Friday, November 12, 2010
And then it has been a whole new thing for me to teach 2 year olds. Not necessarily in a bad way, and while we have a rhythm, it isn't the same at all as having a schedule, and so I just have been trying to adjust to things around here.
But I think that I'm ready to be back here on a more regular basis. I'm going to try and post once a week. I may post more than that, but I may not. But it will be at least once a week. I'll try to hit both age groups too - the school age children and the toddlers. So thank you for being patient with me and I promise to be a better poster in the future.
And I promise - before the new year, I'll get that long promised Geography post up too!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Jelly Bean, my 3rd grader is studying the 2nd half of the 50 states of America this year. We use lots of resources to study each state. One of the things that we do is learn what the state flags look like, and sometimes, I would have Jelly Bean look at the state flag and then try and draw it free hand. I still do that sometimes too, but sometimes I have her color the flag from this free resource:
States Coloring Page
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The reading bookshelf
(on the top of the bookshefl) - the basket holds all the preschool read aloud books, a US flag, and the Flower Fairy book
Jelly Bean's books
Infant pull toys and Cloth books
The Geometry Shelf (mostly) -
The Geometric Shapes Sorting Cards from Montessori for Everyone, the nature box (needs some sprucing up for Fall) and The Pumpkin Life Cycle from Montessori for Everyone
Language Cards, Magnadoodle, Separate/Whole cards,
Sorting Shapes and Geometric Solids
World Puzzle Map, World Globe, Land/Water Globe and land, water, air cards and World Cards from Montessori For Everyone
Puzzle Holder with Puzzles
Pumpkin Number Card, Stacking Cups, Counting Bears, Bead Sequencing
Pegboard and Toolbox
Wooden Barn and Wooden Animals
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
It certainly makes it easier on the wallet when you aren't having to re-buy things. I think it helps that I am using many of the same type of resources that I've used in years' past, so I already knew that it worked for me and my children. It also makes a difference that I'm used to homeschooling, the kids are used to homeschooling. It also makes a difference that we do all the schooling for everyone in basically one big space and I can come easily come over and help Jelly Bean during her morning seat work. And it makes a difference that the younger children nap in the afternoon and I can do more teacher-intensive subjects with Jelly Bean then (and Super.)
The only very slight tweak is that I had to re-do some of the preschool shelves, especially on the bottom shelves. The infant that I watch is getting increasingly mobile, as well as spending more time awake and out with us, so I had to move some of the things that I didn't want her to put in her mouth, etc.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Color of the Month: Orange
Number of the Month: 2
Shape of the Month: Square
Nursery Rhyme of the Month: Peter, Peter
Letter of the Week: Cc
Stories for this Week: Bears (Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?, Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, Bear Party, and We're Going On a Bear Hunt)
Math: Math U See Primer Lesson 8, 9, 10
Language: Working on Pink Level with "e" in the middle
Social Studies: Making a Timeline of his life
Spelling: Spelling tests over lesson 2 and 3 from Spelling book
Writing: Working on a line a day from first poem in Poetry for Young People: William Blake
Language: Run-Together Sentences in Unit 1 of God's Gift of Language A
Math: Math U See Gamma, Lesson 4 and 5
Art: Poster Paint projects from Usborne Complete Book of Art
Science: Lesson 3 in Apologia Land Animals (Bears)
History: Chapter 4 from Story of the World 2
Friday, October 1, 2010
Here he is using the word and picture cards with the moveable alphabet to write words. All the words that he is working on have the "a" in the middle. The word and picture cards are from the same Pink Phonetic Series from Montessori Print Shop.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Jelly Bean is in 3rd grade this year (time flies!).
Spelling - Practice Makes Perfect Grade 3. My local teacher store carries several books in this series - math, spelling, writing, etc. This year, I am trying to concentrate more on words that have the same sort of spelling (have "ai" in it, end in "y", etc.) instead of just memorizing words in a list. She should finish with this book by November, and then we will move onto Grade 4 in this series.
