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

 

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!

 

Toddler Tuesday July 5, 2011

 

 
Bitty Bug is 2 years 5 months old

 

Bug still loves all art projects, so I set up a 'firework painting' station. To make the fireworks, she dipped the big puffballs into the paint.

 

Bug making fireworks

 

Putting pipe cleaners in the holes of a spice jar

 

Bug still loves working with these beads!

 

Playing with the Russian dolls

 

Using the tongs to put the fireworks in the cookie tin

 

Working with the shapes board

 

Bug wanted to join Jedi for some outdoor sketching.

 

 

 

Montessori Monday June 20, 2011

 

Monkey is 4 years 4 months old

Monkey was really excited to get back into the school room this week.  She also seemed to gravitate towards the craft works (which, I suppose most kids would! 😉 ).  It does seem more difficult to get her to try any of the sensorial…she loves practical life, art, and writing, but really seems to avoid sensorial.  I wonder if her history of sensory processing disorder plays a roll in that?

We did a lot with ladybugs and bees this week. Here is monkey using tempura paint to make ladybug rocks.

 

I found this counting exercise at kidssoup.com. On each page is a ladybug and a number, and I had Monkey draw the number of dots on the ladybug as the number represented. To help with self correction, I drew the correct number of dots below the ladybug.

 

Lifecycle of a butterfly tray

 

Using the dot markers to decorate a butterfly

 

Ladybug puzzle

 

Life cycle of a butterfly cards

 

Making father's day cards out of collage materials

 

Pinching clothes pins onto a basket

 

Using the numerals & counters

 

Monkey with the feather she found outside

 

Playing with wax sticks (we were learning about bees, and the two main products from bees--wax & honey. That morning, they had honey on their toast too! 😉 )

 

Making a honeycomb

 

Montessori Monday (A day late) February 22, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 0 months old

Last week was a fun week around here.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day week (so lots of pink and red and glittery heart crafts & activities), but Ohio finally got a peek at spring.  It was lovely weather, between 50-65 all week long.  There was lots of time to go out and play, take walks, and enjoy the outdoor world.  Of course, that came to a screeching halt this week, with new ice storms, but really, when you get a week of spring weather in mid-February, you can’t complain.  😉  It just has us all looking forward to when spring is finally here!

Both Monkey and Bug did a lot of great work in the schoolroom too, but I tried not to interrupt them by taking too many pictures.  So, both Montessori Monday and Toddler Tuesday will be a little sparce on pictures this week–just what I could get without interrupting their concentration.

Working with the sandpaper numbers. To help her with self-correction, I made each group of objects a different color so that she could easily see what each numeral stood for. Sometimes she has trouble with skipping over numbers, so this seemed to help her. (She is having problems with recognition of each number though...we're working on that!)

Valentine's Day 3 part cards from Musings of Me.

Matching & folding socks basket in practical life

Parts of a Turtle puzzle

And of course, enjoying the beautiful weather outside!

 

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!



 

Montessori Monday November 14, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 9 months old

It’s hard to believe that we’re already 3 months into the school year, and the winter holidays are getting closer.  On one hand, it seems like we’ve just barely gotten started, but on the other hand, Monkey’s done so much and accomplished so many things in just 3 months.  It’s amazing to see this process every day. 

It feels like we’re finally making headway on the colors thing.  She’s been able to match them for months, but because of her processing issues, she has such a hard time naming colors.  She’s finally getting a couple of them, which is huge!  And once she got those, it seemed like she was then ready for so much more–for starting to learn her letters and numbers, etc.  She’s been so interested in those the past couple weeks.

Monkey also did really well with her Vietnamese lessons this week.  She learned the words for ‘baby’, ‘mama’, ‘daddy’, ‘hi’, ‘goodbye’, ‘fish’, ‘ball’, and ‘swim’.  She also learned the first couple lines of a song.  She was pretty shy for her tutor, but on the way home, she started repeating the words.  This week, I made her 3 part cards of the words she learned–that way she learns to read the words in Vietnamese (and it also helps me to remember the words as well. LOL!)

