Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More Montessori - some handmade materials

I have been learning as much as I can about Montessori in a short amount of time.  It is very overwhelming at first because it is so opposite of how I think.  It really slows me down which is a good thing.

I bought and read a book - Basic Montessori.  It is great for a beginner and has helped me know where to start and what to do.

With Montessori there are so many materials that are used because it is hands on and many of them are very expensive.  I really had to look to see what we would use, what I could buy and what I could make. 

The Pink Tower (you can read more about it here)

We have been using this quite a bit.  I did not buy this though - my dad made it for me.  I am so thankful he did!  I gave him the dimensions and he made it.  I painted it so don't look too closely at the paint job.

The thing I like about this is that it uses both fine and gross motor skills.  You have the child graps the blocks with both hands and carry them one at a time to the mat.  I store it in our dining room and have them put the mat into the living room so they have to carry it several times.  It gets in a little exercise too. 

It is self correcting - the child can see if they put a smaller block where a larger block should have been.  You can do other things with it and you can use it with the brown stair (which my dad is also making) to do some pretty cool structures.  The baby likes playing with it too.

Sandpaper letters (See more about it here and other DIY ideas)

Sandpaper letters are used to teach sounds of letters - you have the child run their fingers over the letter and then say the sound.  They are also good for writing and the best part - they are used with the Orton Gillingham approach to reading - which is what I basically use with my dyslexic son.  So these letters serve a lot of purpose.

I bought a cheaper version of the lowercase print letters from Lakeshore Learning and then I made my own cursive version using this basic tutorial.

I did the vowels in pink using Modge Podge.  I have been having my older son (who is learning cursive) trace the letters with his  hands and then write it.

I also have been having him write it in salt to help remember it too.  I need to get a bigger salt tray though.

When I do reading with him I have the "b" and "d" out because he does still get those confused at times.  If he mispronounces one of the letters I have him trace it with his left hand (writing hand) and even close his eyes and then re-pronounce the word.

We've also changed up our science a little and added in geography - thanks to the Montessori method and we have enjoyed this a lot this week.  I'll write more about that this weekend when we are done for the week.

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