Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday (A day late) February 22, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 0 months old

Last week was a fun week around here.  Not only was it Valentine’s Day week (so lots of pink and red and glittery heart crafts & activities), but Ohio finally got a peek at spring.  It was lovely weather, between 50-65 all week long.  There was lots of time to go out and play, take walks, and enjoy the outdoor world.  Of course, that came to a screeching halt this week, with new ice storms, but really, when you get a week of spring weather in mid-February, you can’t complain.  😉  It just has us all looking forward to when spring is finally here!

Both Monkey and Bug did a lot of great work in the schoolroom too, but I tried not to interrupt them by taking too many pictures.  So, both Montessori Monday and Toddler Tuesday will be a little sparce on pictures this week–just what I could get without interrupting their concentration.

Working with the sandpaper numbers. To help her with self-correction, I made each group of objects a different color so that she could easily see what each numeral stood for. Sometimes she has trouble with skipping over numbers, so this seemed to help her. (She is having problems with recognition of each number though...we're working on that!)

Valentine's Day 3 part cards from Musings of Me.

Matching & folding socks basket in practical life

Parts of a Turtle puzzle

And of course, enjoying the beautiful weather outside!

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Toddler Tuesday February 15, 2011

 

Bitty Bug is 25 months old

For those who are linking up to Toddler Tuesday for the first time or who haven’t visited my blog before, welcome!  Feel free to comment, ask questions, and join in the conversation! 🙂

Like Monkey, Bitty Bug got out of her routine of having good work times in the school room.  Obviously, it wasn’t such a big deal to have  her not be down there–the only reason she is in the school room is because Monkey’s down there.  However, towards the end of the week, she was really getting into the work set out on the shelves. 

One of the biggest things we’re working with is trying to get Monkey to put her things back on the shelf.  If it was up to her, she’d just toss everything on the floor when she was done.  Clearly, that’s not such a grand plan. 😉   So, a lot of my time is spent going back behind Monkey and assisting her in learning how to clean up her work space and put her items back on the shelf.  I’d like to think we were making progress with that, but alas, I’m not sure we are.  In time, in time….  But in the mean time, there is a whole lot of me down on my knees (not to beg… LOL!  Just so I can be at her eye level), guiding her hands and modeling the appropriate conclusion to each activity.

When I wasn’t following behind the human tornado (and I mean that as lovingly as possible…), I did manage to snap a few pictures!

Using the dusting mitts to clean off the top of the shelves (while she doesn't like to put her work back on the shelves, she sure does like dusting!)

Bug really liked the seashell matching game. She wasn't really able to match up the pictures just yet, but she did love exploring all of the different shells and starfish.

As always, Bug *loves* to be a one man band!

Bug also liked this fishing puzzle. And much to my surprise, she was very good at putting the pieces back into the puzzle, even though there was no obvious guide, other than shape. I was really impressed at her work with the puzzle!

Her favorite work is still the beach sand box. She loves using the tongs to get the animals and the spoon to scoop the sand.

Working with the counting beads again. She's getting really good at sorting the colors and counting the beads!

Another sorting and color work. This one was a bit tricky for her because she had to line each shape up with the pegs. She eventually got all except the triangles on right!

If you did any learning activities with your toddler this week, please add the direct link to your post when linking up to Toddler Tuesday!



 

Tot School Tuesday December 7, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 22.5 months old

Because Bitty Bug is almost 2 now, she really seems to be able to comprehend and get into the holidays.  It is so awesome to watch her fascination with the Christmas tree (and especially the train that runs around it!) and the Elf on the Shelf!  And yesterday was her first time seeing snow that she could remember (last year, she was just turning 1, and I don’t think she remembers the big blizzard from that time!).  She’s also just noticing the lights on people’s houses as we drive around in the evening.  Just seeing how big her eyes get when she sees a new holiday things is absolutely wonderful!  So of course, once I put some holiday work in the homeschool room, she naturally flocked straight to it!

Here is her December travel sensory bin for when we're waiting in waiting rooms--some white felt "snow", little penguins & snowmen, various Christmasy pom poms, gems, & pipe cleaners, and the usual assortment of scoops, chopsticks, and cups.

Also in our travelling bin...the book Everywhere Babies (which is one of her favorite books), some snowflake and igloo bocks, a polar bear and penguin Animalz toy, the white board (this always keeps her entertained for hours! She loves the white board!) and a couple wooden vehicles.

Bug was so thrilled every time she made the toy elephant "drink" the water!

Working on the animal puzzle

Using a spoon to transfer the glass beads

She loved the island landform tray--here, she's making a whale swim in it.

Playing with her beach sand tray

Bug was really intrigued by this! I demonstrated the first playdough ball "cherry" on the pie, and she did the 2nd one. I'm not sure she knows what cherry pie is (I don't even know that we've had it in years? Now I feel the need to go make a cherry pie!) but she thought it was funny!

Bug's favorite animal is an elephant, and one of her favorite things to do is bounce. So, when she came across this bouncing elephant in the basement this week, she couldn't be separated from it! She decided she was then going to bounce everywhere!

 

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!

 

Tot School Tuesday October 26, 2010

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Tot School

Bitty Bug is 21 months old

This week, Bug spent a lot of time soaking up the last of the nice days.  It seems like lately, summer has clashed with winter, with some days near the 80’s and 90’s and days where it was below freezing at night.  Thankfully the nice days have outnumbered the not-so-nice ones because Bug really loves getting outside to ride her plasma car around the neighborhood.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s her *favorite* activity….and she’s pretty fast too.  Of course, she rides it like a ride on toy and not like a plasma car (so she uses her feet for momentum), but she can get around the entire neighborhood pretty quickly!

Another thing Bug is finally getting into is puzzles.  Before this week, she didn’t really want anything to do with puzzles.  She didn’t understand them and didn’t care to try.  But, all of the sudden, this week she began to pull puzzles off the shelves and work with them! 

Working on her shapes puzzle. She was really happy when she finally figured out how the pieces go in (and she loved peeking at the picture of the pizza underneath the triangle!)

She also tried her hand at the butterfly puzzle. It was a bit hard for her, but she did like trying!

Spooning the glass beads

Bug's still loving the sensory bin!

Building a tower of blocks with Monkey

 

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!