Curriculum

Pumpkin Spice, or Planning for October 2016

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Pumpkins. Cooler weather. The smell of crisp leaves and the rush of sound as feet move through them. Shorter days, longer, colder nights that make the warm glow inside even cozier. Apple cider, donuts, parties. This is October: Fall in Full Swing!

Our preschool theme this month will be…

Pumpkins!

Real pumpkins and pumpkin décor are plentiful making this theme an easy one to do. My goal is to express this theme as much as possible through art projects, science experiments, counting activities, language work, practical life, cooking and literature.

Are you ready for a brainstorming session?!

Take a look at what is next in the curriculum sequence.

Some of your subjects will be mapped out for you if you have purchased a curriculum. If you look ahead at the work for October you may find some opportunities to make your curriculum come alive in the form of art or science projects, field trips, books from the library, and maybe even add in a few pumpkins!

Also worth noting is that sometimes kids need a break from the dry, heavy academics. They need some activities to lighten up the load, give their brains a break, but still keep them working. They need some Pumpkin Spice! This is why I think it is so important to have a shelf (or boxes, tubs, or folders) with curriculum or theme related activities they can do when they feel they need a break. Practical Life activities fill this role very well: Sewing, knitting, lacing, braiding, tying knots, wood carving, hammering, cooking, working with buttons, clasps, zippers, laces, locks, etc. When they go back to the heavy stuff, their brains will be refreshed.

This year I am using the Toddler and Preschool Comprehensive lists of Concepts and Materials from Montessori for Everyone.  This is a great starting point for me and helps me remember lessons I may have forgotten about. The lists are by subject and in order of sequence. Montessori for Everyone also sells PDF files of Montessori work that correlates with what is on her lists. All her files are around $5 with the exception of the Comprehensive Lists that are between $4 and $9.99. Even if you don’t use Montessori as your main curriculum, the work she makes and sells can really enhance your child’s learning and give them hands on practice for a great price. (I am not being paid to promote her materials, I just really like them.)

Make a Global Plan for October

I’m looking at my October calendar and penciling in the Montessori lessons I want to cover with Hannah.

Language: Letters i,c,p,r (beginning sounds, sandpaper letters, writing in rice).

Math: Continue with sandpaper numbers, red and blue rods, and spindle boxes. Introduce cards and counters and the bead stair.

Geography: Review of land, air, and water. Introduce the Montessori Globe.

Handwriting: Continue with Metal Insets.

I will also be adding some non-Montessori lessons like sequencing and rhyming in language. After I get my main curriculum penciled in (for three days a week of lessons and learning), I will fill in the “bones” with practical life activities , name writing practice, scissor work, science experiments and art projects tying them into my pumpkin theme as much as possible. These activities really give life to the curriculum and keeps learning fun. I will definitely be looking back at my Fall Preschool Activity board on Pinterest as well as the new Pumpkin Theme board I’ve created to bring a little more focus to the ideas that will currently be of interest for this month.

Obviously I need to do a lot more work to finalize October’s lessons, but this is a good start. This weekend will be a busy one with planning the month’s curriculum and switching all the materials in addition to our new bookshelves being installed on Friday (which means putting an entire room of the house back together) and our neighborhood community yard sale on Saturday. In fact, when I write it out it sounds like too much. I will do my best though.

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One other note as we move into October; The Toddler will not be ignored! In all honesty Haleigh has been a bit of an after thought. She’s not ready for academic lessons, which has been my focus with Hannah, but she has shown me she must be my focus also. She wants to be included and do real work. I thought she would just bumble around and keep busy with the few things I put out for her. I had to do a bit of scrambling a couple weeks ago because she quickly became bored with what I had for her and I desperately needed ideas to capture her interest and meet her developmental need for challenge. I created a Toddler Activities Pinterest board with ideas that have been helpful and I’ve had some initial success with. I hope this next month will be a better connection with Haleigh as I learn her interests and capabilities.

What are your plans for the month of October?

 

 

 

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