Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Late Montessori Monday, combined with Toddler Tuesday May 4, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old.  Bitty Bug is 2 years 3 months old.

I’m a bit late getting yesterday’s post out, and barely made today’s post in time, so here is the combined post. 🙂  I have a science experiment post coming tonight too…

Bug and Monkey making sidewalk chalk drawings on the porch

This week, we continued our unit on Asia, concentrating on Japan and India this week. One of the works I put out was this mini Japanese garden

A tea set where the girls practiced pouring water.

The book basket this week

The book we looked at about Japanese Woodblock Prints

To make our own mock woodblock prints, I carved designs into styrofoam blocks. Then the girls used a paint roller to put black tempura paint on the blocks. Next, they stamped the image onto the paper.

Some of the prints

Monkey pouring water.

The 2nd week is complete with the chick eggs!

Bug pouring water. As you can tell, it was a favorite of both girls.

Monkey working with the woodblock art.

 

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Montessori Monday/Toddler Tuesday February 8, 2011

 Tot School

Bitty Bug is 24 months old, Monkey is 4 years 0 months old

First off, the big news of the week is Monkey turned 4 years old this past week!  I can’t believe she’s already 4 years old…three was a pretty big year for her.  It was the year she started finally speaking, and she’s also grown so much…socially, emotionally, and physically.  She’s so proud to be a “big girl”!

I am doing another combined post this week because last week was another busy week outside of the school room.  Actually, the school room was being used as a storage room for a few days as we were rearranging furniture in various rooms so we could open up our office and turn it into a nursery for our future little one.  In the process, we decided to finally remove the temporary shelving we had in there (we had large metal shelves in there because I had them on hand).  This week we replaced them all with smaller bookshelves, which both look nicer and are easier for Bug & Monkey to work with!  I love them, and they were only $15 a piece at W*lmart (which is a store I don’t often shop at, but for such a big project, I needed a lot of shelves). 

Our new and improved school room!

The rest of the room (that one corner is going to have some book shelves over there for their books...we just don't have them up yet)

The shoe tying puzzle I put on the shelves this week

A Valentine's Day spooning exercise--red & white glass beads and heart shaped ice cube tray

Stars & tongs

Dry pouring glass beads and dishes

Bug working with the screwdriver work

Pin punching with the geometric cabinet

 

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. 😉 ).  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 28, 2010

      Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20.5 months old

Bitty Bug continued her fierce independent streak this week.  She’s at the stage where not only does she want to do everything herself, but when she wants something, she wants it *right now*.  Poor Monkey is usually at the brunt of that one–every time Monkey has something to play with, Bug thinks it’s so interesting that she has to take it from her then and there. 

And of course, this independent streak has lead to some not-so-fun events….  For example, ever since she’s started solids, she’s sat in a booster seat at the dining room table.  At 12 months old, we took the tray off the booster seat and pulled her up to the table.  When she’s finished, we take her out of the chair.  Sounds fine, right?  Until recently.  She decided that now, when she’s done, she will stand up and wait for someone to get her.  We tried to nip that in the bud, but it didn’t work–strapping her into the chair made it worse because then she’d pull herself out of the straps.  This week, she stood up in her chair and so I ran over to get her…but before I could get there, she’d tried to jump down herself and had fallen head first out of the chair (and I was only sitting about 10 feet away from her…it happened that quickly). 😦  It was really scary to see, but she’s ok, thank goodness.  But that was the end of the booster seat at the table thing…something that worked so well for the first two children did not work quite so well for Bug. 

So, this week, we introduced the children’s table.  Now, I will be the first to admit that the idea did not sit well with me at first.  I like everyone eating at the same table…I don’t like children segregated to their own table.  But, when the choice was between that, getting a high chair for the first time, or risking another nasty fall, we went with the children’s table idea.  In the dining room, we put a smaller table next to the regular table.  And it’s worked well!  Bug is so happy with her new table (Monkey choses to sit with her as well).  She can get up and down independently, AND she actually sits longer and eats more at her small table than she ever did at the regular table.  Preparing her environment with child-sized furniture and allowing her the choice of how long to sit at the table, and giving her the independence to get up and down increased the amount of time she actually sat.  In her booster, she’d sit for about 5 minutes, pick at a few bites, and then cry to get down.  Now, she’ll sit through an entire meal happily.  I think that a lot of the time, even the smallest kiddos cry out for some independence and choices, and when allowed to make those choices and be a bit independent, the results can be very good!  So, that was a very positive result from having a prepared environment.

The table setup--a small table with a little rug underneath and two chairs. And actually, the chairs aren't really chairs--we could not find any child sized chairs during our quick trip out, but I did find these storage ottomans. These actually work very well because I can store the spare little rug, bibs, napkins, etc. in them.

Eating her taco

This basket sits in the corner (along with a picture series that shows the process of table washing). The spray bottle is filled with water, white vinegar, and lemon juice. There's a small duster and dustpan in it for crumbs, along with the spray bottle, towel, and wash cloth. Monkey and Bug are excited when they get to wash their own table after meals.

 

And a review of Bug’s other work this week:

Bug loved the Sock Monkey Jack-in-the-box. We bought this for her before she was born, and now she really loves it. Every time we put the monkey back in, she says "bye bye monkey!"

Here, Bug's transferring little glass beads with an Asian soup spoon

Bug was really good at using the tea set! She only let one of the cups overflow before she learned to stop before it gets to the top.

