Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Montessori-Style

Well, not the summer we've had so far. ;) Although, you know, we kind of have. Not so much with lessons and materials and curriculum and set learning time, but a vacation we took last week which had us learning so much about geology and history and lots of exercise and outdoor time. It was fantastic! And then yesterday... I think the writing "bug" has FINALLY been switched on in my 10yo son. It may change my plans a bit with him this coming year; we'll have to see how this pans out. My best friend--like a sister--spent a couple of nights with us, along with her 8yo daughter. The 8yo and my 13yo started writing all kinds of things on our easel whiteboard. Then they moved to a window. This was all it took to inspire my ds. He copied what they were doing to a certain degree--at least the very idea of what they were doing--and demonstrated that all of the work I have tried to do with him for cursive and printing was not for nought. This morning, he came to me to tell me--with an extremely pleased-with-himself expression on his face--that he knew how to write "c'est". And then proceeded to show me. Ah, it's like a sigh of relief! I still need to push ahead gently, ever so gently with him, but it'll all come together, just like his reading did. I just need to make sure to provide enough demonstration and opportunity.

But this has all nothing to do with summer and Montessori-style! Not how I meant, anyhow. lol.

I'm looking ahead to August, it is just right around the corner. I will have 6 kids in the house most of August; one week will only be 5 because my 13yo will be away at summer camp. So, the easiest one and biggest helper will be gone, which means that week could end up being more difficult. I don't want it to be 100% free time. I've said this before. I know I was exploring scheduling ideas and came across one school's summer program. What they do is have a theme each week. I think this could work beautifully, better than having a specific theme each day. I still need to work out a basic daily structure--and figure out themes--but it's relieving some of the strain of "How am I going to make this work when they are so used to just doing whatever they want?"

Since I'm here, let me explore some theme ideas:

*ds's chemistry set
*hiking or other outdoor activities
*group games (hard to do with a 21-month old)
*art, arts and crafts
*another science focus

Of course, I've only got 4 weeks and I've come up with more themes than that. Cooking might be something better done as a specific day of the week or just an activity to plan in as desired. I think group games have to be squashed (I was thinking things like soccer, catch, kickball, etc.). Art is so encompassing that I could honestly do something different each week for art. Some sort of science week is a must.

I've completely lost my thought flow. At least I managed to get something out. lol

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