Thursday, August 21, 2008


Hormozgan is one of the words my ds read to me yesterday. I don't think you'll find that on most beginning readers' lists. ;) That and Sistan and Fars from the Iran map. He saw the word "empire" and got very close: em-pur.

I shouldn't be surprised. I knew this would happen. It's just how he is and why a traditional school would be such a horrible fit for him. He did this with talking: used only 2 words at 15 months. 2! He had already said about 20, but only ever kept 2 in his active vocabulary. At that point, I started babysitting my 18mo nephew, who talked a lot, and a light bulb when off in ds's head. He started adding 3-5 new words to his vocabulary each day for the next month! He went from below normal (if you consider only the 2 words) to way above normal in less than a month! It was insane! Same thing with walking. Wasn't walking at 15 months (it was actually 15.5 months in both cases). He saw his cousin walk, "Oh, okay, I'll do that." Within a week, he was pretty much running.

What can I say but he gives his all to the things he wants to do?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All things in good time

Although I haven't "prepped" my son the way I would have liked to the past few years and have really unschooled him for the most part, despite a desire to really introduce him to things, what little I have done is starting to pay off in terms of reading.

For whatever reason today, he pulled out a map of Iran from somewhere (probably from a National Geographic magazine) and started trying to read all the names. It was dd who came down and said, "You ought to come see your son! He's reading!" Well, by golly, he was. It was slow, but he totally understands the whole sounding out in order... I'm in awe. :) And tickled pink. :D

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It just goes to show

how something in a child's environment that can take up so little of their time can have quite the impact on them.

My dd was talking to ds about Aragorn's armour or something from Lord of the Rings. He wanted to see it. She was allowed to show him just a little bit of a scene with him in it. Well, a minute of watching the movie is all it took for the two of them to start playing Lord of the Rings! Dd found a ring that she put on a chain around her neck. They found one of those little red Bibles and it somehow became a part of their game. Ds found another ring, and that's the ring he wears. It's funny. At the same time, it certainly gets me thinking about how impressionable kids are--and we must be choosy in what things they will be exposed to!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What a way to hook dd!

We were watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, The Lord is my Shepherd, and it was about the baby boy that Caroline had who died very young. I decided to check online to see what the actual story was behind it and was led to Wikipedia, which had a picture of Caroline and Charles. Dd wanted to see pictures of the others, and while on Laura's page, my eye picked up part of her genealogy involving the Delano line. Well, that so happens to be one of my family lines, as well as another of Laura's lines, from Richard Warren of the Mayflower. I said to dd, "Well, that's pretty cool. We're very distant relatives of Laura!" Omg, you'd have thought I'd said we were first cousins to the Royal family! lol.

Montessori in the Classroom

Are you a Montessorian? Have you ever read the book "Montessori in the Classroom" by Paula Polk Lillard? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. Especially if you work with little ones. I took it out from the library this week to re-read for the umpteenth time and it's always so fabulous. Giving me so many ideas and having me think, as well as guiding me a bit. Wonderful ideas on how to easily incorporate all kinds of things into the kids lives. That's what Montessori is really about--bringing the world to the kids and letting them explore and be fascinated by it.

The initial interest in some minimal school work has already waned. lol. We've been busy with stuff so I'm just taking it easy, maybe asking a few math questions, things like that. I suppose we already do so much--we went out with my mom and step-dad to a recreation area where we caught a large frog and there were a variety of plants that caught our eyes but we didn't know what they were. I took some pictures and when we got to my mom's, dd and I looked through a book on plants and were able to identify all of them. We now know what a snowberry is. :) And here we were calling it the "yogurt-covered berry" ;). They play outside and dd reads a lot and has gone through probably 2 years' worth of National Geographics in the past few days and I read to ds each night from "Little House in the Big Woods", which always brings questions, little explanations and even him predicting which word will be first when we turn the page. It's all good stuff! Reading Montessori has me being reminded that showing them things that may inspire them is far more important than having them practise this or that.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I had decided last week that we would gently resume studies this week. Just one thing a day that only takes 5 minutes would be fine with me. But I wasn't feeling well for most of yesterday and then this morning, had no plan or anything prepared so I was contemplating what to do, how to just slip something in to get them going or what. After lunch at some point, I pulled out ds's school agenda that he got from the school we're registered with. I start trying to remember what we'd done the past few days so we could write it in. We looked at the little thought of the week it has--this one was to list 2 things he could do that would make someone else happy. I ended up writing a word in the spelling list area (we just use it for reading/reference), and that led to more words being added until we filled up the whole thing. That's all it took to get him going--he wanted his A Beka math book. I couldn't find it originally, so he ended up looking through some things I did find. And he did about a page's worth once I did find it.

Dd did a few questions from her math book, but it's clear her mind is totally out of arithmetic mode--and these weren't basic arithmetic. I think I might put away her book and just do some oral and game review of the tables for the next week with her. No point in getting frustrated over something that was created with the assumption that the tables are fresh in your mind!


On other matters, I'm slowly getting things together for fall. I've got a better vision, a better feel for how I want it--and how I can get it to be. I know I've said over the past couple of years that I've slipped from Montessori and I wanted to get back to it but it wasn't working or whatever. Some soul searching and deep thinking led me to certain realizations, but I also think I must just be in a different mental state for whatever reason. It's long and drawn out and I won't get into it much here. But I've got a sense of excitement and peace about having, not just decided that Montessori is the way I "should" go because it worked in the past, but committing to it and knowing it's the way I really want to go. I've been reading websites and started reading books and more. Refuelling my mind to be prepared for fall.

I kind of feel like I'm going too slowly though, too much in summer mode. If I don't watch it, school will be starting and I won't really have things ready! There's some reorganizing in the house that needs to be done, some materials to find and put out, plans to write out, lesson checklists to find or create and more.

I know the 17yo isn't looking forward to getting back into the work, but I am. lol. I honestly feel like her math this year is easier to learn than last year's, her chem probably, too, and she's doing social 33 instead of social 30--for which I am very grateful. The course, imho, is easier than social 10. Of course, I'm basing this on the website assignments and don't actually have the texts yet to look at! In addition to all of that first semester, she'll be working on French so that she can do a placement test to get into ADLC's online French 30 course 2nd semester.

For her brother's program... I still don't know for sure if he's going to be allowed to do it. I thought it was a done deal, but I guess he needs approval from the teacher of the program and he has to talk to me first, which he hasn't because he's on holidays. If Bob doesn't officially do the program, I'm going to still have him do all the same work.

I'm sure some of you are wondering how this all fits into Montessori! lol. Well, I'm going to tie in as much as I can and as a general approach--focus on choices, work with the student, present lessons as needed, find hands-on ways to work with the topics, etc. And I'm going to do as much as I can with my 2 and my niece in terms of more typical Montessori.