Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

FIAR: The Story About Ping June 21, 2012

Filed under: Kindergarten — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:58 am
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Last week, Monkey worked on The Story About Ping as part of the Five in a Row curriculum.  Truth be told, this was never one of my favorite children’s books.  The whole idea of a story where ducks get spanked being last (because there will always be one that is last!) never really sat well with me.  But, the unit ended up being a really fun one.

Monkey looked through this book on China, where the story took place.

 

Monkey also used chopsticks to transfer pom poms from one bowl to the other.

 

We discussed the technique the illustrator used in the book to draw the pictures. Then Monkey used similar techniques to color her own illustration from Ping.

 

We lined up a block for each of pings mother, father, 2 sisters, 3 brothers, 42 cousins, and himself. There were a LOT of ducks that lived in Ping’s boat!

 

We studied buoyancy by finding out what objects would sink and what objects would float.

 

Monkey working on sink vs. float

 

Monkey wanted to make a boat as well, so we took an empty milk carton and made a boat.

 

We also went camping this weekend and found some ducks to feed…the kids were still in their pjs when we found the ducks, but they still had a lot of fun feeding them!

 

Feeding the ducks early in the morning.

 

 

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!

 

2nd Grade Week in Review June 25, 2011

Here is what Jedi worked on this past week.

Life Science: This week in life science, Jedi learned about cells.  We talked about the difference between animal and plant cells, as well as learned the various parts of a cell.  He looked at various animal and plant cells under a microscope.  He also made models of animal cells and plant cells out of jello…the animal cell was jello in a round pan with a strawberry nucleus.  The plant cell was jello in a square dish with a strawberry nucleus and green grape chloroplasts.

Observing the outside of an egg

Observing the inside of an egg, and learning the parts of an egg (shell, white, yolk, blastodisc, chalaza)

Looking at plant & animal cells under the microscope

Mixing the jello

Cutting the grapes and strawberries for his science project

The final product!

Fully labeled

Earth Science: In earth science, he learned about weather changes.  Some of the weather changes Jedi learned about were humidity, storms, and temperature changes.  It seems really fitting that this week, we saw temperatures near 90, into the low 60’s, with plenty of storms and humidity!

Math: In math, Jedi did a lot of work with math equations that equal 10.  He learned to create these equations three ways: using an abacus, playing cards, and a math balance.  We also used a deck of cards from 1-9, 4 of each card, to play an adaptation of “Go Fish” where a match was considered to be two cards that add up 10.

Geography: We finished our unit on China this week.  Jedi learned about the various animals in China.  We also played with tangrams, made a Chinese fan, and made a meal of Chinese food (& ate with chopsticks!)

Playing tangrams

Working on his Animals of China report

Chinese food lunch!

World History: In World History, we discussed the first modern man, and the development of villages of people.  We talked about early houses and caves.  Jedi made a “cave painting” out of brown paper and paint.  He also learned about the fertile crescent and mapped out the fertile crescent, the surrounding seas, and the city of Jericho.

Making his cave painting

Ohio History: In Ohio History, Jedi learned about the ice age when Ohio was covered by ice.  He learned about the mastodons that used to live in Ohio, as well as the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth.  This coming week, we are going to take a field trip to see the mastodon skeleton that is on display in Columbus.

Writing: For his journaling this week, Jedi had to write a persuasive paper arguing why he should get a cell phone (he really wants one, but we won’t allow him to have one yet).  Then we worked together to edit it for spelling and punctuation.

Art: In art, he used a pencil to draw a real life scene, including details.  He chose to draw his fire bellied toads.  He also used watercolor crayons to draw an experience he had, and in particular, he needed to focus on the feelings and emotions during the experience.  He chose to draw a scene in the library where a  young child saw a spider and was scared.

Making a sketch of his frogs

Music: We continued our work with Bach this week.  I went on YouTube and found a bunch of adaptations of Bach’s music.  All three kids had ribbons and playsilks and moved to the music according to how the music made them feel.

PE: Jedi did 3 hours of Tang Soo Do this week

Health: In health, we read social stories about taking showers and washing hair.  We also worked on acting out various emotions.

Sewing his puppet that we use during health to act out various scenarios

English: In English, we discussed how to make contractions, as well as how to add the suffix ‘ing’.

Spelling: We decided to add a new spelling curriculum in order to help Jedi overcome his difficulties in this area.  We began All About Spelling.  This week, we went through all of the letter sounds in the alphabet to see which one he was able to make the pure sound for.  Jedi had already mastered most of them, which I expected, but we did find 10 or so that he had difficulty with.  This week, we will begin reviewing the ones he needs more help with.

