Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

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 (a little bit early) July 24, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

Since we’ll be out again Monday & Tuesday, I’m getting this week’s posts out a little early. 🙂

 

The "A" tray--I have the sandpaper letters, some pipe cleaner letters, an apple, and a worksheet. I just wanted to see what things Monkey liked--she loved the worksheet (but didn't really seem to understand what to do even after I explained it to her), but the rest of it she didn't really get into. So, this lasted about a day with her. 🙂

 

Playing a card game where you match the capital and lower case letters.

 

She's so proud of her matches!

 

Painting with watercolors. This was her all time favorite activity of the week--she did it for several hours this week!

 

Practicing her writing

 

Using the mini peg board

 

Stringing large buttons on a shoestring

 

Using the spindle box...Monkey's getting very good at this!

 

Bug & Monkey making strawberry & blackberry skewers for dinner

 

Bug helping to make strawberry cake

 

Monkey, Jedi, & Bug all helping to bake the cake.

 

Using the sandpaper numbers & beads.

 

As always, comments are welcome, either here or on our facebook page.  Let me know you’re reading along!

 

Montessori Monday July 4, 2011

 

 

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This weekend has been incredibly busy with 4th of July fun, and so we’re taking the afternoon off of craziness to just relax a bit.  So, while the Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes are baking in the oven (gluten, dairy, and egg free of course!), here is Monkey’s learning week in review!

Of course, like many of my US-based readers, we had our Red, White, & Blue work out this week in honor of Independence Day. Here are the red glittery stars for tonging.

I added the red, white, and blue glass beads for dry pouring.

Beads for making patriotic bracelets

These rubber pom poms look like fireworks, and made another good tonging work.

Monkey making a bracelet

Pin punching the Russia puzzle piece

Working on the sandpaper letters & letter sounds

Monkey then decided that she wanted to copy the sandpaper letters onto paper

Using the smelling bottles

Jedi helping Monkey with the binomial cube

 

 

Montessori Monday November 1, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, Monkey’s concentration was a bit short…but part of me thinks it’s because she knew the Halloween party was coming up and she was excited.  Instead of our usual 3 hour blocks in the school room, we were only down there for 2 hours at a time this week because she was losing focus and wanted to do other things that weren’t in the school room.  However, she did do a lot of good work during her shorter periods.  One thing that I’m noticing is that she’s starting to develop a huge interest in writing…especially her name.  She doesn’t have any letter recognition yet, but I think we’re going to start moving forward with more pre-writing and writing things while she has this interest. 

T@rget has a fantastic stock of wooden Montessori-inspired toys in their dollar spot this week. One of them is this cool counting snail. It's very similar to our alphabet dragon!

Another of our finds is this animal matching box.

The third find was these lacing shapes.

And our 4th and final find was this beading set!

Monkey is still working a lot on her colors. She's still having problems naming them, but is able to match them really well. I found this awesome set on 1+1+1=1--it has the color, word, and objects to match.

Monkey loves to do the knobless cylinder extensions. Right now, she matches them up right on the cards, but soon, we're going to be moving towards making the extension next to the card.

We've also been working on sequencing and patterning. One thing I've noticed is that when the pattern is something like "object a, object b, object c, object a, object b, ____ _____ _____", she will but a, b, and c in order for the 3 blanks instead of C, A, B like it should be. So, I think she's getting the concept, but soon I think she'll get the part about continuing where the pattern leaves off.

Monkey's also been big on writing her name. She has been trying to write her namem everywhere lately, even though she doesn't have any sort of letter recognition yet. So, I printed and laminated a card with her first name on it--she does really well copying the name card.

Making a horizontal pattern with the pink tower, and then building the tower vertically.

We started working with just a few shapes from the geometric cabinet. I had her take out the piece, trace the outline, trace the piece, and then put the piece back in the outline.

Monkey and Bug were making spiders for the Halloween party. To do this, we cut an egg carton into 12 pieces. Then I punched 8 holes into each piece. I cut black pipe cleaners in half, and then Monkey threaded the pipe cleaner throw one hole and then through the whole on the opposite face of the carton piece. We did that with 4 pipe cleaners, to make 8 legs.

Using a spatula to flip various lids. She started out using her hands and I casually mentioned that it's like flipping hamburgers in a pan. She then stopped using her hand...she said she didn't want her fingers burnt. LOL!

 

Tot School Tuesday October 5, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 7:48 pm
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20 months old

This week was Tot School Lite in terms of taking pictures.  I didn’t really have the  camera near me for most of the week.  But she did have a lot of learning opportunities this week of course.  Bug is soaking in the last of the nice days before winter and going out for nature walks almost every day.  It’s starting to get a bit chilly here during the day, but she doesn’t really seem to mind much.  She loves being outdoors! 

