to figure out a way to work with one at a time. Or get three of everything so that I can work with all at the same time. They aren't very good at waiting for their turn. Take the color tablets.

I set out the mat, brought over the tablets and showed how it was done. Then Shira wanted to do it. She went through it super fast and easily and the other two watched. Then Chaya wanted to just line them up in patterns. And Batya wanted her turn so she started taking them. And Shira was "helping" her by matching them. Then Chaya was getting upset.

Finally I stepped in and helped Chaya finish (I lined one of each color up and asked her where the other tablet went). then Shira wanted her turn instead of Batya. Luckily I bought Box 2 so I got some different colors out and set up a mat for Shira. I do have box 1 coming so I suppose it won't be a huge problem for long.

While the other two worked with the color box, Chaya and I went to the living room and worked at sweeping up pompoms. I was shocked with how easily she picked it up. If you knew her around the house you would understand why. She is the least likely to pick up anything. Or sweep. Or do anything other than dance and sing or whatever strikes her fancy. I showed her how to sweep up a handful and then she did it and was soon dumping the box out and sweeping up.

Then Shira and Batya found us and wanted to do that. I had to take them back and help them finish their work and clean up first. I'm sure finishing and cleaning up after they are done is something that will come with time. At least I hope so.

They had a harder time at sweeping than Chaya did. I think it was the fact that they were all there and "helping" that made it so much more difficult. I need to figure out a way to introduce things to them one-at-a-time. I also noticed that after her sisters joined her, Chaya had a harder time doing it. But I can attest to how difficult it is to sweep when you have two sets of letmehelpyoudoitbygettingintoyourway hands. I think I'll purchase another bag of pompoms and make up three sweeping kits. I also think I'll tape off areas to sweep in. At least in the beginning.

After that we did soome puzzles. It seems we are missing a couple pieces. Another reason to move. LOL So I can find missing toy pieces.

Overall, I liked the way it went. The routine seems nice and not overwhelming. We wake-up, have breakfast, get dressed. The girls sit on the potty and watch Sesame Street. Then we do school for about 45 minutes. Then lunch and now they are playing with their kitchen and coloring. I feel good that they have a lot of free time and play in there. I always worry about overscheduling.