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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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Our CC Book Bins

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If you've followed our story then you know that while we are primarily a Montessori family, we have been enriched greatly by our journey with Classical Conversations.  Someday soon I'll write a post on how similar Montessori and Classical Education truly are.  They are often seen as polar opposites unless you delve deeply into the theory behind each pedagogy.  But that is not our topic for today so you'll have to stay tuned.  ;-)

In case you're left scratching you head, here is why we chose CC and how we are are mixing it with Montessori.

This year I introduced something new.  This is our weekly review bins.  If you're familiar with CC, it essentially runs on a 6 week schedule at the early levels (6th grade and under).




I obtained the 6 bin organizer form Lakeshore Learning.  As I always recommend for Lakeshore, look for a coupon before purchasing.

The 6 bins are perfect for the 6 week intervals of Classical Conversations.  Here is an example of what is in our week 15 bin.  Obviously, this can vary by week.



1, 3 - Science Book - Since we are currently studying chemistry and the parts of an atom, I have included a book on basic chemistry principles.  I have traditional Montessori 3-part cards on the shelves that address the parts of an atom.

2 - History Book - I try to include a book that covers our history statement each week.  Our focus this year has been on American History.  Our week 15 bin includes a book on Teddy Roosevelt.

4 - History Cards - I adore the photo cards that review our history statements each week.  I have downloaded these from Classical Conversations Connected.

5 - Timeline Cards - Our 7 timeline cards for each week is in the review bin.  However, they are displayed on our tri-board during the current week.

6 - Science Card - Our weekly science card is available for review.  I love the information on the back.

7 - Fine Arts - We are currently studying America artists.  Depending on the artist, I may include a biography or examples of the work.  We are currently studying Georgia O'Keeffe.  I have included 3-part cards from Montessori Print Shop.  CC recently released a gorgeous set of fine art cards.  I plan to procure these at the next homeschool convention.


I'll be honest, I'm not great at preparing week to week.  Preparing 6 weeks at a time has worked far better for me.  I love that my children can chose to review the prior weeks of work at will.  While I tend to file the cards, I do keep the books accessible for the entire school year.  I'm amazed at how often my children chose to review them.

-Bess

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You can also find me on Montessori Homeschooling.
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