Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday April 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, there are a lot of pictures to post, so I’ll just let those tell the story, instead of coming up with an opening commentary.  I will say that our unit last week was ‘eggs’…and it’s amazing what 2 egg-allergic kids can still learn about eggs without ever touching an egg. LOL!

As part of the oil spill project we did last week, I also put out various shells and sea life pieces for the kids to explore.

Working with the metal insets

As part of the egg unit, we wanted to learn about hatching chicken eggs. However, it probably isn't the best idea to raise a chicken egg in our basement or keep a chicken outside in our suburban backyard (that has coyotes and deed restrictions against keeping chickens!). So, this is the next best thing we could find...it has a different egg you break open for every day of the 22 day cycle of a chicken egg. Each day, you see what's going on inside the egg.

The box for the Chick Life Cycle kit in case anyone out there wants to learn about chickens but can't really raise them in their backyard!

The chart I have on our white board to show the kids when we should expect our egg to "hatch"

Tonging easter eggs into a carton

Parts of an egg 3 part cards

Putting red and black feathers on a black line drawing of the cardinal (Ohio's state bird)

Some of the books we used this week

Decorating paper easter eggs to hang on the spring tree

Putting the eggs on the tree

Egg on the tree

Tonging the eggs

The girls also made egg shaped jello jigglers (and of course, Monkey hated them because she doesn't eat anything squishy. Oops.)

Mixing the water and mix

Pouring the mix

Cleaning the spill

Making a red clay bowl with white eggs

Bug decided to stack all her eggs up into one big tower

Monkey wanted her eggs all different sizes

All of the bowls of eggs, waiting to go to the oven to harden

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Montessori Monday April 4, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, we decided to try something new.  For the past year, we’ve been using Karen Tyler’s Montessori albums.  However, with the addition of having to homeschool for 2nd grade too starting in the summer, I wanted to try something with a little more structure to it, so that I had things laid out for me daily.  I started using New Child Montessori, or rather, using it as a basis, but continuing with the Karen Tyler stuff (and just adding in my own personal touch as well).  I do love the New Child curriculum so far…it’s more of “Montessori-inspired unit studies” than pure Montessori, and for us, that’s fine.  It’s not like homeschooling is pure Montessori anyhow…LOL!

This past week, the focus was on reptiles of our home state, as well as the world.  We mainly concentrated on Ohio snakes and turtles, but we touched on crocodiles and komodo dragons as well. 🙂  Even Bitty Bug got into the lessons this week!  She loved the snakes!

One of the things I really like about our new curriculum (other than having the entire sequence laid out for me. LOL!) is the addition of a “circle time” and “yoga time”.  While we don’t follow the New Child schedule exactly (because it’s laid out like a traditional school day, which is just not necessary when you only have 2 children in the room!), we do add in the circle time date, weather, and story stuff, as well as the yoga time.  The yoga helps focus the girls, and the circle time gives me a chance to give the lessons before things get too crazy.  So, I’m really liking this program so far!

Here are some pictures from our week (Jedi was home on spring break this week as well!)

Using the metal insets

Big brother helping out!

Some of the books in the reading basket last week

More books in the reading basket

Snake shedding skin sequencing cards

Snakes of Ohio 3 part cards

Closeup of snake cards

Using a snake stencil

Decorating the spring tree (a branch we found on the ground outside, decorated in paper leaves and tissue paper blossoms)

The final product!

Matching and folding socks

Bitty Bug dressed for baking!

All three kids helping to make cupcakes

One of the best parts...licking the spoons!

I found these darling little silicone baking cups in the shape of flower pots, and we filled them with chocolate batter

And of course, we added green "grass" frosting and a gummy worm!

 

Montessori Monday (A day late) February 22, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 0 months old

Last week was a fun week around here.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day week (so lots of pink and red and glittery heart crafts & activities), but Ohio finally got a peek at spring.  It was lovely weather, between 50-65 all week long.  There was lots of time to go out and play, take walks, and enjoy the outdoor world.  Of course, that came to a screeching halt this week, with new ice storms, but really, when you get a week of spring weather in mid-February, you can’t complain.  😉  It just has us all looking forward to when spring is finally here!

Both Monkey and Bug did a lot of great work in the schoolroom too, but I tried not to interrupt them by taking too many pictures.  So, both Montessori Monday and Toddler Tuesday will be a little sparce on pictures this week–just what I could get without interrupting their concentration.

Working with the sandpaper numbers. To help her with self-correction, I made each group of objects a different color so that she could easily see what each numeral stood for. Sometimes she has trouble with skipping over numbers, so this seemed to help her. (She is having problems with recognition of each number though...we're working on that!)

Valentine's Day 3 part cards from Musings of Me.

Matching & folding socks basket in practical life

Parts of a Turtle puzzle

And of course, enjoying the beautiful weather outside!

 

Montessori Monday October 18, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Monkey had a busy time in her homeschool room this week!  She seems to be getting into a good routine and almost every day she asks to go down and do her school work.  She usually stays in her homeschool room for 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes she’s been down there for longer than that.  Some days it’s hard to get her to want to stop for the day so we can get to an appointment!

Using the hammering shapes work--the child hammers little shapes into the cork with a wooden hammer (the nails are actually tacks)

Jedi hammering nails into a pumpkin

Monkey hammering nails into a pumpkin. She *loved* this work. The pumpkin now has 3 days worth of nails in it--she seems to come back to this work almost daily!

Sorting purple bats, white skulls, and black spiders into separate cups.

Using tongs to put a black spider into each section of the pan.

Using tweezers to get the corn off the cob and transfer it to the dish.

Using foam pumpkins and pumpkin patch pictures to count. Each patch has a different number written on it and monkey puts down the number of pumpkins written on the patch.

Using the Power of 2 cube. Monkey was *really* fast at this! She got the concept very quickly.

Putting the geometric solids on their bases. She was very interested in the fact that some shapes would fit on more than one base--for example, the pyramid can fit on the triangle base and the square base!

Putting clothespins on the rim of a basket.

Jedi & Monkey painting haunted houses in preparation for their Halloween party

This is a cross between ecology and tonging. The blue paper represents water and the green paper represents land. The little flower pot is a "trash can". I put a bunch of small pieces of foil and paper on top of the "land" and "water" and monkey used the tongs to clean up all of the "litter".

Using the Parts of a Tree puzzle and comparing it to the 3 part cards.

Using the world map continent pieces to do pin punching. She easily took the stylus and put "dots" on the paper around the perimeter of the continent.

 

Montessori Monday October 4, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, Monkey started her venture into beginning reading.  She’s nowhere near ready to actually start reading, but we introduced 3 part cards.  With 3 part cards, she had to match words (without actually being able to read what it said).  She was very fast with this–should could match words just by looking at them for a second!  It was really impressive to watch!

Sorting plastic autumn leaves by color.

Sorting little models of squash into "big" and "little".

Here, Monkey is using tweezers to put one small bead into every dent on the snail tray. She kept saying it was too hard, but she did it perfectly every time!

Close-up of the tweezer work.

Building a tower with the red knobless cylinders.

Monkey's first try with the 3 part cards. This set had "tree", "flower", "vine", "grass", and "leaf" in it.

Matching the 3 part cards for parts of an apple tree.

Monkey was learning sequencing with this work. One set of cards was seed-sprout-flower and the other set was mixing-baking-decorated cake.

More work with the compass. This week, she added south, east, and west to her repitoire.