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A Last Minute Kindergarten Plan

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When we packed our house to move last spring, Lucie wasn't participating in school at all.  On top of that, I was pretty certain that I wouldn't be homeschooling her even this fall so I packed our Montessori materials with that in mind.

Then surprise!  We had that amazing visit with her new nuero-psychologist who thinks that homeschool and Montessori are just what she needs to maximize her potential this year.

Enter homeschool mom research mom-mode!  You know that one?  Thanks to lots of experience and some good old fashioned tenacity, I think we have a plan that will work.

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Materials

Materials is a big issue this year.  Our new house isn't quite finished, which means I don't have any materials storage or display space.   They are in buckets in the garage until further notice.

The Solution

I've made room for a couple of target materials to rotate throughout the year, but I can't keep them out or even close.   Earlier this month when Tim was out of town for a week, I went through all of the boxes and made a list of every material that I think she should work with this year, from dressing frames, to beads, to maps.  Then I made a checklist (using the same sheets I'll describe in a minute) of months so that I can keep track of what has been out and what has not.  I also resorted the boxes so that all of those materials are in just two boxes making them easier to find.

This was not easy for my subject and age sorted boxes but I guess I will have to live with it!

I've also been on the lookout for small and portable materials.  I've been making use of digital printables, like the Montessori Inspired Math Bead Bar Bundle shown above from Ever Star is Different Montessori, and also the Montessori Workbooks.  The Montessori workbook gives us a supplement to the materials that allows Lucie to review and work with materials longer for additional practice, which she needs but doesn't take up as much room.  Also pencil practice that she needs for age and development but isn't necessarily built into the materials as they are intended.  

With the digital printables, I'm able to only print the pages we are going to use each week, avoiding the storage issue that can come with card work.  It's less ideal to use them as consumable pages, but it is a good solution for our current season.

Goals

The entirety of the Montessori scope and sequence is way too much for Lucie.  We've had five (I think) hospital stays the last 2 years all between October-December...that doesn't count ER visits and general seizure and non-seizure related sick days and therapy/appointment days.  I have to plan ahead that we will be taking long periods without work.  If we don't, great.  But I cannot over plan or we will both end up frustrated.  I need to keep it as simple as humanly possible.

The Solution

Shortly after speaking at the Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference, Jen Mackintosh shared how she is using the checklist in her Erin Condren teacher planner to track the Charlotte Mason list of Attainments for a Child of 6.   Since I'm already using the Erin Condren in combination with the Ultimate Montessori Planner, AND since these goals are quite in line with where Lucie already is and adaptable to Montessori, I decided to implement the same system.  (I ended up using the checklist pages to do something similar to track work for my older crew as well- I need to post an update for everyone on that!)

Each week I can track what we worked on in the weekly planner, and then translate that to checks in the back in order to make sure we are covering a variety of things.  Already, I'm finding I use this page quite a bit in considering what I would like to introduce next.  This will also give me a great record of what we do, which will be helpful in working with her therapists and with the school district for services.

If you have a preschool or kindergartener, I also highly recommend you check out the Back to School bundle that my friend Renae has on sale with her Every Star is Different Materials.  



1. The Ultimate Montessori Planner
2. The ABCs of Montessori and Special Needs
3. Montessori Letters and Sounds Printable Pack Bundle in print
4. Montessori Math Bead Bar Printable Pack Bundle in print
5. (New) Montessori-inspired Continents and Oceans Printable Pack Bundle
6. (New) Montessori-inspired Introduction to Biology Printable Pack Bundle
7. (New) Montessori-inspired Letters and Sounds Play Dough Mats Bundle
8. (New) Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bars Play Dough Mats

Bonuses:
1. (New) Montessori-inspired Fall Harvest Unit Study Syllabus
2. (New) Montessori-inspired Fall Harvest Printable Pack Bundle
3. (New) Montessori-inspired Autumn Math Facts Clip Cards Bundle

Seriously, all of this is only $34.99!  Purchased separately, over $130 worth of materials!

I kid you not this is an incredible deal and you could use it as stand alone curriculum for all of the fall.  If you didn't have a plan, you do now.  I've talked about the planner before (see link above), and The ABCs of Montessori and Special Needs is a must read for those in that boat.  Letters & Sounds and Math Bead Bars are going to be the exact materials we are focusing on this fall with Lucie (which of course I decided before knowing about this bundle).  As much as possible I'll be mixing in, Continents and Oceans and Biology, too.  Of course, I'm working with a consumable mindset this year until our materials storage is ready, but you could easily print and laminate everything as intended.


Do you have a Kindergartener this year?  I love hearing about other people's plans so please share!  It does not matter that we've been doing this for double digit years now, I learn new tips from readers and other bloggers every single year. 


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