Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lesson Planning and Montessori

I have spent the last couple of weeks researching and planning lessons for the next term. In this respect, Montessori is the complete opposite of what I want. I like to make a plan and then make another plan on how to go about completing the first plan... I like to have timelines of when each part of the plan should be finished...

To help me cope with my transition to Montessori, I am making plans. Frustratingly, I can't set dates for when and how Nikki will master each lesson, and I refuse to try for fear of subconsciously rushing him to do what I think he should be doing. So, I am focusing my planning energy into writing lesson scripts and presentation orders, and researching all the subjects I want to cover and roughly when I want to do so.

I find that writing a 'lesson script' is a great way of focusing on the Montessori way of teaching. If I write out word for word what I want to say at each stage of a presentation, how I want to answer all the questions I think might happen and how I want to help Nikki with self-correction, I am much more able to keep a Montessori mindset when I am working with Nikki. I don't necessarily follow what I have written to the letter, but having thought it out so precisely makes me far less likely to turn into the nagging, correcting teacher that my own school experiences tell me is 'normal'.

Because we have little space, and Nikki seems to loose interest in the materials when he has too much choice, a part of my planning is also focusing on what materials to have out when. I plan to rotate materials and only have two or three on the shelf in each area at any time. I am trying to work out what order to present the sensorial work - all other areas have a fairly obvious progression, but all the sensorial bits we have are things he is ready to be presented. For now, I am going to try and offer similar activities in rotation (ie. pink tower or brown stair; knobbed or knobless cylinders) - at least until he is ready to do the work that combines materials. Hopefully, once term begins and we are able to keep a more steady routine, he will build his focus and interest and I won't have to keep taking the materials away when he starts pretending they are guns or telescopes or violins...

I'm also researching other topics - I want to be prepared for when I eventually introduce science, geography, art etc. to Nikki. I want to know what materials I need, what I can make and what I want to save up for. I am also really interested in giving Nikki the spiritual foundation I wish I had grown up with and when I started looking for a Montessori approach to do so, I found Godly Play. I have absolutely fallen in love with the concept and want to buy the material sets even more than I would love a full-sized Montessori classroom stocked with Nienhuis materials... well, almost!

So, this is what I have been doing instead of blogging! Plans within plans within plans - I might even follow some of them... 

Linking up to Montessori Mondays


  1. We have such little space here also. I had to move all our materials down to the basement and make a school room!! I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. I love that you're planning out your school year so thoroughly! Maria Montessori always emphasized the preparation of the teacher, and it's great that you're considering what works best for you and Nikki. It's also exciting that you're planning to use Godly Play (I LOVE Godly Play). If you haven't seen my Godly Play posts, you'll find them here: I share a lot of ideas for using Godly Play at home. Have fun! :)

  3. hi! im shia, from the same karentyler class as you :)

    wow im impressed with what you are doing! well done! :)

    btw, would like to know how u cope with your time, spending time with Nikki doing school and also preparing your own materials.

    i am a working full time mother but whenever im not working, all day long i will be busy with household chores, cooking and playing with ds. his nap time is very short, 2 hours at most so usually in that 2 hours, i cant really do much preparation.

    thank u for sharing =) cheers

  4. I split the day roughly into 30min intervals - one for spending with Nikki, one for chores/work. After 7pm he's in bed for the night and it is my time to work/plan lessons/chill out. I generally stay up too late, trying to get everything done...

  5. i see. wow he sleeps at 7pm! will what time the next morning? :)
    mine sleeps at 11pm now. by the time he is asleep, i would doze off as well.

    how many hours of sleep do u get daily? =)

  6. He sleeps to 6/7 am - I sleep around 6 hours depending on how early I go to bed, though I usually have to get up once or twice to tuck him back in.

  7. wow so he sleeps 12 hours at night. im envious :)

  8. It took us nearly three years to get there! I finally got him sleeping (mostly) through at the end of the summer...