I cannot really explain why I haven't blogged here for so long. If I am completely honest, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I haven't felt for several months that my homeschooling with the boys is quite how I wanted it to be. Without making this post just about that topic, let me just say that for quite a while we've been getting our "basics" done every day, but we haven't delved much into the more "meaty" curricular areas such as history and science as much as I'd wanted to. When I decided to homeschool my sons, the idea of learning with them was one of the things that really appealed to me. I got off to a great start at the beginning of the year planning all kinds of enriching activities and projects, then after Dad passed away in October, pretty much all I could manage for a while was getting in the three Rs. I'm not trying to use his death as an excuse, though, because I'm sure that could have happened anyway since in addition to homeschooling the boys I'm teaching 12 piano lessons and 2 Kindermusik classes each week to bring in additional money for our family. Anyway........for quite a while it's been weighing heavily on me that I wanted to be giving the boys "more" in terms of content.........so over the past few weeks, I've been researching and planning and I now feel like things are coming back together again the way I'd envisioned.
In addition to not being completely happy with the breadth and depth of our content area study, for quite a while now I haven't been really thrilled with math for my youngest son. I started the year doing Right Start for both my 4th grader and 1st grader. I'm still happy with it for my oldest, but got to a point where I wasn't keen on it for my youngest anymore. I ordered Math Mammoth which we tried for a few weeks. It's very workbook oriented, which I didn't like. He didn't seem to mind, but it wasn't what I wanted. Then I ordered Singapore, but when I got it, I realized that what I'd ordered was too easy. It was also mostly workbooks, so that was a negative for me as well. I also looked into MEP which is actually very good (and free)........we used that for a while when I had the "a-ha!" moment that I refer to in the title of this post.
As many of you know, I am a trained Montessori teacher for 3-6 year olds. I wrote a Montessori blog called My Montessori Journey for three years. When I stopped writing that blog to start this one, I had a few comments and emails from my faithful Montessori readers asking me why I wasn't using a Montessori curriculum for homeschool. I responded to their questions in THIS POST. My "A-ha!" moment, resulting from my dissatisfaction with my first grader's math program, caused me to ask myself why I wasn't using Montessori math materials with him. I have always believed the Montessori method to be excellent and the math materials/curriculum to be superior to anything else I've ever seen. So............over the last week or so I've been digging into these great Montessori elementary teacher albums that you can access online and printing and laminating a TON of materials. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be writing a lot about how I'm incorporating these ideas and materials into our homeschool day. DUH!!! Why didn't I do this sooner? I am super excited to share with you all about it!