Here are some pictures from this week…

Sorting feathers by color

Using the hammering work to hammer shapes into the piece of cork

This was really really cool! The Olivia book was sitting next to her, and she decided to find letters to match the word Olivia and hammer them in. We were all really impressed by this!

Working with the geometric cabinet, drawer 1. Here she's tracing the outside, and then she traces the inset before matching them together.

This was something I came up with after seeing a printable on dltk-holidays.com. I printed the turkey color card from that site, then I laminated it. Monkey puts a colored button on each turkey (green buttons on the green turkeys, brown buttons on the brown turkeys, etc.) Then she counted the number of buttons for each color.

 

Learning how to set a table. I printed off a template for setting a table from the Martha Stewart site, and then taped it to the lid of the box that held the table setting work. She used that as a guide for setting the items on her work table.

Sorting items into "living" and "non-living". We talked about how living things eat/need nutrients and/or water, grow, and reproduce. For the rest of the week, every time we were in the car, she'd ask if various things she could see out the window were living or non-living, so I'd ask her if they ate, grew, and reproduced. She thought that was a pretty fun question game to play during car trips this week.

Polishing silver. I made a silver polish out of baking soda and water, so that it was completely non-toxic (Bitty Bug wanted to work with it too, so I had to make it completely non-toxic so that she wouldn't get sick if she tried licking it or something). I also set out a dish to hold the polish, a tooth brush, a soft sponge, and a wash cloth. She's polishing the goblets from my husband and my wedding (almost 8 years ago--we've never gotten around to polishing them!)

The 3 part cards I made after Monkey's weekly Vietnamese lesson with her tutor.

 

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Tot School Tuesday November 9, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:52 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21.5 months old

Bitty Bug continues to gain a fierce sense of independence (except of course when you bring her into a room full of people she doesn’t really know…then she curls up and gets shy. 😉 ).  But, she is getting very good at telling you what she wants, telling you that she wants to do it herself, and telling you when she feels wronged.  And to a toddler with two older siblings, she feels wronged a lot…like any time they have something really cool in their hands that she really really wants at that moment.  So, this week has been a week where Miss Bug learns some frustration tolerance, sharing, and how to deal with her big emotions.  That’s a big job for any child, but when you’re a little toddler with a limited vocabulary, that can be very hard.  So, we’ve seen a lot of tantrums this week, but we’ve also seen a lot of progress where she comes right to us and tells us what’s wrong.  It might be hard to understand what she’s saying, especially when she’s so upset, but she’s trying really hard to express herself!

Here are some pictures of Bug’s week of learning….

Bug enjoyed a warm fall day by playing with sidewalk chalk with Monkey

Our little One Woman Band! Bug did a lot of exploring the various instruments in the music cupboard to see how the various instruments could be used together.

Working with the Autumn/Thanksgiving matching cards. She really enjoyed looking for all of the pictures of pumpkins, since she did a lot of work with pumpkins in recent weeks. There were also a couple of cards she could actually match up too! But in general, I wasn't going for matching...I just was happy that she was looking through the cards!

Bug still loves pouring water! It's probably one of her favorite works. Here, she's pouring from a creamer to a child sized tea cup.

I started Bug on color box 1. I was really impressed--not only could she match them up, but she could point to the correct color when I asked her to find yellow, then blue, then red. And she could name the yellow cards when I asked her what color those were.

Working with her shades & sizes peg board.

The bead after bead board was another one that was a big hit with Bug this week. She's really into counting and colors, so this work combined both of them. She can count to 5 without help and can count to 12 with help! She can also independently name "yellow" and "orange" (probably because we have been working really hard on colors with Monkey, who is still having a really hard time with them.)

Bug still loves the autumn leaf sorting activity. She can't sort the individual colors yet, but she can name some of them. She usually sorts the green ones in one cup, and yellow, orange, and purple in the other cup. This is also good for using the pincher grasp, since all the leaves are pretty small.

