Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday August 15, 2011


Monkey is 4 years 6 months old

This week, we followed up on our zoo field trip by putting out several works related to zoo animals.  Both Bug and Monkey *loved* this, and they just love animals.  It also worked out well that we are studying South Africa as part of our geography unit, and thus also studying Africa, and African animals!

To help Monkey with her alphabet, I found this *fabulous* product called “The SENSEational Alphabet” by http://www.sensesationalalphabet.com/ .  This book is absolutely wonderful, especially for those children who may have sensory issues, learning disabilities, or other issues.  With Monkey’s soon-to-be likely diagnosis of autism, along with her sensory issues, this book really helps her learn the way she learns best.  This book hits so many different learning styles–the letter is written on each page, there is a button where the name of the letter and an example of a word starting with that letter are pronounced, each letter is written in Braille, then there is an object on each page to look at.  Often, these objects either have something to smell or something to touch/manipulate.  So, for example, for the letter A, she would see “Aa” and a picture of an apple (which happens to have some tactile texture to it for her to feel), then she could press the red button to hear the “A, a, Apple”.  Then, if she knew Braille (which she doesn’t. LOL!), she could also feel the letter A that way.

Bug and Monkey working with the SENSEational Alphabet book.

 

To go along with the zoo field trip from last week, I put these animal ice cube trays out, with a zoo themed set of chopsticks. The chopsticks are used to put a pom pom into each opening in the tray.

 

We try to coordinate Jedi's geography lessons with the girls, so we have a shelf out to focus on South Africa (and in the continent of Africa as well. I have several books on Africa and South Africa, the language card for South Africa, some wooden animal masks from Africa, some musical instruments, and some small stuffed animals that were purchased from a friend who went to Ethiopia.

 

Using the sandpaper numerals to count zoo animals

 

Monkey working with the African animals

 

Close-up of the animal masks

 

Monkey as a zebra

 

Bug with the musical instruments

 

Monkey working with the trinomial cube

 

Taking a break from the school room to play in the water from the rain garden

 

Using the water to water the flowers

 

A butterfly in the rain garden that monkey found

 

Monkey and Jedi making Vietnamese Summer Rolls for dinner one night

 

Working with the zoo animal three part cards

 

Monkey putting South African traditional dress onto the African paper dolls

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Montessori Monday August 9, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 6 months old

This week has been a rather interesting week for Monkey, primarily outside of the schoolroom.  As you might remember, Monkey has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder with Selective Mutism.  As you also might remember, we had noticed several cognitive difficulties popping up that were making learning difficult for her.  Well, this past week, we took her back to her former therapist (who happens to be Jedi’s autism therapist), and he has decided to have her assessed for an autism spectrum disorder as well.  If she does have a form of ASD, we would not be surprised, given how similar symptoms of RAD are to ASD.  What does make it surprising is that Monkey will not only have the exact same allergies as the other kids, but will also have the same developmental issues…keeping in mind, Monkey is not biologically related to our other children, this is quite interesting (and somewhat concerning…).  Anyhow, these evaluations should take several weeks, but hopefully we’ll have a better idea of how to help Monkey soon.

In the mean time, we’re doing a lot of trial and error with her.  Since Jedi has autism, we do have several resources under our belt to help academically, socially, and emotionally–it’s just a matter of pinning down what the exact issues are.

And on to what you really came to see….Monkey’s week in review.

Monkey looking at the "forest in a box"...it has various objects that you might find in the forest--bark, acorns, bird egg, cocoon, porcupine quill, etc.

 

Dot painting...one of her favorite activities!

 

Working on the alphabet puzzle

 

Working with the knobbed cylinder

 

Monkey begged to use clay this week, so I brought out the new tub. She *loved* it!

 

Zoo animal-themed pom poms for 1 to 1 transferring

 

Summer themed tonging exercise--moving the bugs/flowers/lizards from the fish tray to the vase

 

Monkey using the spoon to scoop rice

 

Working with the binomal cube--Monkey can do this really quickly now! We'll be bringing out the trinomial cube this week as a result.

 

Working with the tonging activity

 

Montessori in the kitchen...Bug washing tomatoes and Monkey cutting them up to make tomato sauce

 

Monkey cutting the tomatoes

 

Bug washing the tomatoes

 

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

 

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!

 

Learning on Vacation July 13, 2011

As you all know, last week, we were not in the school room.  We took a week off of all schooling to attend the Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnamese Culture Camp in New York.  Since Monkey is adopted from Vietnam, we decided that it would be good to attend the camp and meet others who were also adopted from Vietnam.  We had a wonderful time, and are so thankful to have the opportunity to meet some wonderful new friends, and the awesome counselors who have become excellent role models for our little one.

But just because we weren’t in the school room, that doesn’t mean the kids didn’t spend the week learning!

They did nature studies.... Creeking at the waterfall we found during a hike up one of the mountains in the Catskills of New York.

 

They played games with the other kids....

