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Archive : January 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I meant to post this a couple of days ago but forgot! Here are a few activities over recent days (by April):
Sink and float experiment
Building words (objects)
We started learning about space and April coloured some planets and glued them in order on some dark paper (idea from My Montessori Journey blog)
She also worked with our planet models and learned the order of the planets from the sun (unfortunately, we seem to have mislaid Mercury and it had to be replaced with a small orange bead!)
I've been putting together maths materials ready for when April needs them (which might be quite soon) - I've done the addition boards and I'm working on the golden bead material at the moment. I'm using real gold coloured beads for the units and ten bars and printed versions for the 100 squares and 1000 cube. Below is my file which you can use if you want - just print, cut out, score, fold and glue for the cubes - for the 100 squares just cut apart (and laminate for durability if you want). This is not a huge cube but (by sheer coincidence!) the little circles are exactly the same size as the beads I'm using so, if I take one of our ten bars and place it on the row of "beads" on the hundred square it fits exactly!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Going well :)
Our transition over (back to!) Montessori is going very, very well. Actually, it's better than it was before for reasons that I don't really understand. We seem to have a very good program going for Rosie - she would, technically, be in the last year of upper elementary so we're "sort of" following that but not as exactly as I would have done had we used Montessori in it's entirety with her over the last few years. The Conquer Maths is a PERFECT, secondary level, follow up for a child who has been using Montessori maths over previous years because the emphasis is on independent, self directed work. What amazes me is actually HOW good Rosie's maths is - far better than I ever thought - she's getting an average of 85% in all her question "papers" so far which is astonishing.
April is using all Montessori now - slightly done "our way" in places admittedly but Montessori nevertheless.
Anyway, here are some pics from today :)
Geometric cabinet, triangles drawer
Working on "teens" - I got rid of all the Montessori beads I made a long time ago and couldn't be bothered to make more so we're using segmented Cuisenaire Rods instead (you can't see they're segmented in this picture but they are) Next step after this is the teens board.
Matching animal prints to the correct animal - these are self correcting in that they also have the animal picture on the back of the print. You can get the printouts to make this here. You need to make 1 copy of the prints in circles and 2 copies of the match up worksheet (the only bit of the worksheet you need is the animals - 1 set to go on the back of the prints).
Rosie working on Conquer Maths
... and using 3 part cards for the parts of an amoeba
Monday, January 25, 2010
Yoga is wonderful isn't it? Well, I love it :) I thought I'd post this in case there are any other home educators, living within my general area who might be interested in this for their kids. Rosie and April both go and, it would seem, it's really good fun :)
There is a class running in Bournemouth and Rebecca (lady who runs the class!) will take children from 5 upwards - best of all it's a mixed age class which is absolutely brilliant if you are home educating and trying to find activities that all your kids can attend at once!
The basic details and contact information is here - ignore the fact that the page doesn't look like it's been updated for ages, the information is still relevant (except the cost of the class is now £4.00 per child not £3.50). Rebecca is really lovely and very helpful so do contact her if you might be interested :)
Monday, January 25, 2010
Constructive triangles - rectangular box 1
In deep concentration ......
The finished result :)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Montessori continent folder pictures
Here is a little something for those of you that need them - continent folder pictures for all 7 continents. These are basic and don't focus on animals or food or landmarks specifically, just give a general overview of the continents. There are 6 pictures for each and they have the appropriate Montessori coloured borders - note the one that seems not to have a border is Antarctica, you will need to cut this out and leave a white border around it.
I've placed the file in my Box account (left sidebar) - depending on your connection speed PLEASE be patient with download as it is obviously very photo heavy!
Hope you like them :)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
.. just a few pictures - certainly not everything we did today though!
Looked after the garden birds by putting food out for them
built words with the printed alphabet
drew shape pictures by tracing the inset frames
did some reading analysis
Rosie also did her daily maths lesson on Conquer Maths - we really are so pleased we invested in this as she is doing fabulously well. Just as she used to do brilliantly with the Montessori materials (after being presented a lesson), now she is doing briliiant working on Conquer maths. Both of the methods rely on independent work and, clearly, she thrives on that.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Tweaking the curriculum
I've changed some things around homeschool wise.
Rosie - I've switched her on to Conquer Maths - I think after many years of Montessori-type maths, she was finding the blandness of the work book system we had begun to be uninspiring. She gave up trying and was not progressing. Also, the level of maths she is working at now is beyond my capabilities (Tim COULD teach her secondary school maths but, frankly doesn't have the time or anything). So, Conquer Maths it is - it's an online tuition service for secondary school maths that uses very visual, interactive lessons. It's brilliant and so far she is enjoying it AND doing very well - well worth the money!
Still going to use Igniting the Writing with Rosie but going to add in some Montessori style reading analysis too.
Want to also try and start including more hands-on, Montessori stuff again - she seems to miss the "exploration" side of things that she used to have.
April - I'm umming and aaahing as to whether to stick her on an entirely Montessori based programme. She loves doing hands on stuff and gets very demoralised with too many "sit down" activities (she likes to be up and about!) She is still very young so a switch over from what we are doing would be easy enough. I've gained a lot of Montessori experience over the years and feel it would be nice to put it to good use.
Monday, January 18, 2010
A plug for my shop :)
For those of you who like Montessori materials, I just want to point you in the direction of my pdf materials store which has been up and running for a while now. I have various materials available for sale at very low prices (and lots more to add soon!) as well as some freebies.
