So the last few days I have felt my sanity slipping away. The kids haven’t been listening to me. Mr Rockstar has been getting more aggressive. I have been battling a never ending cold. The list could go on and on. Some of it is just all the little things that make moving hard on all of us. Everything is “new” and that stresses us all out.
Besides the stress of moving, there is also the stress of suddenly homeschooling all 3 kids (the girls had been attending preschool 4 mornings a week prior to us moving) and having to come up with a curriculum/plan. Before we moved I was homeschooling Mr Rockstar but the state of WA provided all of the curriculum. When we moved I had to return all of the books they had suppled us. I have always dreamed of doing Montessori for homeschooling the kids. I have most of the supplies and Montessori albums (a list of all the different activities kids in ages 3-6 should complete and in what order) but it is still stressful deciding where to start. In some ways a written out curriculum that tells you what to do each day is easier….but when I was using a formal curriculum with Mr Rockstar it was frustrating to both of us since he is not “average”. Some things were way to easy for him and other subjects moved at a faster pace than he was grasping. It seems like the perfect time to really give Montessori Homeschooling a try.
Today I had a revelation, I have been going crazy with the kid’s incessant need for help in every area of their lives (somehow that sounds bad when I write it out but you understand right?) and I have been stressing trying to decide where to start with Montessori homeschooling. It dawned on me that the perfect place to start is Practical Life. One of the biggest concepts in Montessori is teaching children to be as independent as possible at each stage of their life. I have been lazy in this respect because in the short term it is easier to help my kids put on their socks, for example, rather than teaching them how to do it themselves and then waiting patiently for them to do it every time we need to leave the house. I made a list of things to work on the next week or two:
- Teach kids where to find their socks/coats/mittens/shoes/etc (since we moved they have really been struggling with this)
- Teach them to put on their own coat/mittens/shoes/etc. and HAVE patience to wait on them to do it themselves
- Teach them to put their winter clothes/shoes away when we come inside from playing
- Teach Mr Rockstar to make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Teach the girls to use the potty all on their own from start to finish
- Teach the kids to cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen
- Teach the kids to put away toys when finished
- Have a practice session on coming “First time the Fast Way” when I ask for them
- For me, observe the children with minimal interruptions
Given that Mr Rockstar is 6.5 and the girls are 3.5 I feel this is a very doable list and I feel a huge burden would be lifted if they were more independent.
As a first step I decided to work with the children on finding the best place to hang their snowsuits and coats as well as find a home for their socks, boots, mittens, scarfs, etc. that they could manage themselves. After they all knew where they could find their items I held a training session where we played a couple games. First, I would ask them to bring me socks and they would bring me socks and then put them back. Then I would ask for boots, then coats, then mittens, etc. After I was satisfied they knew where to find everything we played a game to see who could bring me all their winter gear the fastest and then put it away the fastest.
I guess tomorrow we will see if the training session paid off! What one thing would help you regain some sanity in your life if your child could do all by themselves? Personally I can’t wait for the day the kids can all do their own carseat buckles….but I am pretty sure the girls still lack the hand strength for that one. 😉