I have a daily schedule planned out for our preschool time, and we'll see how much (if any) we need to adapt it. I have done a lot of research and talked to people as to how they run their Montessori classrooms/homeschools, and there seems to be only a few different variations. Here's what ours is going to look like:
8:45 walk the kids over to Norah's house (just a block away); drop baby Janie off to take her nap, and pick up Norah.
9:00 into the preschool room (aka our dining room) and have circle time. This will consist of saying "good morning" to each child, talking about the calendar and the weather, and doing a few presentations of new materials (they must have a presentation on a certain material before they may use it, to be shown what it is for and how to use it correctly).
9:10 work time. This is the time when the kids will have "free choice" from a variety of materials on the shelves. At first there will be things that are pretty self-explanatory and won't require a presentation- duplos, blocks, and other learning toys. During this work time I will usually give at least one individual presentation to each child, showing them either a new material, or a new way to use a material that they already have experience with.
10:25 circle time. This will be a longer period where we do some typical "preschool" group activities- songs, stories, fingerplays. We will have some group discussions and a chance for the kids to share something they have done in the last couple days, or something they have made, etc. Depending on how the kids are, there may also be a short recess to play outside if they want to, or they could go straight to work time again.
10:45 work time. This will be the second work period of the day, the same as the first.
12:30 we'll walk Norah home and pick up Janie.
As I said, this is very tentative and we could change a few things, but from the people I've talked to, this schedule works well for many different Montessori schools. Surprisingly, the other main alternative is not having the circle time in the middle, but having a straight 3-hour work period with no scheduled interruption. If the kids want to go outside, usually there is an assistant who can go with them on an individual basis...there would be a door directly from the classroom to the playground. That way if the kids get involved in working with a material, they don't have to put it away to do something with the group.
So...I'll continue to post every day or two and let you all know a little more about Montessori, and how we're going to use it in the Old Creek Montessori preschool...
Monday, August 25, 2008
Old Creek Montessori school is officially one week away from starting. And this blog will document what happens once we start, and for the rest of the year. The materials are almost ready, the schoolroom is almost ready...but the children are definitely ready! They need to learn something, and they will learn MUCH more than they could ever imagine. I can't wait to get started!