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. 🙂

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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.

 

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 December 5, 2011

 

This will be our last school related set of posts for 2011.  We start our school year in June and work through most of the summer and fall so that we can take an extended winter break.  We are actually leaving for a trip to Florida, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize–we are so excited to have the opportunity to do that!  And of course, we’ll take the holidays off school as well.  We may do a little bit between Christmas and New Years, but Jedi has 600 hours of school completed already for the year, so we’re well ahead of schedule.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re completely done with learning.  We started doing the Teach Your Child to Read In 100 Easy Lessons with Monkey–it seems to be working a lot better than the Montessori methods with her autism.  We do that every single day of the week, and so we’re going to continue it even while on vacation.  I also still have work on the shelves, so while we’re home, there is plenty that we can do together (I recently moved our school room up to our formal living room so that we’re not in the basement during the cold part of the year.  It’s actually nice to have the school shelves up on our main living levels because we can do even more schoolwork throughout the day.

Here are some pictures from Bug & Monkey’s week in the schoolroom.

This was Bug's favorite work of the week--decorating a mini tree!

 

She did this work for hours!

 

The girls painting

 

Monkey really enjoys working with numbers, so we pulled out this work for her.

 

Practicing her M and S writing

 

Bug working with the wooden nativity

 

The clothespins had sparkly pom poms on them. Bug used these to decorate the felt tree

 

Using tweezers to put yellow yarn (hay) into the toilet paper roll manger.

 

Adding the clothespin "baby Jesus"

 

Monkey working with the Christmas Story cards

 

Holy Family 3 part cards

 

Close-up of the cards

 

Lacing Snowman

 

Using a spoon to scoop stars from one cup to the other

 

Bug working with the Christmas Story character cards

 

Gluing pom pom decorations to the paper tree

 

Monkey working with the Teen Board

 

We also celebrated our 100th day at homeschool by making 100-piece-trailmix. Each kid put 10 pieces of 10 different foods in their snack bowl--banana slices, marshmellows, popcorn, raisins, fruit nuggets, pretzels, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and cereal

 

Jedi making his trail mix

 

We have 2 Christmas trees in our house--a big one that is our main tree and this little tiny tree we had one year while living in an apartment waiting for our house to be built. The kids have free reign over decorating the little tree

 

Monkey using the Fisher Price nativity

 

Montessori Monday & Toddler Tuesday, a little late February 2, 2011

 Tot School

Monkey is 3 years, 11.5 months old, Bitty Bug is 24 months old

I’m a bit late posting our review this week….not only have we been really busy, but the weather’s been pretty bad so we were dealing with the weather issues as well.  But everyone’s safe, we have electricity & heat, and all’s good. 🙂

Our two main school things this week were a field trip with our homeschool group to complete a gingerbread themed unit and then our Vietnamese culture day we hosted for the homeschool group.  Those two things kept our girls quite busy!

The gingerbread unit was really fun, and was put together by our local friends, who write the blog The Attached Mama.  There were several books available that had a gingerbread theme (including my favorite, Gingerbread Baby!).  The kids also decorated a foam gingerbread boy, and of course, afterwards, they ate their own gingerbread boy!  The craft was very good for fine motor skills–both of my little ones loved designing their gingerbread boy, and then putting all of the decorations on piece by piece.

The second event was the Vietnamese culture day.  This week is Tet, or the Vietnamese New Year (which is the same day as the Chinese New Year).  Because Monkey was born in Vietnam, we decided to host a lesson on Tet, as well as bringing out our items we bought in Vietnam so that the kids can explore, experience, and use various items to help them develop an awareness and appreciation for Vietnamese culture.

Here are some pictures of our fun learning week!

Bug designing her gingerbread and putting the decorations on

Monkey putting the decorations on her gingerbread! I loved that she used a ribbon for the mouth.

Some Vietnamese dolls, laquerwear, fans, nesting dolls, and a brochure for the war prison that John McCain was held captive in.

Some of the books I had out for the kids to read.

A conical hat and picture book (as well as the photograph of the red bridge that we always have hanging there)

Water puppets

The book Ten Mice for Tet, which is a cute little story about Tet.

Vietnamese currency (Dong)

Some music CDs I had playing in the background

Some postcards and photos of Hanoi

Some Ao Dais (traditional Vietnamese formal clothing)

Some musical instruments I had out for the kids to try

The dragon craft I had out for the kids to do.

The "Lucky Money" red envelopes and some fans the kids took home

Summer Rolls for the kids to eat (I also made some Pho Ga for the kids to have for lunch...Pho Ga is Vietnamese chicken noodle soup)

And just a random picture of Bug working with the knobbed cylinders

 

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
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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!