The blog has been neglected a bit lately, mostly because my laptop, which has been limping along on life support since the boys spilled a giant bottle of bubble solution on it in July, decided to briefly die for a while last month before resurrecting a couple weeks ago. So I'm back on my preferred instrument for blogging, hooray! Here are some of the things that are going on here:
~This whole getting Montessori elementary under my belt is HARD. I thought two months or so would be enough time to read through the albums and prepare materials, but I was WRONG, So, so, so wrong. I am very much flying by the seat of my pants here and working like a madman to get things together. Most evenings are spent making materials or reading, which is fine; I am quite willing to endure several months of intense work to be set for all six years of elementary for all three kids! We can do this! So for the time being, I'm Montessori-ing math and language and following conventional first-grade scope and sequence for everything else.
~Some materials I have recently made:
|Looking at it now, I realize I should arrange the numbers so all the odd numbers are on one side of the page, and the even numbers on the other. Whoops!|
1. A bead decanomial! This was a really fun set to put together, and I still have plenty of beads to make chains or cubes. Oscar is currently using the decanomial to help learn multiplication, and Allen is learning to correspond the symbol to the concrete number. Bonus: I enlisted Allen to help me for a little fine motor practice!
2. Geometry square insets. The frame is white foam board, and the pieces are made from 6mm-thick craft foam. Brad fasteners bent close to the tips make excellent little knobs! Oscar and I worked on the concepts of congruency, similarity, and equivalency, which he pretty much has down at this point (equivalency is a little trickier and needs some more work).
3. Hex bolt board! I ordered the materials from Home Deopt's website, taking the free in-store pickup option, and it was SO nice to just walk in and pick up the materials as opposed to scrounging through the aisles myself. One small problem is that I didn't realize the bolts would all have different-sized heads, so it's impractical to add four different nut drivers to screw them in-- it's better to just use fingers. And that's a shame, because Allen is SUPER into using tools right now. So I may have to make another board with just regular old screws.
4. One to a million hierarchy! Starting with the unit made from foam board, all the way up a million made from a bunch of boxes frankensteined together under the wrapping, with numerical cards to match. We had a lot of fun exploring the concepts here, and I never realized how all the tens, hundreds, etc. of any hierarchy take the same shape! Really cool visual.
~Language-wise, Oscar has been working on suffixes this past week. I was driving myself batty trying to assemble the materials myself, so I eventually decided that this time, spending the money for a little piece of mind was the way to go. I bought the suffix packet from Montessori Print Shop, and it was $4 well-spent.
~At the county fair a couple weeks ago, I got to co-superintend the Needlework section this year. It was a blast! I ended up getting like five grand prizes for various things I entered (probably more of a reflection on the low number of entries than on the quality of my work!), but it was nice to have some prize money to put into some nice new yarn! Cici and I are getting new sweaters this fall!