 

They learned to speak some Vietnamese (numbers, animals, basic greetings) along with learning some of the legends and myths from Vietnam.

 

They made a lot of new friends from all over the world!

 

They learned to cook Vietnamese Salad Rolls & Vietnamese Bun Cha.

 

Bug enjoyed destroying her salad roll. 😉

 

They participated in a culture show where they had to get on stage and say some words in Vietnamese.

 

They made some new friends and had a lot of fun with them!

 

All three kids had fun at culture camp with new friends.

 

After Culture Camp, we drove from New York to New Jersey for a brief American History lesson. They got to see the early stages of one of the 9/11 memorials.

 

They also got to see the New York city skyline

 

...and learned about what happened on September 11th and why the United States was looking for Osama bin Laden.

 

They all got to ride a ferry to Liberty Island

 

...and were able to see Ellis Island. We talked about what it means to be an American Citizen. This was an important lesson for our family, considering one of our children immigrated to the United States.

 

Finally, the kids were able to visit the Statue of Liberty.

 

It was a beautiful day...perfect for teaching the kids about the gift of freedom!

 

Montessori Monday April 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, there are a lot of pictures to post, so I’ll just let those tell the story, instead of coming up with an opening commentary.  I will say that our unit last week was ‘eggs’…and it’s amazing what 2 egg-allergic kids can still learn about eggs without ever touching an egg. LOL!

As part of the oil spill project we did last week, I also put out various shells and sea life pieces for the kids to explore.

Working with the metal insets

As part of the egg unit, we wanted to learn about hatching chicken eggs. However, it probably isn't the best idea to raise a chicken egg in our basement or keep a chicken outside in our suburban backyard (that has coyotes and deed restrictions against keeping chickens!). So, this is the next best thing we could find...it has a different egg you break open for every day of the 22 day cycle of a chicken egg. Each day, you see what's going on inside the egg.

The box for the Chick Life Cycle kit in case anyone out there wants to learn about chickens but can't really raise them in their backyard!

The chart I have on our white board to show the kids when we should expect our egg to "hatch"

Tonging easter eggs into a carton

Parts of an egg 3 part cards

Putting red and black feathers on a black line drawing of the cardinal (Ohio's state bird)

Some of the books we used this week

Decorating paper easter eggs to hang on the spring tree

Putting the eggs on the tree

Egg on the tree

Tonging the eggs

The girls also made egg shaped jello jigglers (and of course, Monkey hated them because she doesn't eat anything squishy. Oops.)

Mixing the water and mix

Pouring the mix

Cleaning the spill

Making a red clay bowl with white eggs

Bug decided to stack all her eggs up into one big tower

Monkey wanted her eggs all different sizes

All of the bowls of eggs, waiting to go to the oven to harden

 

Welcome back! January 11, 2011

Welcome back to the new Barefoot in Suburbia montessori homeschooling blog!  It might take me awhile to archive some of the most popular posts, but my old site is still online.  So, until then, here are a few of the most popular posts!

A tour of our Montessori Homeschooling room as of 6/2010
Our Montessori Peace Table to help curb the fighting among the children
Our (successful) attempt at cooking cookies & hotdogs using solar power on a hot summer day.
Holy Family & Advent downloads
Homemade geo board
Cooking with Tots!
Snack Table

Click to go back to the original Barefoot in Suburbia Montessori blog

 

Montessori Monday October 24, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, we had another batch of new work out.  Monkey is really getting into the geography work now that the sandpaper globe and landform cards are out.  She is also really loving the pre-writing work.  She likes the pin punch work a lot!  She has really good control with the stylus and is so careful making the dots!

Another fun thing we got to do this week is make vanilla extract using fresh vanilla beans!  I poured the liquor into the jars, but both girls had fun putting the beans in the jars, and then shaking the mixture!

A new thing we put out this week is the yoga basket. It has a couple yoga mats in it, as well as some laminated pictures of children doing yoga poses. Monkey will get out 4-6 cards, lay them in a row, and then do the sequence, with a couple deep breaths during each pose.

Using the land form cards and the sandpaper globe

Coloring the world map (the water is colored blue and the land is colored brown). I colored a control card and laminated it so that she had something to make the world self-correcting.

Starting to use the metal insets. She didn't want to sit up at the table to do it though, which is something she should probably work towards doing soon. But for now this was her writing pose of choice.

Monkey really liked working with the spelling toy I put down on the shelves. We've had this one for quite awhile, but it was packed up when we moved, and it took a long time for me to unpack it again! She really enjoyed working with it though, so it will stay out on the shelves for now.

The ingredients for vanilla sugar and vanilla extract (yeah, not sure there are too many homeschoolers that get to work with vodka and rum during lessons. 😉 But, the end product will be really good, I'm sure!

Bug putting the vanilla bean into the jar of sugar.

Shaking the jar.

Putting the beans into the liquor for extract.

More beans going into the jars of liquor.