Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday March 5, 2012

Montessori Monday

Apparently I’m a week behind. ūüôā ¬†It¬†occurred¬†to me on Friday that I never published my posts from last week. ¬†So, I’ll just combine them this week.

Monkey had a really busy week last week…in addition to schoolwork, she also switched to a new gym for gymnastics and had to to try-outs to find out what class she will be in. ¬†She also tested for her next Tang Soo Do belt! ¬†Monkey did very well at both–she’s such an athlete!

Monkey practicing at home for her tryouts.

 

Doing some bar work during her tryouts

 

Monkey at her Tang Soo Do belt test.

 

Here are some pictures of Bug and Monkey’s time in the school room the past few weeks!

For Mardi Gras, we brought out all the mess and dazzle we could. ūüôā The girls making purple, yellow, and green collages with glitter, feathers, and confetti.

 

Bug's collage

 

Monkey's collage

 

Monkey so happy to get to play with the glitter!

 

The kids also observed the first week of Lent. Here, Bug's looking at a picture from the Children's Catholic Bible about Jesus and the crown of thorns. Then, using some clay and toothpicks, she's making a replica of the crown of thorns.

 

We also started Operation Rice Bowl with the kids. Last week was Madagascar.

 

On Friday, we make a meal from the country we learned about. This is Vary amin'anana --a dish native to Madagascar.

 

Everyone in the family also wrote out their Lenten promises.

 

We also started the pre-k level of All About Reading. Here, the girls are making letter A's with wiki sticks.

 

Bug chatting with the zebra from the All About Reading kit

 

Painting blueberries on the letter B beehive.

 

Bug practicing her beading.

 

Using vegetables and tempura paint to stamp pictures and shapes.

 

Monkey also wanted to learn how to load the dishwasher. She decided she really likes this job!

 

Bug also decided she wanted to work with duplos this week (all the kids did a lot of work with legos after their schoolwork was done.) This is her first creation--an airplane!

 

Bug watercolor painting.

 

Montessori Monday September 19, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 8 months old.  Monkey is 4 years 7 months old

Here is a review of Bug & Monkey’s week in the Montessori room.

Bug working with her rainbow stacker

 

Bug working with a screwdriver

 

Bug building the pink tower

 

Jedi giving Monkey a geography lesson. Monkey wanted to know where Ohio, Vietnam, Russia, and Antarctica were.

 

Bug working on the natural objects & cards matching

 

Bug using toaster tongs to transfer pom poms to a mini muffin tin

 

Bug using a spoon to transfer shells from one bowl to the other

 

Pouring sand from one pitcher to the other

 

Monkey polishing shoes. To do this work, I laid out several different brushes (a soft tooth brush, a stiffer brush, and then a very stiff nail brush).

 

Bug polishing shoes. Because regular shoe polish is highly toxic, I wanted an all natural solution that is safe for skin and in case a little one accidentally got some in her mouth. I mixed 2 parts lemon juice with one part olive oil for a super safe shoe polish.

 

Pouring the water in the little bowl to rinse the dirt off the shoes. The girls *loved* the shoe polishing work. They now have some very clean looking shoes. ūüôā I think they worked on just that one work for hours!

 

The basket of geometric solids--we worked on cylinder, pyramid, and prism

 

Using toaster tongs to build a tower of cubes

 

Bug using a funnel to pour water into a small necked jar

 

Monkey using the spindle box

 

Monkey was on a big counting kick last week...here she is with the numerals & counters

 

Montessori Monday September 12, 2011

 

Bitty Bug is 2 years 8 months old.  Monkey is 4 years 7 months old.

Most of this week’s work had to do with patriotism and September 11th, which I already posted about here:¬†http://montessori.barefootinsuburbia.com/?p=1334 ¬†So, I only have a few other pictures of Monkey and Bug’s week in review for the post this week…

Monkey working on dry pouring with sand

 

Bug hammering shapes into the cork board using tacks and a wooden hammer

 

Bug working with her shapes board.

 

For one of the last weeks of summer, I put a matching work using a card with a picture and a word on it, and then the actual object.

