Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Barefoot in Suburbia is now on Twitter! February 22, 2012

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2nd Grade Week in Review February 21, 2012

Filed under: Lower Elementary — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:34 am
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Last week, all three kids started back up at their homeschool co-op classes.  Jedi said he LOVED his classes!  He goes once a week and takes a class on weather, gym, art around the world, and nature survival.  Co-op means one less day of work at home though, so there will likely be fewer pictures–in part because of that one less day, and in part because we worked even harder to get all of the work done the rest of the week, so I didn’t always have the camera with me.

Jedi’s also been practicing his Tang Soo Do even more the past couple weeks.  This weekend, he and I compete in the Region 22 Championships.  Jedi is once again competing in forms and sparring.  Last year, he tied for 3rd in the region for forms. 🙂

Here are some pictures from Jedi’s week in review…

I did manage to get quite a few pictures of his art lessons this week. He learned two different ways of print making. The first way was to spread ink with a brayer onto waxed paper.....


...then he drew a picture onto the ink with a blunt object (he used a child's chopstick).


After that, he put a sheet of paper onto the ink and pressed it down.


Finally, Jedi peeled the paper off the ink. Here's Jedi's picture of a tie fighter.


For history, Jedi learned about the rise and fall of Babylon.


Jedi also drew what he thinks the Hanging Gardens of Babylon looked like.


Jedi's 2nd print-making activity. This time, he spread the ink on the wax paper with the brayer. Then he put some paper on top of the ink and drew on the back of the paper.


Jedi's monoprint!


In math, Jedi learned to count money up to $1.00. He also learned how to make change.


Jedi also continued working on journaling and spelling–he finished All About Spelling Level 2!  We do need to go back and review to make sure he remembers it all though–he does have a hard time remembering the concept even he can spell the word correctly the day we study it.  (All About Spelling isn’t like a typical spelling curriculum that has a list of spelling words they study for a week.  AAS teaches concepts instead.)


Montessori Monday February 20, 2012

Montessori Monday

It looks like Montessori Monday might soon be making a big change around here.  Monkey has decided that she wants to start doing some kindergarten-level work.  So, today, we started doing her kindergarten math lessons (from Rightstart Level A) and All About Reading Pre-1.  Right now, it’s still something Bug can participate in too, so I’ll be able to keep them in the same posts, but soon I think we’ll need a Kindergarten posting category!  Then, our Montessori stuff will then be focused on just Bug, which means it’s time to start all over at the beginning of the 3 year cycle.  It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago, we started our first homeschooling blog with Monkey’s 3 year old lessons!  Now, she’s done with a lot of the Montessori work we purchased and is ready to move on to the next step. 🙂  It’s kind of weird leaving behind Tot School with Bug and now starting Kindergarten with Monkey!

Here are some pictures from Bug and Monkey’s week in the schoolroom!


Bug and Monkey both LOVED this work. We took two chairs and some yarn to make a clothesline. Then the girls used clothespins to hang up cloth napkins.


Bug working on the screwdriver board.


Cutting paper hearts (I drew an outline on the paper and the girls cut them out, and then decorated them for Valentine's Day)


Bug is so proud of her heart!


Monkey working on some addition problems.


Her finished math problems.


Monkey and Bug decorating some chocolate oreo truffle hearts for Valentine's Day dessert.


Apparently Monkey does NOT like cutting tomatoes. The girls were helping cut various vegetables for a salad.


Jedi was helping to make a fruit salad.


Monkey wanted to do some drawing last week as well. She was making a garden picture for the ostrich sticker.


Bug LOVED playing in the pink shaving cream. For Valentine's Day, we added red food coloring to the shaving cream, making it pink.



2nd grade week in review February 13, 2012

As of yesterday evening, Jedi’s completed 744 of the required 900 educational hours Ohio requires for homeschoolers (not counting his therapy hours each week, which the school district would allow us to count because it would count if he were in school.  But we don’t count it as part of our required hours.).  It’s amazing to think that “technically”, he is already almost done with 2nd grade.  Now, we still have so much we want to do this year, so we’ll ultimately end up a couple hundred over the requirement, in large part because we do full-year school.  I like that we still have a lot of wiggle room for taking breaks and time off.  Jedi’s worked really hard this year!  I’m proud of the transition he’s made, and the fact that he’s learned so much since June!

