Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday November 22, 2011


Yes, I realize I still have a blog post list a mile long to catch up on.  But, like most of you, this time of year is extremely busy.  As you know, we just got home from Washington DC a few weeks ago.  This weekend, we were in Kentucky visiting family, and later this week, we’ll be up near Cleveland visiting more family.  Then a couple weeks after that, we’ll be out of the country, and shortly after we return, we’ll be in Michigan visiting another set of family.  When we are home, homeschooling and the 15+ hours a week of autism therapies take over, leaving very little blogging time.  So, while part 1 of Jedi’s cake is baking in the oven (he turns 8 years old on Wednesday!), I am attempting to chip away at the ever-growing blogging list. 🙂

Here is a review of some of the things Bug and Monkey have done in the Montessori room.  Most of it is Thanksgiving themed. 🙂

Monkey and Bug gluing feathers onto a turkey


The finished product!


Matching colored buttons to turkeys of different colors


This work is good for both naming colors and fine motor--each colored feather has a space on the turkey.


I made this felt cornucopia last year and brought it back out. The girls still love taking all of the foods out and stuffing them back in!


Bug working on the 3 part sequencing cards

Bug and Monkey hammering with the cork & shapes work


And just like any other meal, Thanksgiving dinner can easily involve kids of all ages in the prepwork. Here, Bug (age 2) and Jedi (age 7) are using knives (butter knives) to cut bread cubes for stuffing.


This was Bug's favorite job--mashing the sweet potatoes! She loved doing this work and was very disappointed when it was time to stop smashing and start cooking them!


Toddler Tuesday April 12, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 2:47 am
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Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

Like Monkey, Bitty Bug is really into the nature-based lessons.  And even more than that, she’s into the crafts that go along with the nature-based lessons!  I swear, I’ve never seen a happier kid in the world than Bug is when you put a bottle of glue in her hand.  This kid’s in heaven when she’s working on a craft project!  She definitely takes after her big brother (who frequently likes to remind people that he is an artist. LOL!).  Most of my pictures of Bug for the week involve her doing some type of craft project…

The supplies for making birds nests. A bowl for the nest form, paper and string for the nest material, and little white pom poms for the eggs.

Bug and Monkey working on their nests.

Matching feathers by color

Doing crayon rubbings of feathers


Toddler Tuesday April 5, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

As I mentioned yesterday, we did a unit on snakes and other reptiles last week.  Bitty Bug didn’t want to sit and listen to the stories, so I assumed she just wasn’t paying attention.  Imagine my surprise when a few days later, she was reciting simple facts she must have overheard from the books I was reading!  It just goes to show you that toddlers are always learning, and for better or worse they are *always* listening ( 😉 LOL!)

Here are some pictures from Bug’s learning this week….

Bug really likes working with these beads! She works on them for a long time almost every session.

While Monkey was using the metal insets for pre-writing practice, Bug was using them to practice her shape naming, shape matching, and pincher grasp skills.

Building towers with the knobless cylinders

Bug also really really loves to do this, and she will often do it independently. She loves taking this book about bunnies matching colors of paint, and put the color tablets on the correct colors in the book.

She even decided to put a black tablet on the black type!

Pouring glass pebbles between multiple cups


Toddler Tuesday (on Wednesday) March 16, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 2:21 pm
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Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

Yesterday got away from me pretty fast apparently!  So, here’s Toddler Tuesday, a day late. 😉

Bug was *all* about the different colors this past week. She's actually really good at naming most of her colors (Brown trips her up sometimes, but other than that, she usually can name all of them). However, she was a bit disappointed that color box 3 was not appropriate for her age. She really wanted to make a "sunshine". So, I helped her make one with color box 2--I did the initial circle, and she matched all the colors.

Color Box 2 came back out while we were reading a story about matching colors.

Bug also liked matching the baric tablets and telling me which things were cold, and which were warm.

Bug and Monkey working on the sound cylinders together.


Toddler Tuesday February 22, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:34 pm
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Bitty Bug is 25 months old

I don’t have much of a commentary for Toddler Tuesday because I just wrote it all on my Montessori Monday blog post.

But, I do need some help from the techy people out there…  To get the link-up posted, I use the Inlinkz website.  They have two different formats–one for self-hosted blogs and one for wordpress hosted blogs…mine is a self-hosted blog, *but* the format for that doesn’t seem to be working.  I can’t get the linkup to show up directly in the blog post.  I have to end up using the wordpress hosted format, and I don’t really like that.  So, does anyone know how to get it to show up?  It has something to do with the JavaScript settings, but as far as I can tell, those are working correctly?

Now, back to Toddler Tuesday…

Musings of Me had a fantastic Valentine's Day unit posted on her site, and as part of the unit, there was this lovely color mat. So, I found some of our foam stickers that matched the colors of the heart, and had Bug match colors. She did *very* well matching her colors! She could also name every single one of them!

 (For this unit, visit Musings of Me at !)

Also from Musings of Me's Valentine's Day unit...matching hearts by size. Bug also did really well with this too...and named the hearts "mama", "big girl", and "baby". LOL!


From 1+1+1=1, this lovebug matching game. Bug really enjoyed this work. It was a little challenging because she had to look at the details for some of them (like the heart shaped bug), but she was able to match all of them. It was really fun watching her put one in the wrong place (based on a similar detail) and then towards the end, realizing that it wasn't right and changing it all by herself!

 (For this printout, visit !)

Looking at a book on mixing colors

Riding her plasma car in the driveway. Bug *loves loves loves* her plasma car (she rides on it like a riding toy and not like the plasma car is supposed to be ridden like, but she really loves it!). It's her go-to activity every time she gets to play outside.

If you did any Toddler learning activities with your tot this week, feel free to link up here! 🙂


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!