Things are slowly starting to settle down, although I have an essay to write next week and Colin and I are off to London the following week so it could be a while yet before we’re back to normality. There is a daunting amount of decluttering that needs to be tackled, as the upstairs of our house is piled high with bags and boxes at the moment. As well as new resources I’ve accumulated over the last year, there is also a lot of stuff that the children have grown out of and I no longer have a reason to keep it. I’m gradually reclaiming the house for home education and yesterday we set up a little table in the playroom for science resources.
This morning a set of Miquon Math books arrived in the post and my initial impression is very positive. Apparently it was developed in Montessori classrooms and incorporates some of the things I love about Montessori, such as child-led learning and using concrete manipulatives to teach abstract concepts. However, the focus seems to be more on creativity, exploration and discovery. I had read several reviews online that suggested buying only the appropriate workbooks and the lab sheet annotations to save money, but I’m so glad I went ahead and bought the other two teacher’s books. The First-Grade Diary is a fascinating glimpse into how the method can be used in practice and makes maths seem so exciting (or maybe I’m just a nerd)!
Aaron and Tabitha saw me gathering our Cuisenaire rods and begged to do some maths, so we did! The first worksheets are very easy for Aaron but it seemed simpler to start at the beginning, which also meant that Tabitha was able to join in with the same activities.
Miquon Math will hopefully become a regular activity for Aaron. Tabitha is clearly ready for some formal maths so I’m going to start her off with the Montessori basics such as number rods, sandpaper numbers, spindle box and cards and counters, and then see where we go from there.
I’m also planning to make handwriting practice more of a regular thing. Tabitha is keen to learn how to form the rest of her letters and Aaron… well he just needs lots of practice. I’m definitely seeing a big difference in fine motor skills between boys and girls. Tabitha’s writing at 3 years old is almost as neat as Aaron’s at 6 years old and he still struggles with buttoning clothes, which she has been able to do since before she was 2. No wonder boys are at such a disadvantage in the education system when they are pushed to write before they are physically ready!
So anyway, that’s the plan. We’re starting slow and easing into our new rhythm gently.