Summer Recap 2022
Another summer has come and gone and we have soaked in every minute over here. We homeschool year round and take off throughout the year as needed. This past year we took off part of April and all of May. May 30th was our first official day back to school. My oldest (5 year old) started her 3rd year of 3-6 (also called Primary or K5) and my middle child (2.6) is rocking tot school… which consists of a lot of boundary holding, toilet learning, and grace and courtesy lessons at the moment. Here’s a little look at what we did in our Montessori homeschool this past summer.
Honestly, the bulk of Tot school lies within practical life. We are not big on practical life works on the shelf but instead try to create opportunities in our home for our littles (and bigs now!) to do life with us. That means we try to grab child sized items for tools, cleaning supplies, and things. We have as much free access as we can to art materials. And we try to create an environment that empowers each child to be able to “do it myself” when they choose to (both inside the home and outside as well!)
This year we took a little break from our vegetable garden but still have a flower garden and some random plants that came in. My children are able to care for those and work alongside us. Both of the girls have a succulent plant to care for in the home but these are quite laid back and actually the tot’s could really use some love. (Edit – tot destroyed both succulents. We will try again!)
Inside the girls both participate in washing dishes, folding clothes (not one they choose often at this time), sweeping, mopping, a squirt bottle with On Guard cleaner in it, a Norwex rag, and occasionally meal prep. My oldest is beginning to ask to help with meal prep more often and I am trying to remember to hold space for this. She loves to bake and often does this as well. My tot has not gotten into baking much yet. I plan to give her an opportunity to bake her own muffins or something with Momma soon.
We did have a few practical life works on the shelf this summer: bead lacing, knot tying, dressing frames, and cutting work (scissors). We also did some early felting work (see picture for first set up) and progressed a bit more in the sewing sequence.
This summer has been light on sensorial work. My oldest does not have much left in the sequence in this area and my middle child (tot) has not yet begun to work with the 3-6 materials (although she has shown signs of readiness recently!).The only one chosen on and off was the binomial cube on the shelf. I did not present new sensorial works this summer.
This has been the summer of sound games, moveable alphabet work, working through the early writing sequence, and creative writing. LOTS of fun for my language loving heart. My oldest is really starting to love using her moveable alphabet and even busted it out outside of the work cycle to show Dad some things. We still use our sandpaper letters for games or for review (mostly the double sandpaper letters at this point) and I would categorize Little Miss as a beginning reader at the close of summer. She can read cvc words and is excited (and maybe a bit impatient?) to be able read on her own. She’s read back the moveable alphabet on her own so I introduced the first object box but she didn’t take to it. I put it up and circled back around to the moveable alphabet and played more sound games. She’s been using writing prompts to create a sentence and then will read it back. I will reintroduce object box 1 in a week or two.
Littlest Miss began sound games within the last two weeks. I’m so excited that she seems interested so early. Our oldest really was not into them much before 4. Maybe having an older sibling who plays makes a difference? Regardless, I’m in my happy place!
I can’t believe that at this time last year we were just starting the Montessori Math Progression at the end of the summer. We have done so much since then! This summer in particular was spent playing with numbers 0-1,000. Working and writing her own addition and subtraction problems, learning to record her work, building big numbers with the golden beads + large number cards and learning to read large numbers. She even began addition with the golden beads. I’m learning to teach her how to lean in and push through growth as well as how to scaffold work for her to ensure she gets the practice she needs.
Our cultural work this summer was mostly summer themed. We had a large Summer Unit that had mini studies on strawberries, trout, bees, lightning bugs, earwigs, and the harvest moon. We also used this book for handcrafts, poems, stories, and songs that were seasonally appropriate. This year we didn’t bust out our 4th of July mini unit as planned (what in the world did I do with it last year???) but we did grab this book and discussed Juneteenth and of course we celebrated and enjoyed the fourth as a family.
Our oldest learned the 12 months this past spring and finally nailed the days of the week last month. We use a linear calendar and discuss past, present, and future in context of our life. I will say things like, “This past month we did x, the present is today and we are doing x, and this is coming up in the future on our calendar…” etc. It really helps create a solid understanding of time. We also started our history table back up with the addition of our chamber pot. We are going to have some fun with adding to this.
We also did a study on the muscular and skeletal systems this summer. The girls seriously loved it. They probably would have been ok continuing on with our My Body Unit. We will pick it back up this fall.
Art. I pull fine art into our units and environment regularly. I had some general summer art up and rotated out throughout the summer with each Unit. I also post and read poetry to the girls during circle time. This makes us way into our tracing work some. We have played with watercolors quite a bit this summer and some abstract art.
Music. I intended to start early bell work and learning notes this summer. I am planning to incorporate this into our fall work (maybe sooner rather than later!) and work through Keyndergarten. We sing and dance quite a bit in our home so we do get plenty of music. I’m just wanting to add a little challenge or structure this year.
Spanish. We actually had some organic interest in this over the summer. It was very exploratory at this point. This fall we will add this to our practice and memory work.
Nature Study. I am really horrible about documenting our nature study. May of 2021 we joined a once a week Forest School for homeschoolers, we have begun hiking again, try to spend time daily outside, and have joined a Wild and Free group. We regularly explore nature, practice using our senses, relax, play, or work outside. I’m trying to document this better this year. Our nature study tends to be rather seasonal and situational.
Year 3 project. Our oldest selected her year 3 project at the end of the summer. She began research, brainstormed, and outlined her presentation. I’m working on scaffolding out her chosen tasks so she will complete it on time. She will have a visual (and maybe oral) presentation this fall but will still be working on the project itself throughout the year. For her project she decided to do, “Save the Monarchs”.
Maker’s Market. Our oldest signed up for her first Maker’s Market this fall. She has begun working on one of her projects – flower pounding/tea towels. In addition to this she has chosen to use the lavender she has grown and harvested to make Epsom bath salts and will be baking.
This summer we continued working our way through this devotional, studied the apostle Paul and his teachings (and still are), and memorized a couple Bible verses. We use lots of story telling, read-a-loud, and dramatic play in our study of the Bible. We also took a week to focus on our local churches VBS theme. She memorized the theme verse and studied the Bible Stories at home as reinforcement.
I’m really loving this tradition I’ve started of recapping our summer studies. It is so nice to be able to look back and see what we’ve done in the past (I *may* start doing this seasonally???). I’ve been surprised at everything we’ve accomplished over the summer both this year and last year. We’ve seriously loved schooling year round. At the end, I realized this is a little lite on the tot’s work. With each unit I tried to plan 2-4 tot specific works (she loves having her own work on the shelf) and she often chooses to be a part of circle time. She is a part of the Bible Story/Study Time and honestly chooses to observe her sister’s presentations frequently.
Until next summer- which will be the start of Miss 2’s Montessori Primary Geography/Science Fun and Miss 5’s Great Lessons. My goodness! Lot’s to look forward to!