While my younger niece was down for her nap yesterday, I brought upstairs the cursive Sandpaper Letters, and maybe something else, can't remember. In any case, the 5yo was eager to do the letters. So I picked a couple, she has forgotten how to do "a" :(, but she kept saying words that went with the sounds of the letters, so I went straight to some simple syllables. She decided to go for words. :D
We did "man", first, then something else, then she went straight for "cheval" (horse), because that's her absolute passion. She remembered that 'ch' is /sh/ in French (and I am now thinking I really need at least some large cursive green cards with some of the basic French combination sounds, even if I can't get them made out of sandpaper right away) and did the rest on her own.
Then she wanted to make "achale" (bug, as in, to bug somebody lol), and I told her I only had one 'a', but I might be able to find some other letters for her to make "achale". I managed to find my large cursive movable alphabet letters, all mixed together because I'd never managed to figure out how to make a container for them. I laid them out on the floor, rearranging them as we went along to a layout that was potentially more helpful, and she made a bunch of words that you will see in the pictures. (Pictures now below! I thought she'd done more words than that, but I guess it was just that she picked words that were so complicated for this as a beginning, that it seemed like she had done more!)
For now, I've got the letters stored in some larger envelopes than just normal envelopes, grouped according to size (short, tall, with "tail") and the letters written on the upper right-hand corner of each envelope. 'F' was not given an envelope--it doesn't fit with the other categories, so I left it out. They are all in a basket.
In any case, there was more that happened after that. Seems to me she did some math, not sure what else. I had the thought that if I could have more Montessori time with her like that, maybe she would turn to the activities more while her sister was awake. And then, just to shoot my tendency to expect immediate change down, the littlest one woke up, came downstairs, and the two were back to their crazy play.
Which brings me to a realization I had today: These two have hit a point where they are not able to interact with each other unless it's through some sort of play. It's kind of sad. They used to do things together or side-by-side, but not anymore. They're either making each other laugh or are just being plain goofy and loud. I actually put a halt to some of it this afternoon, told them they could read or draw or paint together. They continued with the goofiness. I was clearer and said that it had to stop, and they could read, draw or paint together. Eventually, the message became clear and they each found different things to do, but they never did come together again. They are perfectly fine and calm doing the same activities with other people, but together, they get crazy. And it can be either girl instigating it! Definitely something I need to work on. But not now: Ghost Whisperer is starting! ;D