Today was our first day not back to school. It felt really strange not to be sending the boys off to school on what would have been the first day back from school holidays. Instead with stormy weather we stayed home and made the most of the day.
If you haven't read my previous post - we are moving mid term and are keeping the boys out of school until we are settled in our new location. They will be attending another Montessori school. I have been advised by their teachers to expect some regression with their school work - I guess it's only natural. So my aim while they are home is to reinforce what they already know and not really to focus on introducing any new concepts. Also I don't want to do any work that would conflict with their school/work philosophies - I want to support what they have gained from school not compete with it.
I have been teaching Otis French Knitting. The top photograph was taken with him sitting on my lap, which explains why his knitting is so perfect, I have been picking up his dropped stitches. Caspar's on the other hand is much, much longer and has a few more holes in it. The boys are so productive at home, they get so much done, knitting like this is a good way for them to use their hands and fine motor skills and just work - build on something, a bit every day. It was fun to look back on this post from 2012 when I first taught Caspar to do the same thing!
I love to see the materials Otis selects from his shelves to work on! Geoboard above and stencils/cutting below. He doesn't lack an appetite to work.
Caspar's teacher mentioned that she would have liked to see him doing mathematical sums in his mind, to move him from counting with his fingers by the end of the year. He does it a little but I really want to ensure he gets lots of practice. These sums are completely doable for him (it's addition and subtraction) and the game is fun, he's still using his fingers but I can see him doing it less and less. This game is great for Otis's number recognition too, Caspar does the sum for him but it's up to Otis to recognise the numbers. I can see why second children are often more advanced!
Below are some maths word/story problems which I love. I started Caspar with addition to see how he went. I have written the answers on the back so he can check his answers. The set we have includes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I love the way these story problems put maths into context.
Just as note about how we approach this type of learning - I have printed the cards and put them into a this little bag. Caspar has a pile of 'work' on his desk. Work meaning a pile of things he is working on, projects, journal, stories etc. It is a pile of work that he manages himself. Rather than put this work on our shelves I just put this little bag on his work pile and of course he was interested enough to do it. These cards also sneak in a little reading practice.
Reaping what he has have sown. Through the wind and rain Otis picked these beautiful flowers from our garden, bulbs that we have planted seasons ago.
The most pleasant work for children is not sowing but reaping, a work, we all know, that is no less exacting than the former. It may even be said that it is the harvest which intensifies an interest in sowing. The more one has reaped, the more he experiences the secret fascination of sowing. - Maria Montessori in The Discovery of the Child.
Feeling quite sad for the boys - both have been asking to plant some seeds which is just impractical right now. Otis prepared these and has been watching them all day - sprouts are so fast growing I feel this will fulfil his need to grow something.
Yesterday the boys made these below by putting cellophane into embroidery hoops, once the frame is in place and tightened they use their scissors to go around the edge and cut off what is hanging out (more pictures from yesterday are here). Today we had enough light to capture the colours on the wall. I'm not sure what this teaches the boys other than the fun of playing with light.
I hope you don't mind some of these everyday type posts. It's been lovely posting and sharing here a bit more often!