Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Montessori Curriculum for Kindergartners 2013-2014

Before you read any further into this post, I would like to mention that this "curriculum" is really meant for my son, Adrian, 5 years old. This is not your typical Montessori curriculum for a Kindergartner and the reason for that is simple: Adrian will be attending school full time during the day (a Montessori "inspired" German school) and as such, our time at home will be limited. I thus chose to focus on certain areas, mostly the ones that need work but also the ones that won't be taught much in school and the ones that are loved by my son. The following curriculum will still give you an insight of what a Kindergartner might be doing in a typical Montessori school as my plan is based on a proper Montessori curriculum but it will not be comprehensive for sure.

Astronomy : A science that will have its place in 2013-2014
Seen here: Classifying types of galaxies. 

Without a doubt, language will be the focus of our new school year. Despite many efforts on my part and his German school's part, Adrian is still not writing much...if at all. This is mostly due to his grip on the pencil which we have all tried to improve, so this year, we'll be on it again. Writing and reading will thus be a big part of the language program for this year starting with a simple revision of the initial sounds, and then we'll quickly move on to the pink reading series. We did start it last year and pretty much completed it in terms of reading (stopped short of reading sentences) but we'll revise it first and well to make sure it's a strong base before we move on to the blue reading series (4 letter phonetic words and over). As far as writing is concerned, we'll practice, practice and practice re-starting with the insets and dotted letters and numbers, moving on to writing these on wide-lined paper. Fingers crossed!

Adrian loves math and is already past the level of Public School Kindergarten so we'll simply, slowly add more math elements. For example, in a traditional K level, children are taught to count to 20, and Adrian is well beyond that so this year, after a quick revision, we'll simply build on where we left off. I'm not quite sure where we'll be stopping as I follow my son's rhythm but I think it's safe to say we'll be working within the 0-100 range, decimal system and with addition and subtraction. :)

Sadly, geography has never been a big part of Adrian's curriculum in the past years. I really wanted it to be but the materials were quite expensive and I felt like there were so many other activities we could be doing too since he was "so little". Thus, we've never really "talked" about the world much but ever since I introduced the Montessori Continent Map-Puzzle, he's been asking for more geography activities and has been caught more than once looking at his daddy's giant National Geographic World Atlas. This year, we shall "visit" every continent and study them in detail: we're talking music, art, animals, flowers, food, landmarks, etc and possibly introduce the countries and flags hosted within those continents.

Practical Life & Sensorial
Being short on time means that corners will have to be cut. Practical Life activities and sensorial work will probably not be on the shelves very often this year. At 5 years of age, I see practical life activities as a learning moment anyway, not so much as a tray (can be taught anytime without a formal presentaion). That being said, my son loves pretty presentations and trays and loves using his five senses, scooping and transferring and other practical life work, so if we have time and I see it fit, I'll definitely pencil it in. :)

Art, Music & Movement
Art, music and movement can most definitely be done outside of my "school hours" (besides, I know he will be doing arts & crafts and some music in German school) so I don't plan on including anything but one hour of art & music appreciation every Friday (possibly art one Friday out of two and music the other Fridays). These will be "classes" shared with his younger sister Zahavah where types of music might be introduced for example (rock, jazz, pop, etc.). Adrian might also be asked to listen to a musical piece and identify the composer using our 3 part cards. Same might be done with artists although at a very easy level (matching paintings for example instead of matching to the artist) since this is more of an Elementary work in Montessori schools.

Other Sciences (Physical Science, Botany, Zoology, Astronomy, History, Geology, Ecology)
Science is fascinating for a 5 year old. I can't say "no" to any of these wonderful subjects but I can't fit it all in knowing my boy will be in school full-time either. As such, a little bit of out every subject will be presented where applicable. For example, during our Milky Way and Beyond Week, we'll of course hit a lot of astronomy; same goes for geology during our I Rock week. I consciously picked out themes that will allow Adrian to explore a lot of science this year despite not having a lot of time.

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  1. Sounds like a plan! I might make one suggestion. You mentioned your son's pencil grasp isn't quite right yet. Some of the practical life activities might be important to keep in (those that help the grasp) so he can continue to develop that skill, which will make writing much easier. From what we've learned with our kiddos, it's all about muscle development and if the muscle isn't fully developed and strengthened the grasp won't come. This is what we've been taught, and of course you know your son best. :) Another idea might be to only let him write with broken crayons as it forces him to only use his pincher fingers because there's not room for anything else. (One of my kids' therapists taught us that.) Can't wait to see all of your activities to come!

    1. I love the idea of broken crayons! Thank you for sharing that! I do intend to keep some practical life activities but just not as many. Truth is, we'll have very little time together and I'm not sure how much of a quality time it will be after his full day of school. I'm hoping to develop his grasp more this summer and am working on developing his muscles even more but we'll see. The tripod exercises we did during last school year were becoming a bit tiresome to him; too easy it seemed so that why I am unsure whether they'll be more than a handful but I'll definitely consider anything that might help. :) Thanks for your input! :)