School is still going well for Alex. I continue to be impressed with the amount of choice, mutual respect, and push for independence that the Montessori philosophy encourages. The anxieties around her immersion style Spanish class and presenting lessons to the younger kids have subsided. We're very proud of her. She's started a ritual every morning in the car where she prays aloud for the courage and strength to make good decisions and to ask questions when she doesn't understand something. Her teacher has also introduced her to Yoga and now she asks to do that in the mornings before school and I think it really helps her focus. Usually after her 10 minute yoga session (On Demand Kids Fitness TV), she plans out her work day while eating breakfast (usually something along the lines of- I'm going to copy a story in cursive, do some math work with a friend, maybe do a little pin punch continents work, read some autumn books, etc.) At the end of the day, it's nice to be able to go back and see if she met her goals for the day or if something else captivated her interest. It's a great conversation starter into finding out about her school day.
Now the hard part- how to enhance learning at home when there's no mandated workplan for ME to follow. This is one of those mixed blessings. There are some areas that I think are best practiced daily regardless of what she chose to work on during the day- some form of writing, reading & math. I address these areas with a quick daily morning copywork exercise. She has a weekly chapter book that she reads aloud at bedtime before we read aloud to her. With math, she's to solve a few math problems (2-5) using her "bank" materials. This takes longer than say simply doing column addition but I think the visual and tactile part is important and ensures she understands value concretely. Already I heard her correct herself on a problem when she meant to write "12" but only had a "2" on the paper- she said- Oops, I forgot to put my tens down. Now I think most would have simply said they forgot to write the 1. We're currently doing 4 digit addition without borrowing (2544 + 6325).
Now the fun areas to afterschool. The teacher assigns a musician and artist of the month. This month is Picasso & Bach. I've checked out several books on both. We have started a mini unit study on both which I'm hoping will end with some product that she will design and create (with my assistance of course). I'm thinking maybe some little skit that she performs pretending to be each, or something technology based (voicethread). I'm open to any ideas some of you may have out there in cyberland.