As you might remember I was quite disillusioned last week! I got some wonderful responses to my post which I took a lot of time to think about & we were away after that so I had almost a week to think more (& if you were someone who left me one I am sorry not to have responded but I was heeding your words).
Yes, 2 hours is a long time. Too much to jump straight into me thinks now. Got to work up to it. I know that the 'ideal' Montessori work cycle is 3 hours but we will go more slowly. I did have the boys out running about before we started last week & this week we spent about an hour riding bikes before coming in, having a snack and starting... and for whatever reason things just worked more smoothly. No one tried to escape! ;) LOL. We probably worked for 1 hour and 15 minutes together before going off to create morning tea together.
I realised that I need to 'grab' their attention a little more, instead of expecting them to choose something right away. So I need to start with a lesson that they'll like.
I had just read about the 'Memory Game of Numbers' game (the closet thing I found to link to it is here at My Montessori Journey and it's mentioned here again by Meg at Sew Liberated who's lesson I am actually following) so we started with this. Basically, you write the numbers 1 through 9 on slips of paper which you then fold up & put in a bowl or drawstring bag. Each person takes a turn at choosing a number & keeping it secret to themselves. Eg. If Hug draws a 4 he reads it but doesn't tell me what it is but I ask him to go & get that many shells. He returns with 4 shells and puts them aside with his mystery number and I choose a number & say I'll go & get that many spoons (for example). When all of the numbers had been chosen & items collected we laid them out in order. I would ask "Who has the 3?" or "who has the number that comes next?" etc. until we had everything out. It was a lot of fun! Lovely doesn't recognise the number symbols yet but it's a good introduction of the concept to him & with my help & a few whispers he was able to play with us.
Lovely also did some work with our cylinder blocks (not official Montessori ones but they're really nice anyway) and Hug worked with a patterning game before teaching Lovely some finger-game songs. It was sweet :)
What a difference a week makes. If anything this has been a really interesting week for me & I've realised that I want to get organised & really follow through with the correct sequencing of the Montessori work. That's were I'm at now. In lots of ways I came to realise too that I wasn't challenging Hug enough. He's ready to move on with the Maths work so now I've been creating the Tens & Teens Boards... more on that to come! Here's a teaser from our work today!