Bug and her daddy with the hand bells

Pouring water with creamer pitchers

Bug was using the whole hand movement to transfer the fruits and veggies between the baskets. We also worked on naming all of them. She's really good at naming the apple. 🙂

Whisking a bowl of sand

But was so excited to sprinkle the glitter on her glue (she's making the Asian dragon dance dragon that was in yesterday's Montessori Monday post)

After a long day at work, apparently it was nap time. Under a shelf. Silly child.

 

Montessori Monday September 26, 2010

Monkey is 3  years 7 months old

Monkey had a fantastic time in her Montessori room this week.  I’m thinking it had a lot to do with the heavy focus on Vietnamese culture, and specifically Tet Trung Thu, that captured her interest.  She loves learning about her birth culture, and to have it highlighted in her homeschooling just drew her in.  We also added a new computer program we just bought called Let’s Learn Vietnamese by VNI, and now she is really interested in learning the Vietnamese language as well.  It’s a really difficult language to learn, but she’s always been fascinated with her Xuan Mai videos and her Vietnamese music CDs, so I think she’ll pick up on at least some of it rather easily.

And there are a ton of pictures for this week….

Looking at the inspiration book for the basket mask craft

This was the selection of books we used to learn about the Harvest festival traditions

Monkey painting her mask

Cutting on the lines to make paper lanterns

Whisking sand

Pouring water using a teapot

Using chopsticks to transfer wooden harvest veggies from one basket to the other

Working with a compass to determine which direction is north.

Looking through the Asian continent box

Still looking at the continent box

Working with the geometric solids. This was her first introduction to them, so she was feeling the surface and shape of each solid and then figuring out which ones roll

Using a sake set to pour sand

"Numerals and Fish". Monkey took a basket of cards and separated numerals from fish. This is to help her learn to recognize what a numeral is by using something really obvious (she knows what a fish is and knows when something is not a fish)

Scrubbing a rock

Making a dragon dance puppet

Monkey's so pleased with her puppet!

The second type of lantern. This one actually held a mini flashlight. Tissue paper is glued over the shaped holes, and monkey poked more holes using a paper punch

Monkey gluing her tissue paper

Jedi was home sick this week, and he decided to join us one day. Here, he's making a noisemaker out of beads.

Putting together her alphabet dragon

 

Tot School Tuesday September 20, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 20 months old

Bitty Bug continued to attempt to do everything Monkey did this week, as usual.  Only now she’s starting to get even more verbal and persistant about it.  Things did not work out well the day she wanted to try the eyedroppers and colored water and it was not an option for her.  Little Miss decided that she was going to be very vocal about her disappointment.  But, things changed when I brought out the scrubbing baby work.  I don’t think Bug could have been happier with the world at that point.  Give this child some water, a bar of soap, and a doll and you just found a way to entertain her for a very long time.  Apparently she loves to scrub things.  I might have to put that talent to good use one day… 😉

I tossed the extra sand from Monkey's primitive map drawing work into the sensory bin. Bug had a blast making animals hide in it!

Bug also wanted to explore the use of glue sticks this week. The purple color of the glue stick sort of made it hard for her to realize that it's not a marker. She never did figure out that she needed to actually stick something to it. LOL! But, she had fun running the glue stick over paper and making designs with it.

Playing with the clock puzzle. She liked turning the arms far more than she liked putting the pieces into the correct holes though!

Scrubbing one of her baby dolls

While Monkey was planting seeds, Bug was using the little shovel to scoop dirt and transfer it into various containers. She thought this was a fun work (although it was a bit messy of course!)

Using a funnel to transfer sand between the bottle and the pitcher

Using the knobbed cylinder block #1. She actually did pretty well with getting all of the cylinders back in the correct place

Bug also helped us to make cookies this week. Or rather, she stole the cookie dough while the rest of us were mixing and had a little feast. She really loved her job the most!

 

Montessori Monday, plus a preview of our Tet Trung Thu work

Monkey is 3 years 7 months old

This week, Monkey had a busy week in her homeschooling room.  She’s really loving her time in there, and sometimes I have to just call it a day after 4+ hours even though she’s still wanting to work (I only do that for things we really need to do…like pick Jedi up from school or hit an appointment).  Quite a change from the kid who only wanted to work 15 minutes at a time a few weeks ago!

I have a lot of picftures, so I’m going to just get straight to the weekly summary, and then add a sneak preview of the Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival) work that Monkey will be doing this week.  It’s only about 1/3rd of the lessons for Tet Trung Thu, but it at least gives a little sneak peak before I post the summary next Monday.

Monkey sorting "clean" vs "polluted" for her ecology work

Using an eye dropper to mix colored water

Planting flower seeds. First she filled the pot with dirt, then poked a little hole, put the seed in, covered it up, and then added a little water.

Scrubbing a baby. She had to pour the water into the tub, get the baby's clothes off, wet the washcloth, put soap on the washcloth, scrub the baby, rinse the baby, dry the baby, and then put the baby's clothes back on

Using a paper punch to punch holes in a strip of paper

Using one of the sets of visual discrimination cards. She had to match pairs based on one changed facial feature on each card

In the kitchen! Monkey, Bug, & Jedi making cookies

 And a sneak peak at this current week:

Pouring sand with a Sake set, and using a Vietnamese soup spoon to transfer glass pepples

Pouring water with a tea set

Using chopsticks to transfer harvest items from one basket to another

Cutting lines to make paper lanterns (this is one of 2 different types of lanterns she'll be making this week. She's also going to make lanterns to light later in the week)

Making Vietnamese Tet Trung Thu basket masks

Getting ready to make moon cakes