Homeschooling in the Methow Valley - Week Seven
May 11, 2020
Week seven-ish, possibly eight. Who knows anymore? This past week or so we've been noticing and trying to instill work patterns into the girls' daily routines. Marshall and I created something called "POW": Podcast or Work. One of the girls will listen to a podcast, while an adult works with the other one on curriculum packets, a Montessori material from the shelves, or an outside adventure/project. We each solo teach during the week, except Fridays when we all learn together.
Coco likes to focus on the Circle Round podcast from NPR. Pearl can't stop wandering around while she listens and does her needlepoint all at the same time.
On the recommendation of one of our favorite kindergarten teachers at the public school we ordered Pearl some site word cards. She's been having fun with them, picking out the ones that look interesting to her, then I read them and do the hand motion that goes with it.
We were also told to try out Zoophonics, which I did not have much prior knowledge of. These are letters of the alphabet each paired with a hand gesture and an animal. They've been fun, and, influenced by everyone's current interest in rap music, lots of rapping has shown up in the songs they create. Pearl is especially obsessed with the Trolls character "Tiny Diamond" and the Rabbit in the Secret Life of Pets 2.
A few mornings ago the girls were really into playing doctor with my blood pressure checker. This then naturally led into an anatomy lesson where we talked about what blood pressure means and the important job of our heart. I busted out our human organs material, and they went to work.
I thought I was a genius by going through Coco's weekly curriculum packet and color coding the subjects and activities. My brain was on fire with organizational excitement. She could pick up a sticky, read it and then find it in her pile of assignments.
That did not go over well. She looked at me like I had just told her to eat a pile of ants then made this body movement demonstrating I had sucked the joy straight out of her. So. It's great for me to know what she's working on next, but without her buy-in it's not really a solution. This whole experience has made Marshall and I realize the importance of socializing and peer to peer learning. They need accountabila-buddies to have fun in their learning and to want to work together and collaborate as a community. Oh, how we miss that lovely classroom community.
So, we transitioned outside using large clippers to cut branches for use in the chicken coops. Their imagination ran wild with the joy of having their own trees, and the adventure was unstoppable. I still like my colored sticky notes.
I've got a few things in the works that I'm so excited to move forward with. I'm especially grateful for community right now, even if it's virtual. Stay tuned, and keep in touch. We love hearing from you, even if it's to check in and say you're surviving. We've been sending out newsletters just about monthly, so be sure to sign up if you haven't yet. Plus follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Take good care, Montessori family!
-Megan and the Montessori 123 Team