I've been missing in action for quite a while now, but the move is DONE! Well, in the sense that we are living fairly comfortably in the new house anyways. Our old house is still full of miscellaneous stuff that we still need to move either into the trash, the Goodwill pile, or boxes to bring over, but the heavy lifting is done. Besides the physical move, we've also been having quite the homeschool journey as well. More and more of my ideas about what to teach and how to teach just keep flying out the window.
Mitchell just keeps rebelling against any attempts on my part to TEACH him. Though now that I think about it, he's been that way for the last eight years. Even as a toddler and preschooler, if you tried to show him something, like say how to hold a baseball bat properly, he would always say either "I already KNOW how to do that" or "I don't want to". He always wants to do things his way. Partially out of orneryness I guess, but also because he has so darn many ideas about the world and how it works and how it SHOULD work that he doesn't have time for anyone else's ideas. And I suppose he's been "spoiled" by his last five years of Montessori schooling (in a good way).
I was having a really hard time finding anything that would let him have the level of independence he was used to. There were some computer based curriculums, but those were pretty spendy and I don't think he would have allowed himself to be chained to a computer either. But God watches over us and a book that I put on my PaperbackSwap wishlist a long time ago arrived in the mail. It was Elizabeth G. Hainstock's book "Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years". It has been a lifesaver! Not only does it tell me how to introduce the different activities, it also gives me tips on how to make or buy the Montessori materials I need cheap or free.
So far for Mitchell i've just gotten together the materials for the multiplication board and the multiplication summary sheets, but my plan is to try to make at least one new material a week for Mitchell and also for the rest of the kids. Watching Mitch work on math happily and excitedly (and independently!) inspired me to start introducing Montessori works to my other children as well.
We've already been doing a pretty good job with our Montessori baby I think. She uses the potty, has toys of all different materials, eats the kitchen utensils, and doesn't wear restrictive clothing so she can move and groove on the floor with the best of them. Last week I started introducing some cursive to Henry and he's just eating it up. My goal is to slowly but surely increase my collection of Montessori preschool and elementary materials so by the time Ivy is ready for them, i'm ready for her too.
That's the bummer about being the oldest I think - you are always the guinea pig. But you also get to be the teacher too. Mitchell has taught me sooo much about what it means to teach, what it means to be a mom. He took all the ideas I had about kids when I was a high school babysitter, how I was going to parent someday, and just ripped them to shreds. Sad kind of, but i'm older and MUCH wiser now thanks in no small part to him.