It’s the beginning of the new school year for many and how exciting is the new school year? It was always my favorite time of year – I have a thing for fresh school supplies. I mean what was more exciting as a child than a new 64 pack of crayons and getting pick out that years folders and note books?
This year my challenge is not to do school.
My son is at home more now that we’ve changed up our schedules, he only goes to “school” (daycare) about 6-7 days a month and the rest of the month is spent with one or both of his parents, with a couple afternoons at GaGa’s house. He’s 2.5 and with his birthday that means we’ve got 3 years before Kindergarten – plenty of time to do “school” in any form so I’m trying not to get ahead of myself.
If I can brag (for clarification) he already knows his Alphabet, shapes and numbers up to about 15 – so we must be doing something right.
But, in the spirit of the new school year I wanted to jump on the bandwagon, because even if we’re not doing school we want to make sure our home is encouraging a love of learning even at a young age.
We plan on slowly working our ways through the projects in the books throughout the year while working on colors, shapes, letters, numbers, etc.
*for those with older kids there is Preschool Art: It’s the Process, Not the Product! *
Teach Me to Do It Myself is probably my favorite Montessori at Home book I’ve come across so far. It’s perfect for our age right now, so if you’re child is a few years older you might not get as much use out of the book. The great thing about this book is that the book is divided up into sections like Practical Life and Sensory Work and within those sections the activities are put in the order that the child should master before moving on to the next activity. The author included a printable section so you can more easily do some of the activities without having to purchase more Montessori items. I find this particularly helpful as someone who won’t be homeschooling 100%.
Chapters in this book include – “Life Skills”, “Developing the Senses”, “Language Development”, “Numeracy Skills”, and “Science Skills”. As I mentioned each chapter has about 20+ activities that start with the earliest development and get increasingly more challenging. For example “Numeracy Skills” starts with Sorting into Sets and ends with Addition, Subtraction and Introducing Money (each a separate activity).
What I enjoy about this book is that it’s geared toward a parent, home educator or professional setting up their own preschool and doesn’t start out with lists of those expensive Montessori materials for sale. In fact, most of the pictures seem to be of homemade materials.
There’s one book I feel happy to recommend even though our copy is back-ordered for the moment. Too many friends have given Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum glowing reviews. Since we’re not starting any type of formal preschool this year I plan on using some of the activities and the book lists to round out our days, but without any formal organization.
It seems like a rather short list, but like I said we’re keeping it simple. In fact, I shudder to even suggest were schooling at all – if there’s one thing I don’t think little kids need it’s more “school”. We want encourage a love of exploration and discovery right now and for the next few years. There will be a lot of time to play, many trips to the library, walks outside and asking and answering questions. He’ll spend enough time in school eventually.
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