We live in a part of the country that is a bit more open to homeschooling, but there are still looks, stares, and the occasional condescending tone of "Oh, is school OUT today?" And when we say we homeschool, there's that, "Ooh. Wow, I couldn't do it."
Recently I went to get my hair cut. I first went to a salon school, because it is so affordable. But the wait was way too long, and they wouldn't let Sean come back and sit with me while I got my hair cut. We went to a different place, at the Mall. I hated the thought of paying that amount, but decided it was worth it. And I've had previous good experiences there.
The girl was probably early, early 20s, and she was really nice. In fact both of the ladies working that day were very nice, and let Sean sit in the vacant chair beside me. He had his book with him, and he was fine. When the conversation turned to school, and I told her we do homeschool, she didn't really react at all.
But when we got to the cash register, she said she was giving me the teacher discount, because hey, I was a teacher too!
I got 20 percent off!
Some days are just good.
Here are some Montessori tips:
I have come across a few more sites that are worth exploring for Montessori materials.
Wikisori.org has albums, teaching resources, etc. Some of it isn't strictly Montessori as far as I can tell, but as with anything, take what you like and leave the rest. They ask that you contribute, share and collaborate. I don't have a lot of time to make materials, or come up with much, so I don't expect to use it very much either. But for those who have the time and have things to share, I think it's a great idea.
I stumbled upon montessori-omi.org. For those of us who, for whatever reason, cannot or choose not to homeschool with Montessori, the next best thing is a really good accredited Montessori school. Cost is always a factor. Take a look at montessori-omi.org. They offer scholarships, and I love the idea that more children could benefit from a Montessori education.
I was looking for a way to make a grammar box, and someone in a yahoo group directed me to this.
lifestylesystems.com. They have polystyrene drawer dividers that I think could do the trick, and they're not very expensive. I haven't bought them yet, so I can't vouch for it yet.
freemontessori.org is a great resource, as well as the many blogs that are out there. A lot of homeschool Montessori moms post downloadable three-part cards, etc. I'm finding that I get a LOT of stuff through blogs, and I get great ideas too.
I'm always looking for more 3-part cards, and other self-correcting work. I have found a lot of worksheets, etc. but I want to stay away from those as much as possible.
I love the people who can post photos of the kids working, but I find that it is very distracting for Sean. After reading more about Maria Montessori and her observations, it sounds as if what I'm doing is probably best. I help get him going by encouraging him to choose a work, then I get to my own work and try to silently check in once in a while.
We're still struggling with maintaining a work cycle and he still isn't using the materials very much. He prefers to read his reptile books, and he paints a lot. I told the "God with no hands," story in September, and we did some experiments that go along with that on the solid, liquid and gas. Yesterday I told "The Coming of Life," story. We looked at the timeline chart, and when I was finished with the story, I encouraged him to choose a work.
He decided to paint an amoeba.
Ah, those Montessori moments are so SWEET! Makes the whole month for me, and each time I think I'm just not doing this right and worry he isn't gaining anything from homeschool, I see that I'm worrying for nothing.