Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday August 23, 2011


Monkey is 4 years 6 months old

One of the new things we had in the schoolroom this week, was a "please touch" table for objects found in nature. This week, I put out a bird theme--an owl pellet, some feathers, a replica of a barn owl skull, and some nests (one random one we found in a tree that had been abandoned, and the robin's nest that was featured a couple months back. We had to have the fence painted, so once the hatchlings left the nest, we had to remove it from the fenceline). I put some tweezers, a hand lens, and some other magnifiers in a bowl for the girls to use.

 

The nest and observation equipment

 

Owl pellet, replica of a bird egg, and feathers

 

The craft project this week was using tempura paint thickened with cornstarch. The kids then used popsicle sticks to swirl the paint. The paint is thick and doesn't dry flat to the paper, so it was nice and textured. The paint colors also didn't blend very easily, so there was a nice marbling effect.

 

Closeup of the final products

 

Scooping seashells from one bowl to the other

 

Using a sea sponge to transfer water from the round bowl to the square bowl

 

Dry pouring using seashells

 

Monkey transferring water using the sponge

 

Using the hand lens to observe the robin's nest

 

Working on her Letter A book

Using the parts of an elephant cards

Matching adult animals with their young

 

Bug & Monkey working together to make their own orange juice

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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

 

Toddler Tuesday April 12, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 2:47 am
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Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

Like Monkey, Bitty Bug is really into the nature-based lessons.  And even more than that, she’s into the crafts that go along with the nature-based lessons!  I swear, I’ve never seen a happier kid in the world than Bug is when you put a bottle of glue in her hand.  This kid’s in heaven when she’s working on a craft project!  She definitely takes after her big brother (who frequently likes to remind people that he is an artist. LOL!).  Most of my pictures of Bug for the week involve her doing some type of craft project…

The supplies for making birds nests. A bowl for the nest form, paper and string for the nest material, and little white pom poms for the eggs.

Bug and Monkey working on their nests.

Matching feathers by color

Doing crayon rubbings of feathers

 

Montessori Monday

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This past week, we ended up doing several different nature studies as our main focus–we hit owls, birds, and insects!  Monkey loves learning about nature, so she really is drawn to nature-based activities.  Although, halfway through the “grosser” parts of the lessons, she decides to pretend things are a bit too gross.  She had me fooled thinking she wouldn’t touch the owl pellets, since she was walking around the room saying “I’m *not* touching owl puke!” over and over again.  Until I looked over and she was totally engrossed in dissecting her pellet and trying to match the bones to her bone chart!

Here are a few pictures from this week’s lessons…

Sorting animal cards into "feathers" or "fur", depending on their external body covering

Birds of Ohio 3 part cards

Close-up of the Birds of Ohio 3 part cards

Using the shoe tying puzzle

We added a bird and a nest to our spring tree!

Sorting birds into "birds that primarily walk on land", "birds that fly", and "birds that go in the water"

Working with the sandpaper letters

Feathers of various birds

Our Birds of Ohio and Owls of Ohio guidebook, and the Owls of Ohio soundtrack, all from our Department of Natural Resources

We also dissected owl pellets this week, and tried to figure out what animal the owls ate.

The replica of an owl's skull I had the kids observe

A couple of the books on the reading shelves for the insect unit

Insect X-Rays and matching cards

Lifecycle of a Bee and various insects in acrylic