Keywords: Montessori, Classical, Unit Studies, Primary Aged, Preschoolers, Travelling, Semi-Structured
Children: Three – 7yrs, 5yrs, 3yrs
My family travels through the winter months in NZ or Australia, following my husband as he works onsite. Sometimes we are in the same place for a month, often it’s just a week and then we move to a new location. We are away 3-4 months and then return home in the spring. Where-ever we go we try to connect with the local home education groups. I now know that it’s key to get involved in a few activities straight away (I pre-organise these from home if possible) as it doesn’t take long for isolation to create a negative home environment. I followed the Montessori method for home education. Packing can be a challenge, I simply can’t pack all of the materials we normally use so we bring a few key things and improvise. My oldest is moving away from Montessori activities, though will still tinker with what the younger ones are using. His mornings revolve around lessons more in the Classical style – spelling, language, French, dictation, narration and piano. We use a combination of math resources including some of the Montessori tactile materials, workbooks, online programs – and try to make each day a little different. John Bowman’s ebook “Montessori at Home” has been most helpful with organising activities for young ones out of what we have on hand or can pick up cheaply from a local store. Occasionally my youngest has her own lessons when exploring something new (eg. number and letter recognition) and she is always involved in a craft afternoon! We try to plan two full days at home so that I can work with my two older ones on history, unit studies, and reading during my three year olds nap time. The other days are punctuated by library visits, storytime, music lessons and activities which may include gymnastics, ballet, swimming, art classes or other sports. A few full days out of schedule each term gives everybody the opportunity to take a break. While we’re away this winter the children and I have planned an exploring afternoon each week, we’ll have an early lunch then head off to visit something local.