Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday September 6, 2011

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

Here is the weekly review of the work Bug & Monkey did in the Montessori room.

Monkey painting her dinosaur poster.

 

Bug enjoying pitting cherries. She *loved* how messy this job was!

 

Bug doing dot art for "B is for Butterflies"

 

Bug using the metal insets to color a rectangle

 

Bug chose to draw the lifecycle of the butterfly

 

Bug snipping paper

 

Lifecycle of a Butterfly work on the "Please Touch" table

 

Some butterflies for the kids to observe

 

The "please touch" table for the next couple weeks (there are also butterflies under glass for them to observe). On our main level, we raised some butterflies from caterpillars, so the kids also witnessed the life cycle in person.

 

Paper snipping work

 

Small button dressing frame

 

Monkey and Bug working with clay

 

Sand pouring

 

Balancing glass marbles on golf tees

 

Matching boxes with lids

 

Monkey mixing colors in the test tubes using an eye dropper.

 

 

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Montessori Monday April 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, there are a lot of pictures to post, so I’ll just let those tell the story, instead of coming up with an opening commentary.  I will say that our unit last week was ‘eggs’…and it’s amazing what 2 egg-allergic kids can still learn about eggs without ever touching an egg. LOL!

As part of the oil spill project we did last week, I also put out various shells and sea life pieces for the kids to explore.

Working with the metal insets

As part of the egg unit, we wanted to learn about hatching chicken eggs. However, it probably isn't the best idea to raise a chicken egg in our basement or keep a chicken outside in our suburban backyard (that has coyotes and deed restrictions against keeping chickens!). So, this is the next best thing we could find...it has a different egg you break open for every day of the 22 day cycle of a chicken egg. Each day, you see what's going on inside the egg.

The box for the Chick Life Cycle kit in case anyone out there wants to learn about chickens but can't really raise them in their backyard!

The chart I have on our white board to show the kids when we should expect our egg to "hatch"

Tonging easter eggs into a carton

Parts of an egg 3 part cards

Putting red and black feathers on a black line drawing of the cardinal (Ohio's state bird)

Some of the books we used this week

Decorating paper easter eggs to hang on the spring tree

Putting the eggs on the tree

Egg on the tree

Tonging the eggs

The girls also made egg shaped jello jigglers (and of course, Monkey hated them because she doesn't eat anything squishy. Oops.)

Mixing the water and mix

Pouring the mix

Cleaning the spill

Making a red clay bowl with white eggs

Bug decided to stack all her eggs up into one big tower

Monkey wanted her eggs all different sizes

All of the bowls of eggs, waiting to go to the oven to harden

 

Toddler Tuesday April 5, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 2 months old

As I mentioned yesterday, we did a unit on snakes and other reptiles last week.  Bitty Bug didn’t want to sit and listen to the stories, so I assumed she just wasn’t paying attention.  Imagine my surprise when a few days later, she was reciting simple facts she must have overheard from the books I was reading!  It just goes to show you that toddlers are always learning, and for better or worse they are *always* listening ( 😉 LOL!)

Here are some pictures from Bug’s learning this week….

Bug really likes working with these beads! She works on them for a long time almost every session.

While Monkey was using the metal insets for pre-writing practice, Bug was using them to practice her shape naming, shape matching, and pincher grasp skills.

Building towers with the knobless cylinders

Bug also really really loves to do this, and she will often do it independently. She loves taking this book about bunnies matching colors of paint, and put the color tablets on the correct colors in the book.

She even decided to put a black tablet on the black type!

Pouring glass pebbles between multiple cups

 

Montessori Monday April 4, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, we decided to try something new.  For the past year, we’ve been using Karen Tyler’s Montessori albums.  However, with the addition of having to homeschool for 2nd grade too starting in the summer, I wanted to try something with a little more structure to it, so that I had things laid out for me daily.  I started using New Child Montessori, or rather, using it as a basis, but continuing with the Karen Tyler stuff (and just adding in my own personal touch as well).  I do love the New Child curriculum so far…it’s more of “Montessori-inspired unit studies” than pure Montessori, and for us, that’s fine.  It’s not like homeschooling is pure Montessori anyhow…LOL!

This past week, the focus was on reptiles of our home state, as well as the world.  We mainly concentrated on Ohio snakes and turtles, but we touched on crocodiles and komodo dragons as well. 🙂  Even Bitty Bug got into the lessons this week!  She loved the snakes!

One of the things I really like about our new curriculum (other than having the entire sequence laid out for me. LOL!) is the addition of a “circle time” and “yoga time”.  While we don’t follow the New Child schedule exactly (because it’s laid out like a traditional school day, which is just not necessary when you only have 2 children in the room!), we do add in the circle time date, weather, and story stuff, as well as the yoga time.  The yoga helps focus the girls, and the circle time gives me a chance to give the lessons before things get too crazy.  So, I’m really liking this program so far!

Here are some pictures from our week (Jedi was home on spring break this week as well!)

Using the metal insets

Big brother helping out!

Some of the books in the reading basket last week

More books in the reading basket

Snake shedding skin sequencing cards

Snakes of Ohio 3 part cards

Closeup of snake cards

Using a snake stencil

Decorating the spring tree (a branch we found on the ground outside, decorated in paper leaves and tissue paper blossoms)

The final product!

Matching and folding socks

Bitty Bug dressed for baking!

All three kids helping to make cupcakes

One of the best parts...licking the spoons!

I found these darling little silicone baking cups in the shape of flower pots, and we filled them with chocolate batter

And of course, we added green "grass" frosting and a gummy worm!

 

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 🙂

 

Montessori Monday October 24, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, we had another batch of new work out.  Monkey is really getting into the geography work now that the sandpaper globe and landform cards are out.  She is also really loving the pre-writing work.  She likes the pin punch work a lot!  She has really good control with the stylus and is so careful making the dots!

Another fun thing we got to do this week is make vanilla extract using fresh vanilla beans!  I poured the liquor into the jars, but both girls had fun putting the beans in the jars, and then shaking the mixture!

A new thing we put out this week is the yoga basket. It has a couple yoga mats in it, as well as some laminated pictures of children doing yoga poses. Monkey will get out 4-6 cards, lay them in a row, and then do the sequence, with a couple deep breaths during each pose.

Using the land form cards and the sandpaper globe

Coloring the world map (the water is colored blue and the land is colored brown). I colored a control card and laminated it so that she had something to make the world self-correcting.

Starting to use the metal insets. She didn't want to sit up at the table to do it though, which is something she should probably work towards doing soon. But for now this was her writing pose of choice.

Monkey really liked working with the spelling toy I put down on the shelves. We've had this one for quite awhile, but it was packed up when we moved, and it took a long time for me to unpack it again! She really enjoyed working with it though, so it will stay out on the shelves for now.

The ingredients for vanilla sugar and vanilla extract (yeah, not sure there are too many homeschoolers that get to work with vodka and rum during lessons. 😉 But, the end product will be really good, I'm sure!

Bug putting the vanilla bean into the jar of sugar.

Shaking the jar.

Putting the beans into the liquor for extract.

More beans going into the jars of liquor.