I’m a day late in posting this, but poor Dora has come down with a cold. I didn’t even do a weekly wrap-up last week because she had oral surgery on Friday. So we’ve not had the most productive two weeks ever.
I still have been researching Montessori methods to use with her. I really love Waldorf materials, but she has made it 100% clear that Waldorf is not her style. I set out this beautiful rainbow arch set and she not only refused to play with them, but threw them all on the ground.
At the same time, I set out this Montessori open-close basket that I purchased from Montessori Services and she played with it for 30 minutes straight and requested it many times throughout the week.
As such, I’m going to start doing her wraps-ups by listing what she did for each Montessori category of activities. I will separate fieldtrips, cooking, and crafts.
Fieldtrip – Our field trip this was an indoor one due to the weather. We went to the children’s museum. Dora was very overwhelmed by it all and clung to me most of the time. She warmed up to it just when we had to leave. So I promised to take her again next week. The part that she loved was the vet clinic, where she “fed and nursed” all the “animals”.
Practical Life – This area is Dora’s favorite. She loves being able to do everything that I do. At the same time, it has unleashed some undesirable behavior. “Me did it!” is her new favorite expression, which actually means “Let me do it!”. I am all in favor of encouraging independence, but when I have to stand there while we’re in a hurry and she gets in and out of her car seat ten times over, it does begin to try my patience. Plus, being as we do not live in an actual Montessori classroom and we spend a good deal of time away from home, the environment is not always adequately prepared, so there are activities that she literally cannot do for safety reasons. She also does not always respect her belongings and I need to read up on how I should handle things like her throwing glass or ceramic dishes and breaking them. I will say that she is always quite sad about breaking her things, so maybe the behavior is self-correcting.
Her big newly acquired skills for the last two weeks has been cleaning her place at the table (wiping it down) and using a sweeper to clean the floor. Mr. Mo and I are so amazed at how well a sweeper works that we’re wondering why we didn’t buy one before. They do a great job of cleaning up cat hair, so Dora is really being a help! The one I purchased was from Montessori Services. It is lightweight and small enough that she can use it. In fact, the handle comes in three sections, so it can become longer or shorter, as needed. It seems like it might not be 100% as sturdy as I would like, but it may just be because it is so light. I will warn you that if you buy this, the little brush cleaner that clips on the bar cut Gohan’s finger quite deeply, so I threw that away.
Sensorial – The big thing she worked on for this area was the open-close basket. I did try to get her to work with her rainbow arch to explore color, but as I mentioned, that wasn’t happening. She did look at some color flashcards (by her choice) and we read Mouse Paint many times.
Math – I will need to review more about what I should be doing for this subject according to the Montessori method. We did play with these number cards and wooden numbers from Plan Toys. I like the numbers much better than the letters, because the cards have an actual, slightly-deeper, place for the number to go that keeps the number in place.
Language – She enjoyed playing with these free cards about leaves. I printed two sets and she matched them to each other. We also read some books that revolved around our leaf theme. Two books that stood out for us were Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, which has poor Fletcher trying to save his “sick tree”. In the end, Fletcher is in for a big surprise, which I will not spoil for you.
We also liked Autumn by Gerda Muller (board book version), which is a Waldorfy series that Dora does like. The books are wordless and each one shows kids doing things during one season and ends with a glimpse of the next season.
Culture – This week’s theme was leaves. In addition to reading books about leaves and playing with the matching cards, we played with these leaf dominoes from Activity Village. While getting the link for the dominoes, I just saw these really cute oak leaf ABC’s! We did the Outdoor Hour Challenge #5 from the 2010 Autumn series. This is the first challenge that she really participated in, as opposed to being along for the ride. She spent 1 1/2 hours in the rain, collecting leaves. She did have some issues with not realizing that some leaves were more desirable than others and I finally had to teach her to at least look for bugs on the leaves before she handed them to me. We found a large variety of leaves, though I was disappointed that we were not able to collect any oak leaves. I saw some while we were driving, but they were never in a good place to stop. I also learned a lot about why leaves change colors and why some years are more vibrant than others reading the Handbook of Nature Study to myself. It had never occurred to me that some years the leaves really are prettier than others, I always figured it was just my perception or that the weather made them appear brighter or duller.
Cooking – her cooking project for the week was to make pancakes with real maple syrup and we discussed the syrup, like leaves, comes from trees. For some reason, she thought that was hysterical. I tried to use the book, A Tree for All Seasons to help clarify things, but I think there is some abstract concept going on that she can’t understand.
Crafts – I used a microwave flower press to press the leaves she found. Let me tell you, that is very nice if you are looking for quick results. It does stink a bit though.
I used the book, Look What I Did with a Leaf for inspiration for her to see what sort of designs one can make with leaves.
Then we tried mounting them between wax paper and ironing the wax paper, which several websites suggested. First of all, it was really hard for me to even find wax paper to buy. I had to go to 4 different stores. Then the wax paper did not melt at all, so that was a bust. Finally, I had Dora arrange them between laminating sheets and I laminated the whole thing. I think it came out rather nice. I am going to make a black frame/matt to put around the whole thing and hang it in our window.
I’m linking up to