Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday January 16, 2012

Montessori Monday

Last week, Bitty Bug celebrated her 3rd birthday!  She’s not so bitty anymore…she’s officially ready to graduate from ‘tot school’ and now she is old enough to start the 3 year Montessori “Children’s House” cycle.  Now granted, she’s already worked on a lot of the works with Monkey, but now she’s all “official”. 😉

Here are some pictures of what the girls worked on last week.

 

Bug was absolutely thrilled that the easel made it's way upstairs this week! This girl loves to paint!

 

Bug also used the tea set to practice pouring water.

 

Monkey also loved painting! She wanted to paint faces.

 

Monkey had a BIG week in the school room last week. First, after learning the "t" sound (making her repertoire "a", "e", "s", "m", and "t"), she learned to read her first sentence--"meet Sam at mass". She was so proud of herself!

 

And then later this week, she started learning how to read her very first book--the "Mat" book from the Bob Books set.

 

Monkey working with the "5 beads" to learn counting by 5's.

 

Monkey went above and beyond with the beads though. While I was making lunch, I saw that she was making her own math problems (she had just watched Jedi doing math). She would write the numbers on a piece of paper, add the beads to the paper, and then answer the problem. So, I heard her saying things like "8 beads plus 1 bead equals....9 beads!" She made up a ton of math problems.

 

Bug working with the magneatos

 

Pin punching with the metal insets

 

The girls also worked on "heavy vs light". Using their meta & wooden scale from their toy kitchen, they tried balancing the scale by putting different toys and objects in each bowl.

 

The girls LOVED excavating toys out of blocks of ice. They used salt, chisels, hammers, and spoons to see if they could free the toys.

 

Monkey using a hammer and chisel to get the toys out.

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Montessori Monday December 5, 2011

 

This will be our last school related set of posts for 2011.  We start our school year in June and work through most of the summer and fall so that we can take an extended winter break.  We are actually leaving for a trip to Florida, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize–we are so excited to have the opportunity to do that!  And of course, we’ll take the holidays off school as well.  We may do a little bit between Christmas and New Years, but Jedi has 600 hours of school completed already for the year, so we’re well ahead of schedule.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re completely done with learning.  We started doing the Teach Your Child to Read In 100 Easy Lessons with Monkey–it seems to be working a lot better than the Montessori methods with her autism.  We do that every single day of the week, and so we’re going to continue it even while on vacation.  I also still have work on the shelves, so while we’re home, there is plenty that we can do together (I recently moved our school room up to our formal living room so that we’re not in the basement during the cold part of the year.  It’s actually nice to have the school shelves up on our main living levels because we can do even more schoolwork throughout the day.

Here are some pictures from Bug & Monkey’s week in the schoolroom.

This was Bug's favorite work of the week--decorating a mini tree!

 

She did this work for hours!

 

The girls painting

 

Monkey really enjoys working with numbers, so we pulled out this work for her.

 

Practicing her M and S writing

 

Bug working with the wooden nativity

 

The clothespins had sparkly pom poms on them. Bug used these to decorate the felt tree

 

Using tweezers to put yellow yarn (hay) into the toilet paper roll manger.

 

Adding the clothespin "baby Jesus"

 

Monkey working with the Christmas Story cards

 

Holy Family 3 part cards

 

Close-up of the cards

 

Lacing Snowman

 

Using a spoon to scoop stars from one cup to the other

 

Bug working with the Christmas Story character cards

 

Gluing pom pom decorations to the paper tree

 

Monkey working with the Teen Board

 

We also celebrated our 100th day at homeschool by making 100-piece-trailmix. Each kid put 10 pieces of 10 different foods in their snack bowl--banana slices, marshmellows, popcorn, raisins, fruit nuggets, pretzels, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and cereal

 

Jedi making his trail mix

 

We have 2 Christmas trees in our house--a big one that is our main tree and this little tiny tree we had one year while living in an apartment waiting for our house to be built. The kids have free reign over decorating the little tree

 

Monkey using the Fisher Price nativity

 

Montessori Monday November 1, 2011

 

Heeey, made it under the wire this week! 😉  But at least I am posting Montessori Monday on the right day this week…

This past week has been a whirlwind at our house.  Both Jedi and Monkey are in the middle of their IEP process, and so there are a lot of appointments, meetings, and evaluations going on.  Monkey had an occupational therapy evaluation this past week as part of her autism diagnosis and we learned a lot of really interesting things…a lot of it gave us some insight into some of the difficulties Monkey’s been having.  We still have a few more questions, but at least now, we’re on a good path.  It is forcing us to look ahead to next fall when Monkey starts kindergarten.  We will likely be transitioning out of the pure Montessori-based homeschooling and get into a little more structure, simply because we not only need to accurately assess where Monkey is due to some deficits and difficulties she has, but she needs a bit more structure.  So, if anyone out there has a really good kindergarten curriculum, let me know!  We need it to have a strong multi-sensory and hands-on approach (as little verbal information as possible since one of her main deficits is auditory processing).  We are also Roman Catholic, and so if the curriculum is not secular, we’d like it to at least be Catholic-friendly. 🙂  Let me know any suggestions you might have!

