Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Montessori Monday February 13, 2012

Montessori Monday

The girls had a busy week in the schoolroom this week.  They really loved having all of the work pink and purple for Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that easily lends to a lot of collage making and other crafts, so the girls really enjoyed themselves.

It’s also becoming pretty clear that Monkey wants to move towards more of the kindergarten-level work.  She’s been spending a lot of time choosing to focus on math, for example.  She really doesn’t want to follow the the typical math sequence.  In fact, she’s demanding that we give her pages of addition problems to do with the bead rack every day.  She LOVES addition.  On her ipod, she gravitates towards the math games (Monkey Preschool Math is a good one!  It’s her favorite!).  She even found the math pages in her Hello Kitty coloring book, and independently started doing all of the math problems.  I think we may have a little math loving girl on our hands!

Here are some pictures from the girls’ week of school.

Monkey received a bunch of wooden craft kits for her birthday. I think she might have done them all in one day--most of them involved paint and glitter, so she pretty much dedicated an entire day to finishing every last one because she couldn't decide which one she liked the most. 🙂

 

Tonging conversation hearts into an ice cube tray.

 

Free writing/drawing

 

Collage materials for making Valentine's cards.

 

Making bracelets out of pipe cleaners and beads.

 

Bug LOVES to peel and break crayons. So much so, that we always have an abundance of broken crayons. We decided to create some heart shaped rainbow crayons. (One warning...I bought these heart-shaped trays a long time ago. I completely forgot they were not baking trays. Let's just say it's a good thing I checked on them when the crayons were melting--the pans were not heat safe. Oops!)

 

Monkey helping to peel crayons.

 

Bug happily helping prepare the crayons.

 

We put the trays in the oven at 250 for about 5 minutes, and then put the pans instantly outdoors (it was cold, and I actually wanted to attempt to save the pans. Thankfully, cooling them down quickly saved the pans from being destroyed. LOL!!!) Here are the final products!

 

Bug working with the conversation hearts.

 

Monkey making Valentine's cards

 

Lots and lots of glitter!

 

Pink paper snipping

 

Monkey working on math.

 

Shaving cream!!! Bug, of course, loved it. She played with it for hours. Monkey hated it. She has some pretty bad sensory issues, but she also hates feeling left out. So she voluntarily tried it. For about a minute. After that, she went and scrubbed the heck out of her hands...

 

Monkey's "I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw up" face. I'm not sure why she even volunteered to stick her hands in it, except that she saw Bug having fun. Now, she can't figure out what Bug loved about it...

 

Watercolor painting!

 

While Bug was using watercolors, Monkey wanted to paint on the easel with tempura paints. 🙂

 

Montessori Monday January 9, 2012

Montessori Monday
 

It’s a pretty big week for Miss Bitty Bug–in a week, she turns 3…officially out of “tot school” and into the preschool age.  I can’t believe my little Bug is no longer able to do the Tot School blog hop!  And in just under a month, Monkey turns 5–almost kindergarten aged!  It’s an exciting time for the girls…but now mama’s missing the itty bitty stage–all my itty bitties are now big kids!

The girls enjoyed their first week back to the school room!  Here is their week in review….

The locks and keys work was put back on the shelves--both girls still love this work!

 

I used cotton balls to look like snowballs. Monkey loved using the tongs for this work, but Bug really just wanted to use her hands.

 

Bug got this for Christmas, so we put it on the work shelves. She loves this puzzle!

 

I brought back on the flag popsicle sticks puzzle as part of our World Geography unit on the United States

 

Bug making a torn paper collage. She loves tearing paper and gluing, so this was a big hit!

 

Bug using measuring cups and lentils to learn about volume.

 

Monkey working with the beads

 

Bug loved this work--using white tempura paint and glitter to fingerpaint a snowy scene

 

She was really getting into her fingerpainting!

 

Monkey? She HATES anything that gets her hands messy. She gave it a valiant effort, but hated every second of it. I'm not sure why she even chose it knowing how aversive it is to her, but she did. I think she really just wanted to get to the glitter part. 🙂

 

I did this work with Bug--gingerbread and gumdrop counting (this was from Musing of Me's kit from last winter)

Monkey with her 100 chain!

 

Bug playing with the figurines on the geography shelf

 

 

 

Montessori Monday September 19, 2011

Bitty Bug is 2 years 8 months old.  Monkey is 4 years 7 months old

Here is a review of Bug & Monkey’s week in the Montessori room.

Bug working with her rainbow stacker

 

Bug working with a screwdriver

 

Bug building the pink tower

 

Jedi giving Monkey a geography lesson. Monkey wanted to know where Ohio, Vietnam, Russia, and Antarctica were.

 

Bug working on the natural objects & cards matching

 

Bug using toaster tongs to transfer pom poms to a mini muffin tin

 

Bug using a spoon to transfer shells from one bowl to the other

 

Pouring sand from one pitcher to the other

 

Monkey polishing shoes. To do this work, I laid out several different brushes (a soft tooth brush, a stiffer brush, and then a very stiff nail brush).

