Thursday, October 20, 2011

The balance beam

Yesterday was a dark rainy day.  No one was interested in going outside once the rain had set in but there was still so much energy in our tiny house there was no question that it needed to be channeled.  I have been pouring over Montessori catalogs lately as I try to wrap my head around homeschooling for real, which is different than the homeschooling for pretend that I have been doing up until now.  One of the things I came across in the Michael Olaf catalog (link above) that I really liked was the balance beam.  I have always loved that type of focused attention on the body and where it is in space. With children, it is especially amazing to be able to watch that skill set unfold and develop right in front of you.
Carmel was working on a nice beat for Owen here. 

Owen and Carmel both gave it a try but it really wasn't well suited for Carmel.  I think she may prefer that the plank be a bit wider and for the whole thing to be more stable, which it wasn't at all. Eventually she just gave up on the whole thing and retreated to the familiar comfort of reviewing her favorite bird book while intermittently instructing Addie on the ends and outs of birdsong playback.  Maybe next time we can try something like this or this.  At least for Owen though it was just right.  He spent a surprising amount of time with it trying to balance walking forwards, walking backwards,  eyes closed, holding something steady, and blind folded (same as eyes closed but cooler and more pirate-like apparently).

Then after all of that, there is the added challenge of trying to stay balanced while your papa is picking up the other end.

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