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  1. Hi all, I’ve been giving myself a maths re-education while trying to work out how I want to teach it. I want to teach conceptually, playfully and early (start at 4). I started with Montessori (too ££) and from there found Mortensen blocks, which I found out have been approved by montessorians of a cheap alternative which are in some ways better and more adaptable than the montessori materials. See paper by montessori teacher Judith Townsend: https://www.crewtonramoneshouseofmath.com/support-files/townsend-mortensen.pdf I have enjoyed watching the Crewton Ramone House of Math videos and I think thats the way I want to go. In an ideal world I would buy all the Mortensen Math books to make his videos work as an actual program and give us some structure - but their prices and shipping costs are extortionate. CR says not to bother with the books and just ‘play math’ but that freaks me out. I don’t have his passwords though and he claims his program is more structured inside the paywall, but some of the reviews suggest otherwise. Gattegno and the C-rods are super accessible in the UK but i’m struggling to nail down the differences. I will refer to the different approaches as Mortensen v Gattegno as they were the originals. CR and MathUSee are spin offs from Mortensen and Miquon is from Gattegno. So far I have: -Gattegno and Moretenson both introduce algebra right off the bat. Gattegno doesn’t have any actual numbers until book 3 (just says one green is three whites etc). Mortensen encourages associating the rods with a number and has lines on them so kids can count them. In Mortensen, one of the first games is to build pictures and count them. Mortensen does algebra traditionally with x and Gattegno uses letters to signify the colour of rods eg 3r = g (three whites is one green). This is to encourage a relational understanding of math. MathUSee doesn’t do early algebra and Miquon does some, but uses shapes. -Mortensen/MathUSee blocks are bigger and easier for little kids to handle. They also have an ‘empty’ underneath that can be used to signify a negative number. Some people on this board say the C-rods are better for being smooth as it discourages counting. - Mortensen uses a montessori three part lesson, and also moves from the concrete blocks, to pictorial representations of the blocks on paper (square for 100, line for 10 and dot for 1) to finally just working with numbers. I believe singapore does this too. MUS misses the pictorial step. No idea about Gattegno. - Mortensen goes right up to 12th grade, not sure about gattegno. I know miquon only goes to third. I don’t know Gattegno that well but have I missed things? If Gattegno is basically the same as Moretenson it makes no sense to shell out for the text books. I could just buy the Gattegno text books and adapt them to MUS blocks? (I think I want to use MUS blocks to make it easy to follow CRs videos, or to switch to MUS for a bit if i’m struggling because ill or have a newborn or something) Another idea I had is to use a vintage text book like Rays or Grubes (it seems like they were more conceptual back then) and use blocks to lay out the word problems and work through the questions (i don't like having to think of my own questions like CR does). That way I would at least know I was covering a certain amount of material. I could print off MUS worksheets for extra practice. If anyone has any experience then please, tell me more! It seems like Mortensen is out of fashion (and I can see why with the price!), but it looks like it would fit my teaching style well - I prefer like a bit of structure but not scripted lessons. This is why I ruled out right start but will be getting their games book for drill.
  2. Hi everyone, Feel free to pick holes in this - or chime in if you have experience with the curriculum mentioned. Not homeschooling yet so may I be naive. I know it’s controversial, but I’m really struck by the self-teaching home-school. My selfish reasons are: - I’m an introvert and know I will burn out on any teaching-intensive programme - I want a big-ish family and may have other young children who need my attention - I would like to do some (remote) work outside the home My unselfish reasons are - I want a skill-based education for my children so that they can spend as much time as possible pursuing interests (whether they be academic or otherwise) - I think solo-learning is a very important skill. It just doesn’t make sense to spend grades 1-3 spoon-feeding and cajoling, and then teach them ‘study skills’ and expect them to work independently by university. So many university students flail without the handholding, and this applies to the workplace too. Many end up depressed without the structure of school (UK universities are less hand-holding than American ones, at least for Humanities). - It’s been scientifically proven that work you choose to do yourself is better quality than if it had been chosen for you (Montessori schools operate on that basis). I want to keep 'non-negotiables' as minimal as possible. - By teaching the core skills very thoroughly in the younger years (all 74 phonograms, all their Maths facts/concepts), they will be able to read anything or find ways to think through problems with or without me/a teacher. Surely that should be the goal of a solid education. So, my current thoughts/theoretical plans are: Young ones are actively taught maths and literacy every day (or on alternating days): - to read and spell using Orton Gillingham method. I like Kathy from barefoot meanderings' Reading Lessons Through Literature, as I think it has the most hand-holding for me. Spell to Read and Write also look good, also All About Reading. This would be preceded by Montessori early reading sequence with metal insets, sandpaper letters, and learning to ‘write’ with a movable alphabet. It involves learning phonics off-pat with flashcards. Learn Spelling rules off pat. - cursive first – RLTL has that built in (I would pick slant cursive as my handwriting style) and an extra handwriting book or SRW has a cursive first handwriting programme. - Maths (the four operations) – conceptually first with Miquon Math/Montessori activites. Then learn the maths facts off-pat using Robinson flashcards. From approx 8.5-9 years old or once they can read fluently and know their Math basics enough to start Saxon 