Here are some pictures of last week….

Last week, he wrote a fairly lengthy creative writing story. This week, he typed it and illustrated it!


He also read Dan Gutman's "Mr. Burke Has Gone Berserk" on the first day it was released--he read the entire thing in a couple hours (way to go!!) Then he wrote a book report on it. 🙂


Most kids have done M&M math--our kids are dairy allergic, so Valentine's day brings a good opportunity for Conversation Heart Math! I made up a 4 page packet that he worked on that involved counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, estimating, greater than/less than, and graphing.


We also finished our unit on birds this week. We talked about the waterproofing on a bird's feathers, and what happens when oil spills happen. Jedi took some craft feathers. The first feather, we dipped it into water and then dried it off. The feather was nice and fluffy again. The second feather was dipped into a mixture of canola oil and cocoa powder (the CP was to turn it brown). This was to simulate an oil spill. Jedi tried wiping off the oil, but the bird's feather never became clean.


Then he tried washing the oil covered feather in plain water to symbolize the bird trying to swim into clean water. The feather became completely mangled, which would provide little to no protection for the bird (ultimately causing it to freeze).


He dipped another feather into the oil, and then washed it off in a mixture of dish detergent and water. The feather didn't go back to it's initial fluffiness, but was clean enough that the bird would probably have enough protection from heat and cold.


All of the feathers. From left to right: Original feather, feather dipped in water, feather dipped in oil and wiped, oiled feather washed in water, and oiled feather washed in soapy water.


Then we watched some youtube videos on how birds are washed after oil spills.


Jedi also had a box of bird-related items to observe...feathers, real nests, owl pellets, and a replica of a barn owl skull.


A bunch of different samples of feathers.


Dissecting an owl pellet. Jedi LOVED finding the bones!


All of the bones from the owl pellet.


Jedi also learned about Gilgamesh and Enkidu. After learning about the story, he then created a story about an adventure they might have had. Finally, he drew a picture of what Enkidu might have looked like.


Jedi wanted to take advantage of the shaving cream Monkey and Bug were working with. He decided to practice some handwriting. 🙂


Montessori Monday

Montessori Monday

The girls had a busy week in the schoolroom this week.  They really loved having all of the work pink and purple for Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that easily lends to a lot of collage making and other crafts, so the girls really enjoyed themselves.

It’s also becoming pretty clear that Monkey wants to move towards more of the kindergarten-level work.  She’s been spending a lot of time choosing to focus on math, for example.  She really doesn’t want to follow the the typical math sequence.  In fact, she’s demanding that we give her pages of addition problems to do with the bead rack every day.  She LOVES addition.  On her ipod, she gravitates towards the math games (Monkey Preschool Math is a good one!  It’s her favorite!).  She even found the math pages in her Hello Kitty coloring book, and independently started doing all of the math problems.  I think we may have a little math loving girl on our hands!

Here are some pictures from the girls’ week of school.

Monkey received a bunch of wooden craft kits for her birthday. I think she might have done them all in one day--most of them involved paint and glitter, so she pretty much dedicated an entire day to finishing every last one because she couldn't decide which one she liked the most. 🙂


Tonging conversation hearts into an ice cube tray.


Free writing/drawing


Collage materials for making Valentine's cards.


Making bracelets out of pipe cleaners and beads.


Bug LOVES to peel and break crayons. So much so, that we always have an abundance of broken crayons. We decided to create some heart shaped rainbow crayons. (One warning...I bought these heart-shaped trays a long time ago. I completely forgot they were not baking trays. Let's just say it's a good thing I checked on them when the crayons were melting--the pans were not heat safe. Oops!)


Monkey helping to peel crayons.


Bug happily helping prepare the crayons.


We put the trays in the oven at 250 for about 5 minutes, and then put the pans instantly outdoors (it was cold, and I actually wanted to attempt to save the pans. Thankfully, cooling them down quickly saved the pans from being destroyed. LOL!!!) Here are the final products!


Bug working with the conversation hearts.


Monkey making Valentine's cards


Lots and lots of glitter!


Pink paper snipping


Monkey working on math.


Shaving cream!!! Bug, of course, loved it. She played with it for hours. Monkey hated it. She has some pretty bad sensory issues, but she also hates feeling left out. So she voluntarily tried it. For about a minute. After that, she went and scrubbed the heck out of her hands...


