Monday, August 18, 2008

Lists, lists and more lists

I almost always start any project with at least one list. Not that I write everything on to the list, or remember to bring the list when I shop, or do everything on the list, or even keep track of where that paper is. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time and now I've finally moved onto the list stage. I've even got a little notebook and everything.
On the first page is a list of the things I believe I should buy first. This includes a little rug, place mat (for table work), and a work tray for each kid. I went to Target the other day, but didn't find anything suitable. Next is the list of Montessori items that I believe are important tools and that I don't believe I can make easily. This includes the pink tower, brown stair, knobbed and knobless cylinder sets. Then I have list of items I think I can make or collect on my own, which is various house hold items, card sets, sandpaper letters, sensory items etc. One day I'll post the lists in some form.
My final list is a loose schedule. In a Montessori school room, everything would always be out for each kid to access it at any time they desire. I have considerably less room to set up and in fact will be spread over the house. Since I have very little ones anyway, I've decided to set times to focus on specific areas of study. We will choose an area and then each child can choose an activity. For instance if we choose language arts then the activities might include a board book or alphabet game for the baby, an alphabet coloring sheet or "A is for Apple" type cards for the toddler, writing practice or a upper&lower case matching game for the 4 year old. Each one can participate in some way in the activity of the others (the baby may only passively participate). It's my way of being the guide as you'd find in the class room- they are still getting to choose what specifically interests them, I'm just planning what area we work on.
The schedule also includes things we're going to do as part of regular life, library, art, parks, grandma's house, etc.
I'll let you know if I finish/use/keep track of these!