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Montessori flavored preschool?

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Has anyone done Montessori flavored preschool?  I'm considering going this direction before turning back to Classical for the rest of the school years.  (Hopefully I'm not committing blasphemy by bringing this up here.  :-D)  


Mostly I'm considering this because my 2.5yo needs some focus to his days to keep his brain happier.  I am NOT a fan of what I picture as "normal" preschool stuff (arts and crafts and messes is basically how it seems to me) and honestly, I think the kid himself is more inclined to my perception of Montessori-- doing "real" stuff is very much his preference, and he's not particularly artsy craftsy project inclined. IMust get it from his mother.) 


I guess I'm asking just for...some guidance? If you've done this. I am tracking down some books to read to give me a better idea of what I'm considering, but human to human help is always very welcome and useful.


And actually, as I look into this I'm kind of panicking for some reason and actually wondering if I should be sending him to a Montessori preschool for a year before bringing him home...and I don't want to do that.  I just think he would really flourish if he had some of this type of activity in his life and I'm a little intimidated by how to provide it.


Let me just say up front that I feel like I'm overlooking a lot of opportunities to help him be a part of my day (setting the table, folding washcloths, etc.) and so part of what appeals to me about this is training ME to be more purposeful about keeping him tasked out. (Not because I'm a slave driver, but because he LOVES this kind of a day. He does not enjoy a day of no structure and endless play.) Hopefully that makes sense?

Edited by Kjirstyn

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I really like Montessori for the preschool years. My kids have all done a once a week religious Montessori program that has knocked my socks off. I started reading a lot of Montessori stuff and homeschool books hoping to do some of that with my youngest. I found that the time and expense to do it as written was just not justified for homeschool. Since you say "flavored" I'm going to assume that you are not a purist, but rather would like to incorporate some of the guiding principles. For the practical living things, I found it easier to just use real life to teach those skills.


The book slow and steady, get me ready has some really nice activities in it that would provide some structure without breaking the bank or forcing the child into a parent-controlled activity. I wasn't able to use many because my son, at the time, was nonverbal, but his receptive language was above average. A child developing more evenly would do much better.


For his 3 year old year we use the task cards from MFW (the cards are secular) along with the Lauri toys. I set things on $1 cookie sheets instead of pricey wooden trays. He was able to choose which activity to do and the cards helped guide me in how to use each toy in a progressively more advanced way. This worked extremely well for us.


Shiller math is montessori-based. I think this ready-made option is really good if you are looking to do Montessori math. It starts at the preschool level. It won't make you go bankrupt and you don't need to spend all your waking hours handcrafting wooden manipulatives and relocating your furniture to a storage unit to make room for said manipulatives. They have just released a language arts curriculum as well. I haven't used that one, but the samples look good.


Miquon math, though not associated with Montessori, has some elements to it that might appeal to Montessori teachers. It is hands on, child-centered, and discovery-oriented. The first book, orange, might be used for a 4 or 5 year old if accommodations are made wrt writing.


For my dd, who needs hands on, I found that making matching cards on trays gave us much better results than narration or worksheets. Most worksheets can be easily reconfigured into a matching activity. This is probably more relevant for k-2, but you might keep it in the back of your mind for when you get there.

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Thank you! I think what I'm going to find most useful about the Montessori angle is simply the guidance to help ME be more purposeful about including him in the tasks I do that he is capable of. Just seeing what the 2yos in Montessori videos are capable of motivates me to up the bar and have him help. And re-locate things to his level.  :-D

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