The Montessori primary program is designed as a three-year cycle. Much of the material and exercises in the first year or two not only help the child achieve a direct, immediate goal (such as dressing and cleaning after themselves, or learning the sounds of each letter of the alphabet), but also serve an indirect purpose of laying the foundation for future work and learning. For example, the math material is a series of exercises that guides the child starting with the most concrete and basic introduction to numbers and quantity. Over the following three years the lessons build upon themselves, adding layers of abstractness and an increasing understanding of mathematical concepts, until the child is eventually able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide -- with a deeply ingrained understanding of what those operations mean -- using only pencil, paper, and his or her head.Head on over to read the whole thing, along with an excellent post (and comments) on the Grace and Courtesy lessons (or how we teach the children to behave like civilized and respectful beings vs wild baboons).
In other news, we're going through a bit of a nursing strike over here. I keep hearing that these things usually only last 2-3 days, and we're currently on Day #2 so here's hoping. I keep going back and forth between feeling calm and secure in trusting that Q knows what he needs, and freaking out about how he's not drinking anything (other than a sip here and there of water or breastmilk) and will he get dehydrated?! So, yeah. Hopefully this ends soon.