Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Little School at Home

Last week the twins started preschool at the nearby Montessori School.  They are both loving it, everything from the teachers, to the activities, to the structure.  They attend school 3 mornings a week and I am already thrilled at the confidence and independence they feel in starting school!  To keep the structure of an activity in the morning, we have swim lessons one morning, and on the 5th day of the week, we have school at home.

I was a little unsure what Hadley and Finley would think of this idea, but they were both thrilled.  Besides working in two different school districts, as well as for several outdoor/experiential education programs, I've been spending time over the last year reading about different educational and home school methodologies; Montessori, Waldorf, Unschooling, etc.  Since the twins are in a Montessori school, I decided that our school at home would be more Waldorf focused, or just whatever I felt the kiddos were interested in.

For our first day, I decided to focus on seasons; specifically fall.  We started with circle time, where we did a clapping activity, sang a song about the fall, and I told the twins a story about a leaf changing color and falling to the ground.  Then we brainstormed all the things we think about when we think about fall.

Using this list, we made number cards.  I cut out some of the shapes and let the kids count the items and glue them with each number.  Next we went on an outdoor exploration to observe and collect as many 'fall' things in our own yard, leaves, acorns, etc - the kids loved this and loved putting their finds on the table for a centerpiece.

To end the morning, I told Hadley and Finley one more story about apples in anticipation of our weekend apple picking.  In the story, an apple is cut in half to show a star in the center.  Of course they were ecstatic when I cut up their apple for snack and they discovered a star in the center of their apple.  They pulled out the seeds and planted the 'magic' apple seeds in the back yard.

Of course the morning did not go quite a smoothly as it sounds since I was moving through the activities while almost constantly nursing Freja, and there were moments when we forgot what we were doing and just lay down and stared at the new baby.

At the end of the day, the structure was good for everyone, or at least good for Mama. 

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