Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Toddler Tuesday June 28, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 5 months old

 

Bug and Monkey were really into singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider last week, so I put out some sequencing cards for the song. With Monkey, she doesn't need any help, but with Bug, we sing the song and put the pictures in order at the same time.

Bug matching the plastic models of the butterfly lifecycle to the preserved species.

Bug playing with some little figurines--each figurine is wearing the traditional dress of a different culture.

Working on the latches & locks board

Since summer started this week, we changed the sensory table from the flower planting theme to a beach theme.

Bug and Monkey working with the sensory table

Working with the knobbed cylinders

Taking a break from the homeschooling room to play in the rain garden. She insists this is a swimming pool. And she insists on wearing a dress in it.

Here, Bug is working on this cone toy. It's really difficult for her, but she's finally starting to get it!

Transferring spiders from one bowl to the other. I did have tongs for this work, but she wanted to do it using a pincher grasp. And she wanted to wear the rings.

Working with the texture board.

 

Montessori Monday & Toddler Tuesday, a little late February 2, 2011

 Tot School

Monkey is 3 years, 11.5 months old, Bitty Bug is 24 months old

I’m a bit late posting our review this week….not only have we been really busy, but the weather’s been pretty bad so we were dealing with the weather issues as well.  But everyone’s safe, we have electricity & heat, and all’s good. 🙂

Our two main school things this week were a field trip with our homeschool group to complete a gingerbread themed unit and then our Vietnamese culture day we hosted for the homeschool group.  Those two things kept our girls quite busy!

The gingerbread unit was really fun, and was put together by our local friends, who write the blog The Attached Mama.  There were several books available that had a gingerbread theme (including my favorite, Gingerbread Baby!).  The kids also decorated a foam gingerbread boy, and of course, afterwards, they ate their own gingerbread boy!  The craft was very good for fine motor skills–both of my little ones loved designing their gingerbread boy, and then putting all of the decorations on piece by piece.

The second event was the Vietnamese culture day.  This week is Tet, or the Vietnamese New Year (which is the same day as the Chinese New Year).  Because Monkey was born in Vietnam, we decided to host a lesson on Tet, as well as bringing out our items we bought in Vietnam so that the kids can explore, experience, and use various items to help them develop an awareness and appreciation for Vietnamese culture.

Here are some pictures of our fun learning week!

Bug designing her gingerbread and putting the decorations on

Monkey putting the decorations on her gingerbread! I loved that she used a ribbon for the mouth.

Some Vietnamese dolls, laquerwear, fans, nesting dolls, and a brochure for the war prison that John McCain was held captive in.

Some of the books I had out for the kids to read.

A conical hat and picture book (as well as the photograph of the red bridge that we always have hanging there)

Water puppets

The book Ten Mice for Tet, which is a cute little story about Tet.

Vietnamese currency (Dong)

Some music CDs I had playing in the background

Some postcards and photos of Hanoi

Some Ao Dais (traditional Vietnamese formal clothing)

Some musical instruments I had out for the kids to try

The dragon craft I had out for the kids to do.

The "Lucky Money" red envelopes and some fans the kids took home

Summer Rolls for the kids to eat (I also made some Pho Ga for the kids to have for lunch...Pho Ga is Vietnamese chicken noodle soup)

And just a random picture of Bug working with the knobbed cylinders

 

Tot School Tuesday January 12, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:59 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 23.5 months old

I can’t believe this is my last Tot School post of Bug’s 1 year old year…she’ll be 2 years old later this week!  I can hardly believe it’s true (already!  Her last year of Tot School starts in a couple days…wow…).  It seems like just yesterday, she was a tiny little baby, born a month early, and struggling to even stay awake.  Now, she rarely sleeps, and she’s always running around exploring!

Here are some of the things Bug’s been working on this past week!

Bug loves these little puzzles--they're really great for traveling with, and they are just perfect for little hands! Bug loves to name all of the animals as she's putting the pieces in as well.

Working with her sequencing beads. She's getting really good at matching the colors!

Spooning the little glass stones

Working with one of the little puzzles I found in T@rget's dollar aisle

These are cute little figurines--they're called Friendship Club. Inside of the globe are a bunch of small figures representing people from every continent.

I found these figurines for the culture boxes, but Bug decided she wanted to match them to the figures on the back of the package.

Working with the animal puzzle. This puzzle was a lot harder than it looks...I'm really surprised that there was no good control of error that would help little ones be successful at this. I ended up taking a permenant marker and tracing the outline of all the pieces onto the tray to sort of help her out a bit.

 

Around the World–Brazil!

Filed under: Geography & Culture — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:44 am
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Last month, we subscribed to a neat service called Little Passports (http://littlepassports.com/).  With Little Passports, the children get mail representing a different country every month (including information, pictures, and a souvenire).  This month, the children will be getting a package about Brazil!