Monkey's "I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw up" face. I'm not sure why she even volunteered to stick her hands in it, except that she saw Bug having fun. Now, she can't figure out what Bug loved about it...


Watercolor painting!


While Bug was using watercolors, Monkey wanted to paint on the easel with tempura paints. 🙂


Jedi's 2nd grade week in review February 9, 2012

Also a little late…but better late than never! 😉  Here is Jedi’s 2nd grade week in review!

This first art project Jedi did last week was kind of a rough one. He was supposed to paint a picture, then cover it with diluted black tempura paint. When it was dry, he was supposed to use a scratching tool to reveal the picture. It was a nice idea in theory, but the end product did not work like the instructions in Artistic Pursuits said it was supposed to work. This caused a lot of problems with Jedi. He just couldn't recover from the disappointment of having the project not turn out. With his autism, we've had several instances of that this year, where something doesn't go as planned and he simply can not recover. So, we took some time and brainstormed what else he could do to make his efforts not go wasted...something else to use the project for to turn it into something good. This was a really good exercise for him...really really difficult for him, but good practice in frustration tolerance and adapting to when things don't go your way.

As part of Jedi's lessons on minerals, I gave him a box of 10 geodes to break open. He LOVED this activity. It was like a mini treasure hunt for him. He kept saying "I'm so surprised these didn't cost a million dollars. Look how valuable these look!" LOL! He's too cute!


Jedi pounding open the geodes with a hammer. (After the first one, he made the wise decision to go do it on the concrete patio instead of the kitchen floor....)


Another science activity was classifying birds into categories (water birds, flightless birds, perching birds, predatory birds, songbirds, etc.). To do that, we took a trip to the zoo to classify all of the birds we saw. Jedi recorded the name of each bird, categorized it, and then took a picture of each bird to put in an album.


Jedi did another art project (that turned out much better than the last one!). This time, the lesson was about how many colors of oil pastels, especially light colors, will stand out better against dark paper.


In history, Jedi learned about the Phoenicians. After reading about the Phoenicians, he wrote some messages using the Phoenician alphabet.


The Phoenician alphabet


Jedi began working on simple subtraction this week too. First he worked on subtracting by 5's and 10's and then worked his way up to simple single digit subtraction.


Jedi also worked on his daily journaling.  I also had him do some creative writing.  He ended up writing a story (20 pages, with a sentence or so on each page).  Last week, he wrote it on paper, not worrying about spelling or handwriting (due to his dysgraphia and spelling issues, we don’t have him do more than one task at a time–he can either do handwriting, spelling, or creative writing.)  This week, he is working on typing, editing, and illustrating his story.




Montessori Monday, way late this week…

This past weekend was really busy.  Monkey turned 5 years old on Saturday and since then, we’ve been battling various rounds of illness in the house.  I’m also currently working on some curriculum development stuff for next school year (reading content standards and developing a science and geography & culture curriculum).  So, unfortunately this week’s posts are kind of drive by posts…


I changed out the sensory bin to get rid of the Christmas theme and add a different winter theme. It's pretty much the "winter that wasn't" here in central Ohio, so I put a fake snow sensory bin out. It's a bag of pillow fluff (from the sewing aisle at any craft store), some foam snowflakes, pom pom "snowballs", and some polar animals--penguins, seals, whales, etc. The kids actually love this bin a lot, surprisingly. I thought they weren't going to stick with it long, but they actually do play in it for a long time every day!


Up close in the bin


Both girls really loved color mixing work, so we had that out a lot. This one involves 6 test tubes with 1 tube filled with red water, one with blue water, and one with yellow water.


I also brought out some quill writing. We had a pheasant feather from a nature walk a long time ago. I snipped the end so that it had a diagonal point. Then I mixed some black tempura paint with a little bit of water. The kids loved making little messages with the quill!


Making a collage of triangles!


Monkey making about 2 dozen messages with the quill. 🙂


Monkey liked working with the test tube color mixing so much that she rarely gave it up. So, at the last minute, I brought out an old ice cube tray and filled it with water (1/3-1/2 of each cube filled). I put red, yellow, green, and blue food coloring in 4 of the cubes and let her go all out mixing the colors.


Look at all of her pretty colors!


Using tongs to transfer glass beads into the heart tray.