Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday (a little bit early) July 24, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

Since we’ll be out again Monday & Tuesday, I’m getting this week’s posts out a little early. ūüôā

 

The "A" tray--I have the sandpaper letters, some pipe cleaner letters, an apple, and a worksheet. I just wanted to see what things Monkey liked--she loved the worksheet (but didn't really seem to understand what to do even after I explained it to her), but the rest of it she didn't really get into. So, this lasted about a day with her. ūüôā

 

Playing a card game where you match the capital and lower case letters.

 

She's so proud of her matches!

 

Painting with watercolors. This was her all time favorite activity of the week--she did it for several hours this week!

 

Practicing her writing

 

Using the mini peg board

 

Stringing large buttons on a shoestring

 

Using the spindle box...Monkey's getting very good at this!

 

Bug & Monkey making strawberry & blackberry skewers for dinner

 

Bug helping to make strawberry cake

 

Monkey, Jedi, & Bug all helping to bake the cake.

 

Using the sandpaper numbers & beads.

 

As always, comments are welcome, either here or on our facebook page. ¬†Let me know you’re reading along!

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Montessori Monday February 28, 2011

 

 

Monkey is 4 years 0 months old

Last week was another busy week for Monkey.  Homeschool co-op classes started back up this week, and she was really looking forward to them.  (And I am teaching a class there this session on preschool nature studies!)  It was also a good week for a lot of indoors work, as the weather turned cold and icy again.

In order to “celebrate” President’s Day, we brought out a lot of coin work. ¬†Monkey didn’t really understand the fact that the presidents were on the coins, but she did love all of the coin work!

Polishing pennies using vinegar & salt. Both Bug and Monkey really enjoyed this work...I'm pretty sure Monkey spent a good hour polishing pennies in one sitting!

Monkey polishing the pennies

Sorting the coins into different denominations (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)

Book on the presidents

Monkey working with the spindle boxes

Using the small peg board

Animal tracks card for Animal Tracks Bingo

One of the...er...benefits (?) of homeschooling--getting to have cool display cases full of stuff hanging in your house that most people would find fairly objectionable as decoration... LOL! Yes, we were learning about scat and tracks this week. And yes, that is *exactly* what it looks like. But no, I did not go out and find those myself...I actually bought it from a science store. LOL!

Animal tracks rubbing plates

Rubber track replicas. We used a small sand bin to make animal tracks in

Animal tracks book

Scat & Tracks field guide

 

Tot School Tuesday December 21, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 23 months old

This week, Bitty Bug was finally able to enjoy the snow.¬† I’m pretty sure this is her first winter where she can actually go out and play and enjoy the season–last year, she was still a little baby and wasn’t walking well.¬† This year though…she’s out digging in the snow, and sledding, and of course, having her first taste of freshly fallen snow.¬† That was one of the highlights of the week…she took one bite, gave an odd look because it was so cold, and then started shoveling fists full of snow into her mouth.¬† That girl…

Here’s a review of the week…

Bug, still enjoying the locks & keys work

Bug took all of the little gems out of the sensory bin and one by one dropped them into the clear container. She really concentrates for long periods of time when it comes to putting tiny things in containers...

Bug also loved doing the knobbed cylinders this week. She worked on these a lot, and is now really good at figuring out that she put a cylinder in the wrong compartment, even if the size difference is really small.

Bug received this Plan Toys garden for Christmas (to go with the PT dollhouse she's getting for her birthday). This is actually really good as a peg board-type activity...each little veggie fits into the little holes. It requires a good pincher grasp and good eye-hand coordination to get it just right.

Playing out in the snow. At first, she was not exactly sure how she was supposed to be walking on this slippery snow in such a puffy get-up...

Digging in the snow

Not even snow, ice, and temperatures in the 20's will keep this child off her plasma car though. She *loves* this thing and drives it around the neighborhood every chance she gets.

Off into the sunset...

 

Montessori Monday December 5, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 10 months old

This week, Monkey jumped right back into things after a couple light weeks due to the holidays and illness.  She was really happy to get back into things as well!  I had quite a few new holiday-themed work out this week too.

Monkey and Jedi opening the day's door on the Lego advent calender. We don't usually do the themed ones, but Jedi is really into legos, and we couldn't resist having a new lego creation to build every day in December!

Using a spoon to transfer red, green, clear, and blue glass beads

Trying to feel which baric tablet is heavier and which one is lighter

Exploring the thermic tablets and sorting them by material

I put out three different types of boards that use screwdrivers. Monkey really loved working with these!

Another of the boards

Sorting Christmas buttons by color

Using the fraction skittles. She had actually used these in her homeschool co-op class, so she went straight to it.

This was a new work that I just purchased. Every numeral tablet is broken into a puzzle where the number of pieces equals the numeral in the tablet. This work is really interesting, but the first thing monkey did was tip the entire thing over without knowing what was inside. So, we spent a good hour putting all the pieces back together! Jedi tipped it over too on another day (nope, my kids don't wait for help with anything! LOL!) and even he found it really challenging, and he's 7. This might be something that goes back in storage for another year or two...we'll see if monkey wants to work with it this week, and if not, I'll put it up until she's a bit older.