Writing - Practice Makes Perfect Cursive Writing, although when she finishes this book, which should be soon, she will be doing Copywork during this time. Copywork will be from Poetry for Young People - William Blake.
Read Aloud - The Little Princess (This is her first read aloud book for the year. The complete read aloud and literature booklist is at the end of the post.)
Literature - The Third Grade Detectives #1 (Her first literature book of the year.)
Math - Math U See Gamma . We are big fans of Math-U-See here. I switched Flower to Saxon last year because I thought it would be better for her learning style, and honestly, because I got it for free, but how I wish I would have stuck with MUS for her too. It is very hands on and the children concentrate on really learning one type of operation at a time, from simple to large. Flower, in fifth grade, still struggles a bit with her time tables, and I know that it if she had done MUS, she probably wouldn't be having that difficulty.
Language - God's Gift of Language A, and Montessori Grammar once a week.
History - Story of the World 2
Science - Apologia Land Animals of the Sixth Day (We will be doing this book the first half of the year.) After we finish Land Animals, we will be doing Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
Geography - 2nd half of the 50 states (US). We use a variety of resources for our Geography Study - US Atlas, Don't Know Much About the 50 States book, Dover United States Coloring Book, US Mint 50 States quarter program, US Kit from Montessori For Everyone, books from the library about each state, etc. We will also be studying Landforms this year.
Art - Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas and Artist/Picture study of Durer, Caravaggio, and Delacroix.
Music - Keyboard and and Composer/Music study of Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Chopin. We will also be learning a hymn per month.
Here is Jelly Bean's complete booklist for the year:
A Little Princess
The Door In The Wall
The Minstrel In The Tower
White Stallion of Lipizza
Third Grade Detectives 1, 2, 4, and 10
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
The Three Musketeers
The King’s Equal
The Whipping Boy
The Viking Adventure
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Anyway, my son (known on this blog as Super) was in preschool here for the past two years, and was starting to read a few words at the end of last year's school year. I read quite a bit to him over the summer and he did some reading too, but it was pretty relaxed. This school year, he is going to public school Kindergarten, but only half days (it is the norm in our school district to do full days.)
In the afternoons, we do a variety of things, much of unstructred, but he is also working on the Pink Level in Montessori Language (basically 3 letter consonant-vowel-consonant words.). I have a variety of materials (most of them from Montessori For Everyone and Montessori Print Shop) but I didn't have any readers that used these kind of words. I have seen some phonic readers from Scholastic or even some of the Montessori catalogs, but they were all pretty pricey. Over the summer, I looked in the book section at one of our local thrift stores, and look at what I found!
One of the books in the set was missing, but for $1.00 for all of these books, I decided I could overlook it! LOL Here is Super reading from one of the books:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Our Daily Rhythm
Arrival - Free Play - Coloring - Morning Circle - Scheduled Activity (painting, play-doh, making bread, cut and glue activity, or making soup - each child brings a vegetable from home to contribute to our soup) - Morning Snack - Outdoor Play - Lunch - Nap - Free Play - Outdoor Play - Dismissal
The baby is still on her own schedule, although she does tend to play nearby during our circle time, and we include her at the table when we are over there, as well as take her outside if she is awake during those times. She is coming closer and closer to napping at the same time as the 2 year olds too.
Our circle time consists of singing songs/finger plays, and then we talk about the letter of the week, sing our calendar song, and our weather song. Then each child has a "helper" job for the week - one child does our color of the month (this month is red), one child does our number of the month (this month is one) and the third child does our shape of the month (this month is circle). We sing a song for each of the helper jobs, and the helper does a little activity (like find something red, sing a song with the sandpaper shape, do that number of chants/claps/fingers, etc.) After helper jobs, I read a story.
During free play, the children can pick items off the shelves. If the child picks a Montessori material, the first time, I will give the child an individual lesson. It sounds very formal when I write it like that, but it is actually occurring quite naturally, in fact, more naturally this year than in other years.