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Montessori Monday November 8, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 9 months old

This week, we took a few days off to rest, enjoy the remaining days of early fall, and get some new work ready to go.  Towards the end of the week however, we were back in full swing!  This week, I added quite a few new Thanksgiving and Autumn themed work to transition us away from Halloeween and into the holiday season.  Monkey has also really really shown a strong interest in learning to write, so we are starting the sandpaper letters and and a few activities to bring her more to writing actual letters than shapes (she seems to be getting bored of tracing insets because what she really wants to do is write words.  However, she’s not really at the point of sounding out words at all…)

Another big addition for the week…today is Monkey’s first day of Vietnamese language lessons!  Since she was born in Vietnam, she is still showing a huge interest in Vietnamese culture–food, music, activities, and language.  We found a local college student who is from Hanoi who will be tutoring Monkey starting today!

Here are some pictures from this week’s lessons:

Monkey drew a line from one end of our driveway all the way down to the street. So, as long as we had this nice line, we practiced "walking the line" exercises!

Working with the Animals and their Families cards. Here, she’s sorting out “mother”, “father”, and “baby” for ducks, lions, bears, and sheep.

 

This work was something we downloaded and adapted from http://www.dltk-holidays.com. I printed the turkey, put the pieces of the body & tail together, laminated it, and then laminated each of the individual feather pieces. Using the picher grasp, Monkey put each color in a spot on the turkey’s tail.
We started working on color box 2 now. Monkey was excited to see more than 3 color options! LOL!

Working with the sandpaper numbers. As an added concrete lesson due to Monkey's processing issues, I put 1 red plastic leaf and 2 yellow plastic leaves out for her to count and match to the numbers.

 

Working more on her world map

Sandpaper letters (these aren't real sandpaper letters, but we already had these on hand from when we were teaching Jedi his letters. These have a rough texture for the letters just like sandpaper letters). We worked on M, A, and S (along with "motorcycle", "apple", and "star" for concrete reinforcement of the phonetic sounds)

Grating a bar of soap (apple cinnamon...it fit with the seasonal theme too! 😉 )

 
 
 

***Have you entered our giveaway yet? Enter to win a free set of Montessori albums and a training course by Karen Tyler! http://tinyurl.com/2euh3tm ***
 

***Do you like what you are reading on Barefoot in Suburbia? If so, please consider voting for us in the 2010 Homeschool Blog Awards–we have been nominated in the Best NEW Homeschool Blog category! http://hsbapost.com/ ***
 

Montessori Monday October 18, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Monkey had a busy time in her homeschool room this week!  She seems to be getting into a good routine and almost every day she asks to go down and do her school work.  She usually stays in her homeschool room for 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes she’s been down there for longer than that.  Some days it’s hard to get her to want to stop for the day so we can get to an appointment!

Using the hammering shapes work--the child hammers little shapes into the cork with a wooden hammer (the nails are actually tacks)

Jedi hammering nails into a pumpkin

Monkey hammering nails into a pumpkin. She *loved* this work. The pumpkin now has 3 days worth of nails in it--she seems to come back to this work almost daily!

Sorting purple bats, white skulls, and black spiders into separate cups.

Using tongs to put a black spider into each section of the pan.

Using tweezers to get the corn off the cob and transfer it to the dish.

Using foam pumpkins and pumpkin patch pictures to count. Each patch has a different number written on it and monkey puts down the number of pumpkins written on the patch.

Using the Power of 2 cube. Monkey was *really* fast at this! She got the concept very quickly.

Putting the geometric solids on their bases. She was very interested in the fact that some shapes would fit on more than one base--for example, the pyramid can fit on the triangle base and the square base!

Putting clothespins on the rim of a basket.

Jedi & Monkey painting haunted houses in preparation for their Halloween party

This is a cross between ecology and tonging. The blue paper represents water and the green paper represents land. The little flower pot is a "trash can". I put a bunch of small pieces of foil and paper on top of the "land" and "water" and monkey used the tongs to clean up all of the "litter".

Using the Parts of a Tree puzzle and comparing it to the 3 part cards.

Using the world map continent pieces to do pin punching. She easily took the stylus and put "dots" on the paper around the perimeter of the continent.