Jedi decided that he wanted to go in the garden and taste every herb too

29 hours complete out of 900 required hours

 

Jedi's first week of homeschooling June 18, 2011

I decided that while Jedi’s homeschooling isn’t so interesting to look at visually, I was still going to keep a blog record of what we did.  This might become helpful at the end of the year when I have to pull together a portfolio for his yearly evaluation for the school district (and it also might be helpful when I have to work with the district to create his IEP for the year).  I will throw in a few pictures for good measure though. 😉

Life Science

We learned about the difference between living & nonliving, as well as the characteristics all living things share.  Jedi also did a plot study, where he went out to study a 4’x4′ square of land.  Jedi decided to study an area of land with a recently planted evergreen tree in it, just thinking it was a tree and a small bit of grass.  However, following a little trail of fluff in the tree, he discovered a hidden empty bird’s nest!  The coolest part about the bird’s nest?  The bird who made it recycled some bubble wrap, string, landscaping fabric, and other odd pieces of trash it somehow got ahold of.  Very very creative!

Observing a tree inside of the plot

The nest he found hidden in the tree.

The odd materials on the underside of the nest.

Chemistry

In Chemistry, Jedi learned that everything is made of chemicals.  He then looked at the ingredient list on a bag of marshmellows and a bottle of dish detergent and listed the chemicals in each that he had heard of before, and those he had not.  Finally, he named chemicals that were usually safe, some that are dangerous, and some that we use on a daily basis.

Math

Math was one of the two subjects Jedi really seemed to struggle with after leaving his Montessori school.  At the end of kindergarten, he was one of the top of his class in math.  However, at the end of 1st grade, his standardized testing done as part of his autism treatments showed that he never progressed at all in math, nor spelling…he was testing at almost the same  level a year later.  So, we are really trying to figure out what might help him here.  We started Rightstart Math, which uses the Asian way of counting (10, 10-1, 10-2, etc. (10, 11, 12), 2-10, 2-10-1, 2-10-2 (20, 21, 22).  He seemed to catch on to that way of counting.  We also discussed parallel lines, recognizing how many are in small groups of objects (1-10) without having to count, and using an abacus.

Geography

In Geography, we started a 2 week study of China.  Jedi, along with the girls, learned how to say hello & goodbye in Chinese, listened to children’s music in Mandarin, and colored the Chinese flag.  Jedi created math problems using Chinese symbols.  Finally, he created a replica of the Great Wall using mini foam building blocks.

Starting his project.

He worked for 3 straight hours, refusing to take a break! The finished Great Wall

Another view of his project

Coloring the flags

Studying what life in China is like for children.

World History

This week was just an intro week, where Jedi learned about the study of ancient history, and in particular the study of archaeology.  He learned how historians can figure out about ancient civilizations even though ways of recording history were not readily available.

Working on his History Pocket for this week

Ohio History

This week, he learned about the Ohio flag, and how it is differs from other state flags in the fact that it’s not a rectangle or square!

Writing

This week, Jedi journaled about what he’d do if he woke up and found out that he was president of the United States.  Because spelling is very difficult, we also worked a bit on editing his work.

Working hard on his journaling.

 

English

We decided to use McRuffy Press for Phonics, Reading, Language, and Spelling.  Jedi learned about prefixes, suffixes, and contractions.  He really seemed to like contractions, as well as finding the root word of words that had prefixes & suffixes.  He did seem to have a very hard time with the spelling aspect though, and we’re currently trying to do a bit more research into the most appropriate way to help him with spelling.  He was taught to spell phonetically, which would be great, except he had auditory processing & speech issues.  So, his spelling is exactly how he hears it, which sometimes is quite a ways away from the actual spelling.  While Jedi’s reading level is over the 3rd grade level, his spelling is at the early 1st grade level, which is quite frustrating for him.  Hopefully we figure something out in the next couple weeks that can help him.

Art

This, by far, was one of Jedi’s favorite subjects.  The first day, he had to sketch something that happened the day before using a graphite pencil & sketch pad.  The second art day, he created a work using watercolor crayons.  He was supposed to remember an event that he felt joyful at, and then use his imagination to find a way to color that scene so that it portrayed his excitement without words.

Using the watercolor crayons.

Music

Day 1 of music each week involves listening to and learning about a famous composer.  This week, it was Bach.  Jedi learned about Bach’s life, and listened to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

Day 2 of music each week involves learning some beginner piano.  This week, he learned the proper hand positioning, where middle C was on the piano, and learned a simple exercise using all of the black keys of the piano.

Working on his playing exercise.

Health

Jedi’s health curriculum is twofold.  First, we use a social stories book for children with autism on personal hygiene.  Second, we use Horizon’s health curriculum.  This week, we learned about how each person is unique, and begun work on feelings.  Because feelings, and especially recognizing the feelings of oneself and others, can be difficult for a child with autism, we are taking an extra lesson to work on this.

 

Not bad for the first week!  It was a lot of work, but Jedi was so willing to do it (honeymoon period!).  He was anxious to get to work each day, and for the most part, it was difficult to get him to quit.  We certainly are going to take advantage of this honeymoon period willingness! 😉