I spent over 6 hours planning my October curriculum this weekend.
This is the first year I’m doing serious curriculum planning. It’s the one area that I don’t see a lot of Montessori bloggers post about; how do you go about doing it? Or maybe I haven’t looked closely. So I feel like I’m still figuring things out. What I have realized is that, for my personality, slightly over planning is better than no planning. When I look back at my Aug/Sept curriculum, we hit about 80% of my lesson plans. This would not have happened before without planning.
What I am doing now is to do a monthly curriculum planning after deciding on a theme. With a theme and subject categories, it makes it much easier to tie our studies around that theme. Then given my one presentation a day schedule, I can schedule these presentations onto a Google Calendar. Last month, I managed 2-3 presentations a week out of planned 5-6. Without this schedule, I would probably just do 1-2 a week at most. It also allowed me to cut down on my curriculum if they don’t fit on the calendar. Because really, I can only do about 4 topics per subject per month given my 1 subject presentation a week schedule.
Another reason I find planning useful is that it makes me celebrate holidays. Otherwise it is my default state to do very traditional teaching, as in, sit down, study for hours on end without rest, out of a textbook, despite my desire to not do so.
For October, our theme is Halloween, time, and Timeline of Life. Not sure what I’m doing with Timeline of Life. We didn’t spend nearly enough time with Time last month so I wanted to continue this month. And we’ll use Halloween as a jump off point for our songs, arts and crafts, and practical life.
Math is pretty much the same as last month. For Chinese, I’m going to try and have both kids learn 100 characters. We’re now using the Writing with Ease curriculum for Chinese as well. For English, I hope we’ll make more inroads into the strange phonics that is English. Montessori has so many interesting presentations for science, I really tried this month to see if I can squeeze it into presentations on top of our Wednesday co-op. Because I personally find it interesting and amazing how thing all tie together.
When I plan curriculum out on a calendar, somehow I’m able to make peace with the fact that the kids will only really do art related work twice in one month if we’re good and 4 times if we’re super good. Because I see how many other things we’re doing day to day. Otherwise, I start feeling that the kids would do better in public school.
|– counting||skip counting, 3, 4|
|– memorization||addition/subtraction||multiplication memorization 8, 9, 11, 12|
|– operations||addition/subtraction golden beads||multiplication/division|
|– squaring||Passing from one square to another|
|– geometry||geometric shapes||points and lines|
|– fractions||introduction to fractions|
|– characters||Sagebooks Set 2||100 characters|
|– writing||metal insets, components||Writing w/ ease, 3 a day, child autum poem for writing, song to write|
|– songs||月亮代表我的心， 嗚哇嗚哇變， 地球公轉 The Earth goes around the sun||嗚哇嗚哇變|
|– poems||harvest poem||harvest poem|
|– books||Halloween related books||Day of the Day books?, spooky books|
|– zhuyin||all 37 zhuyin+20 combos||practice along with writing|
|– mechanics||Introduction to sentences and phrases|
|– grammar||Introduction to nouns|
|– English||sandpaper letters 4 letters||Primary phonics set set 4,5|
|– writing||Writing with Ease Week 10 Lesson 2|
|– mechanics||Introduction to periods, sentences and phrases, abbreviation|
|– grammar||Introduction to verbs|
|– literaray||recognizing literary elements, identify themes and plot|
|– Earth||earth’s gravity, earth’s rotation – days and night (related to time & mooN)|
|– Physical||building circuits|
|– Life||B3: Plants vs Animals, B4: life Cycles|
|– nature of matter||solids/liquids/gas classification||A3/A4: Air is Substance followup|
|History||Personal Timeline, months of the year, clock reading||Personal Timeline, BC/AD Timeline|
|Great Lessons #3-6|
|Art||ceramic stars, colors lesson #2, Halloween pumpkin art||Day of the day art?|
|Elements of Art|
|Music||solfege 一隻青蛙, Halloween related songs （witch, halloween)||古老的時鐘 on piano?|
|Practical Life||Halloween related art or crafts|