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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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Running to Catch Up

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I'll admit it.  I've been a little overwhelmed over the last few weeks.  I thought I did an excellent job preparing the classroom.  And just like that, Elora has taken off again with both math and reading.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm thrilled with Elora's progress.  The learning journey has been difficult for her as it came in fits and starts early on due to her juvenile arthritis.  She has certainly blossomed as her pain has dissipated but we still struggled due to the mood swings and lack of focus that one of her medications exaggerated.  And just like that, after three years, the medication went away.  I have a new child.  One who is eager to learn and does so rapidly.  We still have some kinks to iron out, especially in the areas of focus and concentration, but we're really flying now.

So why is this a problem?  Because I didn't plan for this sudden jump.

In a Montessori school, the primary classroom would already have everything it needs.  Since I am not a school, nor do I have an unlimited budget, I try to foresee where we'll be for the following school year and plan accordingly.  I now find that I suddenly need a host of math materials if I want to keep on track.  I generally place a big order in January.  I typically have Christmas money to work with and the break gives me time to think and plan.  Since I don't want to disrupt the momentum, I now get to think, plan and scrounge up a reasonable budget ASAP.  It's making my head spin.  I've been pouring over my manuals and trying to estimate what we need between now and then.

I'm also trying to decide exactly what I want in my scope and sequence.  For example, the 45 layout is not in my primary manual set.  However, I think it is important.  The drawback is that it requires 45 cubes and squares; something I wouldn't need otherwise.  My husband is adamant that I present it.  While I'm nearly convinced, it isn't the cheapest option in the world.

While the language materials are much more budget friendly they are labor intensive to create.  I'm already swamped with laminating and cutting tasks since it's time to change the science shelves from ecology to astronomy.

Then there's the final aspect of the fiasco.  Where am I going to put it all?!?!?
Move sensorial somewhere?  Put in new shelves and go up?
My shelves are full and there doesn't seem to be much I can remove.  Elora is starting to work in various math threads and that alone is enough.  William is progressing now too so I can't remove earlier works.  Now I have to consider fraction circles, addition/subtraction boards, complete bead material and those beloved 45 squares and cubes.  I have some ideas to make it work for now but I don't love them.  I also find myself panicking a bit with the future of my shelf space.  By next school year I'll have one new to primary, one mid-way through primary and another starting lower elementary.  I'll have everything I own out!  I know, I know, don't worry about that until I have to.

So there are my frustrations laid out for all to see.  I'll try to keep a level head but the next month will be interesting.  Both of the boys have birthdays soon so my plate is full.  I'm also still managing with a broken toe and have been confined to at least three more weeks in my ortho shoe.

There's no real point here other than to say that if you ever feel frustrated, overwhelmed and unable to make it work, well I feel that way too sometimes too.
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