Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday August 15, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 6 months old

This week, we followed up on our zoo field trip by putting out several works related to zoo animals.  Both Bug and Monkey *loved* this, and they just love animals.  It also worked out well that we are studying South Africa as part of our geography unit, and thus also studying Africa, and African animals!

To help Monkey with her alphabet, I found this *fabulous* product called “The SENSEational Alphabet” by .  This book is absolutely wonderful, especially for those children who may have sensory issues, learning disabilities, or other issues.  With Monkey’s soon-to-be likely diagnosis of autism, along with her sensory issues, this book really helps her learn the way she learns best.  This book hits so many different learning styles–the letter is written on each page, there is a button where the name of the letter and an example of a word starting with that letter are pronounced, each letter is written in Braille, then there is an object on each page to look at.  Often, these objects either have something to smell or something to touch/manipulate.  So, for example, for the letter A, she would see “Aa” and a picture of an apple (which happens to have some tactile texture to it for her to feel), then she could press the red button to hear the “A, a, Apple”.  Then, if she knew Braille (which she doesn’t. LOL!), she could also feel the letter A that way.

Bug and Monkey working with the SENSEational Alphabet book.


To go along with the zoo field trip from last week, I put these animal ice cube trays out, with a zoo themed set of chopsticks. The chopsticks are used to put a pom pom into each opening in the tray.


We try to coordinate Jedi's geography lessons with the girls, so we have a shelf out to focus on South Africa (and in the continent of Africa as well. I have several books on Africa and South Africa, the language card for South Africa, some wooden animal masks from Africa, some musical instruments, and some small stuffed animals that were purchased from a friend who went to Ethiopia.


Using the sandpaper numerals to count zoo animals


Monkey working with the African animals


Close-up of the animal masks


Monkey as a zebra


Bug with the musical instruments


Monkey working with the trinomial cube


Taking a break from the school room to play in the water from the rain garden


Using the water to water the flowers


A butterfly in the rain garden that monkey found


Monkey and Jedi making Vietnamese Summer Rolls for dinner one night


Working with the zoo animal three part cards


Monkey putting South African traditional dress onto the African paper dolls


Toddler Tuesday June 28, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 5 months old


Bug and Monkey were really into singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider last week, so I put out some sequencing cards for the song. With Monkey, she doesn't need any help, but with Bug, we sing the song and put the pictures in order at the same time.

Bug matching the plastic models of the butterfly lifecycle to the preserved species.

Bug playing with some little figurines--each figurine is wearing the traditional dress of a different culture.

Working on the latches & locks board

Since summer started this week, we changed the sensory table from the flower planting theme to a beach theme.

Bug and Monkey working with the sensory table

Working with the knobbed cylinders

Taking a break from the homeschooling room to play in the rain garden. She insists this is a swimming pool. And she insists on wearing a dress in it.

Here, Bug is working on this cone toy. It's really difficult for her, but she's finally starting to get it!

Transferring spiders from one bowl to the other. I did have tongs for this work, but she wanted to do it using a pincher grasp. And she wanted to wear the rings.

Working with the texture board.