Sunday, July 26, 2009

Almost August!

August is almost here. That means the summer is almost half done. It's been a crazy July here: start of renovations (just painting to start with, but not all completed), out-of-town visitors for a few days (ah, but what fun!), then back to renos. Two weeks of reno chaos that are finally done and the house is starting to take shape again. If it needs to be that summer is half done for the chaos to be done, I'm all for summer being half done!

With things more in order around here, I'm going to resume tomorrow my morning mini-school time with ds and dd, but I also want to work with my 4yo niece a bit on some Montessori activities and try to have a general routine for the week or at least a different activity each day that sows some seeds of interest. :)

I've created a list of things I can do with my niece this week, but don't actually plan on doing ALL of them. If we do, wow, great! I just wanted to select what would be good to show her, trying to show her at least 2 things a day. Here's my list:

Practical Life
  • button frame (I have a cheap, wood embroidery hoop with material I sewed so a child can practise buttoning)
  • pouring water from a jug (I should maybe try to buy a smaller jug today)
  • dusting (Montessori kids typically learn to dust by sweeping from left to right, from the top to the bottom of an area, like the way we would write)
  • cleaning glass (I have a bottle with a mix of vinegar and water)
  • sensitize the fingers (this is just dipping the fingers in warm water for a bit and then drying; it helps the fingers feel the sandpaper on the touch boards and sandpaper letters better)
  • touch boards (have to find them! these are different grades of sandpaper that the child learns to distinguish)
  • geometric solids (I'll just show her how to feel the different sides and then name them this week, assuming I do this activity)
  • Mystery Bag (this is a small bag with different known items to the child; the child is blindfolded and figures out what the objects are just by touch)
  • I-Spy with beginning sounds
  • (The way this version of I-Spy works is that you start, with a young child anyhow, by having a single object in your hand, like a pencil, and say, "I spy with my little eye, something that starts with /p/." You only say the beginning sound, not the letter. Once they get the idea, then you use two objects, then maybe three, then branch out to a small area in a room, and so on.)
  • cursive sandpaper letters (she's already been introduced to these but we haven't had a chance to work on them consistently)
  • insets (see here for more info on that. The inset design they show, though, is by a rather skilled person, not one done by a child just starting out.)
  • land and water presentations (globe and landforms)
  • maybe, just maybe show her the continent map

For the older kids, since the Heritage Festival is coming up next weekend, I thought about making a theme week with different countries/cultures. However, I haven't gotten further than that at the moment in my thinking. So, let me think now. What could I make available or invite them to do?
  • pick a different country each day, or a couple of countries each day, and have their maps and flags available to colour/label
  • find recipes from the countries and pick a couple to make
  • make paper dolls with traditional clothing for the culture ( has stuff for this, I think)
  • find some books at the library
  • for my kids, draw out a family tree and label somehow the cultural heritage of our various ancestors
  • set up things so they could make a lapbook
All I can think of at the moment. My stomach is starting to grumble!

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