Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Mine was pretty horrible. I’ll spare you the details, but the Thursday night before Thanksgiving was the worst night of my entire life. I spent much of it under the belief that Mr. Mo was dead. Fortunately, he did not die, but the experience was incredibly traumatic. I spent most of the week recovering physically and emotionally from the it and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be the same.
Also, Secunda has moved back in with us. She was attending an out-of-state school to study to become an ASL interpreter. She has always gotten “A’s” in her ASL classes from the various professors at the college here and she was receiving “A’s” in all of her other classes, but she was practically failing ASL at the new university. She had tried speaking with the professor and getting tutoring and everything that she could think of, all to no avail. In fact, if anything, her efforts earned her an even lower grade (24% on the midterm, for which she studied her heart out). Unfortunately, there were no grading rubrics and the grading was very subjective, so there wasn’t a lot that could be done immediately to fight the grade. She is filing a grievance against the professor, but in the interim, there was no point in continuing at the university, because this one class was a “make it or break it” class for the program that she was in. She could not move forth with her studies if she did not receive a “B” or higher. Anything less than a “B” would mean attending at least one extra year of university, meanwhile paying “out of state” tuition prices. So she is back here and going to attend a local college and major in interior design instead! It is a bit disconcerting that one person had the power to completely derail her life’s goals and dreams, but she has recovered from the ordeal fairly well.
But, how does this all relate to Montessori, you ask? Well, we had to give up my office/Dora’s homeschooling room, so that Secunda could have a room to sleep in. So now our living room/dining room is Gohan/Dora’s homeschooling room and Dora’s play room (Dora currently sleeps in our bedroom and does not have a bedroom of her own to store toys in). So space is at a premium around here with five adults, one teenager, one preschooler, one dog, and two cats. I have already had to get rid of some of the larger, less-used Montessori materials. So I am having to do some deep reflection on how to proceed with Dora’s homeschooling from this point onwards. I am determined to make Montessori work for math. At the moment, I still have room for all of the culture materials that we already owned (culture in Montessori covers science and social studies). If I keep the math materials in check and limit any new culture materials purchases, I should be able to stick to Montessori for culture. In regards to practical life, we really have already reached a point where Dora is using real materials to do real work for the most part. So I will probably get rid of our remaining practical life materials, which are for teaching wood working skills. I will then try to make more of an effort to include woodworking into our regular work and have Dora use the real tools and wood in our garage (we do have a good kids tool set left over from Gohan). I might even start taking Dora to the local Home Depot and Lowe’s kids’ classes. Finally, I had already determined that the Montessori method is not a good match for Dora for language arts, which is actually proving to be fortunate, as there just is not room for those materials.
Anyway, through all of the chaos of the last two weeks, we did manage to get some work done. Dora suddenly decided that she wanted to work with the constructive triangles. She barreled through all the boxes, only slowing down when we got to the blue constructive triangles. She had a lot of trouble with these until I got out the rectangle box of constructive triangles to model how the triangles could go together to form shapes.
As you can see in the photos at the top and in the middle of this post, Dora has also continued to work with the red and blue rods, wooden counters, and pink tower.
Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.