A Year of Montessori Learning: October

OCTOBER
The first thing I have to say about October is that it has not been a quiet month. Not that we’ve been busy, just that silence is becoming few and far between around here these days. Emmett is TALKING. And talking. And talking, talking, talking. He wakes us up in the morning talking and jabbers away until his head hits the pillow for nap and at night, and sometimes after that. He is so full of new words and expressions and enthusiasm, and most of the time, it’s delightful. As an introvert, I can’t say that having someone around talking to me all the time doesn’t make me crazy sometimes, but I’m learning to love it. And continually amazed with the things Emmett can understand, say and communicate at such an early age. He’s amazing!

He’s learned the names of all the guys who work on the farm, and talks about them endlessly. He’s getting pretty good with anatomy- including bathroom parts- and is using his own little potty on an almost daily basis. He loves to talk about Cash, garbage trucks, dump trucks and insists we FaceTime my parents at least twice a day. He remembers parts from his favorite books and has even started to dance along to music and sing along to a couple songs. He’s just so fun right now.

October has felt like the calm before the storm of the holiday season in a lot of ways, and we have taken it slow and really worked on establishing a better daily routine. I’m really happy with the rhythm we’ve come up with and Emmett seems to be flourishing under it. We’ve made a point to get outside almost every day, and even though the weather is turning and we won’t be able to get out as much, we’ll still try to as much as possible. My little buddy is happiest outdoors, tooling around the yard with a stick or rake or bucket in hand.

Theme:
Biology- This month’s theme was fun, and EASY. Biology- the science of life- pretty much applies to everything, so we did a little bit of everything. We talked about plants and animals, leaves and trees, weather, the sun, the moon and bugs. We filled Emmett’s shelves with books and work that we already had and he really seemed to enjoy it all. It was a relief to have an easier theme after Montessori Spaces in September. Woof.

Books:
It didn’t feel like we read quite as many books this month for some reason, but when I laid them out to take photos, I realized that we had! We had a whole collection of Halloween/harvest books set up in Emmett’s new bookshelf (scored on Craigslist for $50!), and then a stack of Biology books on his work shelves. Instead of organizing them by “Library” and “Our Collection” this time, I listed out the links by theme. There’s just some really great books in here. While the World is Sleeping is a new favorite that we grabbed at the thrift store and I really loved Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. Thinking we may need to add Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter to our list for next month.

Autumn/Halloween: Apples and Pumpkins. Pumpkin Soup. The Vanishing Pumpkin (too long for Emmett at this age). Fletcher and the Falling Leaves. Autumn. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. Moonlight the Halloween Cat. Halloween Cats. Little Boo. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. Hibernation Station. Pumpkin Moonshine.

Biology: Yellowstone Babies. The Best Book of Bugs. Amazing Birds. V is for Vanishing.Β While the World is Sleeping. How do Flowers Grow? The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Bugs. My Book of Bugs. The Tallest Tree. Moose Babies.Β 

Adventures:
I think the main adventure most people have in October is trick-or-treating! Emmett dressed up as the black bear from one of our favorite books, Welcome Home, Bear by Il Sung Na and had the best time cruising the neighborhood with his little buddies. He also did a lot of forklift, lawn mower and tractor driving over at the farm, which is always the highlight of his week. We even got to cruise around in a rental “mule” the guys have been testing out. He thought that was the best thing ever, and squealed the whole time we rode through the fields. At one point, he got so excited he reached over and grabbed both Taylor and I’s hands and just gave them a big squeeze and smiled from ear to ear. It was so precious. My brothers visited us early in the month and we headed up to St. Helens, OR to check out Halloweentown, one of our favorite childhood movies. It was rather anti-climactic, but so fun to just go and do something silly together.

Projects:
Since we are loosely following our Whole Family RhythmsΒ Autumn Guide again, projects have been much more regular! We try to color, paint and play with homemade play dough every week, and usually do a baking project or two each week as well. This month we colored pumpkins, made “stained glass” windows with leaves we collected and pressed, baked muffins and bread and made a giant bowl of Harvest chex mix for our Halloween party. My little buddy has been especially interested in helping Mama with chores, so I’ve been having him help rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, fold clothes, set the table for each of our meals and clean up his toys before nap and bedtime. He’s such a good helper.

The other project we are slowly starting to work on is potty training. Right now we’re just taking the interest-led approach, meaning that any time Emmett express interest, we head to the potty. He sits there, we read books, he practices wiping and when he does pee in the potty (more and more frequently!) we practice cleaning things up and putting them all back in place. He’s started to try on the Thomas undies Grammy got for him, and though he doesn’t keep them on long, preferring nudity, I’m so impressed by his progress already. Just today he was running around without a diaper on and I was in the other room putting away laundry, when he came in and told me he’d peed. I assumed he meant on the floor somewhere, but when I asked him to show me, he took me to the bathroom and pointed at his potty. Sure enough, it was full of pee! I was so proud of him I nearly cried, and he jumped and danced and smiled so big. It was a pretty awesome Mom moment.

Shelves/Toys:
We kept the shelves pretty simple this month, because honestly we spend most of our time on the floor playing with trains. Or tractors. Or trains and tractors. My kiddo is a transportation nut, and doesn’t have time for much else. These matching trays however, were a huge hit, and he actually played with the nesting blocks a bunch too. The matching trays were made using animals from our collection of Safari Ltd. Toobs and a set of Animal flashcards from Target. I just picked cards I knew we had an animal for, and put them in the little boxes. Emmett LOVED these trays and got better and better at matching each time he pulled them out. By the end of the month, he’d lost interest simply because they’re too easy. Amazing.

Playlist:
This month’s playlist wasn’t a huge hit, mostly because Taylor’s cousin Jeff released his new album early in the month and we’ve been far too busy listening to that to have much time for anything else. I put all the songs on this playlist since that was mostly what we had going every day, so go and check that out for sure. Perfect moody music for the cooler autumn weather.

October | Math

Next month, History! Which seems appropriate being that Thanksgiving is so closely tied to the history of our country. We’ve got some great books on hold at the library already and I can’t wait to dive in! Welcome, November!

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