Saturday, June 20, 2009

Genius Baby

I remember posting a similar story way back when, when Mcclellan learned to dump out and pick up Cheerios...

Here is Verity putting napkin holders into a tall skinny pasta jar...and attempting to replace the lid. This is riveting stuff, folks.
video

Friday, June 5, 2009

Foreign Language

So, I've been wanting to start teaching Mcclellan Spanish for a while now. Or at least start teaching him. I plan to also teach Latin and maybe Greek with the planned classical approach. I'm not sure when/how to teach Spanish along with the ancient languages, but I'm gonna stop fretting about it and just start with Spanish NOW. I know some Latin, but am much more fluent in Spanish and use it sporadically around the house. I'd like to do some immersion with him, but get a little foggy with my own use of the language...especially those future tense verbs!

Sooo, we are going to start with vocab, naturally. Verbs can definitely wait. The words I do use around the house everyday, Mcclellan has picked up on really well ("My camisa is red, Mama," or, "I need pantalones."). I'd like to teach him the Spanish word for all the classic preschool busyness: shapes, colors, parts of body, etc. But I feel like he is still so new at learning them in English that Spanish would be confusing. But then, I remember that this is why his age is the BEST age to learn things like these. He won't question why red is also rojo. Or cat is also gato. He loves talking and plays with his words all the time, that I have no doubt he will also love learning words in Spanish. So, colores, numeros, y partes del cuerpo...here we come!

I did order a book off Amazon that I'd been reading about on one of my language sites on the side. For nothing other than to keep me organized and help me remember my own vocab! I'd LOVE to become more fluent and use the language more regularly. I am always wanting to speak Spanish to people using it in public, but am afraid of conversation! "Mas despacio, por favor," is all I need to remind native speakers.

So, maybe with the help of my language-learning children, I too, can become a better foreign language speaker! Sometimes, I wonder why there is such a focus on Latin and Greek in classical ed. Would it not be more practical to teach Japanese, Russian and Spanish? I put a great value in learning the ancients, but wonder why there is such a big thrust for them in today's highly globalized society. We'll see what happens with our own family as we go along, I suppose!

Edited to add: So I came across this article: Why Teach Latin? Granted it's written by Memoria Press, but nonetheless...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Awesomest Train Track Ever!

This is every piece of track that we own!

Downstairs Spaces

Until recently, our giant common area in the basement has gone largely unused. A failed moving attempt, lack of furniture, and general neglect of the space has kept us from enjoying this large, basement living room.
There is a space for playing the piano. Which Verity loves to hoist herself up to do.
The white shelf migrated downstairs to be utilized for work. Here we have a basket of vehicles, two shape sorting locking boxes, cookies and cookie pan, two puzzles, large wooden construction machines, and a little can of "baby toys."
The new futon gives us some sitting surfaces. Nearby pachinko machine still goes unused as it needs to be mounted to the wall. I can count flicking the lever on the gambling machine as "fine motor activity," right?
And the chair-and-a-half was moved down as well. Also downstairs are the red tote full of tracks and trains, and a wicker basket full of more baby toys (which, incidentally, the big boy also likes to play with).
This makes our downstairs time during baby's naps and in the late afternoon a little bit more enjoyable! Off to build train tracks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Massive Sensory Experience!

(That's oatmeal cereal, there)
Que linda la manita que tiene mi bebe...
que linda, que bella, que bonita es!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nature Table

While this isn't Montessori per se, we've decided to incorporate our own little version of a Waldorfy nature table. I think this a great way to be mindful the season we're in and aware of the changes going on outside, bringing pieces of nature indoors. We just have this tiny little table, draped in a playsilk (gonna grab on to three other season-appropriate colors for the future), with some random findings from outside. The flowers are from our front yard! The peonies make the whole house smell the like candy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, everywhere!

Mcclellan did an amazing job cleaning up after dinner tonight. He wiped the ENTIRE eating area with his sponges. Even the slats on the backs of the chairs!
I did have to remove that giant bar of soap, as it was just causing a big, ooey, gooey mess in his squishy little hands. Matt promises to bring me back lots of tiny hotel soaps next week while he's traveling.
I'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate putting his own dishes away as well. His and Verity's. :) I have two more pink basins like that one in the pictures, and am considering using one as a place for him to bus his own dishes. I don't like the idea of putting the basin on the clean-up table as everything on that station is, well, clean! And dirty dishes would be...dirty! But, for lack of space, and accessible space at that, he may start bussing his own eatingware in the same area.

We also did some rearranging. The white multi-level shelf has paint peeling (not so good, when Verity likes to hoist herself up to gum all over it), and we were in need of a shoe/bag drop-off point by the front door. So, the white shelf (until it gets sanded down and repainted!) is the shoe shelf, and this squat, mini-desk is our other new work surface. Perfect for assisting Verity in her efforts in standing. And, so Mcclellan thinks, perfect for sitting upon, tucking one's little legs under the drawer you see there. We're talking about the table there on the right. Perfect.