It’s September and it’s time to set some goals for homeschooling (and put it in writing!). This will be my first test run, since I won’t need to officially submit papers to homeschool until three more years. I have been informally setting goals last year. This year, I would like to be more intentional and see how it goes.
Jiejie is one of those children who will have a late enrollment, just because her birthday doesn’t reach the cut off date for the regular school year. But not by much, just a month or so. When she officially starts school, she will be one of the older children in her grade, if she goes to a traditional school.
It has been one year since I have taken Homeschool of the Redwoods Montessori Homeschooling course. I have prepared so much on my own, reading as much as I could with Montessori’s own writings. These books not only explain the method, but the philosophies behind the approach as well.
Montessori education isn’t only about educating the child a certain way in the subjects taught in school. No, it is about nurturing the whole child, covering all aspects of it, even spiritually.
For details of lessons, I also purchased Keys of the World albums, which I am still reading through. It is massive. It covers all lessons from ages 3 to 6, in subjects of Sensorial, Exercises of Practical Life, Mathematics, Language, Geography and Culture, Science. There’s also the Theory album that explains the theory behind this approach, which was suggested (by the person who wrote it) to be the first one that you need to read before anything else in the set. These albums are to be used as guides. These technically are extremely detailed notes of someone who had undergone the “full-fledged Montessori AMI training”. It is perfect for homeschooling.
Needless to say, this is very much overwhelming. Montessori is following the child. This is easier said than done, but it definitely does not need to be complicated as well (this is one of my more important takeaways from Aubrey’s homeschooling course).
I’ll let you walk with me through this whole thought process. I will start with some big goals that I would like my 4yo to achieve by the end of this school year.
Math: I would like her to understand the quantities for 0-10, and move on to the teens board.
Reading and Writing: We will continue to read lots of books together, gradually introducing the sandpaper letters. My goal is for her to be very familiar with half of them pretty well by the end of the year. If we did more? Even better! (In Montessori, children write before they read.)
Science: This will be prompted through every day discoveries incorporated throughout the day as the opportunities arise. It could be everything and anything!
Geography and Culture: We will go a little in-depth with the seven continents and things that belong in each continent – animals, famous buildings, people that live there, how the live, etc. Introduction of the flat puzzle map from the round globe. I am extremely excited to present this one! I can’t wait to see her reaction to this lesson.
Sensorial: Geometric cabinet and all its shapes, geometric solids, color gradation with color box 3, binomial cube, and maybe the trinomial cube.
There will be ongoing life lessons whenever it happens on Practical Life, Care of Others and the Environment, Care of Self, Grace and Courtesy.
Many of these topics merge and coincide with one another. For example, culture and geography happens when they browse through the book by Unicef called Children Just Like Me, or listen to Google Home play music and the Seven Continent Song by Rachel Coleman comes up.
While working with sensorial materials, language that gives them their characteristics are named – geometric shapes, light, lighter, lightest, heavy, heavier, heaviest, long, short, narrow, wide, cube, cone, sphere, etc. Our recent favorite? Parallelepiped!
Math can happen when we prepare for dinner, or bake. Oohh.. Science and other Sensorial experiences as we watch a lump of dough change into bread after coming out of the oven. The taste, the smell, giving everything we do names – oh there goes language again.
As we interact with other people on our daily activities, we learn grace and courtesy. Yes, “we”. Because there are little children with BIG eyes and BIG ears following us underfoot, we learn and grow as well, trying to be a model they could look up to. At times that we fail, we show them how to patch things up and make amends. That is also a lesson in itself! (Yes, Tiffany! – She reminded me exactly that when I was bemoaning how I was a failure for ruining our neighbor’s wicker chair with some crayons that melted down to their porch after a science experiment. Big oops!)
My current goals sound achievable to me. Homeschooling isn’t rigid, especially not with the Montessori method. This doesn’t mean we learn less. In fact, without a strict structure and curriculum to follow, the sky’s the limit! Or beyond! Maybe she’ll be interested in the Sun, and we will cover the Solar System. Who knows?! If we are behind in one subject, I shouldn’t worry, because you know what? We might be covering things beyond my plans in another area. I’ll follow the child, because this is how homeschooling works. This way, we nurture and give fire to that little curious mind that wants to know everything. This way, we encourage them in their love of learning. With it, nothing will ever stop them from knowing what they want to know. Nothing.
I plan to meet those goals by experiencing the world around us. We will visit the Zoo, the Aquarium, discover other new places to go, new food to taste, and new things to try. Maybe we will meet some new friends along the way too!
The traditional Montessori materials will be displayed and made available within her prepared environment, so that it will intentionally spark her curiosity to use them. When I see her interest in the materials, a lesson will be given on how to properly use them.
That’s all of my goals for my 4yo. But I have another child! No, I didn’t forget her!
Meimei a fresh two years old, will be mostly testing her gross motor skills. We will include a lot of opportunities for her to climb, jump, crawl, run, and use her body. I will also be including her in many of the Practical Life works we will be doing around the house – pouring, cutting/chopping – with scissors or crinkle cutter (sometimes called wavy cutter), cleaning, washing, etc. She will be interested in small objects, so refining her fine motor skills will also be a priority for her age. Fine motor skills like the pincer grip is extremely important as a prerequisite for the proper pen-hold.
Meimei speaks SO MUCH, and so clearly, and so well. For her language, we will be doing a lot of sound games to make her aware that words are made up of sounds. These are easily done with anything and everything. No formal sit-down lesson needed. Why? Have you ever seen a 2yo actually sit still for 5 seconds? 😂 Yep. That’s why. Sound games will be incorporated sparingly throughout the day without it sounding too intentional. It’s a game!
That’s it for my children. For me? My goals will be simple. I want to lose at least 10 pounds, and stay there and not gain it back before the school year ends. I also need to go to bed before midnight, at least 3x a week. I am very much of a night owl, and this is a struggle every night! Me-time, or sleep? Me-time or sleep??! Gaah!
So why am I included in this homeschooling goals post? I need to be at my best to be able to give my best to my children. I am a very important component in their learning and living! If I’m lethargic and moody from lack of sleep, we all lose. In order to win at this homeschooling journey, all of those involved need to be in tip-top shape! Won’t you agree? 🙂
Thank you for visiting! Until next time. ❤️