Montessori in the past – golden beads

When there weren't any Golden Beads ...
When there weren’t any Golden Beads …

I love this picture! Look at the golden beads! Not. They are the wooden blocks one can get from Teaching stores. And the place value cards are hand-written.

I love these reminders that one can provide an excellent Montessori experience for our kids and we don’t need all the glam.  We can just try our best with what we can source around us.  Yes, Montessori did value that things should be beautiful – and so they should!

I’m actually glad I found this image tonight.  Z5 does not yet understand place value.  Up to 100, he has no problems – but thereafter, he stumbles at the moment.  So I’ve been trying to think of an activity in which he can build numbers using the golden beads, by himself.  My albums only really have activities for golden beads decimal work with the directress.  I have been thinking to just do the hundreds, as in this photo.  Maybe command cards with an image of a layout of beads.   He replicates this, then tries to work out the number using the cards.  Control of error on the back with the correct number.  And then visa versa.


First day of 2013

As many might be aware, here down-south in Australia we start our school year in January – well for us, February – two weeks late.Silver polishing  I was so nervous starting, like I always am – but it went so well, especially for S3.

I finally prepared my silver polishing.  I will write up more details on this activity later.  S3 loved it.  The attention to detail and the steps were just so appealing to her.  It was so lovely to see.


And then S3 and I did some collage work together.  I was inspired by this article, at fairydust teaching, on setting up my craft section.  I have a whole box of stuff that has just been sitting around.  I dug into it and used up stuff from this inspiration and I have still more to do.  S3 spent ages on her work.

There was so much that I still didn’t have organised – like yes we forgot the apron for the polishing, the procedure for using glue.  I had to wing the latter – but it was all OK.  Glue has often been my “what to do” issue.  My last class observation, the glue pot was left with brush in it.  As I leave our art stuff out for access all the time, I can’t do this.  So I whipped up a procedure.  Took S3 over to the water pot, threw a piece of sponge into a glass bowl and showed S3 how to fill it up.  And then dab, dab, dab the brush in the water, take the sponge and wipe down the ferrule and bristles, then dry on hanging towel.  I really like this.

SpreadingZ5 wasn’t interested this morning at all.  Complaining he was feeling sick.  So I left him.  He was then hungry, so I thought, “oh, well, might as well get some practical life in” and asked him to prepare the biscuits and cream cheese.

As usual, little S3, joined in cutting up apples.  She is doing so well at this.  Apple cutting

Z5 spotted the farm grammar activity and wanted to play with the farm.  So I let him and sneaked in doing the article and nouns.  Then I introduced the adjectives!  Boy they are so much fun.  Z5 was finally engaged and having fun trying to work out what was “crazy” or “fat” or “lazy” etc. 

Lastly, we had our session in our lovely new area, where sunlight streams in.  Once I get out most of our stuff, I’ll try be brave enough to post some pictures of our school area.  It was hard work, changing from one location and moving our whole living area around.  But thanks to my lovely husband and a dear friend who did such great work.

Here is a great picture of our lovely sun drench and huge windows to look outdoors.  I pray the rest of this year will go well and that I will have wisdom to observe and direct according to my blossoms!  My constant prayer!


Letting go and flying

Letting go S3 asks me, ‘Mummy, can I paint my cot?’.  Our gorgeous little wooden cot!!  Do I let go and let her freely express herself with her possessions, or teach her values of looking after her stuff carefully?   Decision of the day, “letting go”. She loved just sitting there painting.

Meanwhile, behind me ….  Z5 is flying.  We have this big, green bean bag given to us by friends lying around.  So I decide to sell it!  Threw it onto the trampoline and now it is quite a feature there! And brings squeals of laughter as little body bombs smack into it.

trampolining away


Even though we value homeschooling, our little social butterfly would love the world that a quality preschool will give her.  Her teacher, Pekka, comes from Finland and has was a woodworker before his preschool days.  So he fills their days with gorgeous S3 at preschoolpretend play areas he has built, huts around the playground and adventures in the sandpits.  Plus my weakness – that I am working on … arts and crafts area.  So here is my cheeky monkey on her first day.

So she goes 2 mornings a week and the other days are homeschool and nature walk.


Individual records

A friend of mine gave me a copy of her daughter’s Montessori Individual records, of all work done in her years of her class.  Her teacher is in her 60’s and has had many years and years of experience.  It is such a privilege to see how she documents her childrens work.

Individ records 0

The records seem to be ordered by plane of development, instead of all sequential.  I really like this, because it gives you a bird-eye view of where your child is at and what should be focused on around this period – for each of the subjects.

Individ records 1

It’s very compact, using just numbers to indicate different phases.  So you will need to flip over to, for instance, the “Metal Inset” section to know the 7 different types of Metal Inset designs.

I found there was loads missing too – but only because I most probably favour other work, or because of interests, or her knowing how much time she has and what to priorotise.  But I’m releasing this original version, so that you can assess this for yourself and work with her original document.

So I will be updating this original – to add things I want.

I do appreciate that there is more than just the standard album work, but also Composers, Music.  This gives me a whole lot of new ideas.

Just to let you know, not each “section” was fully completed before going onto the next section.  I believe she really “followed” the child, instead of strict, “you’ve done this, now do this”.  So there are dates and comments written throughout the document.  The order and categorising I think is more just an indication.  And groups things according to where “round-about” a child is – after many years of just knowing how this all works.

Individ records 2Another great feature, is that it really goes to “just before” elementary age – so you have the more advanced items you find in Grammar and Math.

Here we go download it here – Montessori Individual Record Original