The children are naturally incorporated in practical life activities instead of having lots of practical life activities to choose from on the shelves, although I do have a couple practical life items out on the shelves. The children help with such things as sweeping, wiping the tables, straightening up, and undressing and dressing themselves. The children also help with the garden during the summer/early fall and late spring.
We do have a dog, and the children help by telling the dog to go outside and to go back to "his" room to lay down as well as giving him water in the afternoon. We are hoping to get a fish soon too.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Notice I didn't say structure. LOL
Montgomery Academy now has a 10 month old (crawling/pulling up/super curious/mostly non-sleeping/very cute) little girl (goes by Belle here), a 2 year 9 month old (goes by Giggles here) girl, a 2 year 6 month old (goes by All Boy here) boy, and a 2 year 4 month old (goes by Little Boy here), and Jelly Bean (8 1/2, my daughter). My other children, Super (age 5) and Flower (age 10) are going to public school this year.
(FYI to locals, I am now CLOSED to any new students, daycare or preschool.)
While I have had other 2 year olds at Montgomery Academy, I've never had this MANY of them. And while I've had an infant (either one of my own or one that I was watching), I've never had one THIS active. But that said, today was a really good day.
We had free play until 9 am, and then very short circle time, followed by the children picking things off the shelves until 11 am. Even on the first day, the children were able to put things back on the shelves before getting something else out with only a couple of reminders all morning. I don't have many Montessori materials out, but I gave individual presentations to all of the 2 year olds this morning on knobbed cylinder A, and two children had a presentation on the brown stair and open/close containers.
Then we had lunch and went outside and played for 45 minutes. After outside time, they napped for a couple hours, and then afternoon snack, more outside time, some watercolor paint, and finished the day off with an hour of free play.
And what was Jelly Bean during this time? We started the day with a few pages from her Read Aloud, A Little Princess. Then she did spelling, handwriting, and language arts at the dining room table while the preschoolers were doing shelf work. After lunch, I read from her History book, and then she did Math and Geography at the table, and then went downstairs to the Rec Room to do her free reading (she is currently reading Wizard of Oz. Again. She loves that book.) She went outside with the preschoolers when they went out after nap. We had planned on doing Science after we came in from outside, but it seemed like too much for the first day, so we didn't.
I'll make a separate post about what Jelly Bean is doing this year, but here is the brief version:
Read Alouds: Various titles
Spelling: Using spelling books from the local teacher's store
Handwriting: A handwriting book from the local teacher's store
Copywork: Various sources
Language Arts: God's Gift of Language A
History: Story of the World, Volume 2
Math: Math-U-See Gamma
Geography: Finish the second half of the United States (we studied the first 25 last year)
Science: Apologia Land Animals and Apologia Flying Creatures
Today, I had fun. I really enjoyed being around a bunch of two year olds, and a baby, and an 8 year old. It was good, fun, day.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
1/2 of the South Wall
Crayons, twistables, scissors
Monday, August 23, 2010
Anyway, as I mentioned a few months ago, Montgomery Academy was probably going to be changing quite a bit this year, and it has. My sister did move (sniffle!), and all of the preschool aged kids have moved on to other preschools this year. Super is going to public school this year for Kindy (although he will be back home next year) and Flower is also going to public school for 5th grade. Jelly Bean is still home, and is technically in 3rd grade, although most of the work she is doing would be considered 4th grade work. Little Boy is still here, and at 2.5 is now ready to work on more preschool-type activities. I also still have Belle, the infant, and she will be one in October. We have also added another little girl, who is also 2.5 (who will be hereafter be called Giggles). I've also had several people contact me this month for preschool/daycare, so there is a possibility that there will be more. But anyway, Montgomery has 4 children right now, and it is kind of nice to be a little smaller, especially after being BIG last year.
I've also completely rearranged things. We sold our upstairs living room couches and moved all the preschool/Montessori materials upstairs. Since I am dealing with younger children this year (I had mostly 4-5 year olds last year) I had to rotate lots of materials out and different material that hadn't been out for awhile back in. The room definitely looks more like a Montessori classroom instead of a living room, but it is nice to have all things preschool-related on one floor.
