Monday, 22 December 2014

busy time of year

And I don't even celebrate commercialism Christmas. I don't have to think about family feuds  parties. I haven't wrapped one present.

Taking it all in.

It's busy cause we're moving. Not just house, which is crazy enough, I'm moving into a caravan. Lots of reasons. I've traveled around the country twice now and around nz one and a half times. I've always wanted to do it with kids. And now I got the freedom divorce has granted me, there's nothing stopping me. It's an overwhelming journey to get there, though. Steep learning curve as I discover the joys of electronic breaking systems and tare weight.

Letting go of stuff. Not just the carefully compiled star dust, but the emotions attached to it. The stuff exists in my house because they trigger memories. Nice thoughts. I'm surprised to discover they also trigger bad memories, negative reactions and old patterns. Once the ties are cut, there's just star dust left and it's easy to let go. It's a huge job though!

And while I'm growing this new journey, I'm growing a new child. I'm very excited that after one year minus one day of planning, I tested positive on a pregnancy test. Feeling eternally blessed with an easy ride so far! I'm excited to learn about infant montessori practise.

So that explains my absence in posting, but our montessori journey hasn't stopped. It never does. It can't. We're still busy matching all the things.
I've packed up our shelves, though. There's just the native animal collection left. The rest is in boxes and will come with us. I've decided I rather not take the fridge if it means I can bring the pink tower. I'm very curious to see how it will work out. It's quite an untraveled path. So I'm keen to share for others.

I've finished reading montessori method. Why I didn't do a review for each chapter I don't know. It's so rich! I won't be able to summarise it in one post.  And I had to return the book two days before I finished reading it (which I didn't, I finished the book) so I didn't get to make notes. Very interesting chapter on food I'm keen to share. It's not something I've read elsewhere.

Practising montessori had helped us through some tough times (I've also had bronchitis). It's helped me focus on providing beauty. Choosing to only keep beautiful stuff is easier than keeping stuff cause it's worth something. Keeping the living room as calm as possible. Ensuring ds gets the opportunity to explore. I've done a lot of observing him and it's mind blowing. He's becoming more and more conscious and determined in what he needs. I do my best to provide, but it's easier when I let him go and find what he needs himself in a prepared environment (like the zoo, parks, botanical gardens or museum, can't say my house is prepared much). I also involve him in all our new journeys. I talk to him and explain what's going on. I'm talking to the adult he's going to become, teaching him decision making, care for others, dealing with change etc.

That's enough rambling from me. 😊 things will settle soon enough and I'll be back to posting more regularly. I also need to make sure my child wears clothes so I can include pictures.

Happy solstice!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

he's just not ready yet

Practical life skills: going out for a cuppa. 

Ds turns 3 in a few weeks. While he sleeps through breakfast, I was reflecting on what we're doing. Or not doing, to be more accurate. He just shows such limited interest in the materials. He does them a bit when they're new, but doesn't show that obsessive impulsive interest in the way he does with his cars and animals.

I've decided it's fine to wait. To follow the child, even if he's not moving the way you expected. I see these other children starting at 2.5 and good on them! Mine just isn't. And I don't want to pressure him.

He is learning a lot, of course. Still matching all the things. Learning more and more self care and becoming more determined in that. I don't think he'd care whether his socks are on our not. He's so like me! Naked is the way of life, unless it's cold.
I can see his car games developing more. He's into bridges at the moment. Going under and over bridges fills him with such delight. Same with going up and down ramps. So yesterday in the play ground, we spend a good half hour running over bridges and up and down ramps. He ignores the play ground altogether. He just runs and runs and runs.
Stamping animals

I'm trying to focus on practical life. But at the moment, it's hard. We're moving into a caravan and I'm selling all the things and it's a huge job. I don't have time nor energy to do the dishes, let alone do the dishes together. My focus is all on this great move.
Interestingly, I started to notice ds screaming for attention and misbehaving. It just made life harder and I tried my best to be strict, even considering a naughty chair. I found the negativity just made things worst, so decided to go against the grain and actually just give him more attention. Listen andflow thechild, he's wiser than you. We've had a few baths together, I've run with him on the play ground, I've played with his cars and involved myself in his life. Works much better, he's my little angel again. It's hard work, though. I do it all on my own.

Dutch tradition. He loved it but felt a bit intimidated sitting on his lap. 

We celebrated sinterklaas on the weekend. I felt a bit conflicted by letting him believe in this fantasy, but I couldn't not do it. It's too much fun. I've tried to keep it as realistic as possible. We went to the Belgium club for the celebration and did presents at home. His dad bought them for us so I couldn't not do this. He loved the stamps, he loved the zebra that matches with the big zebra! He hasn't touched the Maya the bee figurines, they're not real. He knows they're a bee, but didn't think of matching them to his animals.

Thus we're plodding along.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

matching games

Ds started a sensitive period for matching all the things all the time. It's amazing. I mentioned in a previous post I didn't really believe in matching games, they look so boring. I'm glad I gave it a try.

He found these tiles and put them like this before I even noticed. 

Here's what we do.

Matching 3d to 3d. 
I've got the mystery bag of shapes. He likes working with it but doesn't quite get the bag thing yet. But he likes to sort the shapes together. He also sorts his animals to match.
Matching of dinosaurs to a copy.
After a while I'll get him to trace to an outline,
following a similar pattern as with the geometric cabinet. 

Matching 3d to 2d.
I quite literally stuck his plastic animals under the photo copy machine. About 9 to 12 per sheet of animals in the same category. So I've got insects, fish, aquatic banale, etc. It's easy for him, but he does it again and again.
he also, spontaneously, started matching his plastic animals to pictures in books.

He's discovering his new animals here. I got a small version for midday of them. 

Matching size
Big cow goes with little cow, big fish with little fish, etc. I'm trying to teach him that all the big animals go on one side and the little on the other but he prefers to put them right next to each other or even on top of each other!
It's a fun game that we play together. He begs me to join in.
I think he's ready for understanding the pink tower too, now. I need to reintroduce it to him. The other day he begged for the knobless cylinders (which he's not supposed to have yet, but he likes things differently) and build a tower on size. He was nearly prefect!

Matching colour
I may have made a slight suggestion, but really, this game came up spontaneously. He's matching his cars to colour and making piles for each. Sometimes I'll sit with him and we make a rainbow, but he doesn't really get that yet.
He also matches things to the colour box we got and to anything, really.
Matching cars to colour.
When he's done he runs over and proudly shows me! 

Matching to real things
This is really cute. When we do the weather chart in the morning, he insists on going outside and holding the felt sun or cloud against the sky. He asks himself "do these match? " I laugh so much when he does this, again, his spontaneous idea.

Our felt weather station. It's so much fun to help him observe the weather.
I'm keen to add the moon phases, just haven't gotten around to it yet. 

These are great games for cementing the language into his little brain. It also helps him get a string sense of size and colours. I'm amazed at his keenness.  It's something I read about frequently in the books I'm reading. This spontaneous, effortless activity that looks like magic.