Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday (on Tuesday) April 3, 2012

We’re currently on spring break this week, but I wanted to post some of the Easter activities (and some of the other work) the kids worked on last week.  Because we start school in June, we are actually winding down our school year right now.  April will be fairly light as we tie up some loose ends, and then May will be off as we switch gears and prepare for the next year.  In June, Jedi will be starting his 3rd grade curriculum, Monkey will be doing kindergarten work, and Bug will “officially” be starting the preschool curriculum!

 

Here are a couple of pictures from last week!

I changed the sensory bin over from the fake snow to some straw, "dirt" (aquarium gravel), plants, and flower pots

 

Monkey using some Easter Bunny tongs to match plastic eggs. This work is also good for transferring the eggs from the tray to the egg carton.

 

Decorating the seasonal tree. This time I gave the kids pink tissue paper squares and they crumbled it to make apple blossoms.

 

Close-up of the blossoms

 

The completed tree!

 

Monkey reading her Bob Book

 

Bug working with the latch board

 

Transferring some bright colored glass pebbles from one bowl to the other

 

 

Montessori Monday, way late this week… February 9, 2012

This past weekend was really busy.  Monkey turned 5 years old on Saturday and since then, we’ve been battling various rounds of illness in the house.  I’m also currently working on some curriculum development stuff for next school year (reading content standards and developing a science and geography & culture curriculum).  So, unfortunately this week’s posts are kind of drive by posts…

 

I changed out the sensory bin to get rid of the Christmas theme and add a different winter theme. It's pretty much the "winter that wasn't" here in central Ohio, so I put a fake snow sensory bin out. It's a bag of pillow fluff (from the sewing aisle at any craft store), some foam snowflakes, pom pom "snowballs", and some polar animals--penguins, seals, whales, etc. The kids actually love this bin a lot, surprisingly. I thought they weren't going to stick with it long, but they actually do play in it for a long time every day!

 

Up close in the bin

 

Both girls really loved color mixing work, so we had that out a lot. This one involves 6 test tubes with 1 tube filled with red water, one with blue water, and one with yellow water.

 

I also brought out some quill writing. We had a pheasant feather from a nature walk a long time ago. I snipped the end so that it had a diagonal point. Then I mixed some black tempura paint with a little bit of water. The kids loved making little messages with the quill!

 

Making a collage of triangles!

 

Monkey making about 2 dozen messages with the quill. 🙂

 

Monkey liked working with the test tube color mixing so much that she rarely gave it up. So, at the last minute, I brought out an old ice cube tray and filled it with water (1/3-1/2 of each cube filled). I put red, yellow, green, and blue food coloring in 4 of the cubes and let her go all out mixing the colors.

 

Look at all of her pretty colors!

 

Using tongs to transfer glass beads into the heart tray.

 

Catching Up…last week's Montessori Monday October 1, 2011

 

So first off, let it be known that whatever kid hid the camera cord is hereby known as the queen (or king) of hide-and-go-seek.  Over a week later, and it’s nowhere to be found.  So, a brand new card reader was bought today and now I can finally get pictures off the camera!  Now it’s time to play catchup.  So,  here are the pictures that were supposed to be posted a week ago. 🙂

 

Bug using watercolor paints to color her Caterpillar C.

 

A leaf matching work--I put 2 of each shape/color silk leaf on a tray for the girls to match.

 

Using an eye dropper to transfer the water from one jar to the other.

 

Since we were learning about autumn and the changing leaves, I brought out a tray from the botany cabinet so the girls can match the leaf shapes

 

The girls painting

 

Monkey working on her letter C book

 

Dot painting the letter C

 

Monkey using the eye dropper

 

All three kids changing the seasonal tree from the green leaves of summer to the red/yellow/orange leaves of fall.

 

The sensory bin was also changed from the summer sand/beach theme to the autumn theme. It has straw in it (in the craft aisle at major craft stores), small plastic colored leaf beads, silk leaves, gords, wooden vegetables (from the toy kitchen), and various scoops/rakes/containers

 

The kids' new favorite work--raking leaves! Since we don't have any large trees on our property yet (and thus no leaves to rake), I filled a pan with silk leaves. The kids then throw the leaves in the air and use the small rake to rake them up.

 

Bug tossing the leaves in the air.

 

The seasonal tree fully decorated.

 

The girls playing in the sensory bin.

 

The kids also got to see a little wildlife. Our new neighbors were excavating for their landscaping and accidentally destroyed a rabbit nest. After rescuing the baby bunnies, they called us over so the kids can see them (such awesome new neighbors...they've only lived there a couple months and they've already call us for homeschool science lessons!)

 

We ended our unit on the letter C the way anyone would...by making c shaped chocolate chip cookies covered in chocolate icing. Monkey hasn't forgotten the letter C yet, so I'd say this worked. 😉

 

Our autumn math work...pumpkin patch counting! This is based of the numerals and counters work. I printed out 11 identical close-up pictures of a pumpkin patch. On each picture, I wrote a number from 0-10. Since our children are also quite young, I wrote an x for each number in the patch. Then, using foam pumpkins, Bug and Monkey place the correct number of pumpkins in each patch to match the number written on each card.

