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I am a home schooling mom to three amazing kiddos.  We primarily use the Montessori pedagogy to guide our journey.  We also enjoy aspects of classical education and are part of Classical Conversations community. 

I write a Montessori column for Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

I am still a geek at heart and at times miss my former career as an Information Architect/SharePoint Specialist.  I don't have much free time but if I do, it is spent on comic books and video games.
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School Update - March

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I haven't posted a Montessori Monday school work update in a while.  I'm continually amazed at how cyclical our class time is.  We're currently in one of the best upswings we've had.  Both Elora and William have stayed eager and engaged for some time.  We used to aim for school in the morning but lately we've started in the afternoon when Lockelan takes his nap.  It has made things a bit easier.  Elora has been interested in revisiting a number of the basics, which has provided opportunities for extensions.

Elora is working with the counters.  She now lines up the counters correctly to differentiate between even and odd.

This is an extension with the brown stairs and pink tower.  

Here you can see the card she is working from.  This is from Montessori Print Shop.

Elora is working the binomial cube.  William has recently taken an interest in this one as well.

Practicing letters.

William is working with the Feel and Find from Guidecraft.  We need to try this one blindfolded.

William is matching the color tablets (box 2).  Elora is in the background working with the spindle box.

Elora has been asking to work with the red and blue rods again lately.  We have been working through various extensions such as figuring out which two rods add up to ten.

On a particularly rough day for William, he chose to take an object to picture matching work to daddy's office chair.

William has been working with the Guidecraft Twist n Sort  a lot lately.  Each of the four pegs  makes it a bit more challenging to remove the shape.  You have to lift while twisting to be successful. 

Elora matched the geometric solids to cards.  She then proceeded to discover that several of the solids had the same shape on their base.  I thoroughly enjoyed her excitement at the discovery.  This is a great example of why I love the classic Montessori materials.  They are much more complex than many realize.
Given her discovery, we also worked with the planes.  This allows her to match the base on each solid with a familiar 2D shape.

Elora has been interested in these CVC letter blocks.  There are five, one for each vowel.  I purchased them from  Quality Montessori on Etsy.  I highly recommend them.

Elora has also started reading through some basic readers.  She is very private about her reading and doesn't like to have me involved.  I try to put a new book out every few days.  She enjoys discovering them.

William has been working very hard.  However, he recently has decided that he doesn't want me to take his picture so I don't have a lot to show for it.  Here he is learning the spindle box.  Since it is new to him, we began by having me count them out to him.  Once he's ready, I'll have him count them out to me.  

Elora has started working with the addition snake game.  She is counting  ten beads then exchanging those beads for a ten bar.

Here you can see her carefully counting.  Some of the snake has already been exchanged.
Everything becomes a tower these days.

Elora found a pack of post it notes.  She decided to stick several of them together and write her first book.  I adore it!  I'm going to create some book blanks in the near future.

Elora and I are playing the cat and mouse exchange game.  We roll the dice and take the  number of mice indicated.  Once you have ten mice, you can exchange them for a cat.  The cat/mouse aspect of this work has kept her highly interested.  Sometimes she plays the game with William as well.  I purchased this from Montessori N Such.

I recently put this hammering activity out.  I purchased it from Alisons Montessori.  It is currently the most popular work in the room.  It has also presented a wonderful opportunity for the pair to learn to be patient when someone else had the work he/she wants.

William likes to use the spinner.  It indicates which shape to select.  Once he locates it, he can hammer it anywhere he would like on the cork.  Once finished, the pieces can be removed.

The set also came with design cards.  Elora prefers to use these.

I apologize for the shadow.  It's hard to tell but William has a snail puzzle.  The pieces are numbered 1-10 and must be put together in the correct order.  Since he has difficulty remembering the correct order, I gave him the insert from the hanging bead stair so he could follow along.

The children FINALLY took a genuine interest in the geometric cabinet.  It was the perfect opportunity to realize that I did not have the trays setup correctly.  I spent an evening getting everything perfect.  Of course, now we're back to no one wanting to touch it again.

William is working with the sandpaper numbers.  We played "knock knock" which is where you turn the numbers face down and knock on the back of the number asking "Who's there?"  William then flips the card over and tells me who has come to visit.  This is an example of the third period of a three period lesson. 

William has discovered the spatial relations work.  There are a set of cards that show a picture of various object on the board.  The goal is to replicate the picture exactly.  It works with relationships such as in front of, behind, on top of, etc.  I was surprised at how well he did with it.  I purchased this from Discount School Supply, although it was Christmas present.

Lockelan has started to select items from his shelf and put them on his work table.  This isn't as regular as I would like nor does he put things back, but I'm happy with it at this stage.  It's worlds above the moments where he knocks things on the ground, which is still more common than I care for.

Lockelan's favorite activity is still watching out the window.  The geese are back and he couldn't be more excited.
They are finally interested in the constructive triangles as well.

William is working with a one to one correspondence work.  He must place a penguin on each circle.  I adore this one because the penguins must be placed carefully or they will fall over.  It requires the perfect amount of attention to detail. I purchased this from Montessori N Such.

He needed some encouragement to complete it but he finally did.  He was very proud of himself so we took time to admire our work.  For the first time in a while, he begged me to take his picture.


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