54. Every morning, after a walk, we would have a ‘school time’ where they would each do their maths first and then any independent written (or drawn for little ones) work. They could choose to work through a workbook once their written work is done (like the critical thinking company ones or science ones) or draw/play/read quietly. I would be in the room with them working on my own stuff. At this point Maths would be independent – they would mark their own work and I would give them regualar placement tests to check retention. I would mark their essays. Maths could be outsourced to a Kumon centre but not ideally. I would remain involved till middle-school for grammar/LA study. I would start Kathy’s English Lessons Through Literature programme once reading is fluent – teaching the grammar lesson and supervising dictation/copy work for middle school ones. I would give each child a formal, 20 min lesson from ELTL or Miquon at some point during the rest of the day (not during 2h school time). I love the look of ELTL as it systematically teaches them how to write an essay/narration with a gentle transition into independent work. Eventually, I would just have them write an essay on something they were interested in/reading about/working on every day and have them work through ELTL themselves. I would ‘edit’ their work journalism style to show them how it could be improved. Typing is fine in later years. The books studied in ELTL would be ‘required’ reading (with substitutions for the ones I/the child doesn’t vibe with) plus one or two books from the Pathways history/science/geography selections. I would adapt certain things according to the student, such as the amount of reading/writing required. Narrations could be done by drawing. Some may need to start the independent work later and take longer with Miquon/RLTL. I’d quite like to make it so they are always reading one fiction and one non-fiction book, or alternating the two – that way the copywork and dictation can be pulled from either. In the later levels of ELTL I think non-fiction is incorporated anyhow. Afternoons would be for activities, playing and free reading. I would do read-alouds and games on request if we were home and according to my availability. There would be a ‘morning basket’ for each child with Wayfairers-esque book selections for the historical period, optional workbooks, and games. The older students would probably be enrolled in online study courses/studying for exams or going to Sixth-form college. I would do a family read-aloud before bed. Something on the historical period we were studying or the Bible, or maybe something like Narnia. Do you think this would keep us sane until the teen years? I'm aiming for simplicity and rigour.
  3. I’m in a bit of a quandary and would love some help/insight. I am not a mathsy person. My ideal scenario would be to hire a Montessori teacher (who would also loan me the materials) to come to my house and present a new material and work with my dd once a week or so. Then leave the material with us for her to work with at will. I live in a super rural area so that would never happen. My realistic options, therefore, are: 1) Buy the materials and albums myself and DIY it. £315 for a starter pack to get us up to the snake game, or £1,280 for a more complete set to get us to four-digit arithmetic. This option is pretty scary. Expensive, and I will basically have to teach myself to be a Montessori math teacher. It could be a fun challenge, but I plan to have another baby around the time my ds will turn 4. However, it could work out cheaper (and I could get better quality/prettier materials than the options below). I also really like that the materials/games are self-correcting, so my dc could work on them on her own once they’ve been presented. If anyone has done this I would love to hear how it went. 2) Mathessori: £535 - Starts when children can count to 10 and recognize quantity (age 4ish) up to fractions (age 7-8) The quality of materials is pretty high (not as nice as I would buy myself- plastic beads etc). They have everything you need and videos online showing you how to present the materials and in what order. Do you think this would be much more useful than just looking things up online myself or purchasing a Montessori Math album? I really like the fact that it’s authentic Montessori but still somewhat guided. 3) Rightstart Math £420 – approx. price to take us up to fractions People seem to love this. Problems I’ve heard mentioned is that it jumps around too much, children have trouble recognizing that once you get to 10 on the abacus, you can go on to 11, requires playing games which is easy to neglect, and it doesn’t start working with large numbers until later (unlike Montessori). I would probably purchase my own versions of some of the materials (such as the hundred square, wooden number cards rather than paper). Aesthetics are super important to me (slight Waldorf leanings although I'm not a fan of fantasy before 5 so can't really claim it). 4) Miquon £48 for all 6 books I’m the least familiar with this method but would save me A LOT of money. However, I would worry that it doesn’t cover all the concepts (like time and geometry) in a kinaesthetic way. Happy to be corrected though. It also seems even less ‘open and go’ than the others. However, I appreciate that it emphasizes self-exploration which is something that is present in the traditional Montessori materials. A mum I know who is a maths wizz loves it, but I worry that because I’m less mathy I would find it confusing. Nice and aesthetic though 🙂 5) Shiller Math £338 for Kit 1 and fractions, Books only: £210 Montessori-based programme claiming to be open and go. I am skeptical. Similar accusations of hopping around to RightStart. I would also end up buying nicer versions of the manipulatives. Doesn’t seem to leave time for free exploration of the manipulatives and does lay it out nicely for the teacher. I am really hoping to stick with one curriculum until after fractions, at which point we will move to something like Kumon, Singapore or Saxon. I will also use the same method with future kids so the upfront cost is slightly softened by that. Obviously I need to pick one option and lean into it - they are all way too expensive to change my mind on. Any advice gratefully recieved! I have learned so much already just browsing you guys are real pros.
