Thursday, December 1, 2011

Montessori Homeschooling

Originally Posted August 7
UPDATE DEC 1- I have since been introduced to Counting Coconuts- LOVE HER STUFF!!!! As well as the Montessori At Home ebook~ over 250 activities for children 3-6. For $8.95, it was well worth the price. Even if you don't homeschool, it is a treasure trove of awesome activities. Also, Eli has decided to really take off with sign language, so we are going with it, using Signing Time. I also add signs for things we need and use- for example peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

Eli turns 3 at the end of the month. We have decided to start homeschooling him for preschool. Banish any images you may have of strict instruction, filled with flash cards and worksheets. Nope, not for my child, which is why we’re homeschooling! I love the Montessori style of learning- which is hands-on, experiential learning. I found Lisa Nolan and her website Montessori for the Earth. She has very affordable curriculum (around $16 for the year and I received the curriculum for both 2 and 3 yr olds). This is my foundation for instruction. I add to the foundation in a variety of ways. One way is to add more art based learning. Play at Home Mom is a group of moms teaching through art based activities. They follow more of The Reggio Emilia Philosophy. I don’t know a lot about this philosophy, but it seems to be very similar to the Montessori style of learning. Just yesterday, I was introduced to preschool packs from 1+1+1=1.  These packs totally rock! Yes, they are worksheet based, but they will make a great supplement to our learning. They are arranged in themes, which will make designing themed instruction much easier. She also offers book suggestions for each theme, making a trip to the library easier! Finally, through a homeschool group I’m in, I also discovered the video Little Pim for learning a second language. I put it in our Netflix que to see what it’s like before we purchase it. We have decided to start with Spanish. Since Eli does have a cousin who lives in Italy, we will also add Italian down the road. Speaking of videos, we’re not opposed to using technology to enhance our learning. We live in the age of technology. It doesn’t do any good to deny it. Leap Frog, Blues Clues, Sesame Street have become staples in our home (thank you Netflix!). Add social activities from the local YMCA, Library, Zoo, and Nature Center, and we have a very full, active schedule!

Here Eli is painting with paint he made, then hammering ice blocks, and finally playing with ice, water and paint all together!

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