Sunday, September 6, 2009

Focusing when Overwhelmed

I've been researching Montessori, as I am sure you are all now aware. There is a ton of resources out there now that were not out there or I was unable to find a few years back when I researched this method. There is enough information that if I wanted to I could set up a prepared environment in my home and teach my children with homemade materials strictly the Montessori way.

But, I have curriculum and other methods that work well for us. So I am finding that I need to pick and choose and find focus on what we really want to glean at this point in time. How hard is that?

So for Montessori language materials my focus is the parts of speech. I made grammar boxes and printed out directions on how to teach the parts of speech. We are going to use these grammar boxes as an extension or hands-on exercise to practice what we read about in the Ruth Heller books I am using and we are notebooking. When we are done with this we will move onto punctuation and reading analysis. The word study materials we may use alongside our spelling as we come to those topics.

For math, we plan to incorporate our homemade versions of the materials/manipulatives as a way to work through our math work or to introduce new topics or just to practice and know a concept. Right now we are working with the teen board and the fraction circles.

For history, I hope to buy a manual and incorporate a more hands-on approach to our travels through history. I already have History Through the Ages CD which has all the timeline figures we could ever want on it. Now I just need a guide to show us the way.

For geography, we have made biome and continent boxes to explore. I've wanted to incorporate more mapwork and explore different cultures and now we can.

I think that Montessori will enrich our homeschool as much as Waldorf, Charlotte Mason and Classical ideas have. I think we are finding a focus and I am starting to find my legs in this method. How do you find focus when you are overwhelmed by information and ideas?


Wendy Hawksley said...

For me, the easiest way to find focus is to break things down into smaller bits - first think about science, then literature, then math, etc.

Right now, I think many homeschoolers are starting their new year and still trying to find their rhythm. It's that mid-point between preparation and settling in to a routine. *sigh*

Rachel R. said...

How did you learn about what Montessori materials are used for what? I would like to jump into this, but I'm not sure what to do with the materials. Do you have some suggested reading?


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