Thursday, March 22, 2012

Strategies for Keeping Work Going

This post is aimed at upper elementary programs in schools, but it would definitely be do-able at home!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Afternoon Casa :D

Let me think about how this week turned out...

Wednesday was Pi Day, so I made pie in the morning instead of doing Montessori stuff with my 4yo niece. Thursday... I don't think we ended up doing anything Thursday morning. I vacuumed the main level and I can't remember doing anything with her, so we probably didn't do anything.

Yesterday morning, I think she went off to play right away. But in the afternoon... Instead of following me around and asking me what she can do, she went right off and found the stack of sandpaper letters that we'd been working on and brought them to me. :D We went over the letters again at the table, did some I Spy with them, then the sandpaper letter hide-and-seek. She ADORES this game!!!

I will have to make a point of planning out other activities to do with her. She liked the red rods (I don't think I shared that the other day--we did the red rods on Monday) and she likes the sandpaper letters and numbers so far. Bit by bit, I'll keep adding things in!

My kids have been a bit neglected again. Must sit down and do some proper planning and prep this weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I've been working with the 17yo on fascism, specifically, reviewing Hitler. It led to me looking up things online and reading about Hitler's father, Alois.

Um, will anybody join me in saying: One Messed Up Guy!!! OMUG! lol

When Alois was 36, he married a 50yo woman--who was ill and became an invalid. She was rich. Only reason he married her. Not long after marrying her, he started an affair with a 19yo girl, who ended up pregnant. While having this affair, he hired a 16yo cousin to be a servant in the household. The mistress, Fanni, objected. I am guessing he was a little too close with the cousin.[Oh, just found one source that has suggested that he may have been close with her from when she was even younger. As in 9. sick]

His wife eventually died and he married Fanni, a couple years later she had another child, then Fanni died not too long after and the former 16yo cousin, Klara, was soon pregnant. (Sadly, she had 3 children with Alois within those first three 3 years, all of whom died within that 3-year period. She did later on have 3 more, including Adolf.)

Alois is described as a short-tempered man, constantly yelling at the kids, rough with Klara, picked on any of the family members when he was in a bad mood and drank excessively. And, from Wikipedia:

After Hitler and his oldest son Alois Jr. had a climactic and violent argument, Alois Jr. left home, and the elder Alois swore he would never give the boy a penny of inheritance beyond what the law required. According to reports, Alois Hitler liked to lord it over his neighbors.[19] 
Wow. What a great man! (sic) Does it comes as any surprise that Adolf ended up with issues? Although, I was reading that things with him didn't seem to get really triggered until after he'd been hospitalized in WWI. But maybe it's just that people didn't really see it before.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Early morning Casa

I realized I needed to make a change if I was going to try to accomplish some of the things I'm trying to accomplish with the kids. We've been sick the past few weeks, so school's been out the window, but I'm finally feeling a bit better and so I started with my niece yesterday.

She's 4, a cutey-patootey and smart as a whip. Which makes me feel very guilty for neglecting her. It hit me that when she gets here, until the 17yo is here and I'm full-time busy, is an ideal time to work with her. We have about an hour, provided I don't have other things I need to get done.

Yesterday, she told me she didn't know what to do. I suggested the sandpaper letters--it had been a while. So we did the letters from her name and I noticed that for the life of her, she could not follow how I was doing the j (cursive). I'll have to slow down or something next time I present it to her. She also couldn't remember some of the letter sounds (3rd stage) no matter how many times we played. Sooooo, I decided to play letter hide-and-seek with her. She LOVED it. A couple of mistakes in recognition the first time, but after that, smooth sailing. :)

Today, I invited her to help me fill the dog's dish with food, which she did, then we did sandpaper numbers, starting with 1-5 (she already knew 1-4). We traced them, did a few of the typical 3-part games and then hide-and-seek. After a round or two of that, I added 6, then we added 7. She LOVES this kind of hide-and-seek. It has changed her interactions with me already. It's so interesting. She is much more talkative now, like this work has cemented a bond or something or open a door and the connection is good, so she's talking.

The hide-and-seek isn't difficult: I place the cards out in the open in different places around the living room. When she picks up one that's wrong, I say, "No, that's ____. Leave that there (or put it back) and find (repeat what I had asked her to find." It just occurred to me that it might be better to leave off the no and just say, "That's such-and-such. Find me ____."

I'm guessing this hide-and-seek is going to be a regular part of our morning routine. Think we can do hide-and-seek with the puzzle map pieces? ;D