Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Tot School Tuesday October 26, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 6:15 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21 months old

This week, Bug spent a lot of time soaking up the last of the nice days.  It seems like lately, summer has clashed with winter, with some days near the 80’s and 90’s and days where it was below freezing at night.  Thankfully the nice days have outnumbered the not-so-nice ones because Bug really loves getting outside to ride her plasma car around the neighborhood.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s her *favorite* activity….and she’s pretty fast too.  Of course, she rides it like a ride on toy and not like a plasma car (so she uses her feet for momentum), but she can get around the entire neighborhood pretty quickly!

Another thing Bug is finally getting into is puzzles.  Before this week, she didn’t really want anything to do with puzzles.  She didn’t understand them and didn’t care to try.  But, all of the sudden, this week she began to pull puzzles off the shelves and work with them! 

Working on her shapes puzzle. She was really happy when she finally figured out how the pieces go in (and she loved peeking at the picture of the pizza underneath the triangle!)

She also tried her hand at the butterfly puzzle. It was a bit hard for her, but she did like trying!

Spooning the glass beads

Bug's still loving the sensory bin!

Building a tower of blocks with Monkey

Advertisements
 

Field Trip: The Pumpkin Patch October 24, 2010

Filed under: Family updates,Field trips — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

This week, we headed to the pumpkin farm in Ohio so the kids can play at the farm’s playground, run through the corn maze, and of course, pick pumpkins.  The kids had a blast!  It was a pretty chilly day (and of course, today was near 80…go figure!) but perfect weather to be out picking pumpkins!

Some unexpected visitors at the pumpkin farm...

Playing on the airplane teeter totter. Jedi *loved* this thing--he probably spent 2/3 of his time flying the plane. Then again, he also has been saying for months now that he wants to be a pilot....

Jedi, the human hamster....

Monkey running out of the spooky tunnel

Now, what child with autism *doesn't* like to make corn angels? LOL! Seriously, Jedi was all about this. He was laying in it, swimming in it, burrowing through it. I can't say I'm surprised...

Monkey and Bug digging in the corn

Bug driving a train

Sweet little Bitty Bug, heading into the corn maze

Lovin' the swing!

Gorgeous full moon!

Bug used the giant hamster wheel as a slide--her dad would push it, and she'd slide in it. She loved it!

Monkey in front of the pumpkin tree

Picking out her pumpkin

Clearly loving her time at the pumpkin farm!

Attempting to carry a pumpkin that's a bit too big for her.

Whoa, all three kids in one picture, looking in the same direction! A rarity, for sure!

The beautiful sunset we came home to...

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge–Autumn Leaves, plus another safari trip October 20, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature,Field trips — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:25 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This week’s nature study was on autumn leaves.  Of course, if you’re in central Ohio in the middle of October, there is no better nature study than that!  Not only were we able to observe the changing foliage everywhere we went, but it made for a really good trip down to The Wilds, the nature conservation safari we’ve been to multiple times this year.  This visit did not disappoint.  The animals may not have been as active as they were during other parts of the season, but there were quite a few good encounters, and of course, the beautiful scenery that just can’t be found anywhere else!

The leaves are just past peak this week in Ohio, with last week's neon orange and bright reds turning into more muted colors.

The leaves are still a beautiful orange, although some have begun to drop from the trees.

More foliage

 

And all of the rest of the pictures are from The Wilds.  Be warned, there are a lot.  But there are some foliage pictures from The Wilds mixed in, so it counts. 😉

Zebras

A zebra with a background of Ohio autumn foliage...bet you don't see that everyday!

The difference between horns and antlers--horns are permenant and hollow inside, antlers are temporary and solid.

Giraffe at sunset

Some wildflowers

More giraffes

Beautiful autumn leaves

More foliage

Another giraffe

More foliage

Rhino

Little baby rhino

White tailed deer

Gorgeous fall day!

This creepy not-so-little guy was climbing up the side of a building by the carnivore conservation center

Bitty Bug and her daddy

These trees have already dropped most of their leaves

Trumpeter Swan

Bug feeding the catfish

Camels

Autumn in Ohio

Beautiful foliage near the entrance

 

Tot School Tuesday, plus Montessori-To-Go October 18, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:34 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21 months old

Poor Bitty Bug hasn’t felt well recently…as you might remember, she has Selective IgA Deficiency, and from October through April, she’s pretty much sick every 2 weeks on the dot.  This week, she had her first illness in quite a while…nothing bad–just a little cold.  However, a cold for her is worse than a cold for most people, and as a result, we haven’t gotten too many pictures of her this week.  She’s still wanting to do her tot school activities, but she just looks too miserable to have pictures taken.   She is still the same spunky Bug though…she’s so used to being sick half the year that it very rarely ever slows her down anymore.   But, we did get a couple of her this week…

Bug was rather amused by the spider work. She used both the tongs and her fingers to transfer the little plastic spiders into the muffin tin. She was very interested in the spiders, as she loves to pick up real spiders!

Bug loved coloring her haunted house with the markers. (She calls it a "ha-house". 😉 )

Perhaps Bug is actually part monkey... She frequently scales the fridge. Not quite sure why she does it, but she does. She's quite the goofball!