 

Bug polishing shoes. Because regular shoe polish is highly toxic, I wanted an all natural solution that is safe for skin and in case a little one accidentally got some in her mouth. I mixed 2 parts lemon juice with one part olive oil for a super safe shoe polish.

 

Pouring the water in the little bowl to rinse the dirt off the shoes. The girls *loved* the shoe polishing work. They now have some very clean looking shoes. 🙂 I think they worked on just that one work for hours!

 

The basket of geometric solids--we worked on cylinder, pyramid, and prism

 

Using toaster tongs to build a tower of cubes

 

Bug using a funnel to pour water into a small necked jar

 

Monkey using the spindle box

 

Monkey was on a big counting kick last week...here she is with the numerals & counters

 

Montessori Monday August 9, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 6 months old

This week has been a rather interesting week for Monkey, primarily outside of the schoolroom.  As you might remember, Monkey has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder with Selective Mutism.  As you also might remember, we had noticed several cognitive difficulties popping up that were making learning difficult for her.  Well, this past week, we took her back to her former therapist (who happens to be Jedi’s autism therapist), and he has decided to have her assessed for an autism spectrum disorder as well.  If she does have a form of ASD, we would not be surprised, given how similar symptoms of RAD are to ASD.  What does make it surprising is that Monkey will not only have the exact same allergies as the other kids, but will also have the same developmental issues…keeping in mind, Monkey is not biologically related to our other children, this is quite interesting (and somewhat concerning…).  Anyhow, these evaluations should take several weeks, but hopefully we’ll have a better idea of how to help Monkey soon.

In the mean time, we’re doing a lot of trial and error with her.  Since Jedi has autism, we do have several resources under our belt to help academically, socially, and emotionally–it’s just a matter of pinning down what the exact issues are.

And on to what you really came to see….Monkey’s week in review.

Monkey looking at the "forest in a box"...it has various objects that you might find in the forest--bark, acorns, bird egg, cocoon, porcupine quill, etc.

 

Dot painting...one of her favorite activities!

 

Working on the alphabet puzzle

 

Working with the knobbed cylinder

 

Monkey begged to use clay this week, so I brought out the new tub. She *loved* it!

 

Zoo animal-themed pom poms for 1 to 1 transferring

 

Summer themed tonging exercise--moving the bugs/flowers/lizards from the fish tray to the vase

 

Monkey using the spoon to scoop rice

 

Working with the binomal cube--Monkey can do this really quickly now! We'll be bringing out the trinomial cube this week as a result.

 

Working with the tonging activity

 

Montessori in the kitchen...Bug washing tomatoes and Monkey cutting them up to make tomato sauce

 

Monkey cutting the tomatoes

 

Bug washing the tomatoes

 

As always, comments are welcome, either here or on our facebook page.  Let me know you’re reading along!

 

Toddler Tuesday July 5, 2011

 

 
Bitty Bug is 2 years 5 months old

 

Bug still loves all art projects, so I set up a 'firework painting' station. To make the fireworks, she dipped the big puffballs into the paint.

 

Bug making fireworks

 

Putting pipe cleaners in the holes of a spice jar

 

Bug still loves working with these beads!

 

Playing with the Russian dolls

 

Using the tongs to put the fireworks in the cookie tin

 

Working with the shapes board

 

Bug wanted to join Jedi for some outdoor sketching.

 

 

 

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 April 18, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This week, there are a lot of pictures to post, so I’ll just let those tell the story, instead of coming up with an opening commentary.  I will say that our unit last week was ‘eggs’…and it’s amazing what 2 egg-allergic kids can still learn about eggs without ever touching an egg. LOL!

As part of the oil spill project we did last week, I also put out various shells and sea life pieces for the kids to explore.

Working with the metal insets

As part of the egg unit, we wanted to learn about hatching chicken eggs. However, it probably isn't the best idea to raise a chicken egg in our basement or keep a chicken outside in our suburban backyard (that has coyotes and deed restrictions against keeping chickens!). So, this is the next best thing we could find...it has a different egg you break open for every day of the 22 day cycle of a chicken egg. Each day, you see what's going on inside the egg.

The box for the Chick Life Cycle kit in case anyone out there wants to learn about chickens but can't really raise them in their backyard!

The chart I have on our white board to show the kids when we should expect our egg to "hatch"

Tonging easter eggs into a carton

Parts of an egg 3 part cards

Putting red and black feathers on a black line drawing of the cardinal (Ohio's state bird)

Some of the books we used this week

Decorating paper easter eggs to hang on the spring tree

Putting the eggs on the tree

Egg on the tree

Tonging the eggs

The girls also made egg shaped jello jigglers (and of course, Monkey hated them because she doesn't eat anything squishy. Oops.)

Mixing the water and mix

Pouring the mix

Cleaning the spill

Making a red clay bowl with white eggs

Bug decided to stack all her eggs up into one big tower

Monkey wanted her eggs all different sizes

All of the bowls of eggs, waiting to go to the oven to harden