  4. Hello! I love this board and am kind of addicted to coming here for help haha. We have been going to an educational therapist doing the Wilson Program for my 9 year old daughter with dyslexia and executive functioning issues. Needless to say, it's been an expensive summer. Due to my work schedule coming up, homeschooling is not an option unless I quit and do homeschool full time. We found a great Montessori school that is about 40 minutes away. They seem to have worked with kids with EF issues and I love that their program is strength-based and focused on experiential learning. All words I have never heard at public school (which I took her out of last year after all of you wonderful folks gave me great advice). My concern is she will be in a class with 3-5th graders....which seems like a pretty distracting situation. Has anyone else had their dyslexic child in montessori? Any words of advice? How about grants for Elementary Private School for kids with learning disabilities? I just sent out a bunch of emails today to our state government education and other services, asking questions. Thank you for your ideas and good luck to all of those whom are starting school next month! How did summer go so quickly?!
  5. Well, it's been a long time since I've been here! Good to be back. Our 2 oldest have graduated, married (both this summer!!) & now we've got littles to educate ;0) 1 year old, (new) 6 year old & 8 year old. I'm thinking about doing a semester more of kindy w/ the 6 yob & starting 1st in January. 8yog is solid third although math always needs more help! Has anyone tried to combine this many different styles?? The notebooking/narration part of the classical approach using SOTW that we did with our older ones is very similar to Waldorf's (somewhat) unit study approach to Main Lesson Books, although my brain needs workbooks for spelling, most of math, & handwriting (sorry about that sentence, not even gonna correct it bc it's too late at night)! We'll be on SOTW book 3 this fall but I really would love to encorporate the Waldorf studies of gardens, shelters, fiber arts & Native Americans. Any ideas welcome! Shannon mama to 5 ages 1-22, homeschool mama since 2002 instagram mamaj41
  6. Hi There, I'd love to know how a Montessori School for Upper Elementary usually looks like. Wondering if you have set curriculum available? Is it devise your own each year/week/day? I'd really love it if some of you could tell me the good and bad of Upper Elementary Classrooms..... Hope there are some Montessori Teachers on here! :)
  7. The school year is off to a phenomenal start for my older two children (8 and 6). My youngest, however, is feeling really left out. I had planned for her to sit in with her siblings as much as she wants, with small activities for her to do during our longer lessons (finger paint/lauri toys/etc). She is also doing ETC primers, Singapore Essentails Math, The Reading Lesson, and Rod and Staff ABC workbooks. The problem is, she finishes her math worksheet in a few minutes, while my olders work on math for 30-45 minutes, and I am typically in and out of working with them during that time. All the while, youngest is tugging on my legs, wanting to do more school. She does not want to work independently, she wants interaction. And I cannot overlook the reality that she is really getting the short end of the stick. All that said, is there a preschool/kindy program out there that is very open and go and Montessori based? I need to add more FUN, not more academics. She loves any Montessori concepts/games we've done in the past but I don't have a lot of time to prep and plan a years worth of activities. If teacher prep is needed BEFORE, like all at one time for the year, I can do that, but I can't spend much time weekly. Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated! Also, any thoughts on what you do with your youngest while you are working with olders would be very helpful as well.
