Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday July 4, 2011



Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This weekend has been incredibly busy with 4th of July fun, and so we’re taking the afternoon off of craziness to just relax a bit.  So, while the Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes are baking in the oven (gluten, dairy, and egg free of course!), here is Monkey’s learning week in review!

Of course, like many of my US-based readers, we had our Red, White, & Blue work out this week in honor of Independence Day. Here are the red glittery stars for tonging.

I added the red, white, and blue glass beads for dry pouring.

Beads for making patriotic bracelets

These rubber pom poms look like fireworks, and made another good tonging work.

Monkey making a bracelet

Pin punching the Russia puzzle piece

Working on the sandpaper letters & letter sounds

Monkey then decided that she wanted to copy the sandpaper letters onto paper

Using the smelling bottles

Jedi helping Monkey with the binomial cube



2nd Grade Week in Review July 3, 2011

This week was incredibly busy, in terms of both homeschooling and family life.  Not only did Jedi complete a full week’s worth of schooling, we also had Vacation Bible School, and the 2 field trips I just posted about.  We wanted to make sure we got everything done this past week as we are taking this coming week off of homeschooling.

Geography: In Geography, we ended our study on China and began our unit on Russia.  Because we are not doing homeschool next week, we did both week’s lessons in one week.  Jedi studied how to say hello in Russian, where Russia is on a map, the fact that Russia covers 11 time zones, and it takes a week to get from one side to the other.  We also discussed the various climates of Russia, and animals that reside there.  We did a brief overview of what Communism was and how Russia moved away from Communism in 1991.  Finally, we listened to various pieces by Tchaikovsky.

Our language card for Russia

The Russia culture shelf

Jedi wearing a scarf from Russia

Adding the Russian Flag to his (not real) passport

Earth Science: In Earth Science, we continued our discussion on temperature changes.  Jedi measured the temperature of various locations (in the shade, in the sun, between the palms of his hands, on the kitchen counter, in a bowl of room temperature water, and in a bowl of ice water).  He discussed how each temperature made his body feel.

Measuring the temperature in the sun

Measuring the temperature of water

Life Science: The first lesson we did in Life Science this week was on the skeletal system.  Jedi made a paper model of the human skeleton, and labelled the major bones.  The second Life Science lesson was on the muscular system and how a muscle shortens to make the skeleton move.  He created a model of a muscle out of paper, string, and a metal fastener.

Putting together his paper skeleton

Labeling the bones

Jedi and his muscle. And Monkey & her tongue.

Chemistry: In Chemistry, Jedi learned how physical tests on the properties of substances differs from chemical tests.  And while baby powder, baking powder, and powdered sugar all look different, by performing chemical tests using water, vinegar, oil, and food coloring, it is easy to tell the three substances apart.

Jedi making his hypotheses before the chemical tests on baking powder, baby powder, and powdered sugar.

History: In History, we continued our discussion on the fertile crescent and the first farmers.  We focused on the area around the Tigris and Euphrates River, and the city of Jericho.

English: In English, Jedi worked more on contractions, as well as adding suffixes to words.  He’s really starting to get this concept!  We also worked on more of the single letter sounds this week.  There are still about 4 that he’s not getting–primarily those with 3 or 4 different sounds.  But, he’s well on his way to moving to double letters.

Math: In Math, we continued to work with the abacus and abacus tiles to discuss tens, hundreds, and thousands place values.  We also used 5 of the broad stairs to discuss various configurations you can use to show biggest to smallest with rectangles.

Jedi stacking the rectangles from the broad stairs.

Health: In Health, we extended our unit on feelings to now include being able to read the feelings of other people and develop empathy.  This is an area Jedi has a lot of trouble in, so we spent a good bit of time using dramatic play to discover how people can tell others about their feelings without using verbal words.

Ohio History: This week, we discussed that goods in Ohio used to be moved from place to place using rivers and canals, prior to the invention of semi trucks.  We also talked about some of Ohio’s first products…including Wendy’s.  Of course, most of what we talked about, our kids couldn’t try due to allergies, but at least they had seen commercials so they knew what I was talking about. LOL!

Art: The first lesson in art this week involved Jedi using watercolor crayons to produce a piece of art using a photograph as inspiration.  Jedi used a photograph of a solar eclipse from a science text as his inspiration.  The second art lesson was using oil pastels to draw something that he’s witnessed in nature.

Drawing his solar eclipse.

Outside drawing the play area and surrounding trees.