We wanted to use Little Passports in conjunction with our culture & geography work, so each month, we’ll be doing a home unit based on the next package from Little Passports.  Each month, we will learn about:

-The geography & landmarks of the country

-The currency of the country

-The clothing, people, and jobs in the country

-The food (including cooking a meal from the country)

-The animals & plants

-The music, art, & literature

But it doesn’t come all at once of course!  Gotta pace yourself. 😉  This week, I put out the South American puzzle, some 3 part cards on animals, plants, and landmarks, some instruments, books from our home library and our city’s library, and little animal figurines.

Monkey working on the puzzle and Jedi working on some 3 part cards

Jedi was really proud that he noticed that the Amazon River on the puzzle matched his card!

Some tamborines, maracas, and drums

Some animals that are found in the rainforests, rivers, and oceans near Brazil

The flag of Brazil, and some currency (Brazilian Real) I printed off Google Images

Some landmarks in Brazil

Animals and plants of Brazil

Monkey working on the puzzle

 

Montessori Monday September 26, 2010

Monkey is 3  years 7 months old

Monkey had a fantastic time in her Montessori room this week.  I’m thinking it had a lot to do with the heavy focus on Vietnamese culture, and specifically Tet Trung Thu, that captured her interest.  She loves learning about her birth culture, and to have it highlighted in her homeschooling just drew her in.  We also added a new computer program we just bought called Let’s Learn Vietnamese by VNI, and now she is really interested in learning the Vietnamese language as well.  It’s a really difficult language to learn, but she’s always been fascinated with her Xuan Mai videos and her Vietnamese music CDs, so I think she’ll pick up on at least some of it rather easily.

And there are a ton of pictures for this week….

Looking at the inspiration book for the basket mask craft

This was the selection of books we used to learn about the Harvest festival traditions

Monkey painting her mask

Cutting on the lines to make paper lanterns

Whisking sand

Pouring water using a teapot

Using chopsticks to transfer wooden harvest veggies from one basket to the other

Working with a compass to determine which direction is north.

Looking through the Asian continent box

Still looking at the continent box

Working with the geometric solids. This was her first introduction to them, so she was feeling the surface and shape of each solid and then figuring out which ones roll

Using a sake set to pour sand

"Numerals and Fish". Monkey took a basket of cards and separated numerals from fish. This is to help her learn to recognize what a numeral is by using something really obvious (she knows what a fish is and knows when something is not a fish)

Scrubbing a rock

Making a dragon dance puppet

Monkey's so pleased with her puppet!

The second type of lantern. This one actually held a mini flashlight. Tissue paper is glued over the shaped holes, and monkey poked more holes using a paper punch

Monkey gluing her tissue paper

Jedi was home sick this week, and he decided to join us one day. Here, he's making a noisemaker out of beads.

Putting together her alphabet dragon

 

Catching Up part 1….Tet Trung Thu!

Filed under: Family updates,In the kitchen,Preschool,Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:09 pm
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I have two posts to catch up on today….Field Trip Friday and Tet Trung Thu.  I’ll start with Tet Trung Thu…

Tet Trung Thu and the Chinese Autumn Moon festival fall on the same day.  Tet Trung Thu is the Vietnamese Harvest Moon Festival.  It’s actually a day to celebrate children, who have to show great patience during the harvest season while the parents work.  Typically, during Tet Trung Thu, Vietnamese children are given small gifts, they make lanterns and march in a parade with them, they can make masks out of baskets and other material, and they eat mooncakes.   Obviously, that is a very overly-simplified summary of the holiday. 😉 

We don’t have a local Tet Trung Thu festival in our part of Ohio, so we celebrated at home.  Jedi was sick all last week, so we also had to account for the fact that one of the three kiddos was resting most of the week.

Since we have quite a few allergies, we couldn't order mooncakes and had to make them ourselves. Traditionally, Vietnamese mooncakes have a salted egg yolk in the center to represent the moon. Since we are egg-allergic, I used a ball of tofutti dairy free cream cheese as the center. Surrounding the cream cheese, I wrapped some sweet red bean paste.

The pastry dough is then wrapped around the ball of red bean paste/cream cheese. I then put the entire ball in the mould, and pressed it into the square shape.

This is what the mooncakes looked like after baking

 

This one was still hot when I cut it open. The other ones, we let sit for 24 hours, and the filling was a lot less goey that way.

What's a little baking without also licking the bowl. Monkey and Bitty Big cleaning up the bowl. 😀

Aaand, since the dough is like 50% sugar, they really enjoyed it. LOL!

Here is the big pile of things Monkey worked on during her school week for Tet Trung Thu (I'll post pictures of her working on it for Montessori Monday). There are two different types of lanterns, some basket masks, and some dragon puppets (my examples and her work are both in there). There's also our Vietnamese Sing & Learn book/CD that we listened to (there is a song for Tet Trung Thu on it)

Everyone out (in their PJ's... 😉 ) with their lanterns and our lion puppet having a little parade around the neighborhood. Since we're the only ones that live in the neighborhood at the moment, they could be as loud as they wanted! They liked that!