  8. If you were to pick 1 or 2 must-read books on Montessori education for 3-6 year old, which books would you pick? What would be the top toys/ activities that you would recommend to buy or make for a 3-4 year old? Any tips, tricks or advice on a homeschool Montessori education?
  9. If you were to pick 1 or 2 must-read books on Montessori education for 3-6 year old which books would you pick? I would love to be able to download the book on my iPad. What would be the top toys/ activities that you would recommend to buy or make for a 3-4 year old? Any tips, tricks or advice on a homeschool Montessori education?
  10. So I'm on the parenting board at my Montessori school and we just heard about this interesting new system called MontesScoring. We've tested the system in one of our classrooms and parents really seem to like it. Before we subscribe to it, I was wondering if anyone else had any experience with the MontesScoring system? Their website is at http://www.montesscoring.com
  11. Hello I've moved to the Lima Ohio area. Anyone here?
  12. I heard someone at our co-op say they were doing Montessori math, and that it was great. Can anyone tell me what is Montessori math? We are planning to do FIAR with our kindergarten age daughter next year and are looking for a math curriculum. What makes the Montessori math special, and where do I find this curriculum? Is this similar to Cuisinaire rods? Amy
  13. I'm interested in finding more Montessori home-schoolers and am having trouble tracking them down over the internet. I have found a few blogs with Montessori inspired nursery or preschool stuff going on in the home, but they aren't like a blog of a homeschoolers day-to-day or grade by grade day. Where can I go to find them, or is there a list of blogs that someone could link me to to start my search.
  14. looking to form a nature school co-op with other mothers (and their ideas) a few days a week 45-90 mins each meeting . our focus (hopefully:) ) "loosely structured explorations and play in natural settings. The children's own interests and discoveries guide these daily explorations, rather than any predetermined activity outlines or academic goals and objectives. The excursions normally last 45 to 90 minutes each day, and are done in any weather conditions that are not dangerous.parents understand that these outdoor activities will often get the children wet, dirty, hot, and/or cold.".. we live off malabar road walking distance to "play park" with time to do nature walk on the way
  15. Anyone from the Lima Ohio area? We just bought a home in the Shawnee area. Soon we hope to be in our home. I really need more support and social networking for my children kinder and 2nd. Thank you Shannon
  16. Hello, Thanks so much in advance for reading. Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated. I'm spending this year lurking on this board (and reading some of your blogs as well) in order to learn about the various approaches, styles, sources of material, and implementation plans for a WTM approach to homeschooling. I should flag that I work outside of the home but I'm lucky in that my job allows very flexible hours. I currently work 5am-1pm four days/week. My two children (ages 3.5 and 22 months) and I are together every afternoon and all day Fri-Su. When I'm not home they are with their father or in school (see below) or with a recent college grad babysitter. I would like to continue my career and provide homeschooling (technically afterschooling I guess) for my children using the classical approach. My eldest just started a very strict (in terms of interpretation) Montessori school that offers instruction until 6th grade conveniently located a few blocks from our house. My plan is to send the younger one to this Montessori school next fall or winter and keep them in school until they graduate at age 12 (one or two years apart). I would pick them up around 1:30pm and we would have the entire rest of the day for instruction. We are a no-TV, no computer household. No toys requiring batteries. Right now we spend our time doing a combination of (in order of frequency): 1. reading books (lots of Richard Scarry, Marjorie Flack, Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Uri Shulevitz, E.B White, William Steig, Kenneth Grahame), 2. building things with blocks, bungee cords, springs, rope, magnets, etc., 4. nature walks and digging for/identifying worms and bugs in our local park (we caught an ichneumon wasp last month!), 3. taking trips to the American Museum of Natural History (a 20 minute walk from our house, wonderfully) and other places around NYC. I'm looking to manage my own expectations regarding what I can accomplish with homeschooling given my somewhat limited time. I could imagine 'going for' a full hs experience using, for example, Friday and Saturday as full days and spreading further instruction across several days within the Mon-Thur 1pm and 6pm block of time. (Clearly we would ramp up from a base of one hour or so per day of instruction at the K level.) Or I could imagine veteran Homeschoolers balking that this is doomed to fail/too ambitious and that I should aim to select a few subject for a deeper dive at home. * I'm *passionate* about science, engineering, math, reading, comprehension and writing. * I'm *very interested* in grammar, world culture and history * I'm *keen on* (but not qualified to teach, perhaps) non-English languages (though I've studied ancient Greek in college), art and music. And that's where I'm at. Any comments, recommendations (especially of curriculum/instruction material that would complement a Montessori approach to learning, or 'you should read X's blog') -- would be really welcome. Many thanks.
