A Year of Montessori Learning: August

I kind of feel like we spent the whole month of August just getting ready for Alaska. Though we didn’t leave until the 27th of the month, there was just so much to do! Realistically, most of the month was spent at home, finishing up harvest, recovering from harvest and spending time with family and friends we haven’t seen in a while due to harvest. We celebrated my 31st birthday, Taylor played in Hoopla with his brothers for the 1,200th year running and we took a few dips in the farm pool. I plucked the first sun-ripened tomatoes from my garden, we ate our weight in Patty Pan squash and endured a couple weeks of the only real “heat” Oregon has all year.

Emmett and I really took it slow this month. We rode our bikes to the grade school down the street to play on the playground, or to the pool at the farm to cool off. We spent a great deal of time reading books and playing with trains. We sat under the shade of our giant walnut tree and there the ball for Cash, while sipping ice-cold La Croix, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t wear pants all month. We did dishes. He peeled vegetables. We poured water and then we poured water and then we poured some more water. It was all practical life, all the time. And I’m sure glad to have the help!

Montessori Spaces- I’m not going to lie to you, this theme was a tough one. That may be why it’s taken me so dang long to get this post done. I just felt like it was kind of hard to flesh out what exactly Montessori Spaces means. I mean, Emmett’s room is already set up as Montessori style as we can manage, and we have spaces for him in the kitchen and dining room to help and clean alongside us. We also have his work shelves in the living room so he can easily access his different trays, which are usually arranged according to the month’s theme. So I was kind of at a loss on what else to do.

I returned the library books we had selected and put away the ones from our own collection before I had time to take a shot of them. None were particularly Montessori Space-oriented, though we did read Carson Ellis’ beautiful Home quite a few times. We also read Bear Snores On and a few other “bear” books on repeat.

One of our main adventures this month was a trip to the World of Speed Museum with Grammy and Pop. We had given my Dad tickets for his birthday and Emmett is quite the car enthusiast, so I knew they’d both be in their element. Their main exhibit was an American Muscle Car collection, and my parents were reliving their glory days of cursing the drag in high school in my Dad’s hot rod. I was so pleasantly surprised by how well done the museum was. I’d driven by 100 times without even wondering what the building was, but it’s really lovely inside. Lots of open space and nothing feels too precious, like if your kid touches it you’ll be kicked out. We had such a great time wandering around, looking at all the cars and checking out the different types of things that can be driven at high speeds.

Our projects mostly consisted of practical life activities, but we really focused on cleaning up after meals in particular. For quite a while now, Emmett has been loading up his dishes after each meal in a plastic basket. Once he clears his place at the table, we help him wipe off his hands and face, and then he gets down and carries his basket into the kitchen where we help him place it up on the counter by the sink. This month, we took things a step further and set up a station for him to wash the dishes by himself. I grabbed two bus tubs from my catering stockpile, filled up a little plastic squeeze bottle with dish soap, provided him with a scrub brush just his size. I showed him how to bring his basket over to the tubs instead, fill a pitcher with water and pour some into both of the tubs.

Along the lines of the books, I forgot to snap photos of our shelves. I had a tray with some paper and crayons, a tray with a chalkboard and chalk and the rest of the trays were mostly toys like the shape sorter, some puzzles and our Thomas collection.

Being that Montessori Spaces proved to be a bit of a tough theme, I didn’t try too terribly hard to make the playlist work. A friend and I went to a Gregory Alan Isakov/Blind Pilot concert at the Oregon Zoo early in the month and to be perfect honest, those two artists are pretty much all I listened to. They were both so wonderful live! It was such a treat to get to hear live music, eat some ice cream and chat with a friend. This playlist is pretty darn good for a slow summer afternoon, La Croix in hand, maybe sitting on the front steps watching your kiddo chase the dog.

August | Montessori Spaces

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