Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd grade week in review February 13, 2012

As of yesterday evening, Jedi’s completed 744 of the required 900 educational hours Ohio requires for homeschoolers (not counting his therapy hours each week, which the school district would allow us to count because it would count if he were in school.  But we don’t count it as part of our required hours.).  It’s amazing to think that “technically”, he is already almost done with 2nd grade.  Now, we still have so much we want to do this year, so we’ll ultimately end up a couple hundred over the requirement, in large part because we do full-year school.  I like that we still have a lot of wiggle room for taking breaks and time off.  Jedi’s worked really hard this year!  I’m proud of the transition he’s made, and the fact that he’s learned so much since June!

Here are some pictures of last week….

Last week, he wrote a fairly lengthy creative writing story. This week, he typed it and illustrated it!


He also read Dan Gutman's "Mr. Burke Has Gone Berserk" on the first day it was released--he read the entire thing in a couple hours (way to go!!) Then he wrote a book report on it. 🙂


Most kids have done M&M math--our kids are dairy allergic, so Valentine's day brings a good opportunity for Conversation Heart Math! I made up a 4 page packet that he worked on that involved counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, estimating, greater than/less than, and graphing.


We also finished our unit on birds this week. We talked about the waterproofing on a bird's feathers, and what happens when oil spills happen. Jedi took some craft feathers. The first feather, we dipped it into water and then dried it off. The feather was nice and fluffy again. The second feather was dipped into a mixture of canola oil and cocoa powder (the CP was to turn it brown). This was to simulate an oil spill. Jedi tried wiping off the oil, but the bird's feather never became clean.


Then he tried washing the oil covered feather in plain water to symbolize the bird trying to swim into clean water. The feather became completely mangled, which would provide little to no protection for the bird (ultimately causing it to freeze).


He dipped another feather into the oil, and then washed it off in a mixture of dish detergent and water. The feather didn't go back to it's initial fluffiness, but was clean enough that the bird would probably have enough protection from heat and cold.


All of the feathers. From left to right: Original feather, feather dipped in water, feather dipped in oil and wiped, oiled feather washed in water, and oiled feather washed in soapy water.


Then we watched some youtube videos on how birds are washed after oil spills.


Jedi also had a box of bird-related items to observe...feathers, real nests, owl pellets, and a replica of a barn owl skull.


A bunch of different samples of feathers.


Dissecting an owl pellet. Jedi LOVED finding the bones!


All of the bones from the owl pellet.


Jedi also learned about Gilgamesh and Enkidu. After learning about the story, he then created a story about an adventure they might have had. Finally, he drew a picture of what Enkidu might have looked like.


Jedi wanted to take advantage of the shaving cream Monkey and Bug were working with. He decided to practice some handwriting. 🙂


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


Montessori Monday April 12, 2011

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