Thursday, September 2, 2010

First day done, onto the second

So, the first day is done. Didn't quite go as planned as the kids needed more reconnecting time than I had planned for. We did still discuss a bit what was to happen, things for "Joe's" courses, etc.

After lunch, we ended up heading to a nearby, new park for about an hour. The 'big kids' (my two and Joe) did their own thing and I stayed with the 5 and 2yo. This 2yo (I'll have to come up with a name for her) is something else. Granted, she is almost 3 (in November), but still. I noticed yesterday what I've noticed other times with her: she will challenge herself to do something, but she knows her limits and never falls or anything like that. She never worries me like my son and her brother did. lol.

Last night, the girls' mom comes and 2yo decides she's going to try again to zip up her coat all by herself. She nearly succeeded, too, just didn't manage to hold it in place tightly enough when she pulled up the zip. Her 5yo sister has only begun really attempting--and still often can't get it. The difference in drive between the two of them is fascinating!

So, now it's on to the second day of school. Today, we will actually do some work. I need to figure out how I'm going to go about this. Only 3 of them actually doing school work this year, but with the 2yo nearly 3 and her playmate (5yo) going off to school next week, I think it's an excellent opportunity to really get going with Montessori with her. She's already done quite a bit here and there as it's been fit into our days, but she's likely going to need more for the next while as she settles into daily life without her constant companion and person to follow and imitate. This is something I will definitely need to plan and prep for over the long weekend. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm supposed to be thinking about today.

I need to pick the gentlest way to get Joe (16yo) back into work. Things he said and the way he said them yesterday, comments his dad has made about some things this summer with him, all lead me to get a sense of his uneasiness, perhaps anxiety, in getting going with work. It means facing challenging things, not feeling capable and more. So, as with all Montessori, I need to work out the challenge while keeping it attainable so he feels better and is driven to try more. Of course, some easy stuff ought to also be brought in.

So, I've been thinking of starting the day with a short amount of ELA. He can start with some handwriting tracing and then copywork; he wants to improve his handwriting, so this isn't just something I've arbitrarily decided. I think I'll have ds (9yo) work on that at the same time. There's always comfort in numbers! After that, move to... hm... I had been thinking spelling, but maybe it would be a good time for a phonics bingo or something fun like that. Then he'll think about goals he wants to achieve over the course of the year and by Christmas, plus choose a novel study from the authorized list (yep, to get his grade 11 English credits here, the novel chosen for the novel study has to come from a list the government prepared!).

What will ds do during this time? Well, he'll play the bingo with us for sure. After that... I guess what I need to do at the moment is figure out how the days are going to be structured. Joe has 3 subjects essentially (English, math and science). My kids will be covering more than that, so simply grouping everybody together to do the same subject at the same time to get the year started won't work very well.

Dd, I should probably get the chart printed off for her.

That reminds me: I had meant to buy some pre-made schedule sheets for the kids to fill in afterwards--so, track what they cover when. Kind of the idea of the Montessori elementary journal, but less space and not so focused on specific time of when started and when stopped.

Ach, I feel like I'm going around in circles! I think I have to plan on paper first. I'll do that now. :)

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