 

The next few pictures are of the Montessori-To-Go box I made Bug.  Because her brother and sister are both special needs children, we have a weekly therapy session that takes about 4 hours–the first hour is Monkey’s appointment and the  rest of the time involves a couple appointments for Jedi.  Poor Bug spends a lot of that time in the waiting room looking fairly bored.  There are other kids who are in the waiting room for part of the time she’s there, but they’re all quite a bit older than her and she doesn’t really understand what they’re playing.  So, I decided to make her a traveling tot school to keep her entertained.  It’s a bit big for carrying around to restaurants and brief appointments obviously, but it has to keep her busy for a good 3-4 hours at a time.  (Of course, I have smaller pouches in there that can easily be taken out for restaurant trips or anyplace a large box isn’t practical!).  The kit only weights about 4-5 lbs though, so it’s not really too heavy to carry.

This is the box when everything's stashed away in it. It's just a regular plastic box--a little bigger than a plastic shoebox, but one can use a plastic shoebox too. The size is due to the fact it will double as a sensory bin.

How everything looks with the lid open. On the bottom is a white board, then a bag of sensory materials (this time it's assorted beans & lentils), one pouch for sensory bin items and another pouch for small Montessori activities, and a book. The purple pouch contains several activities, and it's easy enough to grab for shorter waits.

Another view of everything that was stashed in the box.

The sensory bin. This time it's autumn themed, with lentils, plastic acorns, silk leaves, spiders, chopsticks, a little shovel, some scoops & tongs, a spoon, etc.

The other activities--a white board so she can color without using a ton of paper--she likes to only put a mark or two on each paper. There is also a set of buttons/shoelace to thread, some clothes pins to put on the rim of some sorting cups, and some cubes to sort by color.

 

Montessori Monday

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.

 

Tot School Tuesday October 12, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20.5 months old

For a while this past week, we actually thought autumn might arrive.  The temperatures were nice and cool, the leaves started changing, the pumpkin farms are crowded, the fields around us began to be harvested.  And then, it got right back up to 90 degrees again.  Gotta love central Ohio!  Regardless of summer’s refusal to let go, Bug enjoyed working with a lot of autumn themed work this week.  She also loved going on walks almost every day since the weather has been so warm again…and she even decided to do a little exploring of the edge of a newly harvested field.  It’s amazing how long some empty corn cobs can entertain a toddler! 😉

Bug using our Melissa & Doug shapes puzzles.  There are about a dozen different ones, but she always goes straight for the dog one!

This toy is a really good one--you have to sort by color and number. She gets the sorting by number part really well, but usually the colors end up mixed up by the end. She loves this toy!

Putting clothes pins on the rim of a basket. At first, she had a really hard time lining up the gap in the clothespin with the rim of the basket, but after a few minutes she got it. You could tell she was so proud of herself once she did!

Using her fingers to pick up dried corn kernals and put them in the bowl. She stuck with this for a surprisingly long time. Or maybe it's not so surprising considering her love for tiny objects. LOL!

Monkey was using the geometric solids, and Bug decided that they were pretty interesting. She enjoyed trying to figure out which ones could roll.

And apparently she had time to dye her hair this week... 😉 Just kidding of course...she has been playing in the dress-up trunk a lot. Monkey and Bug spend most of their day in various costumes now.

Our autumn sensory bin--Indian corn, corn kernals, some tweezers for pulling off the corn kernals, silk leaves, corn silk, corn leaves, fall colored pipe cleaners, various scoops (and later, we added some corn cobs we found on our nature walk)

There are also some spider rings and spider toys in there too. Bug really liked the spiders. For some reason, she also loves real spiders and picks them up by the legs to carry them around. Such a sweet and curious kid!

Bug's treasures. All of these had been flung out of the nearby field during the harvest. There are some leaves, a stalk, some corn plant roots, a couple empty corncobs, and a full one. All of these went down to the sensory bin.

 

Montessori Monday, plus a few more homemade works October 11, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Last week, we weren’t in the homeschooling room very much at all, due to a very busy week.  However, that doesn’t mean Monkey wasn’t learning! 

Here, Monkey's using tweezers to transfer silk leaves from one basket to another.  I'm pretty sure this leaf is flying away in the picture.

Monkey is sorting pictures into "Land", "Water", and "Air"

Building a tower with the yellow knobless cylinders

Jedi decided to do a little work over the weekend too--he's using the hammering work. There are little tacks that are used to hammer the shapes to the cork.

It was also a big week for Monkey out of the school room. She has been doing gymnastics since she could walk--she started at 11 months old and has never stopped. She *loves* it and has a natural talent for it. The first day she walked out on the mats, she went right to the preschool bar, pulled herself up, and then tucked her toes up on the bar. She has gone to 3 different gyms and all 3 of her coaches says that she has a natural talent. We recently started at a new gym (last month), and after a month, they have recommended that she leaves the preschool class, skips the advanced preschool, and go straight to the pre-competative team. She won't be competing this young, but it's for the advanced children who will likely start competing within a couple years. The class is twice as long (an hour long) and it teaches a lot of skills that are too advanced for the typical 3-4 year old class. We're so proud of Monkey!!

Here is the geometric board I made this weekend. I basically found a finished piece of wood at our local craft store, and hammered a bunch of nails into it (not all the way through--you don't want the ends poking out the bottom). Then the children can take rubber bands and stretch them around the nails to form shapes.

Monkey working with the geometric board.

One of the new works coming out this week. I printed out 11 copies of a picture of pumpkin vines. Then I wrote a number from 0-10 on each one. Then the child counts out enough foam pumpkins so that the number of pumpkins in the patch matches the number written on the side.