Bug’s other favorite activity is helping out in the kitchen, so at least 2 or 3 times a day every day, she’s up in the Learning Tower helping to cook.  She washed apples, scrubbed potatoes, and mixed cookie dough, among other cooking activities this week.  This girl loves to help cook!

Bug’s other big accompishment in the past week is deciding that she wants to potty learn.  We don’t potty train our kids, and instead, we just leave potty chairs in rooms they frequently play in and just let them decide when they want to potty learn.  So far, it’s worked–both of the older kids potty trained completely in a day or two, around 2 1/2 years old, w ithout any  help from me.  It seems like Bug is wanting to learn even earlier.  She hates wearing clothes and diapers anyhow, so I guess I’m a bit happy she likes to use the potty chair a lot. 😉  Now, I don’t have any disillusions that I’ll have the 2 year old that’s potty trained by her birthday, but hey, if she wants to try, I’m not going to stop her. 😀

And here are the couple pictures I was able to take this week:

A few weeks ago, Bug used the cheese shaker and pipe cleaners to poke the pipe cleaners into the holes of the lid. This time, she didn't want to do that--instead, she wanted me to name all of the colors for her while she repeated the names.

Bug decided that she wanted to put beads on the pipe cleaner, next. Look at her concentration! She was really working hard on this. She had gotten the entire pipe cleaner covered in beads, but then knocked most of them off before deciding she wanted a bracelet.

Her finished bracelet!

Here, she's using her fingers to put beads in each of the holes of the snail tray. She has remarkable eye-hand coordination and pincer grasp!

 

Montessori Monday September 26, 2010

Monkey is 3  years 7 months old

Monkey had a fantastic time in her Montessori room this week.  I’m thinking it had a lot to do with the heavy focus on Vietnamese culture, and specifically Tet Trung Thu, that captured her interest.  She loves learning about her birth culture, and to have it highlighted in her homeschooling just drew her in.  We also added a new computer program we just bought called Let’s Learn Vietnamese by VNI, and now she is really interested in learning the Vietnamese language as well.  It’s a really difficult language to learn, but she’s always been fascinated with her Xuan Mai videos and her Vietnamese music CDs, so I think she’ll pick up on at least some of it rather easily.

And there are a ton of pictures for this week….

Looking at the inspiration book for the basket mask craft

This was the selection of books we used to learn about the Harvest festival traditions

Monkey painting her mask

Cutting on the lines to make paper lanterns

Whisking sand

Pouring water using a teapot

Using chopsticks to transfer wooden harvest veggies from one basket to the other

Working with a compass to determine which direction is north.

Looking through the Asian continent box

Still looking at the continent box

Working with the geometric solids. This was her first introduction to them, so she was feeling the surface and shape of each solid and then figuring out which ones roll

Using a sake set to pour sand

"Numerals and Fish". Monkey took a basket of cards and separated numerals from fish. This is to help her learn to recognize what a numeral is by using something really obvious (she knows what a fish is and knows when something is not a fish)

Scrubbing a rock

Making a dragon dance puppet

Monkey's so pleased with her puppet!

The second type of lantern. This one actually held a mini flashlight. Tissue paper is glued over the shaped holes, and monkey poked more holes using a paper punch

Monkey gluing her tissue paper

Jedi was home sick this week, and he decided to join us one day. Here, he's making a noisemaker out of beads.

Putting together her alphabet dragon

 

Montessori Monday September 13, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 7 months old

This was our second full week of homeschooling, and Monkey’s really starting to get into the routine of it all!  Every day she asks to go down to the homeschool room, which is fabulous!  She’s also really starting to focus on her work as well.  It’s really nice to see. 

Monkey also had a new change this week too…it was the first week of her homeschooling co-op classes.  She takes two classes with the local homeschool co-op, which gives her the experience of working in group settings with other preschool aged children and gives her an opportunity to socialize.  The classes are once a week for three hours.  One is a montessori class and one is a general preschool class.  Everyone in the classes are homeschoolers.  Monkey *really* enjoyed her classes for the first week and did wonderfully!  We’re so happy to have found our co-op, which continues all the way through high school.

And now for our week in review….

Monkey and Bitty Bug getting ready for the first day of co-op

Working on the velcro, snap, and large button dressing frames

Using a sponge to transfer water from one bowl to the other.

Sorting nature objects by color. We also worked on isolating a few colors using three part lessons to reinforce the names of the colors.

Beading wooden beads onto lanyard laces

So proud of her necklace!

Making crafts with recycled art supplies. Each of these supplies was left over from other crafts, or they are recycled objects. Monkey put some of the objects together for a new craft.