Tuesday, February 9, 2010

School Day

I just can not find it in myself to get excited about Valentines Day. I keep seeing all of the super-cute practical life activities on other blogs and just can't find it within myself to want to do anything about it. This most likely stems from the fact that I just can't think of anything I want to say to the boys about it. They are a little young for "romance."

Anyway, when I changed over the practical life activities this weekend I took a deep breath and at least put some things in some heart-shaped containers. We have been cleaning out our basement in useless anticipation of "the big move" and I came across a box of things I brought home from school my last day teaching before I had Kal-El. Apparently heart-shaped containers were the must give gift of the year when I left my job because I had FOUR.

So here you go...I tried. I even let them use one of my art deco silver soup spoons. Looks like a silver polishing lesson is in order soon.

Spooning exercise

Tonging exercise

Sweeping little silver jingle bells.
(FIY, don't try this with little metal snowflakes...they get stuck in the brush)

Discussing the dangers of fire.

My sad little speech Valentines Day went something like this: "I put out hearts for you because Valentine's Day is coming. Valentine's Day is a day when we celebrate how much we love one another. Sometimes we give people we love cards, or hearts, or little gifts to remind them that they love them." Some of this must have sunk in because Kal-El made me this necklace today. (See, I also changed the necklace materials out to Valentine's colors.)

I tried one of the pink series exercises with Kal-El. This list was for me, not for him. (He'll use it later when he is sounding out words).

I used it to suggest some words we could spell together with the moveable alphabet. He was excited....for one word. We spelled "ram" together, then he announced "I don't want to do this with you anymore." Oh, the Valentine's spirit. Love is in the air.

It's a good thing we stopped. I realized my list is faulty. "Tag" and "bag" do not use the "a" sound as in "apple" in our neck of the woods. We (at least I) apparently pronounce these with an "a" as in "acorn." I should have remembered, I was teased frequently for this when I lived out of state.

Kal-El worked with the sand tray (new sand) instead.

Next both boys worked with some basic sensorial materials.

Me Too and I talked a lot about emotions and facial expressions while he worked with this little bear.

Afterward, both boys delved into Geography. Kal-El wanted to find all of the continents on the map and then on the globe.

This was followed by a side-by-side scrutinization.

Kal-El asked to do another map so I let him try North America. He had trouble reconstructing Central America so I tried to explain how to use the control map with varying levels of success. In the meantime, Me Too took the map of the continents out himself with sad consequences.

I found him using the map upside-down and sitting on the pieces. He forgot that he needs a second rug on which to park the puzzle pieces why he is working. I really should have him work on maps at a table. He is so little he has no awareness of the pieces on the floor near him sometimes and he has a tendency to crawl onto the puzzle to fit in pieces at the top. Today he sat on North America and put a crack in a portion of Canada.

Kal-El wore some Antarctica pins we received in the continent swap (I'll blog about the Antarctica box next) while he worked with items in the box.

Today he looked at some photographs of scientists interacting with wildlife. When he recognized an animal he had a miniature of he often matched them up.

Our "Flat Stanley" Antarctica doll took a walk on the continent on the pin map.

Kal-El asked to examine Antarctica on the sandpaper globe, which is an activity that requires my assistance due to the size of our globe. In this photo he is holding a little Emperor penguin and showing him his homeland.

After completing the map of the continents about five times,
Me Too worked with the dressing frames.

This is my view of the snap frame. For some reason he believes this activity must always be done sitting on my lap.

In case you were wondering, this is what about 2.5 hours of school time looks like around here.

I have linked this post to Montessori Mondays over at One Hook Wonder.

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  1. I just wanted to say how much I love your blog! I am just starting out with Montessori and am planning on homeschooling my just turned 2 year old daughter. Seeing the pictures of your sons with the materials and how they work is very exciting for me! I'm currently planning my school room and deciding which materials I need to order, so that we can really get started by this summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ~Nicole http://musicalmama08.blogspot.com

  2. Wow! That is A LOT! A very productive day.

    Regarding Valentines: I could feel your excitement!!!

  3. So glad you're linking up to Montessori Monday! Looks like a wonderfully productive day.

    How do you get them to work for so long? Do they take little breaks or just work straight through? I can never get Short Pants to focus for that long - a lengthy session for us is about 1.5 hours.

  4. Really greta post and I enjoyed seeing what a typical day might involve.
    One thing occured to me when I read your post. Me Too didn't actually have the map puzzle "upsidedown". In a traditional sense then he did - but there is no physical reason to put the north pole towards up and the south pole towards down. I'm from the southern hemisphere so you ocassionally see maps done the other way.
    Would be an interesting thing to discuss with your sons.

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog. You seem to be very busy with your little ones. I also was wondering if the time frame you mentioned is broken up at all. Thank you for all the links to Montessori blogs!! Not sure if I will have a chance to get through them all. I used to work at a Montessori and decided to implement some into our "homeschool." Well, time to go look at your blog some more.

  6. You know me. I get excited about ALL the holidays!

    You have a good approach to Valentine's Day for ones this young. They certainly are old enough to recognize all of the decorations in the store so they know something is up.

    A day to remember to tell those you love that they mean so much to you, or that you are happy they are in your life is a good way to approach it. It's something that they should be doing all the time any way.

    Grandparents, cousins, friends, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, uncles, aunts etc. It's not just for sweethearts:)


  7. Nicole and Kewkew,

    No, we don't take any breaks. We try to work three hours each time. We sometimes start too late to get it in before lunch, but it almost always works out when we start early enough. I ALWAYS have to "cut the boys off" they never want to stop on their own.

    There is a lot out there in the literature about the three-hour work cycle and how kids manage need for a "break" through their own choice of work. My kids tend to start easy and ramp up to their "big work of the day." It seems this is pretty typical.

  8. Your family must love you... All those pictures!