Just click on the link at the top of this page to go there :) Thanks!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Scrapbooks and snowman maths
I made myself a little scrapbook by taking some thick card and some ordinary printer paper and then sewing them together into a book. I'm going to use it as a 2010 memory book. Anyway, April decided she wanted one to "stick allsorts in" so I made her one and she decorated the cover. The first things she stuck in were some life cycle printouts she got from one of her Learning Land cd's (pretty old, I used to use them with Rosie years ago! Look them up on Ebay - VERY good for 4-7 year olds! These lifecycle pictures were from disc 5, "Tim's Got a Cold" in case you want to know!)
I also made her a snowman maths game for practicing adding and subtracting numbers to 5. The snowman heads I got from Childcare Land but the rest I made myself - I put little pockets each side of the snowman to hold the cards in :)
I've also added 3 Cuisenaire rod worksheets to my Box account (see left sidebar) - these are basic "introducing the rods" type worksheets. On one you have to put rods on the blank "rods" on the sheet, write in what it's worth and colour. Another sheet has a rod stair to build and colour and the last has some number cards for 1-10 to print and place by the rods when they've been put in order. I think that the sheets must be printed in A4 size so that the rods in the pictures measure right - I'm not sure if they'll work properly if printed any other size - let me know if they do! :)
Friday, January 08, 2010
Pictures from this week
Due to the snow we added a couple of snow-related activities in this week :) Rosie collected a cup of snow and did a small experiment on comparing the volume of a cup of snow to the amount of water that results when it melts. April had a load of snowman themed activities from childcare Land which she has been really enjoying! April didn't start her animal science work this week ... never mind, will start next week instead.
Anyway, here are the pictures:
April using the shape board (see my materials page for download) and working on one of the practice pages from the lesson book:
Rosie was working on area and perimeter - here (although you can't see it very well!), she has drawn round her hand on graph paper and is estimating the area:
April snowman work and crafts:
Rosie doing her work on photosynthesis - on the computer and her drawing:
Their art books:
April is making the art book from Kinderart - here is her cover page and the first activity - Primary Hands!
Rosie is also making an art book but she is studying different artists, starting with Guiseppe Arcimboldo who created portraits using fruit, vegetables and flowers. She wrote her information sheet on him and then did her own picture in his style. She decided against a portrait and instead created Aubergine Bird with an aubergine for a body, grape for an eye, cherries for legs/feet, lettuce leaves for wings, chilli peppers for a beak and a stick fo celery for his tail!
Monday, January 04, 2010
Ladybird Keywords Flashcards
Didn't get started on work today as we were all out and about - will start tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a set of word cards I made to go with the level 1 books of the Ladybird Key Words reading scheme. I used as close a font as I could to that used in the books - it's not perfect but pretty good :)
I will be using the cards in the following ways:
- As basic flashcards - hold up a card and have April read it. If she gets the word right put it in one pile, if she gets it wrong put it in another pile to practice further.
- Sentence making cards - spread the cards out, face up. I make up a simple sentence and say the words - one at a time ie I like the dog - April finds the right cards and puts them together to make a sentence.
Here is the file - enjoy!:
Friday, January 01, 2010
January Week 1
First week of homeschool after Christmas will commence Monday 4th January. Here are some notes and links (for my benefit as much as anything but also in case anyone else finds them handy) for the work we will be doing this week:
April (Year R):
Maths: MEP Year R - lessons 1-5 (plus hands on learning with Unifix cubes patterns, positioning board, shapes board etc). See my free materials page for items to use with MEP Year R. I did do some maths work with April before Christmas but since we are switching to using MEP (we were going to use it before but then changed our minds for some reason!) and since she is now "officially" compulsory school age I figure it makes sense to start at the beginning.
English: We are concentrating, almost entirely, on her reading at the moment - I think that's pretty much the most important thing to learn first! After trying phonics (various schemes) last term we've come to the conclusion that she finds all the deconstructing words pretty frustrating. We've therefore switched to using good old fashioned Ladybird Key Words - we actually used this with Rosie for a bit years ago and she picked it up quick. You can find a flash game to learn the key words here.
Science: Last term we covered seasons/weather. This term we are going to start with animals and cover topics like - farm animals, pets, what different animals eat, where they live, night/day animals etc. We got a variety of activity sheets from here and will be using this game as well to look at farm animals and food.
Art: Going to start the art book project found at Kinderart here. What's really special about this is that I did exactly the same project with Rosie years ago :) Will have to dig out her art book and have a look! Can't wait to start this with April! This is a brilliant first "serious" art project for littles because it teaches them about colour, texture, size, shape, warm/cool colours, neutral colours, imagination and self portraits and the whole thing is then bound together to make gorgeous book.
Nature Study: We're focusing on our garden birds at the moment - drawing, painting, collaging, feeding and just generally observing. Here is a really good website for British garden birds.
Rosie (Year 7):
Maths: MEP Year 7 - Areas and Perimeters. We're following the "standard" route with Rosie as this is her first time with MEP (we're switching this year from a NC book which was not proving to be successful).
Science: Continuing the work on cells and cell functions that we started at the end of last term. This week we're looking at photosynthesis using activities from here, here and here. We'll also be painting a diagram showing photosynthesis to cut out and glue in her science journal.
History: We're going to continue with the Renaissance lapbook we started before Christmas. We got this lapbook pack from Hands of a Child (see link in sidebar).
Art: Learning about Giuseppe Arcimboldo and doing some rather amusing fruit and veg portraits!
Nature Study: Same as April - would like Rosie to look up some of our garden birds in her Collins spotter guide and draw some life size pictures of them.
See archive index for other posts