Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Five Favorites - homeschool space inspiration!!

Hi, all! Just joining everyone else for Five Favorites!!

Sooo...lately the Abbot and I have been doing a lot of talking and I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the kind of education we want for our daughters. Right now, I'm just considering what I want up through Kindergarten/1st grade and I'm sure it's no shocker than I love the Montessori method and want to create a prepared environment for the girls. However, it's taking some real brainstorming in our 800 and some foot house (which actually comes out to be even smaller because a lot of that square footage is the basement kitchen space). Soooo...inspiration!

The big goal - to create a peaceful environment for our girls! I'm including Baby Sister in this, too, because I want part of this space to be hers from the get-go!

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So, these are the mini-red rods I made for Sister Stinky sometime last year (and which she had no interest in). You can see how small they are...yawn.

The real material is MUCH bigger...the biggest one is a meter long!! I just won them on an e-bay auction for super cheap today!!! I'm keeping my eye and bids on a couple other items too, so don't outbid me, please!

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Longtime readers probably recognize our old Tot school set-up. It served it's purpose for the time but I'm excited to expand this and move it. Here's an example of some of my inspiration. (All three of those blogs are great spaces to explore if you want to do Montessori at home!)


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Of course, we'll need a space for Baby Sister. I find all Meg's baby spaces really beautiful! 

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Gotta be honest...I've been hugely intimidated by the thought of homeschooling lately. I've been looking forward to it so much but now that Sister Stinky is just about preschool age I have a major case of cold feet.
So glad my best friend in the whole world is also a good "homeschool principal" who does a fantastic job of listening to his school's (only) teacher's freak-outs! He's my favorite :-)

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I don't know if any of you are considering this mode of homeschooling your littles but if you are this website it my absolute favorite for explaining the materials, lessons, and scope of primary Montessori work!



12 comments:

  1. Michelle, I've been dabbling in some Montessori-esque techniques with Joey lately, and I'd really like to set up a little work station for him using a cube shelf. We have one in our foyer and the bottom 3 shelves are perfectly empty - it's a total dead space because, well, the kids always grab stuff off of it, which basically tells me they are dying for their own space! Perfect. What would you recommend to start out as far as materials? We are living in Rome and everything is very expensive and surprisingly hard to find, even though this was Maria Montessori's home! So given like a $50 budget, what can you recommend that would be easy to track down and essential to the space? (p.s. I am super uncrafty, unlike you.)

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    1. Good questions, Jenny!!! You are definitely in a unique situation! I'm about to get a paycheck for teaching religious ed for this semester at a local parish, hence why I have money to spend on actual materials. BUT normally I don't have that and even $50 would be a lot for me to spend! Soooo...I would recommend starting off with practical life materials. I blog stalked you before I answered this question to see how old Joey is, and I just realized he's exactly one month older than my girl! She LOVES practical life materials, so I"m guessing he would, too, and you probably already have what you need for those. This site would be a very helpful place to start: http://www.infomontessori.com/practical-life/introduction.htm. I would suggest making a few "trays" (which could also be in baskets or whatever) that have some activities for him to try - two cups and some beans for pouring practice, some handkerchiefs for folding practice, a small dust broom and pan and something small to practice sweeping up (I've seen pom poms used but if you can't find those pretty much anything will work!). Practical life is the foundation for all other Montessori work, so he needs this practice but it will mean you having to spend little to no money right now since you probably have most of what you need already! Pinterest is also a huge inspiration for practical life work: http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=montessori%20practical%20life. Finally, there also are some great blogs with free printable for more activities (like making your own color box or matching activities). I'd google The Helpful Garden, Montessori Print Shop, and Counting Coconuts and see if any of those have some printables you think Joey would be interested in. Good luck!

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    2. thanks Michelle, this is perfect!

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  2. I'm about to start a "homeschool freak out" club! lol.. Our Kiddo just turned 4 so we're going to do more "formal-ish" schooling starting in the fall, currently we're doing school but in a very laid back, informal way. As the time draws closer I've also been getting cold feet on occasion. But I know this will go well. I'm also thankful for our "Principle"!

    You can do this!! Keep God in the center, seek Him in prayer and watch him work in your school. :)

    Thanks for including the great links! I look forward to checking them out thoroughly during Kiddo's nap time today.

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    1. Oh my goodness...thank you so much for the words of encouragement! Once I start buying materials and stuff I just start second guessing myself...but I'll give this all over to prayer. I feel in my heart that we're headed in the direction God is calling us to go. At least, I think? Cold feet! Gah!!

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  3. I had a homeschool freak out in the car over the weekend :)
    Our prinicple just told met hat he doesn't car how smart our kids are, he just wants them to have beatitude. Ultimately, that means Heaven. Phew, a little ledd stressed but I am still nervous. Thankfully both older kids are self motivated and already know their numbers, letters, simple spelling, and math but their desire to know more is pretty intense (and intimidating).
    on repeat right now in my head "yes, I am smarter than toddlers and I can teach them things"

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    1. I am super impressed by how much your boys know!!! Haha...I like your mantra best, though, "I am smarter than toddlers and I can teach them things!!" So good to know I'm not alone in my insecurities ;-)

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    2. wow. sorry about the typos. I guess that is what happens when you are multi tasking!

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  4. I think what you are doing with your daughter is so inspiring. I can tell you have done your research, and that you put a lot of thought into it. Very cool! Thanks for sharing more on this... lots of great links that I want to check out.

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    1. Thanks, Tacy! That is just what I needed to hear :-)

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  5. Do you think 4 yrs is to old to start Montessori? Sometimes I wonder if I've missed my window here or if its geared more towards younger kids. Any thoughts on what to do now?

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    1. You definitely have NOT missed your window! Your little one is at a perfect age for primary work (which extends from ages 3-6). I would recommend getting started by reading "How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way" (you can find it on Amazon or at the library). It's an excellent starting book to get you going with your little one. Getting started at 4 should work perfectly as your little one is at just the right age to appreciate many of the various materials and lessons!!!

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