This year I’m working with two other families who are Montessori (ish) home schooling their children. My guys continue to be functioning inside the home school ethos.
BR is back but is joined this year with his mom, brother (LR), and sister (AR).
The W family is also a part of our consortium mom, daughter (DW) and brother (BW).
We range in age from 5 (“Really I’m 6.”), 6, 9, 9, 11, 11, and 13.
Here are photos of our time together.
Our focus this year is the
Fundamental Needs of Man/ Coming of Man/Rise of Civilizations (when you have multiple ages crossing developmental planes it gets complicated. It is the Montessori flow of the same sets of topics.)
For the youngest children, the Fundamental Needs of Man brings up discussions of defense and food acquisition. It crosses into AV’s third plane of development which for him is how civilizations rise and fall. AV studied with Keith at Rivercane and has a rudimentary knowledge of flint knapping and pressure flaking. BW is very kinesthetic. He wanted to know what man did to hunt. AV took him outside and showed him how to flint knap. We really need to acquire some better rocks (not my rock collection). Ahh but BW is really interested and excited.
BR’s interests turned to gemstones after a trip to the mountains of NC this summer. He mined for rubies and found 8.1 carrots.
He has been maintaining an intense interest in the top gems of the world and the way rubies are formed.
JV has become sucked into the vortex of the project and is working with BR. JV doesn’t have too much in the way of free time to invest in the project as his life includes six works (subjects) which must be covered daily.
AR came in with a plan. She is 6 going on 7 and, with two older brothers, knows her mind. She brought a binder full of bird information that she wanted to choose among to make a book about birds. She is using the Montessori Animal Classification Game to choose what topics to discuss for her report. The Animal Classification Game is a series of tickets covering everything from habitat to food to reproduction. (I’ve searched for an example on line and have not found anything, so you’ll have to visualize.)There are 9 categories all color coded. Under each category there are “answers”. For example, under food preference there are three answers: carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore. AR will scan her information to find discussions of food and formulate a sentence along the lines of: “The Common Spotted Owls is a carnivore.” This work is designed to help children learn what things are important to know about animals. As writing becomes easier for her, we will add at least one sentence that covers something interesting about the animal, too.
AR and BW teamed up to work on stereognostic skills. The stereognostic sense is the way we hold information from past experiences in our memory and then apply it to another sense. For example the visual sense being translated into the sense of touch. These shells are named by touch. The critical thinking that is required to use the stereognostic sense is high. I was skeptical of this process in lower elementary when I introduced it last year. The children loved it and found the challenge worth the time. They invented the shell game and JV made bag, blindfold (sea shell themed), and the little cards last year.
AR and BW are working their way up to the full bag of 15. They have mastered six shells.
LR sat with the binomial cube for a bit of math.
He found the layout of the box slightly different (as we use the classical Montessori layout to promote algebraic awareness) and we worked through the algebraic discussion of faces and sides. We translated this into “real” numbers. Ahhhh the difference in thought across the algebraic line is difficult to visualize.
He and DW sat with a lesson on divisibility. This is officially my favorite lesson.
Our highlight was the older children’s presentation of the traditional coming of the universe with God With No Hands. The older children presented the demonstrations and the charts. I narrated the imaginative story.