  17. Hello all! So thankful to be here. We've just found out we'll relocate to Ohio and in a few weeks! Currently we live in Texas. I've had zero pressure here doing what I believe to be in alignment with my children's needs. Specifically we'll live close to the Lima area. I'm traditionally trained and Montessori trained. I would of course love to find other families who are homeschooling using Montessori! However we can learn from all and I'm thankful to make local connections with other homeschool families. We'll likely live in a corporate apartment and up to 3 months while we work to buy a home etc.... Do I need to report to the school district as soon as we step foot into Ohio, or can I wait until we are settled in our new home? I plan to continue to homeschool while "on the road." But this won't of course reflect our true home program. Especially since Montessori moves from concrete to abstract and beautiful materials are part of the process. My children are Kinder and 2nd and excited for this new change! I'm a bit scared of the cold, but did grow up in PA so we'll survive! It's still in the upper 90s in Houston!!!! Thanks all!
  18. hello we we're wondering if anyone knew of an affordable montessori homeschool program ..that is not too intimidating ..I'm a little overwhelmed and the internet has been less than helpful and defiantly not affordable..:lurk5:
  19. Hi everyone, I know there are a few of us here interested in Montessori so I thought I would share. Montessori Services and For Small Hands is offering free shipping on orders over $50.00 until March 31. I have ordered through them before and was very pleased. Their website is www.montessoriservices.com or www.forsmallhands.com. There goes my budget for the month :lol:! Marisa I also posted this over at the "Exploring Montessori" social group :001_smile:.
  20. Has anyone used this? I'm just getting my toes wet, learning about Montessori methods. So I wonder if this Homeschool Program would be something a parent with no Montessori background could easily implement. They *say* you need no Montessori background, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually done it. It's crazy expensive and only has a 3-day refund policy :001_huh: so I'd really love to hear some BTDT experience with it. http://www.montessori-home-schooling.com/
  21. Should I get the sandpaper letters or the moveable alphabet? This is mainly for my 5 yo daughter who is forming letters ok, learning to spell with SWR and starting to read a bit too. But I also have 2 more coming up the ranks(so far...) and I know the next one down is going to need LOTS of multi-sensory help with language.
  22. I am looking for a free website that will give me ideas to do with my son using the letters of the alphabet or numbers. Something that will give him hands on activities. I also would love to find free Montessori or Waldorf activity idea links. Thanks so much!!!
  23. Just wondering how many out there agree with Steiner/Montessori's ideas about education for Kindergarten through 1st or 2nd grade (or further?) I don't mean the origin of their ideas, but what they are in practice.
  24. Hey there! I am brand new here. My friend recommended that I direct my questions about the Right Start Math Curriculum here. I am planning to purchase Level A. I have some of the manipulatives already and would love to make a few of them as well. 1. My dad is going to make the colored tiles out of wood for us. He is only able to make 160 tiles with the wood he has on hand - instead of 200 tiles. Will this be a problem? 2. I have the Melissa and Doug abacus - can I use that? I remember coming across a blog post once about modifying the Melissa and Doug abacus to suit your needs. I think it was in order to make it more like the Montessori abacus. Could I use the Montessori abacus? I can't find the blog post now of course, anyone know where it is? 3. Is Right Start Math a good foundation for Singapore Math? I like Right Start because it has alot of hands on stuff and covers a variety of areas. Ultimately I would like to switch to Singapore Math. When would be a good time to do that? first grade?
  25. This is the first time I am posting here, but I have been reading these forums for a long time. I am not a homeschooler, but I have been doing a lot of work with my son at home over the past few months. DS (7) is in first grade and was recently diagnosed with dyslexia. He goes to a wonderful little montessori school that we just love. His reading teacher is getting OG trained over the summer just to work with the handful of dyslexic children at the school. I am also considering outside tutoring as I am in school myself and am overwhelmed by what it is taking to tutor DS afterschool right now. His teacher (who he will have for 2 more years) is basically willing to do anything in the class that will help him out. I have read lots of things about accommodations for dyslexia, many of them are already being done in his classroom just by the fact it's montessori (no tests/grades, no time limit on work, teacher doesn't count things wrong that are written backwards or misspelled, etc.). I am looking for anything else that we can do to support his learning in a montessori classroom. I have done tons of web searches but I can't find anything that is specific to montessori. I was wondering if anyone here had any suggestions. I would like to work through the summer to come up with some kind of plan that she can implement in the Fall. Thank you so much, Michelle
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