Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Montessori Preschool on the Range

Last year, I created a bunch of homemade Montessori materials based on Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years (read my recent review here) and then decided not to use most of them. This summer I expanded our materials a bit and am hoping to use them more deliberately this year.

I've scheduled some "preschool" time into each day. So far (and we're in week four now), we spend a little time four days a week with one of the Montessori activities. (On the fifth day, we attend story hour at our local library which includes work on letters and numbers in addition to running around in the gym and a story.) The activities cover a wide range of abilities; some will best challenge First Son, some First Daughter and some Second Daughter. Mostly I work with First Daughter. First Son watches with some interest (and would be welcome to take part if he likes) while Second Daughter entertains herself. I also read one book I pick specifically for the girls. We read a lot of books together, especially ones Second Daughter chooses every time I sit down, because that of course means I'm going to read to her. The ones I count as "preschool" tend to be my favorites, though, like One Morning in Maine (Picture Puffins), Owl Moon and Bear Snores On.

I decided to put together a single post on all the Montessori materials I made so I can find the links myself. Someday I'll look back and either be impressed with all the stuff I made or laugh at myself for dreaming we'd ever use all this stuff!

Here's a list of what I'm planning for our preschool this year:
  1. Practical Life Exercises - pouring rice, dusting, folding, washing dishes, setting a table, washing a table, sweeping, lacing, tying, stringing beads, using a dropper, cutting, puzzles, cardboard sewing cards, dressing frames (see the ones my mom and I made here), bottles and tops (see our lovely box here).
  2. Early Sensorial Exercises - tower building, fabric basket, button games, rough and smooth boards (see ours here), silence game, walking the line, mystery bag, scent and sound bottles (see ours here), color tablets (see ours here), geometric insets (see ours here), geometric shapes (see ours here), color circles (a few more pictures here).
  3. Reading and Writing Exercises - sandpaper letters (I made some last year), command cards (our commands are here), pictures and sounds (see ours here), movable alphabet (see ours here), tracing letters, sticker series (see our sticker pre-reading exercise here).
  4. Arithmetic Exercises - number rods (see mine here), spindle box (see ours here), sandpaper numbers (which I made the same way as the letters), tracing numbers, number progression (I just cut up one of our extra hundreds boards like this one), measuring exercises.

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