Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Day in Elementary

Tuesday: Wood-cutting day.

I run a home-business, a portion of which includes 2D wood figures among other items. My son is the mail-boy, picker-upper, and general handy-man for the business. We go to a family friend's house for the cutting of the wood; his big part there is just taking the cut pieces (in separate bags) back out to the car and keeping things separated.

The plan for the rather unschooly-school-day:

enjoy breakfast together
morning prayers
morning chores
gather school work and games

drive to the other house: listen to "Can You Hear It?" along the half-hour drive (he's re-living the joy of first using this book in primary, having re-discovered the book/CD after about 2 years of not having it around)

When we first arrive, no-one will be home; so he will do some studying while I am tracing wood; we will have conversations during this time. He will then work independently in the living room while I am with the saw. At what work? Whatever he has chosen from his weekly contract, as well as his independent research studies. This week, it is likely he will take some of the science books we have, a magnifying glass, and a drawing pad, to see what kind of crystals he can find in various locations. They also have a piano, and until he gets his late Christmas gift from Grandma (shhh - don't tell him it's a keyboard so I can start giving him piano lessons), he will likely spend some time teaching himself (one of the children in that family uses the same books we'll be using; and he's been teaching himself for the last few weeks, but only practicing once a week...).

The family who lives in the house will return for lunch and the children, including my son, will go outside to work in the garden they are setting up (we have a space there this year too!). My son has responsibility for choosing the remaining "crops" to be planted (I've made my choices; and we've chosen our mutual agreements - now he has his space to fill).

They'll then play games (more in another post! these are part of my son's schooling as well) together for the rest of the afternoon; and I'll probably have them clean out the inside of my car (since the three of them are the culprits!) ;)

 We leave after supper and go to tae-kwon-do practice in the evening. We love tae-kwon-do - it's all about self-control, self-defense, mixed ages, earning rank based on effort and merit not on "privilege", NO criticism of anyone, always being helpful and considerate of others.

So this is actually a typical Tuesday - our busiest day of the week. Lots of planning; coordinating what is going to happen when; following that weekly contract, but also being able to live a real life. Both the school and life get done not in spite of one another, but by supporting one another! 

This is the sort of day that exemplifies why I chose this approach to life and school - Montessori methodology provides the framework, the initial point of departure, and life takes care of the rest. There is nothing artificial here - only joy and peace.

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