Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday July 4, 2011

 

 

Monkey is 4 years 5 months old

This weekend has been incredibly busy with 4th of July fun, and so we’re taking the afternoon off of craziness to just relax a bit.  So, while the Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes are baking in the oven (gluten, dairy, and egg free of course!), here is Monkey’s learning week in review!

Of course, like many of my US-based readers, we had our Red, White, & Blue work out this week in honor of Independence Day. Here are the red glittery stars for tonging.

I added the red, white, and blue glass beads for dry pouring.

Beads for making patriotic bracelets

These rubber pom poms look like fireworks, and made another good tonging work.

Monkey making a bracelet

Pin punching the Russia puzzle piece

Working on the sandpaper letters & letter sounds

Monkey then decided that she wanted to copy the sandpaper letters onto paper

Using the smelling bottles

Jedi helping Monkey with the binomial cube

 

 

Montessori Monday & Tot School Tuesday January 19, 2011

 Tot School

Bitty Bug is 2 years old, Monkey is 3 years 11 months old

This week was a little light on the school work, for 2 reasons.  The first reason is that Bitty Bug turned 2 years old this week!  She was very proud of it being her birthday and talked about it for weeks leading up to the big day.  And then, when her birthday arrived, she decided to wear a princess crown all day and tell everyone that it was her “happy birday” all day long!  What a sweet pea!  She also made it very clear to everyone that she is not a baby now…she’s a big girl.  And she doesn’t let you forget that! 😉

There’s also another reason this week has been pretty light on the school work.  I was actually knee deep in paperwork, phone calls, and medical appointments all week because……

We’re expecting another little one! 

Kind of. LOL!  I’m not pregnant…but we are expecting a little one.  We’ve been accepted into the China Special Needs program to adopt a toddler girl with special medical needs from China!  We should be able to finalize the adoption and go to China to bring her home around the end of this year or the beginning of next year.  So, needless to say, the first stages of the adoption process involves a lot of time consuming paperwork.  But, I managed to finish most of it last week, so schoolwork is getting back to normal now.

Even though it was a light week, we still did do a lot of learning.  Here are some pictures from this week…

Monkey added a couple planets to her solar system lessons this week. In addition to the Sun, we also have Mercury and Venus out. I have the 3 part cards, a model of each planet, and a few easy reader science books on space in the astronomy basket.

Bug hammering golf tees into clay

Bug really enjoyed exploring the musical instrument cabinet this week as well!

Two weeks ago, we started exploring minerals with monkey. This week, we continued the minerals exploration by grinding salt with a mortar & pestle in order to show that some minerals are not as hard as they look! In the process, she also learned that some minerals are edible. 😉

Bug using small tongs to move foam snowflakes from one dish to the other

Practice with cutting jagged lines

Bug trying to match the place setting pictures with the real objects.

Bug and Monkey working with the island, lake, and isthmus landform trays

 

Montessori Monday November 1, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

This week, Monkey’s concentration was a bit short…but part of me thinks it’s because she knew the Halloween party was coming up and she was excited.  Instead of our usual 3 hour blocks in the school room, we were only down there for 2 hours at a time this week because she was losing focus and wanted to do other things that weren’t in the school room.  However, she did do a lot of good work during her shorter periods.  One thing that I’m noticing is that she’s starting to develop a huge interest in writing…especially her name.  She doesn’t have any letter recognition yet, but I think we’re going to start moving forward with more pre-writing and writing things while she has this interest. 

T@rget has a fantastic stock of wooden Montessori-inspired toys in their dollar spot this week. One of them is this cool counting snail. It's very similar to our alphabet dragon!

Another of our finds is this animal matching box.

The third find was these lacing shapes.

And our 4th and final find was this beading set!

Monkey is still working a lot on her colors. She's still having problems naming them, but is able to match them really well. I found this awesome set on 1+1+1=1--it has the color, word, and objects to match.

Monkey loves to do the knobless cylinder extensions. Right now, she matches them up right on the cards, but soon, we're going to be moving towards making the extension next to the card.

We've also been working on sequencing and patterning. One thing I've noticed is that when the pattern is something like "object a, object b, object c, object a, object b, ____ _____ _____", she will but a, b, and c in order for the 3 blanks instead of C, A, B like it should be. So, I think she's getting the concept, but soon I think she'll get the part about continuing where the pattern leaves off.

Monkey's also been big on writing her name. She has been trying to write her namem everywhere lately, even though she doesn't have any sort of letter recognition yet. So, I printed and laminated a card with her first name on it--she does really well copying the name card.

Making a horizontal pattern with the pink tower, and then building the tower vertically.

We started working with just a few shapes from the geometric cabinet. I had her take out the piece, trace the outline, trace the piece, and then put the piece back in the outline.

Monkey and Bug were making spiders for the Halloween party. To do this, we cut an egg carton into 12 pieces. Then I punched 8 holes into each piece. I cut black pipe cleaners in half, and then Monkey threaded the pipe cleaner throw one hole and then through the whole on the opposite face of the carton piece. We did that with 4 pipe cleaners, to make 8 legs.

Using a spatula to flip various lids. She started out using her hands and I casually mentioned that it's like flipping hamburgers in a pan. She then stopped using her hand...she said she didn't want her fingers burnt. LOL!

 

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.

 

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.

 

Montessori Monday September 13, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 7 months old

This was our second full week of homeschooling, and Monkey’s really starting to get into the routine of it all!  Every day she asks to go down to the homeschool room, which is fabulous!  She’s also really starting to focus on her work as well.  It’s really nice to see. 

Monkey also had a new change this week too…it was the first week of her homeschooling co-op classes.  She takes two classes with the local homeschool co-op, which gives her the experience of working in group settings with other preschool aged children and gives her an opportunity to socialize.  The classes are once a week for three hours.  One is a montessori class and one is a general preschool class.  Everyone in the classes are homeschoolers.  Monkey *really* enjoyed her classes for the first week and did wonderfully!  We’re so happy to have found our co-op, which continues all the way through high school.

And now for our week in review….

Monkey and Bitty Bug getting ready for the first day of co-op

Working on the velcro, snap, and large button dressing frames

Using a sponge to transfer water from one bowl to the other.

Sorting nature objects by color. We also worked on isolating a few colors using three part lessons to reinforce the names of the colors.

Beading wooden beads onto lanyard laces

So proud of her necklace!

Making crafts with recycled art supplies. Each of these supplies was left over from other crafts, or they are recycled objects. Monkey put some of the objects together for a new craft.

 

Tot School Tuesday! September 6, 2010

Tot School 

Bitty Bug is 19.5 months old

Like her big sister, Bug had a busy learning week!  She’s still trying to do all of Monkey’s work, so things got pretty interesting when Monkey had a bunch of work out that utilized water.  Let’s just say that by the end of the week, Bug was also an expert at using a sponge to clean up spilled water!  😉

Bug using Tactile Board 1 to learn the difference between smooth and rough

This was actually very hard for Bug--putting pipe cleaners into the holes of a parmesan cheese shaker. She kept trying to use the far end instead of grasping near the end that she was trying to put in the hole.

Transferring water back and forth with the tea cups

Bug loved to play with the maracas this week! I think she tried them every day!

 

Those were all of the pictures I was able to snap of her working…the rest of the time I was too busy chasing Bug around with eye droppers, basters, and pitchers of water!  She loved trying to transfer the water with the baster and eyedroppers…or rather, she liked using the baster and eye dropper to blow bubbles in the water. 😉