Working with the spindle rods. Monkey really really was interested in these this week, so we worked on them a lot!

Working with the peg board

Monkey loves mixing colored water into new colors! She did this one a lot.

I also introduced the landform trays this week. Or rather, one landform tray. We worked on "island" this week. She loved making the fish go in the water and the animals on the land!

Decorating the mini Christmas tree. She loved this one too! She actually didn't want to take it apart again, but Bug wanted to work with it too, so we couldn't keep the mini tree decorated. It was a very popular work with the girls.

A clothes pin work. I glued shimmery foam balls to the end of clothes pins, and then cut a Christmas tree shape out of green felt. In order to decorate the tree, Monkey had to practice opening and closing the clothespins.

The December sensory bin...white felt strips, red/green/white pom poms, foam snowflakes, little penguin and snowman figurines, some clear red/green/clear "gems", red/green/gold pipe cleaners, and some more of the shimmery foam balls.

 

Tot School Tuesday November 9, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 8:52 am
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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21.5 months old

Bitty Bug continues to gain a fierce sense of independence (except of course when you bring her into a room full of people she doesn’t really know…then she curls up and gets shy. ūüėČ ).¬† But, she is getting very good at telling you what she wants, telling you that she wants to do it herself, and telling you when she feels wronged.¬† And to a toddler with two older siblings, she feels wronged a lot…like any time they have something really cool in their hands that she really really wants at that moment.¬† So, this week has been a week where Miss Bug learns some frustration tolerance, sharing, and how to deal with her big emotions.¬† That’s a big job for any child, but when you’re a little toddler with a limited vocabulary, that can be very hard.¬† So, we’ve seen a lot of tantrums this week, but we’ve also seen a lot of progress where she comes right to us and tells us what’s wrong.¬† It might be hard to understand what she’s saying, especially when she’s so upset, but she’s trying really hard to express herself!

Here are some pictures of Bug’s week¬†of learning….

Bug enjoyed a warm fall day by playing with sidewalk chalk with Monkey

Our little One Woman Band! Bug did a lot of exploring the various instruments in the music cupboard to see how the various instruments could be used together.

Working with the Autumn/Thanksgiving matching cards. She really enjoyed looking for all of the pictures of pumpkins, since she did a lot of work with pumpkins in recent weeks. There were also a couple of cards she could actually match up too! But in general, I wasn't going for matching...I just was happy that she was looking through the cards!

Bug still loves pouring water! It's probably one of her favorite works. Here, she's pouring from a creamer to a child sized tea cup.

I started Bug on color box 1. I was really impressed--not only could she match them up, but she could point to the correct color when I asked her to find yellow, then blue, then red. And she could name the yellow cards when I asked her what color those were.

Working with her shades & sizes peg board.

The bead after bead board was another one that was a big hit with Bug this week. She's really into counting and colors, so this work combined both of them. She can count to 5 without help and can count to 12 with help! She can also independently name "yellow" and "orange" (probably because we have been working really hard on colors with Monkey, who is still having a really hard time with them.)

Bug still loves the autumn leaf sorting activity. She can't sort the individual colors yet, but she can name some of them. She usually sorts the green ones in one cup, and yellow, orange, and purple in the other cup. This is also good for using the pincher grasp, since all the leaves are pretty small.

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Tot School Tuesday September 14, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20 months old

Today, Bitty Bug turned 20 months old, and all of the sudden, she decided she was just going to blossom.¬† She’s becoming more feisty, inquisitive (I didn’t know that was possible!), independent, and even verbal…today, the kid who is super reserved in public asked “what DAT for?” every 2 seconds in a waiting room today.¬† Every time she saw something new, she’d ask “what DAT for?”¬† Too cute!

She’s also really headstrong about being in the homeschool room with Monkey.¬† She often ignores what was set out for her, and instead tries her hands at Monkey’s work.¬† I never want to discourage her to try, because often, it works out well.¬† But we do also have mishaps involving colored rice on the floor, water spilled all over her clothes, and all types sorts of messy toddler fun.¬† But she has fun, and sometimes, she might even learn a thing or two!

Here Bug was learning how to sponge water from one bowl to the other. She was amazed at how a sponge soaked up the water!

She tried the eyedropper again this week. This time, she started to get it! I'm impressed by her concentration--I'm pretty sure it's not easy for a 1 1/2 year old to use an itty bitty eye dropper!

But, eventually, she decided it was a whole lot more fun to just dump the water back and forth.

She also dumped some tiny shells back and forth between the pitcher and the bowl.

While Monkey used this set to sort the nature-themed objects by color, Bug explored the different sizes and textures. She was especially fond of the starfish and pulled all 3 starfish out of the set and carried them around. I also asked her to hand me the "red toy", and she actually did it!

Bug loved playing with the new peg board. (**Warning: As always, use discretion when allowing your little one to explore small objects. I was always less than an arm's length away while she was playing with this toy). Bug had remarkable eye-hand coordination and pincher grasp while using the peg board. I was impressed! I wasn't expecting much, as I bought this for Jedi & Monkey to use, but she saw it and really wanted to give it a shot, so I sat with her and worked with it. She showed such intense concentration on it too!