Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Combustion & Volcanoes…AKA: Last day of school! April 27, 2012

Filed under: Lower Elementary — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 11:20 am
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Today was our last official day of school for the 2011-2012 school year! ¬†True to our family and style of homeschooling, we thought it best to explode stuff and start other things on fire. ūüėČ

Jedi was learning about Pompeii in history the past week.  He read about it in his history book and watched a documentary on it.  So, to celebrate the last day of school, we decided to use a city lego minifigures and erupt a volcano, of course!

Jedi with his city of minifigures. There is an antacid tablet, some baking soda, and some dish soap in the chambers behind the volcano. In his hands is a measuring cup with white vinegar and red food coloring.


Poor minifigures.... ūüėČ


We also had to finish up the last of our chemistry today…the lesson on combustion! ¬†Now, Jedi is sort of the Mr. Krabs of the household…he loves money a lot. ¬†He even has to pick up every penny he finds. ¬†He was a little stressed out when I told him I was going to start some money on fire. ¬†He was willing to try it because it was my own money and not his own. ūüėČ

I filled a dish with 1/2 cup of 91% rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 tsp of salt. ¬†Then I dropped the bills in the dish for about 5 minutes to soak. ¬†During that time, I went to wash my hands (it’s VERY important that there is no trace of rubbing alcohol on your hands for this!)

After the soaking, I picked up the bills with metal tongs and lit it on fire!

Money on fire!


Jedi was very relieved to learn the following:

-Alcohol burns very fast–a couple seconds and it was over.

-The alcohol burns faster than the water evaporates, so the bill stays wet and safe.

-The bill is not paper–it’s cotton. ¬†Therefore, the bill does not get damaged in the experiment.


And with that, Jedi now moves up to 3rd grade, Monkey moves up to kindergarten, and Bitty Bug moves up to preschool. ¬†We’re taking all of May off school, and we’ll be back in the school room the first week of June!



Health curriculum April 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:41 am

After a lot of searching, I finally came across a health curriculum I want to use with the kids too. ¬†As most of you know, our family has a lot of food allergies, requiring us to avoid a lot of mainstream food options. ¬†We’ve also gone a bit further and cut out a lot of processed foods (except for, of course, peeps at Easter. ¬†Those I can’t give up. LOL!). ¬†We try to eat clean about 80% of the time. ¬†Today I saw an ad for Nutrition 101: Choose Life! in a homeschool mailer and I’m pretty sure I’m ordering it for the kids. ¬†It focuses on each of the body’s symptoms and the nutrients needed to help those systems work. ¬†There appear to be a lot of hands-on activities aimed at getting kids to want to eat healthy. ¬†They are anti-processed foods and pro-Omega 3’s and clean eating! ¬†There is also quite a bit on the importance of de-stressing, exercise, and sleeping. ¬†I look forward to actually getting it into my hands and see if it’s really as great as it looks!

So, I wanted to pass the info on to anyone else who is looking for a more clean eating slant on their health curriculum for the year:

Nutrition 101


2012-2013 Curriculum Choices! April 21, 2012

Filed under: Kindergarten,Lower Elementary,Preschool — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:06 pm

Our 2011-2012 school year is quickly winding down–this coming week is our last full week of school before the kids take a break until the first week of June. ¬†As the year is winding down, I’m starting to gather next year’s curriculum supplies. ¬†Tonight, I finished with the last few choices! ¬†It looks like next year will look like the following:

Preschool–Bitty Bug

-Continue with New Child Montessori .  This is primarily what we used for Monkey, and now Bitty Bug will start 2 years of preschool with it.

All About Reading, Pre-1 (Both Bug and Monkey are currently working through it, so they’ll finish it up this year.)

Art for the Montessori Classroom

-A geography & culture curriculum I’m writing.


Five in a Row

Rightstart Math Level A

-A science curriculum I’m writing that incorporates all of the state standards (I could not find a solid science curriculum appropriate for Jedi and Monkey that had real solid science and a lot of hands-on activities, other than the one Jedi did this past year…and he finished all 3 levels in one year!)

-The above mentioned geography & culture curriculum.

All About Reading–Pre-1 and then Level 1 (once she starts Level 1, she’ll also do All About Spelling Level 1 )

Kindergarten Electives, as we have time for them

Art for the Montessori Classroom

Rosetta Stone, Vietnamese, along with some Vietnamese videos, books, & children’s songs

-Confession of a Homeschooler’s “World’s Greatest Artists

-Some beginning piano

-Confession of a Homeschooler’s “Road Trip USA

Third Grade–Jedi

Rightstart Math Level D

-The above mentioned science curriculum.

-The above mentioned geography & culture curriculum.

All About Spelling Level 3, and working with his intervention specialist

History Odyssey, Level 1 Middle Ages

Voyages in English, 3rd grade

Daily Warm Ups–Language Skills

Electives, as we have time for them

Art for the Montessori Classroom

Rosetta Stone, Vietnamese or Spanish, depending on which one he wants to learn

-Confession of a Homeschooler’s “World’s Greatest Artists

-Some beginning piano

-Confession of a Homeschooler’s “Road Trip USA


The kids will also all continue with their PSR (Catholic religious education) and Homeschool Co-Op classes. ¬†Jedi will continue with Tang Soo Do three times a week and Monkey will be doing pre-competitive¬†gymnastics (as well as Tang Soo Do if she still has time. ¬†She also said she wants to do cheerleading, swimming, and girl scouts. ¬†LOL!! ¬†Not sure she’ll have time for all of that though. ūüėČ )

We also have some really awesome field trips lined up for next year too!


It sounds like it will be another busy year. ūüôā


Almost set back up! April 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:52 am

I’m still tinkering around with some of the settings, but I’ve almost gotten everything moved back to this site! ūüôā ¬†There should be some new posts coming soon!

I added formatting for iPad and mobile devices, so if something’s not working correctly, let me know. ūüôā


Montessori Monday (on Tuesday) April 3, 2012

We’re currently on spring break this week, but I wanted to post some of the Easter activities (and some of the other work) the kids worked on last week. ¬†Because we start school in June, we are actually winding down our school year right now. ¬†April will be fairly light as we tie up some loose ends, and then May will be off as we switch gears and prepare for the next year. ¬†In June, Jedi will be starting his 3rd grade curriculum, Monkey will be doing kindergarten work, and Bug will “officially” be starting the preschool curriculum!


Here are a couple of pictures from last week!

I changed the sensory bin over from the fake snow to some straw, "dirt" (aquarium gravel), plants, and flower pots


Monkey using some Easter Bunny tongs to match plastic eggs. This work is also good for transferring the eggs from the tray to the egg carton.


Decorating the seasonal tree. This time I gave the kids pink tissue paper squares and they crumbled it to make apple blossoms.


Close-up of the blossoms


The completed tree!


Monkey reading her Bob Book


Bug working with the latch board


Transferring some bright colored glass pebbles from one bowl to the other