Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Jedi's week (or 4) in review November 23, 2011

First off, a huge happy 8th birthday to Jedi…I can’t believe that 8 years ago, Jedi was just a little tiny 6 lb 15 oz button of a baby.  Today, he is a wild, creative, spunky young man who loves Star Wars, reading, science, Mario Bros., and working with his Snap Circuits.  Happy birthday sweet baby boy…we love you!

And, since I’m like a month behind on Jedi’s posts, here’s just an overview of the major things he’s done over the past month…


In earth science, Jedi learned how most of Earth is made of water. We played a game where we tossed the globe ball back and forth, and calculated the percentage of time our right index finger was pointing to water. It turned out we only landed on land less than 30% of our throws!


In art, Jedi learned that calendars and magazines feature artwork as well. He made a calendar that counted down to his birthday.


In life science, we learned about arthropods and insects. Here, Jedi's observing the body structure of a pillbug.


Jedi also experimented with balloons to see if air takes up space and has mass.


In art, he also learned about how some artists painted on church walls and ceilings. To help reinforce the idea, we covered posterboard with plaster, and then Jedi painted a mini mural


In geography, Jedi learned about Stonehenge. I made some sand dough (clay with added sand for texture) and he recreated stonehenge. And then Bug recreated the destruction of Stonehenge when she flattened the entire thing when Jedi was at martial arts.


Observing insects in acrylic


Jedi working with the geo board


Jedi's geo board creation


Jedi also raised caterpillars to see the life cycle of a butterfly up close (this is the third time this year we've done this...he loves it so much). Unfortunately we had to travel during the last part of the life cycle so we couldn't wait until they laid new eggs.


Since we are going on vacation to central America next month, Jedi began learning about the countries we will be visiting (Mexico, Honduras, and Belize)


At our homeschool co-op, they had an "interest fair" during the end-of-the-session showcase. Jedi wanted to do a project on Mohenjo-Daro, which is one of his favorite things he learned about. Here, he's putting his posterboard together on the various things he learned.


Jedi then made some clay bricks and glued them to a diagram to illustrate the ruins of the city


Jedi at the interest fair with his project--ruins, the posterboard, and his 2 reports he wrote and typed (one on what Mohenjo-Daro was, and one about what he thinks happened to the city)


Jedi's new obsession--Snap Circuits. Well, not new--he's had them since he was 4. But over the past month, he's been working with them non-stop--even inventing new creations that weren't in the manual!


Montessori Monday July 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This was a week where we started to evaluate whether Montessori is truly right for Monkey.  While it does seem to be working very well for the non-academic subjects, it’s becoming more and more clear that she’s getting frustrated with the more academic areas.  Monkey has a few special needs that make it difficult for her, and recently we’ve started to notice that those issues also make things more difficult academically.  Earlier in the year, you might have remembered the difficulties we had with Monkey learning colors.  We’re also seeing the same difficulties arise in learning letters and letter sounds.  We have been working on the same couple letter sounds for a year, and she still hasn’t made the connection (and can’t name the letter either).  She’s getting very frustrated because she wants to read, but after a year of trying to learn letter sounds, she can’t name any.  For example, she’s been working on A for a long time.  And even 2 minutes after the lesson, she still can’t tell you what sound A makes, or a word that begins with A, or recognize the letter A even if that is the only letter we’ve worked on that day.  We’ve even tried Starfall, and after watching the whole letter A presentation, she still couldn’t name the song.  We are in the process of having these issues evaluated (we’re not jumping the gun…she has known speech, language, sensory, social, and behavior issues.  If a typical 4 1/2 year old couldn’t recognize the letter A, we wouldn’t be concerned (although a 4 year old who still couldn’t recognize it even after being given lessons in several different ways on it would raise red flags to me).  But knowing her history and the difficulty we’ve had, it’s something we have to get evaluated to know how to proceed).  So, over the next couple weeks, we will be trying different things to see if there is something that might help her.

Monkey working with the pressure cylinders and Bug working with the smelling bottles.


Monkey working with the power of 2 cube...she loves this cube!


Working with the Geo Board. Monkey loves making shapes with the geo board!


Using the summer sensory bin.


It was also a special week for Bug…she tested for her white belt with orange stripe at Tang Soo Do!

Awesome roundhouse kick!


Flying front kick!


She passed!


Welcome back! January 11, 2011

Welcome back to the new Barefoot in Suburbia montessori homeschooling blog!  It might take me awhile to archive some of the most popular posts, but my old site is still online.  So, until then, here are a few of the most popular posts!

A tour of our Montessori Homeschooling room as of 6/2010
Our Montessori Peace Table to help curb the fighting among the children
Our (successful) attempt at cooking cookies & hotdogs using solar power on a hot summer day.
Holy Family & Advent downloads
Homemade geo board
Cooking with Tots!
Snack Table

Click to go back to the original Barefoot in Suburbia Montessori blog