 

2nd Grade Week in Review August 7, 2011

Jedi had another really busy week with homeschooling. ¬†It was the 6th week completed for our school year (it looks like we’ll have 8 completed weeks before our local school districts start up for the year…not bad!) ¬†But, it’s not all books and labs this summer…Jedi gets lots of free time for playing and having fun, too…see?

Jedi working with Magnetos on a day off.

 

Jedi building a robotic duck from a kit

 

Aaaand....the duck can walk!

 

Making patterns with the pattern board

 

Art: This week in art, Jedi learned about shapes, and then the 3-dimension¬†manifestation of shapes–forms. ¬†For shapes, he observed a scene outside, and then drew and cut out the shapes of the objects to make a collage. ¬†For forms, he created a 3-d paper sculpture of a zoo animal of his choice (he picked giraffe)

Working on his shapes collage--he was supposed to go outside and observe something, and then create paper shapes to represent those objects. He chose the mailbox and posts outside.

 

His scene

 

Jedi making his giraffe

 

Math: ¬†In math, we worked on place values up to 1000. ¬†We also worked on trading 10 10’s for 100 and 10 100’s for 1000. ¬†Jedi seems to be getting this fairly easily. ¬†Finally, we worked on adding long series of single digit numbers on the abacus.

 

Using the math cards to add with the abacus, and learning to change 10 10's for 100, and 10 100's for 1000.

Life Science:  It was a busy science week for us.  We worked on the muscular, heart, & circulatory systems over the past few weeks.  We reviewed those systems again, and observed them with both the human torso model and with giblets from our dinner chicken.  Jedi also watched some Bill Nye videos on human organ systems that I found in the library.  We also began learning about the digestive system.

 

Working with the human torso model

 

After taking out all of the organs, this is what he found.

 

****WARNING….THE NEXT PICTURE HAS ORGANS OF A CHICKEN IN IT….SKIP IT IF YOU FIND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS GROSS OR DISTURBING***

 

 

 

We were also fortunate to have found the giblet pack inside a chicken that we rotisseried this week, so Jedi was able to observe a real heart (with it's chambers), liver, and gizzard.

 

We were talking about how long a human digestive track is by using a 21' long piece of yarn. On the yarn, we taped cards where he wrote his 5 favorite foods. Card 1 is at where the mouth is (3"), card 2 is the esophagus, card 3 is the stomach, card 4 is the small intestine, and card 5 is the large intestine.

 

Then, we counted how many times longer a digestive track is than Jedi...you can fit 5 Jedi's on the 21' long track, plus have a few additional inches left to go.

 

Watching Bill Nye videos

 

History: In history, we completed our unit on Ancient Mesopotamia.  Jedi took his first ever history test, and scored 16 correct out of 17!  He really enjoyed learning about Sargon and how Sargon conquered and unified Mesopotamia.

 

Writing: Jedi really really dislikes handwriting and spelling. ¬†Both of those subjects are extremely challenging for him, to the point of them being frustrating for him. ¬†This week, I came up with an assignment that made him excited to write, at least for awhile. ¬†Homeschool Creations (http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l) had a Star Wars preschool pack available, and in that preschool pack were Star Wars puppets. ¬†I had Jedi cut them out, laminate them, and glue them onto popsicle sticks. ¬†Then I had him write a script for a puppet show, and my only instructions were that he had to use every character he had puppets for, and every character had to have a minimum of two lines in the script. ¬†Since I knew spelling would be a problem, I told him that after he wrote the script by hand, he could type it into the computer and we could work on editing in the computer (he’s still working on it…typing’s also a little difficult for him, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t really learned typing yet). ¬†After we’re done editing his script, he’s going to perform it for the family.

 

Cutting out his Star Wars puppets from http://www.homeschoolcreations?.com/StarWarspreschoolpack.htm?l

 

Spelling: ¬†In Spelling, Jedi continued to work on¬†alphabetizing the letters of the alphabet…he’s getting much faster with it now! ¬†We also worked on the short a, short i, and short 0 sounds for three letter cvc words.

