I have a question for all of you today. How do you deal with Montessori dust? I've been busy applying Konmari in the school room to make room with some very neat new material, a collection of 12 Work, Force, and Energy Models. As I dug through every box, loose paper, and specimen on the shelves I discovered that Montessori dust is just as gross as regular old dust but perhaps slightly more prolific.
My house is very dusty. Combine forced air heat with a lot of carpet and a cold climate and you have a problem on your hands (and your furniture). My approach for years has been to dust half-heartedly around things every couple of weeks and about every two months become disgusted enough to pull things off the shelves and dust around them. It just drives me nuts though when even the five kingdoms charts, lying flat on a shelf, are just coated. I guess they are keeping the shelf clean.
My understanding is that this dusting, of shelves AND materials, is part of the weekly work in a real Montessori classroom. I understand how this looks in primary but not so much in elementary. Complicating matters is that we have all the same materials that a school would have but only two students to pitch in on the dusting. I am hoping that some of you out there are better housekeeping homeschoolers and have a routine suggestion that might work for us? If not, feel free to commiserate in the comments.
I had planned to use the lesson plans for in Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, Vol. II, grades 3-5 for these. However, each machine came with it's own lesson plan book and they are excellent. I will study BFSU to get a framework and go from there. Most people aren't going to buy these. It's good then to know that the lesson plans in BFSU include making your own simple machine for all of the lessons. The BFSU key experience for the lever is very impressive. The students lift the teacher's desk, and potentially the teacher, using a long length of 2x4. This book is very Montessori-inspired.
In other good news, I will be selling this when we are done with them. The bad news is, I see potential use in these all the way through high school so it might be a while.
All this dusting and moving things around always inspires changes in the school room as I see what is nearly ready to come off the shelf and start to think about what needs to be introduced to the shelves. I've had a few late nights revamping zoology and grammar (again). I feel like I'm always revamping grammar, but the kids keep moving through the work and things need to change. Kal-El is ready to start more advanced grammar work so I've been studying hard trying to figure out how to mesh the ETC cards I bought with the albums I have. I haven't been digging into any particular album this deep for a while so it actually has been pretty enjoyable.