The public school kids have been back to school for what seems like a long time. I have been taking solace in the fact that most of my friends' children go to private preschool and this is their first week of school. So, many Montessori schools did not start until this week either and we are not as off-schedule as it may seem. I also keep reminding myself that they are three and four and don't need to be "in school" anyway. I also keep reminding myself that they are learning more in the small amount of time we are spending together then they would in a full-day public K5, but that's holding ourselves to an embarrassingly low standard. By the way, I loved Peter Davidson's post "Interest and Challenge" over at MariaMontessori.com. He put some of the reasons our family has chosen a Montessori education over a traditional classroom very eloquently.
Some of my readers (if any are left after my lack of posts lately) mistakenly believe that because our traditional Montessori materials are stored in a particular room in our house I call the "school room" that we have separated learning from living. That is like saying that you are separating "play" from living because you store your toys in a "playroom." Everything has to be stored somewhere, we keep our toothbrushes in the bathroom, our clothes in the bedroom closet, our art materials in the laundry room, our easel in the kitchen... Everything is available at all times and the kids know where to go get things when they need them.
Me Too has been really moving forward with leaps and bounds concerning "care of self." He is out of the crib and into a floor bed (I know, better late than never). He loves to do things himself. In the morning he wakes up on his own schedule, removes his pajamas and pull-up, uses the restroom,throws the pull-up in the trash, chooses underwear and socks (his favorite), chooses an outfit from the low bar in his closet, brushes and combs his own hair, and then comes to join Kal-El and me wherever we are to be found. He loves to open and close his own car door and to put on his own carseat straps and buckle the first buckle. He likes to clear his own place setting when he is done eating and likes to remove his own bib(s) and wash his own hands. I am not "allowed" to open or close the refrigerator myself as this is one of his favorite jobs. He is very interested in have "favorites" right now. He has "favorite" socks (cars on them), underwear (Thomas on them), shorts (very short, very green)... you name it. Me Too really enjoys letter-sound games and is thrilled that his big brother "knows lots of things" and can play them with him just as well as Mommy can.
Kal-El loves being the "big kid" who "knows lots of things" and can do them with Me Too. He is very concerned about things he perceives to be "gaps" in Me Too's development and reports them dutifully. He had his first fall off of his two-wheeler this week (he's been riding on two wheels since March) and is angry with one of the neighbors whom he believes to be responsible for his fall because he, according to Kal-El "left debris in the road." I don't know who taught him the word "debris" nor could my husband find any "debris" responsible for the fall. He split his lip and now wants a new bicycle helmet with a "mouth guard like a knight." He has been anti-language work lately, but very interested in math so we have been doing math work many times a day, albeit without using our nice materials right now. We have been improvising with whatever is lying around. Most recently we used watermelon seeds at the lunch table. Kal-El also likes to find put together groups of things and declare what "doesn't belong" such as a sock, a shoe, a boot, and....a hat.
Our main focus for the last two weeks has been ramping up our "read aloud" program here. I'll talk more about that next time and let you know about a great, eye-opening book (or two!).