 

Working on making CVC words

 

English: In English, we worked on comprehension questions with both fiction and non-fiction short essays. ¬†We discovered he has a very easy time comprehending fiction, but a very very difficult time comprehending non-fiction. ¬†But he’s also a fantastic reader when it comes to fiction! ¬†But it does show that he knows how to comprehend what he’s reading…he just needs more exposure to non-fiction! ¬†We also worked on the “WH” question words (where, what, why, when)

 

English workbook

 

Health: In health, we talked about family rules and why families have rules (safety, health, and comfort). ¬†I had Jedi choose one family rule, and then make a poster explaining the rule. ¬†He chose “we can’t watch too much tv”–his poster had to show why we have the rule (for his health), and what happens if you break the rule (an unhealthy body, being too tired, etc.)

 

Music: In music, Jedi continued to work on his piano playing. ¬†I haven’t showed him how to read music per say, but in his Alfred’s book, they start very simply by just reading the finger numbers. ¬†He learned to play a couple more short songs this week.

 

Misc: Since we went creeking and found crawfish recently, I decided to do some tie-ins this week.  I found Jedi three worksheets.  One practiced graphing, as it was a story about three people using crawfish as fishing bait.  Jedi was supposed to graph the number of crawfish each person used.  The second sheet was one where he was supposed to write three facts about crawfish. The third sheet was one where he worked on a crawfish food chain and food web.

Working on his crawfish graph

 

Toddler Tuesday July 24, 2011

 

Bitty Bug is 2 years 6 months old

Bug working with the Sleeping Beauty felt board.

 

Hammering two pegs together (not sure why she's doing this...she just decided it would be fun, and it's good eye-hand coordination!)

 

Trying to figure out the shape cone

 

Making a collage...one of Bug's favorite activities.

 

Watercolor painting with Monkey (notice Monkey's painting....she called it "Snowman Statue of Liberty"...very creative!)

 

Bug wanted to use the sandpaper letters.

 

Using the smelling bottles.

 

Bug loves playing with these little Friendship Club people

 

And she also wanted me to take this picture. This is how Bug enjoys spending most of her time. Little goober!

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

 

Tot School Tuesday October 12, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20.5 months old

For a while this past week, we actually thought autumn might arrive.¬† The temperatures were nice and cool, the leaves started changing, the pumpkin farms are crowded, the fields around us began to be harvested.¬† And then, it got right back up to 90 degrees again.¬† Gotta love central Ohio!¬† Regardless of summer’s refusal to let go, Bug enjoyed working with a lot of autumn themed work this week.¬† She also loved going on walks almost every day since the weather has been so warm again…and she even decided to do a little exploring of the edge of a newly harvested field.¬† It’s amazing how long some empty corn cobs can entertain a toddler! ūüėČ

Bug using our Melissa & Doug shapes puzzles.  There are about a dozen different ones, but she always goes straight for the dog one!

This toy is a really good one--you have to sort by color and number. She gets the sorting by number part really well, but usually the colors end up mixed up by the end. She loves this toy!

Putting clothes pins on the rim of a basket. At first, she had a really hard time lining up the gap in the clothespin with the rim of the basket, but after a few minutes she got it. You could tell she was so proud of herself once she did!

Using her fingers to pick up dried corn kernals and put them in the bowl. She stuck with this for a surprisingly long time. Or maybe it's not so surprising considering her love for tiny objects. LOL!

Monkey was using the geometric solids, and Bug decided that they were pretty interesting. She enjoyed trying to figure out which ones could roll.

And apparently she had time to dye her hair this week... ūüėČ Just kidding of course...she has been playing in the dress-up trunk a lot. Monkey and Bug spend most of their day in various costumes now.

Our autumn sensory bin--Indian corn, corn kernals, some tweezers for pulling off the corn kernals, silk leaves, corn silk, corn leaves, fall colored pipe cleaners, various scoops (and later, we added some corn cobs we found on our nature walk)

There are also some spider rings and spider toys in there too. Bug really liked the spiders. For some reason, she also loves real spiders and picks them up by the legs to carry them around. Such a sweet and curious kid!

