Monday, August 23, 2010

Not Me Monday in the Unprepared Environment

Today, I fully intended to start easing the kids into a more formal Montessori-inspired homeschool year.  To that end, on Thursday, I set up a little corner of shelves in our living room to serve as our temporary Montessori learning space since our prior play-and-learning space does not look like this right now:

and our future basement classroom and family room space is not suffering the repercussions, mice, uncorralled clutter and the like.

Montessori corner in place, on Friday, the kids and I hit the Dollar Tree, Ocean State Joblot and the Family Dollar to buy work mat rugs, trays and a few other supplies.  (At the Dollar Tree, Luke did not pick out a purple unicorn on a stick as his special start-of-school learning treat and Nina did not select a red and blue mini plastic trashcan.  Likewise, I did not actually purchase these, agreeing that the unicorn could be used for some proprioception breaks and the trashcan, although plastic, could fit into a classroom and it is always improtant to care for our environment.)

Supplies bought, over the weekend, in between a fun graduation party for a cousin on Saturday and Mass and a church anniversary family fun day celebration on Sunday, the kids and I practiced how to carry, unroll and re-roll the rugs and carry trays.  (And, they did not already feed the beans from one of their pouring works to their dinosaur figurines and I did not find a little puddle on the floor in front of a funneling work.)

Which brings us to today, when my intentions to ease into a schedule for a more Montessori-inspired year did not go awry.  I did not find myself crying prior to 9 a.m. over my own failings.  And, I did not later throw in the figurative towel on salvaging the morning's school schedule when my kids jumped up and down in excitement over the pouring rain while I tried to shush them as I finished up a phone with our health insurance company.  Likewise, I did not throw a literal towel by the door to run outside to puddle jump with the kids.

Once outside, I did not splash up and down rain-rivers in bare feet and I certainly did not let my children lay down in the middle of the street when they wanted to see if they would float away on a current as the little plastic thing they were playing with did.  Moreover, I did not let them do it again when Luke recalled a theory from one of his books that one purpose of T-rex arms is to keep t-rexes from falling flat on their faces.  No, I did not laugh and watch as Luke curled his arms up to play T-rexes, falling in the rain water with his sister.  And, I definitely did not take a perfectly good camera out in the rain to capture some of this for Daddy (and post them here as things turn out) as we got soaked to the skin.

After coming inside, I did not let the hang out in various forms of undress playing with playdough and Duplo blocks while I did a few chores and whatnot.  And, still later, I did not find them in the kitchen doing a self-designed "experient" (Luke for "experiment") with water, ice, salt, pans, spoons, dish soap and - yikes- food coloring.  And they did not, by the way, scavenge for these items by dragging chairs oh-so-quietly about the kitchen and climbing to top shelves of cupboards.  (They did, at least, think to grab the cheap salt we use for making playdough and not the sea salt for cooking.)

Instead of using the opportunity to teach some obviously needed lessons in boundaries and expectations, I did not let Luke and Nina continue their explorations until their inquisitive nature was satisfied for the moment.  And, I was not actually proud when they initiated their own clean up, during which they did not tie-dye one of our kitchen towels as well as Nina's dress.  Nor was I pleased to discover that the reason Luke was undressed to his underwear was because he didn't want to get dye on it.

Then, I did not find myself smiling at two-something in the afternoon as I recognized that despite my failings for preparing a good environment and training my kids with some sense of order and boundaries, they are learning, exploring, experimenting and synthesizing with or without my guidance.

No, today, was hardly the Montessori Monday I desired it to be, but it was the day the Lord (and my own doing and not doing) has made and so now I am no longer crying (or yelling - because I did not yell on one too many occasions today) any longer, but rejoicing and be glad in it.  Yes, perhaps my home environment remains unprepared and "following the child" need not mean into uncontrolled activities, but, learning (and some positive) is happening.

PS  It is not 4:16 now and this is not the second time I have attempted to type this, since after I typed Version 1, I did not make the mistake of lecaving the computer open and out, with file unsaved,while getting the kdis snack and, as a consequence, I did not come back to the computer to find the entire document replaced by:

0o1swost82cxnu 1e,j

Mckmama- Not Me Monday 

This has definitely been more of a Not Me Monday than a Montessori Monday.  So, I am sharing it at MckMama, as well as at One Hook Wonder and Mommy Moment.


Kara said...

Oh, no, of course not ;-)

(this may be my favorite post about a Monday in homeschool ever LOL)

Mom 'n' More said...

Your last sentence has me close to tears laughing!!! I create printables and you think by now I would have learnt .. no ... and I have cried in anguish and the "fix-it" job my 2 year old and four year old so kindly did for me ... lol ... love it .. :)

The girl who painted trees said...

Wow! Made me feel better about my day. It looks like you all had so much fun in the rain though!

Kerry said...

LOL this is a great post into the reality of hmeschooling, no matter what kind you are doing at home, we ALL have days like this!!! Great look into your life!!! Thank you for sharing.


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