I had a cold at the beginning of the week, so we had a few lazy days doing nothing much in particular, apart from sharing a birthday lunch with a little friend who has just turned 3. There has been lots of building going on with both Duplo and Lego.
While I was washing up in the kitchen, I could hear Aaron and Tabitha reading a book together about telling the time. Moments like this make up for all the squabbling!
Tabitha has been enjoying her zoology puzzles from Tower High Learning. They are at just the right level for her, hard enough to be challenging but easy enough not to be too frustrating. The bird, butterfly and frog will fit in nicely with our spring/lifecycles topic.
She’s very good at putting them away on the shelf again, which is just as well because my children are hopeless at tidying anything else away!
On a whim I got the number rods out for Tabitha. I only gave her the first five rods to work with, as she isn’t great at counting beyond that with 1:1 correspondence.
She found it easy to build the stairs when I asked her to find the longest rod and then the next longest, which is the way the red rods are initially presented in Montessori. Out of interest I then asked her to do it from the smallest upwards, which I’ve always thought would be more logical but she found it much harder. It seems that Montessori had every tiny little detail covered!
Then the Duplo people came over to test the “stairs” and the daddy shouted instructions to the baby about which stair to stand on. I think I may have to buy or make a set of red rods for Tabitha, as she isn’t really ready for number rods but is definitely ready for some visual discrimination activities.
Aaron and I have been doing quite a lot of maths work over the last few weeks. We covered introduction to decimal quantity a few weeks ago, but I didn’t manage to get any photos of that. Today we worked on formation of numbers, which he is now pretty confident at. In this game, he selects some number cards (no more than one from each column of units, tens, hundreds and thousands), and puts them together with the right edges aligned. Then he has to choose the correct amount of unit/ten/hundred/thousand “beads” that make up the number.
We then check that the beads match the symbols and read out the number. He can now easily name any number up to 1999.
We also play it the reverse way, choosing the beads first and then finding the correct number cards.
We’ve briefly touched on changing, and will be moving onto that properly before covering addition. I do love the way that concrete Montessori materials give young children the power to work with large numbers. At school Aaron would be expected to work with numbers up to 20, which would definitely not satisfy his desire for large numbers!
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may have noticed an increase in Montessori-style activities recently. Until now we have been very autonomous, but I think Aaron will benefit from a bit more structure. That’s the great thing about home education, it can easily be adapted to meet the child/family’s current needs. We are gradually moving towards a slightly more structured routine and Montessori will definitely be part of that, as it will still allow us to be very much child-led.