And on to the review of Monkey and Bitty Bug’s week!

One of Bug and Monkey's favorite works--using tweezers to pluck the kernels off of the Indian Corn

 

Using the dot markers to make orange, yellow, and red "leaves" on the coffee filter tree

 

The girls using watercolor paints

 

Matching the mineral to the card

 

I found these cute little bead sets at Mich@els. Bug and Monkey loved stringing the Halloween beads onto the elastic to make their own necklaces!

 

This clay is some black sand clay I made for Jedi to use for one of his projects. Monkey took the rest, pretended to knead it into a loaf of bread, and then practiced her cutting.

 

Bug beading her necklace

 

Montessori Monday June 27, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 4 months old

 

Since this past week was the start of summer, we changed the Spring Tree to a Summer Tree.

Bug putting leaves on the tree as well.

The finished tree

Monkey practicing writing the names of animals.

Using the knobbed cylinders--this was her first time using all four at once.

Monkey was working on being able to retell a story. She is really into the princess stories right now, so she worked on a felt board of Sleeping Beauty.

Monkey is making patterns with the pattern beads.

We were talking about spiders this week, so the girls made spider web paintings. We coated a marble with white paint and then rolled it around on black paper.

Here, she was putting together the alphabet dragon. She recognized every letter and put them in order without help!

Pin punching the China puzzle piece

Making Chinese fans out of popsicle sticks and construction paper.

Monkey's final product!

 

Toddler Tuesday April 19, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 1:16 pm
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Bitty Bug is 2 years 3 months old

Here are a couple pictures of Bug working in the school room this week!

Bitty Bug is still loving the craft time. She worked very hard meticulously placing feathers on her cardinal!

She also loved working in the sensory bin. She was arranging flowers in the small flower pots for quite some time!

While this work was intended to be a tonging work, Bug decided that she wanted to work on opening & closing the eggs, and matching the halves together by colors. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised...she has been on a huge color kick lately!

Here, Bug is attempting to thread the large buttons onto the shoelaces. This was still very hard for her to do, but she did actually get the string through the button holes!

Bug was really proud of herself when she finally learned to snip paper with scissors. She concentrated very hard on this work, and was so careful to keep her fingers out of the way. She was really impressed with the power she had to change the paper from a straight piece of paper, to a paper full of little cuts.

 

Toddler Tuesday February 15, 2011

 

Bitty Bug is 25 months old

For those who are linking up to Toddler Tuesday for the first time or who haven’t visited my blog before, welcome!  Feel free to comment, ask questions, and join in the conversation! 🙂

Like Monkey, Bitty Bug got out of her routine of having good work times in the school room.  Obviously, it wasn’t such a big deal to have  her not be down there–the only reason she is in the school room is because Monkey’s down there.  However, towards the end of the week, she was really getting into the work set out on the shelves. 

One of the biggest things we’re working with is trying to get Monkey to put her things back on the shelf.  If it was up to her, she’d just toss everything on the floor when she was done.  Clearly, that’s not such a grand plan. 😉   So, a lot of my time is spent going back behind Monkey and assisting her in learning how to clean up her work space and put her items back on the shelf.  I’d like to think we were making progress with that, but alas, I’m not sure we are.  In time, in time….  But in the mean time, there is a whole lot of me down on my knees (not to beg… LOL!  Just so I can be at her eye level), guiding her hands and modeling the appropriate conclusion to each activity.

When I wasn’t following behind the human tornado (and I mean that as lovingly as possible…), I did manage to snap a few pictures!

Using the dusting mitts to clean off the top of the shelves (while she doesn't like to put her work back on the shelves, she sure does like dusting!)

Bug really liked the seashell matching game. She wasn't really able to match up the pictures just yet, but she did love exploring all of the different shells and starfish.

As always, Bug *loves* to be a one man band!

Bug also liked this fishing puzzle. And much to my surprise, she was very good at putting the pieces back into the puzzle, even though there was no obvious guide, other than shape. I was really impressed at her work with the puzzle!

Her favorite work is still the beach sand box. She loves using the tongs to get the animals and the spoon to scoop the sand.

Working with the counting beads again. She's getting really good at sorting the colors and counting the beads!

Another sorting and color work. This one was a bit tricky for her because she had to line each shape up with the pegs. She eventually got all except the triangles on right!

If you did any learning activities with your toddler this week, please add the direct link to your post when linking up to Toddler Tuesday!