Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the Shelves - September

I have been meaning all month to take close-up, tidy pictures of what's on the shelves in our learning area. Well, there are but a few hours left of the month, and I have yet to do it. So, instead of taking the time to take and upload such photos, I am simply going to record what's been on the shelves for the past few weeks for the kids to explore.

Mind you, when I say explore, I mean it. For although the items and activities were put out with Montesorri-inspired intentions, over the course of the month, they have been used in a much "free-er" way, being combined and transformed into all manner of things - from clothespin unicycles to elaborate structures to circus train set ups. Also, there have been occassional additions and substitutions of items, and, of course, much learning not tied to this area (everything from a picture study of Mary Cassatt works, to an introduction to the composer Vivaldi, to lots of outdoor exploration and adventure, to cooking and cleaning, to free play and what it brings about...) The beauty of homeschooling is that it is limitless in many ways. All of life is a learning opportunity!

What a joy it has been to witness Luke and Nina create their own learning this past month throughout the course of our days. And, how intriguing it has been to witness them create such unique learning experiences with such simple things as were found on our learning shelves in recent weeks, such as the following:

Montessori-Inspired Shelves

- Sensorial: Stacking Cups
- Mathematics: Two-Piece Puzzles
- Religion: Various Library Books about Saints
- Practical Life: Cleaning Caddy (Spray Bottle, Cloths)
- Practical Life: Button Jar
- Practical Life: Basket of Purses, Small Bags, Etc. with Various Closures
- Practical Life: Basket of Matching Fabric Squares, Clothespins and Clotheslin

- Language (Pre-Writing)/Mathematics: Cubes and Cards
- Mathematics: Melissa and Doug Pattern Block Puzzle
- Language: Leap Frog Spell & Match
- Sensorial: Color Matching Cards
- Practical Life: Wooden Bowls, Puff Balls and Nutcracker for Tonging/Transferring
- Mathematics/Practical Life: Clothespins and Number Cards
- Language: Foam Letters and Letter Mat
- Practical Life: Star-Punched Cards and Chenille Strings for Lacing
- Sensorial/Mathematics: Blocks

Special Interest Shelves

Read Alouds: The Little Engine that Could, Down by the Station, Farmyard Tales ABC Book, Eric Carle Number Book

Train Tracks and Trains

Coloring, etc.


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