Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts on this Saturday morning

My mind's been ruminating lots.

I have to admit to myself that I have no real idea on how to incorporate Montessori at the junior high level. The "ideal" Montessori experience is an apprenticeship, like living on a farm, away from parents. Hm, yeah, that's not going to happen. ;)

Other than that, there are projects and experiences, but they are all mainly GROUP activities. I have no group to offer my dd, not on a regular basis. The 18yo is busy with her stuff, Bob could potentially do stuff with her but he dawdles so much that it takes him all day to get done what could be done in about an hour. And ds is just not interested.

Looking around websites, there's not a whole lot of information, and some "Montessori" schools seem to have traditional schedules, with set times for math, LA, etc., but the students just work at their own pace through the materials. That's fine, except it doesn't foster the same type of things a Montessori education would foster.

On the flip side, I am finding myself feeling like I want to make sure my kids know some very specific things. I'm getting tired of ds avoiding learning certain things and spending the bulk of his time in play. He's almost 9. Sure, his reading has come along nicely and he's got a good thinking mind that he is learning his grade 4 math without having done all the expected previous skill work, but all kinds of skills are woefully inadequate. I guess I'm trying to figure out how much I have "abandoned" my kids and how much I've been letting them choose.

It would be much simpler if we could all follow the same approach! But I don't want my kids, at their age, doing what the two oldest are doing. I want some more life in our studies. More interest. More excitement.

I know dd just wants to know more and be able to do more. I've been toying with the idea of incorporating some Charlotte Mason and/or Dalton Plan approach. The Charlotte Mason would be more for content than philosophy, though; the Dalton Plan, created by a former Montessori teacher, says to the student, "Here's what you are expected to learn. It's up to you to determine how you are going to learn it." Well, in a nutshell. It's a little more complicated than that. And without my kids having really learned proper research and all that, I would need to find out more before springing something like that on them.

I feel like my thoughts are just going around in continual circles! There are so many great ideas, great resources, great approaches; I just can't seem to figure out what would work, or perhaps am not able to figure out something that I will actually stick to. I realize it can take some time to get something to work properly since there is always an adjustment period, but I need to figure out my eventual goal, my "end vision". The Big Picture. I'm getting lost in all kinds of details, I think.

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