Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday July 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This was a week where we started to evaluate whether Montessori is truly right for Monkey.  While it does seem to be working very well for the non-academic subjects, it’s becoming more and more clear that she’s getting frustrated with the more academic areas.  Monkey has a few special needs that make it difficult for her, and recently we’ve started to notice that those issues also make things more difficult academically.  Earlier in the year, you might have remembered the difficulties we had with Monkey learning colors.  We’re also seeing the same difficulties arise in learning letters and letter sounds.  We have been working on the same couple letter sounds for a year, and she still hasn’t made the connection (and can’t name the letter either).  She’s getting very frustrated because she wants to read, but after a year of trying to learn letter sounds, she can’t name any.  For example, she’s been working on A for a long time.  And even 2 minutes after the lesson, she still can’t tell you what sound A makes, or a word that begins with A, or recognize the letter A even if that is the only letter we’ve worked on that day.  We’ve even tried Starfall, and after watching the whole letter A presentation, she still couldn’t name the song.  We are in the process of having these issues evaluated (we’re not jumping the gun…she has known speech, language, sensory, social, and behavior issues.  If a typical 4 1/2 year old couldn’t recognize the letter A, we wouldn’t be concerned (although a 4 year old who still couldn’t recognize it even after being given lessons in several different ways on it would raise red flags to me).  But knowing her history and the difficulty we’ve had, it’s something we have to get evaluated to know how to proceed).  So, over the next couple weeks, we will be trying different things to see if there is something that might help her.

Monkey working with the pressure cylinders and Bug working with the smelling bottles.

 

Monkey working with the power of 2 cube...she loves this cube!

 

Working with the Geo Board. Monkey loves making shapes with the geo board!

 

Using the summer sensory bin.

 

It was also a special week for Bug…she tested for her white belt with orange stripe at Tang Soo Do!

Awesome roundhouse kick!

 

Flying front kick!

 

She passed!

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Montessori Monday October 18, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Monkey had a busy time in her homeschool room this week!  She seems to be getting into a good routine and almost every day she asks to go down and do her school work.  She usually stays in her homeschool room for 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes she’s been down there for longer than that.  Some days it’s hard to get her to want to stop for the day so we can get to an appointment!

Using the hammering shapes work--the child hammers little shapes into the cork with a wooden hammer (the nails are actually tacks)

Jedi hammering nails into a pumpkin

Monkey hammering nails into a pumpkin. She *loved* this work. The pumpkin now has 3 days worth of nails in it--she seems to come back to this work almost daily!

Sorting purple bats, white skulls, and black spiders into separate cups.

Using tongs to put a black spider into each section of the pan.

Using tweezers to get the corn off the cob and transfer it to the dish.

Using foam pumpkins and pumpkin patch pictures to count. Each patch has a different number written on it and monkey puts down the number of pumpkins written on the patch.

Using the Power of 2 cube. Monkey was *really* fast at this! She got the concept very quickly.

Putting the geometric solids on their bases. She was very interested in the fact that some shapes would fit on more than one base--for example, the pyramid can fit on the triangle base and the square base!

Putting clothespins on the rim of a basket.

Jedi & Monkey painting haunted houses in preparation for their Halloween party

This is a cross between ecology and tonging. The blue paper represents water and the green paper represents land. The little flower pot is a "trash can". I put a bunch of small pieces of foil and paper on top of the "land" and "water" and monkey used the tongs to clean up all of the "litter".

Using the Parts of a Tree puzzle and comparing it to the 3 part cards.

Using the world map continent pieces to do pin punching. She easily took the stylus and put "dots" on the paper around the perimeter of the continent.