Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home School Chronicle-Introducing “Enzo”

Meet Enzo!
Enzo is a new “student” to our home school. He is almost three years old and is new to the Montessori environment. Today was actually his second day in the classroom but I did not get a chance to post about his first day last week. On his first, we spent most of our classroom time in orientation mode introducing Enzo to “rug time” and the classroom basics (learning how to roll a place mat, how to carry work to and from the shelves, classroom rules...). I haven’t encouraged any specific activities for Enzo yet, I have been mostly observing to learn more about him. He seems to know most of his colors but not his numbers or letters yet so I am looking forward to what’s ahead.

Here are a few of today’s highlights.

Enzo worked on this color sorting activity for the first time today. I think he was initially drawn to the actual toys but quickly understood the concept of color sorting and he named most of the colors correctly. Enzo had a hard time maneuvering the tongs and would use his free hand to place the toy in the tongs. I did have to persuade him to continue to try using only the tongs but it wasn’t until CC volunteered to show Enzo how she uses the tongs that he got the hang of it. I guess her demonstration was more successful than mine.

This next picture really put a smile on my face.
All three kids were very focused on their work! RJ is practicing pasta pouring, CC is beading foam beads with a (plastic) needle, and Enzo is working on a pasta spooning/transferring activity.
Seeing RJ correctly match the colored pencils and erasers for the first time also put a smile on my face. Last week, RJ would quickly place random erasers on the colored pencils and be done with the activity. But today, he actually took his time and matched all the colors! He is also starting to correctly name some of the colors.
The kids and I usually have two or three Spanish days a week but we have not had one in two weeks because I didn’t want to overwhelm our new friends (Lo and Enzo). I am now starting to gradually re-introduce Spanish into our days and after lunch today we had ‘Spanish music time’. After lunch we watched one of CC and RJ’s favorites, Cantamos y Aprendemos con José-Luis Orozco. When I play this DVD CC and RJ grab some instruments and like to dance and sing along. Enzo, just watched us for the first couple of songs but then decided to join the fun. They were parading around the living room.

A general note on “Practical Life” activities / message to Enzo’s parents:
The practical life activities that you will see Enzo working on may seem simple, however activities like pouring, using tongs, spooning and the delicate handling of materials are designed to help with concentration, hand-eye coordination, small muscle control... These exercises are also preparatory for further activities to come, including the handling of a pencil that will be needed for writing in the future. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse at what your son is up to!

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