Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

First week, in review June 13, 2012

Last week was our first week back into the schoolroom.  The kids all transitioned back into the homeschooling routine really easily…thank goodness for shorter (but more frequent!) breaks than the traditional school year.  There was no summer brain drain, no problems getting them to do their work, etc.

Monkey was very excited to get started, as it was going to be her first day of kindergarten!  Although, by the end of the first day, she was very disappointed that she did not learn to read full out chapter books on the first day…she only learned 4 words. 😉

Here are some pictures from the kids’ first week.  This year, I’ll probably just try to combine a sample from all three kids into the same post.  Occasionally, I’ll pull out one specific project and do a more in-depth post later on in the week.  I will probably separate out the Five in a Row stuff too, just so that all of the books have their projects in one area.  I just learned last year that it was too difficult keeping up with a weekly post about each child’s work.

The day before we started schooling for the year, I gave Jedi a project that would require him to think. He does really well after focusing on a project, like a big lego kit. I think that kind of concentration really helps clear his mind and regulate his body and mind. Since his latest obsession is Titanic, I got him a model of the ship to put together.

 

He did really well! It took him just over a day, and he put it together with very little adult help!

 

Bug working on a “parts of an insect” puzzle.

 

The three kids worked on “texture painting”. Because we were also studying the United States in geography, I gave them red and blue paint. The red paint had kosher salt mixed in and the blue paint had gold glitter mixed in!

 

Monkey working on her first 4 reading words. She’s matching the words with the pictures.

 

Bug with her drawing of me. 🙂 If you look really closely, she also independently wrote (and spelled!) “mom”!

 

Bug looking at the insects in acrylic

 

Bug working on the pink tower.

 

In science, Monkey’s working on classifying and using senses to make observations. Here, she was sorting pictures of beans from biggest to smallest.

 

Bug, proud of her pink tower!

 

Jedi working on a texture collage….using found materials and scraps to create a collage or picture.

 

Bug and Monkey trying to figure out how many number rods tall they are. 🙂 Monkey is the tallest plus the smallest rod tall. Bug is the 2nd to the tallest rod tall.

 

Arranging the number rods longest to shortest.

 

Bug using various magnets to pick up iron filings and little iron pellets.

 

Each of the kids asked for garden beds this year so that they could garden along with me. So, I built each of the three kids a raised bed garden. They chose what to put in the gardens (they also mixed the various soil components). Bug’s here watering her garden!

 

Monkey using popsicle sticks to create triangles and quadrilaterals.

 

Bug looking at insect x-rays on her light table.

 

Later this week, I’ll have a post up for Monkey’s first week using Five in a Row.  I’ll also have a geography post up.

 

 

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, plus a big kid! March 28, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 1 month old

This week has been really busy for us in terms of homeschooling, but not so much with Monkey.  We have begun the first steps to pulling Jedi out of his school and homeschooling him.   With him, it’s a bit more complicated because he’s on an IEP and the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program.  But, it became clear in the past couple months that his current placement at the Montessori school just was no longer working for him.  We’ll have him finish up the year at his current school, and then beginning in June, he’ll start full year homeschooling for 2nd grade.  So, last week was a blur of paperwork, planning, ordering curriculum, and revamping our school room so that we have a place to homeschool someone who is far above the preschool level.  This week gets to be a test week since he’s home on spring break, so he’ll get a whole week to “practice” homeschooling with the girls.  So, soon, I’ll start a new weekly post with our curriculum choices for Jedi (and then in June, his weekly recaps).

As for Monkey, she did have a busy week, but no busier than usual.  We did a unit on worms (which unfortunately, I didn’t keep my camera near by to document.  But, it was really cool, and she really loved touching the worms…and apparently we discovered that you can make a composting worm dance by putting it on the table’s surface.  LOL!!  It was rather funny to watch!

She also had another belt test in her Tang Soo Do class, and did really well!  She’s now a white belt with gold stripe. 🙂

Here’s a little recap from our unit on turtles that we’re working on…

A large turtle shell I put on the shelf, and the parts of a turtle puzzle.

Turtles of Ohio 3 part cards

A close-up of the cards

Turtle stenciling with dot painting

Turtle books

Monkey working with the stencil

Working with the metal insets

Jedi helping Monkey make a maze

Walking the maze

Monkey doing her balance beam walk from gymnastics through the maze

One of the Bob books I have out for Monkey

Our schedule board for today

Our "Ohio" wall!

The school room all dressed up for spring 🙂