Bug's treasures. All of these had been flung out of the nearby field during the harvest. There are some leaves, a stalk, some corn plant roots, a couple empty corncobs, and a full one. All of these went down to the sensory bin.

 

Tot School Tuesday September 28, 2010

      Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20.5 months old

Bitty Bug continued her fierce independent streak this week.¬† She’s at the stage where not only does she want to do everything herself, but when she wants something, she wants it *right now*.¬† Poor Monkey is usually at the brunt of that one–every time Monkey has something to play with, Bug thinks it’s so interesting that she has to take it from her then and there.¬†

And of course, this independent streak has lead to some not-so-fun events….¬† For example, ever since she’s started solids, she’s sat in a booster seat at the dining room table.¬† At 12 months old, we took the tray off the booster seat and pulled her up to the table.¬† When she’s finished, we take her out of the chair.¬† Sounds fine, right?¬† Until recently.¬† She decided that now, when she’s done, she will stand up and wait for someone to get her.¬† We tried to nip that in the bud, but it didn’t work–strapping her into the chair made it worse because then she’d pull herself out of the straps.¬† This week, she stood up in her chair and so I ran over to get her…but before I could get there, she’d tried to jump down herself and had fallen head first out of the chair (and I was only sitting about 10 feet away from her…it happened that quickly). ūüė¶¬† It was really scary to see, but she’s ok, thank goodness.¬† But that was the end of the booster seat at the table thing…something that worked so well for the first two children did not work quite so well for Bug.¬†

So, this week, we introduced the children’s table.¬† Now, I will be the first to admit that the idea did not sit well with me at first.¬† I like everyone eating at the same table…I don’t like children segregated to their own table.¬† But, when the choice was between that, getting a high chair for the first time, or risking another nasty fall, we went with the children’s table idea.¬† In the dining room, we put a smaller table next to the regular table.¬† And it’s worked well!¬† Bug is so happy with her new table (Monkey choses to sit with her as well).¬† She can get up and down independently, AND she actually sits longer and eats more at her small table than she ever did at the regular table.¬† Preparing her environment with child-sized furniture and allowing her the choice of how long to sit at the table, and giving her the independence to get up and down increased the amount of time she actually sat.¬† In her booster, she’d sit for about 5 minutes, pick at a few bites, and then cry to get down.¬† Now, she’ll sit through an entire meal happily.¬† I think that a lot of the time, even the smallest kiddos cry out for some independence and choices, and when allowed to make those choices and be a bit independent, the results can be very good!¬† So, that was a very positive result from having a prepared environment.

The table setup--a small table with a little rug underneath and two chairs. And actually, the chairs aren't really chairs--we could not find any child sized chairs during our quick trip out, but I did find these storage ottomans. These actually work very well because I can store the spare little rug, bibs, napkins, etc. in them.

Eating her taco

This basket sits in the corner (along with a picture series that shows the process of table washing). The spray bottle is filled with water, white vinegar, and lemon juice. There's a small duster and dustpan in it for crumbs, along with the spray bottle, towel, and wash cloth. Monkey and Bug are excited when they get to wash their own table after meals.

 

And a review of Bug’s other work this week:

Bug loved the Sock Monkey Jack-in-the-box. We bought this for her before she was born, and now she really loves it. Every time we put the monkey back in, she says "bye bye monkey!"

Here, Bug's transferring little glass beads with an Asian soup spoon

Bug was really good at using the tea set! She only let one of the cups overflow before she learned to stop before it gets to the top.

Bug and her daddy with the hand bells

Pouring water with creamer pitchers

Bug was using the whole hand movement to transfer the fruits and veggies between the baskets. We also worked on naming all of them. She's really good at naming the apple. ūüôā

Whisking a bowl of sand

But was so excited to sprinkle the glitter on her glue (she's making the Asian dragon dance dragon that was in yesterday's Montessori Monday post)

After a long day at work, apparently it was nap time. Under a shelf. Silly child.