 

A close-up of the work. This is the '5' card, and so there are 5 x's in the patch. A pumpkin goes on each x. If the child is older or can recognize numbers, you wouldn't need to put the x's on.

 

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!

 

Tot School Tuesday December 21, 2010

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 23 months old

This week, Bitty Bug was finally able to enjoy the snow.  I’m pretty sure this is her first winter where she can actually go out and play and enjoy the season–last year, she was still a little baby and wasn’t walking well.  This year though…she’s out digging in the snow, and sledding, and of course, having her first taste of freshly fallen snow.  That was one of the highlights of the week…she took one bite, gave an odd look because it was so cold, and then started shoveling fists full of snow into her mouth.  That girl…

Here’s a review of the week…

Bug, still enjoying the locks & keys work

Bug took all of the little gems out of the sensory bin and one by one dropped them into the clear container. She really concentrates for long periods of time when it comes to putting tiny things in containers...

Bug also loved doing the knobbed cylinders this week. She worked on these a lot, and is now really good at figuring out that she put a cylinder in the wrong compartment, even if the size difference is really small.

Bug received this Plan Toys garden for Christmas (to go with the PT dollhouse she's getting for her birthday). This is actually really good as a peg board-type activity...each little veggie fits into the little holes. It requires a good pincher grasp and good eye-hand coordination to get it just right.

Playing out in the snow. At first, she was not exactly sure how she was supposed to be walking on this slippery snow in such a puffy get-up...

Digging in the snow

Not even snow, ice, and temperatures in the 20's will keep this child off her plasma car though. She *loves* this thing and drives it around the neighborhood every chance she gets.

Off into the sunset...

 

Montessori Monday December 20, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature,In the kitchen,Preschool — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jedi is 7 years 0 months old, Monkey is 3 years 10 months old, Bitty Bug is 23 months old

As we head into the week of Christmas, our time in the school room has been reduced as we replace it with more “real life” things.  That is one of the benefits of homeschooling…when holidays come around, we get to slow down a little with homeschooling, but we more than make up for it with “life school”–real life work in the kitchen, etc.  We’ve had a lot of fun this week making cookies, playing in the snow, and preparing for Christmas!

Here, Monkey is working on a shapes puzzle...when put together, all of the shapes make a house.

It's always entertaining when Jedi joins us for homeschooling. He was attempting to reinact the part of Charlie Brown Christmas where one ornament goes on the tree and bends the tree over. Unfortnately, this tree wasn't the bendy type...

Hammering golf tees into clay

Monkey giving it a shot

Working in the winter sensory bin

Helping to decorate cookies

Bug also came over to help with the cookies

Jedi working on his pan of cookies

Playing in the snow

Jedi's been waiting all year to make a snow angel!

Jedi teaching Monkey how to make snow angels

On the sled

Bug really wanted to try the sled, but then wasn't too fond of it once she got in

One of my favorite pictures of my three little ones (we were trying to take a picture for their Aunt Samantha to thank her for the Christmas gifts.) I think this is one of the few I have of all of them looking at the camera smiling at the same time!

 

Montessori Monday December 5, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 10 months old

This week, Monkey jumped right back into things after a couple light weeks due to the holidays and illness.  She was really happy to get back into things as well!  I had quite a few new holiday-themed work out this week too.

Monkey and Jedi opening the day's door on the Lego advent calender. We don't usually do the themed ones, but Jedi is really into legos, and we couldn't resist having a new lego creation to build every day in December!

Using a spoon to transfer red, green, clear, and blue glass beads

Trying to feel which baric tablet is heavier and which one is lighter

Exploring the thermic tablets and sorting them by material

I put out three different types of boards that use screwdrivers. Monkey really loved working with these!

Another of the boards

Sorting Christmas buttons by color

Using the fraction skittles. She had actually used these in her homeschool co-op class, so she went straight to it.

This was a new work that I just purchased. Every numeral tablet is broken into a puzzle where the number of pieces equals the numeral in the tablet. This work is really interesting, but the first thing monkey did was tip the entire thing over without knowing what was inside. So, we spent a good hour putting all the pieces back together! Jedi tipped it over too on another day (nope, my kids don't wait for help with anything! LOL!) and even he found it really challenging, and he's 7. This might be something that goes back in storage for another year or two...we'll see if monkey wants to work with it this week, and if not, I'll put it up until she's a bit older.

Working with the spindle rods. Monkey really really was interested in these this week, so we worked on them a lot!

Working with the peg board

Monkey loves mixing colored water into new colors! She did this one a lot.

I also introduced the landform trays this week. Or rather, one landform tray. We worked on "island" this week. She loved making the fish go in the water and the animals on the land!

Decorating the mini Christmas tree. She loved this one too! She actually didn't want to take it apart again, but Bug wanted to work with it too, so we couldn't keep the mini tree decorated. It was a very popular work with the girls.

A clothes pin work. I glued shimmery foam balls to the end of clothes pins, and then cut a Christmas tree shape out of green felt. In order to decorate the tree, Monkey had to practice opening and closing the clothespins.

The December sensory bin...white felt strips, red/green/white pom poms, foam snowflakes, little penguin and snowman figurines, some clear red/green/clear "gems", red/green/gold pipe cleaners, and some more of the shimmery foam balls.