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.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

REVIEW POST: Montessori Kiwi Elementary Montessori Boot Camps

There is not one thing I do not love about Montessori Kiwi's Bootcamps for Reading, Writing and Great Lessons!

I was privileged to access all three of them and, while I was asked for a review on just one, well, I can't do that. I truly appreciate the content of all three of them and can't pick a favorite.

As a homeschool mom years ago, just starting out; or as a newly trained Montessori teacher just going into my student teaching and even my first full-on teaching experiences, I would have loved Lisa's concise, focused, *practical* guides that she provides here. Even with my own studies, full training and many successful experiences in the classroom and at home, these boot camps provide a down-to-earth perspective that makes it all feel possible!

She includes ideas for "what if this doesn't work", shares experiences from her own teaching,

Each half-hour video is a slideshow presentation with Lisa's voice-over. A pdf of the slides is included with each video as well; the writing portion has a writing template.

Great Lessons: 
She includes specifics on what can be done before, during and after the Great Lessons. Typically with such resources there is always something that makes me cringe a bit or think "that doesn't quite fit with my reading of Montessori's work" or similar. But NOT this time! Spot on, 100% agreement! I gleaned some new ideas/tweaks as well; which just goes to show that collaboration does indeed help us adults go deeper!

Lisa includes information on the Inquiry approach which is very much in line with the Montessori approach, but (as she states) was not created for a Montessori environment - so some of the details are somewhat "givens" (such as freedom to go back and review a concept at any time). The way she organized and presents about the writing prompts, inquiry, and all else is very intuitive, very practical - and very much needed reminders about how straight-forward we can be with the children!

In this boot camp, what she describes as happening in primary/casa/other-name (ages 3-6) includes a variation on the pink/blue/green series, that not all Montessori approaches utilize. I find reading to be the one area that different Montessorians really take different approaches. I love how Lisa works through this area in a way that honors any of the approaches.

She also offers supportive downloads in a variety of areas. Take a look!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Planning my presentations

This post isn't about planning the children's *work* - it is about planning my presentations.

Mostly for the little ones: infant, toddler, and primary. While I am not showing the infant and toddler portion, it is the same principles.

The general overview of the intervals is at this Montessori Nuggets post on Organizing Primary Presentations. What I have in my notebook is the detailed version which tells me the specific names of exercises to be worked on in each interval. This is available at Garden of Francis or is included free with the Keys of the World Primary Montessori albums online support.

Just a simple three-prong folder. I drew in some lines to separate the areas for me visually. Each interval covers about 6 months if I start with a 2 1/2 year old. Older than that, I still let the children move at their own pace (slower or faster), but I consider the fact they may be in need of something appropriate to their age-interval, while still wanting to get in these preliminary foundation experiences.

At this first interval, as long as I am reading books with the child, providing lots of real life experiences and having lots of conversations, I am looking at 1-2 "new" presentations a week. This number fluctuates between 1-2 up to 5-6 for some intervals (essentially a daily new presentation).

This does NOT dictate the child's work choices. Simply my presentations of new material.

Each week, I look over the list, consider the needs of my children and select which are the most appropriate.

I might note the date I give the presentation, or check it off, or I might write it on a calendar of some sort. Since I have had a wider variety of children in my home other than my own, I have used a calendar to note what plans and outcomes rather than print out this document for each child.

I might make a list of materials for the interval I am focusing on - things I need to check on or purchase or locate. When making purchases, I might look 2-3 intervals ahead to try to save on shipping and time.

See this post for more information and pictures - Planning in the Montessori Homeschool

For those looking for elementary Montessori homeschool planning: