January 31, 2011

Montessori in a 2 year old's house

Happy Monday, All.  It's time for another installment of "What the heck type of Montessori methods has T.J. been doing lately?"

Well, we bought that cat.  That lovely $4.11 cat who takes baths with and sleeps next to Bear.  He (named Ghouly- don't you love it, J ?!) came from our recent foray to a consignment shop and Bear payed for it with his own money... in a way.

Bear got a wallet from Santa for Christmas.  We have started talking about money and saving and spending etc. (which you, dear reader, already know).  When Bear fills his chart, one of the ways we celebrate is by going to a store for a special little sometime and so this weekend was a perfect opportunity to practice using his wallet. He doesn't have an allowance at this point, but we do encourage him to cough up chip in money toward any of his purchases so that he can begin to connect money with purchasing power. In this case he payed all of 11 cents towards the cat, but the point is that he PAID.

We've incorporated "grace bunny" and the dictionary into our daily meals and Bear is the boss of them both.  After he sets the table, he places the bunny at one plate and the dictionary at another.  Once we are seated, whoever had the "grace bunny" bell gets to ring it and start off Grace for the meal.  We join hands, saying what we are thankful for and showing gratefulness to God for our food.

As for the dictionary, whoever has that gets to crack it open to whatever page they choose, read a word and it's definition and then, if the person feels jumpy, he or she can use the word in a sentence.

Oh, how I love words!!!

 When I taught kindergarten, we had "Morning Meetings" each day.  They were a great way for me to check in with the students, for students to check in with each other and for all those little peanuts of my classroom to learn about leadership, understanding and negotiation.  

Now I am not Mormon, but I love reading Nienie's blog and when I learned about Family Home Evening it totally jived with me!  We just had our first meeting at the beginning of January and I envision it being more of a monthly thing, but even so, it fit in perfectly!  We talked about a few things (the headliner being God, of course!) including our 2011 family motto: ALL ONE! Gotta keep it easy for the 2 year old, right?!  And anyway, I do believe we are all one on this big 'ol planet.

 Another thing from kindergarten?  The AMAZING feeling I would get when I realized that the children were actually learning their sounds and stepping on to the literacy path.  Imagine how I'm feeling right about now as my very own son is setting forth on that path?!!

We've begun to talk about sounds, use our sandpaper letters and to trace letters in all kinds of materials- including wheat germ.  Yes, wheat germ (I have a lot of it and it holds tracings nicely).  This is a pretty basic Montessori trait right here: use sandpaper letters to trace the shapes and then generate by hand.  Use those same letters to introduce the sounds.  To date, I don't tell Bear too much about the letter names, but we focus a heck of a lot on the SOUND that each letter makes.

I really really really love the sandpaper letters we have.  I got them on Etsy from Polliwog Learning Products and I think I'm going to get Bear the numbers set for Valentine's Day.  Well, that and "Ollie's Ski Trip" by Elsa Belskow for my sports maniac of a son.

Yes, yes comments are still closed, but sometime soon I will be opening them up for your thoughts as I begin to revamp this here blog.  Til then, be cheerful as you are all kinds of updated on the Montessori going ons in my life!  And I'll be cheerful for all these reasons PLUS the fact that recently I've had a lovely handful of MEN sign on to this blog.

YAY!  I love me a well rounded ground of Follower friends!  Welcome aboard and I look forward to checking out all of your sites soon.

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