Friday, January 30, 2009


While I have  Montessori from the Start out from the library, I have not yet been able to sit down and read through it to get some ideas for my 14mo niece. Today, she was into EVERYTHING--pulling down CDs and books and trying to get at the laptop and snooping through the 17yo's bag and stealing her metal water bottle. She (my niece) took the bottle over to the kitchen sink, held up the bottle and made some noises for our attention. She wanted to drink water! It was so wonderful to see--the kids were so impressed that such a little creature with so few words can still clearly let us know what she wants.

This idea of a bottle clicked in my head and I grabbed clean Gatorade bottle and the top off the counter and gave it to her. She must have spent the next 30 minutes putting the top on, twisting slightly, taking it off, "drinking" from it, putting the top back on... At one point, she took her own bottle--one of those little Rubbermaid containers with straws--and put it at the top as though she were pouring water from her bottle into the Gatorade bottle. She'd then "drink" again from the Gatorade bottle and continued putting the top on and off. At one point, she got the top on too well and couldn't get it back off, which caused a bit of fussing on her part. It was so much fun to watch!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Montessori from the Start

I've had to put a request in to the library for Montessori from the Start: my younger niece has become TROUBLE! She's 14 months, doing her own form of scooting, but pulling herself up anywhere and everywhere and touching all kinds of things she shouldn't, like the laptop. Yes, yes, I know Montessori is all about the environment, but the environment is our home and school and there are certain things that can't be moved (like the electric piano covered with a homemade wood top) and are a horrible inconvenience if moved (like the laptop). If I can provide more suitable activities to attract her attention, perhaps I can have her avoid things like grabbing onto the piano lid that can come crashing down on her...

Montessori Today

I have Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood out from the library. I've actually had it out for a couple of weeks. In any case, I sat down last night and started reading it. It feels so good. :) I had been reading a Sudbury book and while part of me is very pulled towards that model, at the same time, I see clearly how that model works best when you have a LARGE multi-aged group of kids. I also really feel that adults can definitely be more involved in guiding kids than simply waiting for them to ask. I didn't learn to skate because I asked my mom; she simply said one day, "Let's go skating!" (Admittedly, I fussed and moaned and said I couldn't do it while she was present on the ice. She took off to the bathroom, during which point I learned to skate. :) ) I think Montessori provides that balance of, "Hey, here's something I'd like to show you," but then you back off and let the child decide how far to go with it.

My Montessori plans for today? To read more. It's Friday, I may very well have my nephew again today (he's been not feeling super great the past couple of days), and that throws off the general routine of the house. We were supposed to be out this afternoon for snowboarding lessons, but with a high of -26 predicted, we are NOT going. Let's see, I can be more creative than that. Okay, I'll invite my niece and ds to plant cleaning (you use a little bowl of water, a Q-tip and a small square of paper towel). Ds (8yo) already knows how to clean plants, but he loves it and would enjoy showing dn (dear niece :) ). She's also got into cutting, so if I could find those pages that one mom/Montessori teacher sent me, I could put those out for her, too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Um, well, it's been a while, hasn't it?

I did start doing some Montessori with my niece, but I have to admit to it not lasting long. We ended up having sick kids in the house and just lots of busy-ness. For a long time!

The oldest's exams are almost entirely done for this semester and we are now on a bit of a downtime. It's a perfect time for me to really figure out some things in terms of Montessori and homeschooling.

I have NOT been reading Montessori as I had been and know that if I want to implement it more, I need to read more. The reading helps create the vision in my head of how things can be and I need that vision to be able to really do something.

The multi-aged group I have, with the different (non-Montessori) programs, makes Montessori difficult. At the same time, if I spent more time reading Montessori, perhaps a vision of how to fit it all together would work!

So, there we go, my plan for this next week is to read, read, read in search of a vision to how things can be smoother around here.