Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday April 4, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, we decided to try something new.  For the past year, we’ve been using Karen Tyler’s Montessori albums.  However, with the addition of having to homeschool for 2nd grade too starting in the summer, I wanted to try something with a little more structure to it, so that I had things laid out for me daily.  I started using New Child Montessori, or rather, using it as a basis, but continuing with the Karen Tyler stuff (and just adding in my own personal touch as well).  I do love the New Child curriculum so far…it’s more of “Montessori-inspired unit studies” than pure Montessori, and for us, that’s fine.  It’s not like homeschooling is pure Montessori anyhow…LOL!

This past week, the focus was on reptiles of our home state, as well as the world.  We mainly concentrated on Ohio snakes and turtles, but we touched on crocodiles and komodo dragons as well. 🙂  Even Bitty Bug got into the lessons this week!  She loved the snakes!

One of the things I really like about our new curriculum (other than having the entire sequence laid out for me. LOL!) is the addition of a “circle time” and “yoga time”.  While we don’t follow the New Child schedule exactly (because it’s laid out like a traditional school day, which is just not necessary when you only have 2 children in the room!), we do add in the circle time date, weather, and story stuff, as well as the yoga time.  The yoga helps focus the girls, and the circle time gives me a chance to give the lessons before things get too crazy.  So, I’m really liking this program so far!

Here are some pictures from our week (Jedi was home on spring break this week as well!)

Using the metal insets

Big brother helping out!

Some of the books in the reading basket last week

More books in the reading basket

Snake shedding skin sequencing cards

Snakes of Ohio 3 part cards

Closeup of snake cards

Using a snake stencil

Decorating the spring tree (a branch we found on the ground outside, decorated in paper leaves and tissue paper blossoms)

The final product!

Matching and folding socks

Bitty Bug dressed for baking!

All three kids helping to make cupcakes

One of the best parts...licking the spoons!

I found these darling little silicone baking cups in the shape of flower pots, and we filled them with chocolate batter

And of course, we added green "grass" frosting and a gummy worm!

 

Montessori Monday, plus a big kid! March 28, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 1 month old

This week has been really busy for us in terms of homeschooling, but not so much with Monkey.  We have begun the first steps to pulling Jedi out of his school and homeschooling him.   With him, it’s a bit more complicated because he’s on an IEP and the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program.  But, it became clear in the past couple months that his current placement at the Montessori school just was no longer working for him.  We’ll have him finish up the year at his current school, and then beginning in June, he’ll start full year homeschooling for 2nd grade.  So, last week was a blur of paperwork, planning, ordering curriculum, and revamping our school room so that we have a place to homeschool someone who is far above the preschool level.  This week gets to be a test week since he’s home on spring break, so he’ll get a whole week to “practice” homeschooling with the girls.  So, soon, I’ll start a new weekly post with our curriculum choices for Jedi (and then in June, his weekly recaps).

As for Monkey, she did have a busy week, but no busier than usual.  We did a unit on worms (which unfortunately, I didn’t keep my camera near by to document.  But, it was really cool, and she really loved touching the worms…and apparently we discovered that you can make a composting worm dance by putting it on the table’s surface.  LOL!!  It was rather funny to watch!

She also had another belt test in her Tang Soo Do class, and did really well!  She’s now a white belt with gold stripe. 🙂

Here’s a little recap from our unit on turtles that we’re working on…

A large turtle shell I put on the shelf, and the parts of a turtle puzzle.

Turtles of Ohio 3 part cards

A close-up of the cards

Turtle stenciling with dot painting

Turtle books

Monkey working with the stencil

Working with the metal insets

Jedi helping Monkey make a maze

Walking the maze

Monkey doing her balance beam walk from gymnastics through the maze

One of the Bob books I have out for Monkey

Our schedule board for today

Our "Ohio" wall!

The school room all dressed up for spring 🙂