Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

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

 

 

Montessori Monday March 19, 2012

Montessori Monday

 

First off, thank you to all who replied last week.  You gave me some good things to think about.  As a result, I have some new blog post ideas swirling around in my head. 🙂  Look for them actually in print on here soon. 😉

Bug and Monkey have been really busy busy this past week, both in the school room and outside.  The weather in central Ohio has been absolutely gorgeous lately, so I’ve been able to just keep the back door open and let the kids go outside any time they want.  Bug is already starting to get a little tan from being outside so much!  You really can’t beat mid to high 70’s, sunny, with a light breeze…before the first day of spring!  There have been a lot of bubbles blown, mud pies made, and puddles hopped in. 🙂

Here are some pictures of some of the other things the girls have been working on.

Bug and Monkey using little plastic animals to make footprints in the flour.

 

Animal tracks crayon rubbings

 

The kids traced an outline of a bat with white pencil. Then they used the pin punch to punch holes in the outline.

 

The kids also learned about beavers and beaver dams. Here, Monkey is looking at a picture of a beaver dam and making her own out of brown paper strips and glue.

 

The final product!

 

Matching rubber animal track replicas to the picture. We also named all of the animals. Because we always look for tracks in our neighborhood when we're walking, the kids could easily name some of the birds, the deer, and the coyote. 🙂

 

Learning about what seeds need to grow. Here, Monkey and Bug were working on sprouting bean sprout seeds.

 

Working on rhyming words.

 

Monkey has been *begging* to start having circle time (I think she learned about it from Blue's Clues. LOL!) So, I picked up this really awesome pocket chart from Lakeshore Learning. The kids especially love finding the appropriate clothing for the weather and doing math problems with the gumballs. Bug works on counting and sorting, Monkey works on addition, and Jedi works on multiplication.

 

Putting pipe cleaner shamrocks into a spice jar.

 

Learning the colors of the rainbow.

 

And stacking the rainbow into a tower!

 

Stringing colored beads onto the rainbow pipe cleaners

 

Sorting using the leaves of a shamrock

 

Hole punching with the shamrock

 

I put some yellow and blue food coloring in some shaving cream to work on color matching. They also used the shaving cream to paint shamrocks.

 

Monkey has some touch aversions, so she started by putting her hand in a bag to mix the shaving cream.

 

She took her hand out of the bag to paint with the shaving cream, but she wasn't exactly thrilled about it.

 

 

 

 

Montessori Monday March 5, 2012

Montessori Monday

Apparently I’m a week behind. 🙂  It occurred to me on Friday that I never published my posts from last week.  So, I’ll just combine them this week.

Monkey had a really busy week last week…in addition to schoolwork, she also switched to a new gym for gymnastics and had to to try-outs to find out what class she will be in.  She also tested for her next Tang Soo Do belt!  Monkey did very well at both–she’s such an athlete!

Monkey practicing at home for her tryouts.

 

Doing some bar work during her tryouts

 

Monkey at her Tang Soo Do belt test.

 

Here are some pictures of Bug and Monkey’s time in the school room the past few weeks!

For Mardi Gras, we brought out all the mess and dazzle we could. 🙂 The girls making purple, yellow, and green collages with glitter, feathers, and confetti.

 

Bug's collage

 

Monkey's collage

 

Monkey so happy to get to play with the glitter!

 

The kids also observed the first week of Lent. Here, Bug's looking at a picture from the Children's Catholic Bible about Jesus and the crown of thorns. Then, using some clay and toothpicks, she's making a replica of the crown of thorns.

 

We also started Operation Rice Bowl with the kids. Last week was Madagascar.

 

On Friday, we make a meal from the country we learned about. This is Vary amin'anana --a dish native to Madagascar.

 

Everyone in the family also wrote out their Lenten promises.

 

We also started the pre-k level of All About Reading. Here, the girls are making letter A's with wiki sticks.

 

Bug chatting with the zebra from the All About Reading kit

 

Painting blueberries on the letter B beehive.

 

Bug practicing her beading.

 

Using vegetables and tempura paint to stamp pictures and shapes.

 

Monkey also wanted to learn how to load the dishwasher. She decided she really likes this job!

 

Bug also decided she wanted to work with duplos this week (all the kids did a lot of work with legos after their schoolwork was done.) This is her first creation--an airplane!

 

Bug watercolor painting.

 

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.

 

 

Montessori Monday February 13, 2012

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. 🙂

 

Montessori Monday, way late this week… February 9, 2012

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.

 

Field Trip: The Works Science & History Museum January 31, 2012

Last week, we decided to play hooky from homeschooling on Friday and meet up with a friend at The Works Science and History Museum in Newark, Ohio.  We used to go to this museum all of the time when we lived in Newark, but since we moved a ways away two years ago, we haven’t been there very often.  It’s a small museum, but the kids love it!  Usually we stay on the main level with all of the science stations, but this time, the kids also wanted to venture upstairs to the area of the museum that talks about the county’s history.

Monkey trying to balance on the skateboard.

 

Monkey and her new friends. 😉

 

Bug tossing marbles into the hole.

 

When the sign said to hang, Monkey had her own interpretation of it....

 

Bug making a car.

 

Racing her car.

 

Jedi building a car.

 

Bug working with magnets.

 

Monkey and Jedi with the snap circuits. Jedi was trying to show her how to make a fan.

 

Monkey and Bug decided to go to the toddler area and pretend to paint a fence.

 

Monkey with the glow writer.

 

Jedi loved the lasers!

 

Here, Jedi was jumping and tossing little felt circles onto the velcro strips.

 

Playing magnet tug of war with a friend.

 

Bug making the ball balance on the air stream.

 

Jedi and his friend trying to make the rings spin on the platform (which was spinning in the opposite direction.)

 

Monkey and the light table.

 

Jedi looking at the samples of flint.

 

Bug playing with the wooden boat. This was in the area about the canals in the county.

 

The kids loved looking at all of the artifacts from early Ohio!

 

A life-sized replica of an old factory.

 

Replica of a mastodon's foot!