(By the way, pictures will be posted in my next post, probably tomorrow.)
I moved all the art supplies into a cabinet that I moved into the dining room. Also, I put most of Jelly Bean's materials into the organization system that we had in the dining room last year.
Then downstairs, I made the preschool area into more of a "rec" room. I moved the living room bookcase downstairs and filled it with all types of levels of books (including my well-worn copy of Pride and Prejudice) a love seat (it was already downstairs, but rarely used where it was previously located), a side table with a lamp, another bookcase with doors on the bottom that I filled with board games and a couple puzzles, and on the shelves, there are geoboards, potholder looms, tanagrams, origami, etc. There is a small table, and a rocker. There is also the the Foosball game that our neighbors gifted to us, and an easel.
We still have the homeschool room downstairs, but it has changed a little. It still holds our geography materials and math materials, and books that will be used in preschool/homeschool that year, but aren't currently being used. But I also have my sewing machine set up in there. It's been awhile since I've been able to access it on a regular basis.
It's only been a few days since I did all of this reorganization, and already I'm REALLY enjoying it. It seems that the house, overall, seems to stay cleaner. Part of it that, I'm sure, is that I also tried to use this opportunity to declutter quite a bit.
We don't officially start schooling until Labor Day, but as soon as I get the Preschool and Elementary Plans, I'll make sure and post them here, as well as update the Preschool and Elementary documents for 2010.
Hard to believe that this January marks my EIGHTH year of teaching preschool out of my home. I love how every year is so different. Different children, different room set-ups, different hours, but yet, I've always used the Montessori Method. It works so well, I see no reason to change.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Anyway, I want to blog more about it, and I promise that I will soon! And I'll get those past post finished up too. Keep watching here - when I get behind, then I usually do a post every day for a couple of weeks to get caught up! LOL
Friday, June 4, 2010
there are two things on my mind right now, and it would impact my learning areas.
1st - I am really trying to cut down on the amount of STUFF that I have in my home. I am not really someone who holds on to things much, but yet, we still have so much stuff. I have a closet full of fabric and craft materials. I have a closet full of preschool items that are not currently out on the shelves. I have two file cabinets. I have 5 bookcases in the homeschool room alone, and 12 in the house. Every drawer in my dresser is full. I probably have 20 pairs of shoes (wish may not seem like a lot to some people, but really, shouldn't 3 or 4 pairs be enough?)
2nd - I will probably only have one homeschooler and 2 or 3 preschoolers next year. The next year after that, I may have 3 homeschoolers, and 3 preschoolers, but I just don't know for sure.
Based on wanting/needing to cut down the amount of things in my home, does it really make sense to have a whole room for homeschooling? Based on the fact that I will only have one homeschooler, do I really need to have a whole room for homeschooling?
I think I know the answer.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
But as the school year nears a close, it is with quite a bit of sadness that I think about next year. My sister and her family will be moving. FAR away. States and States away. She is likely going to continue homeschooling, but we won't be doing it together. So I'm sad about that. I'll miss teaching my nephews in the afternoon, and I'll miss my sister's help in the morning, but mostly I'll miss her company.
And after a lot of consideration, Flower's dad and I have decided to have Flower return to public school in the fall. She wants to return and way back when we started homeschooling, it was the plan to have her return for 5th grade. It wouldn't take much to sway ME to continue homeschooling her, but it feels like we made the right decision. I will miss her SO much. And Super will likely be going to Kindergarten at the public school too. I'm strongly considering just doing half days (mornings) but at the very least, he will be at the public school for at least a few hours a day. He will back to homeschool in first grade, but still, I'll miss him TONS. Since we started homeschooling, we always said that we would take homeschooling on a year by year basis, and that we would choose what we felt was best for the child. It may not be the same for each child. And right now, we have decided that Flower and Super at the public school next year. Jelly Bean will still be at home. (Oh, we are both VERY excited, and we already have some great plans for next year!)
Princess will be going to Kindergarten in the fall. Sweetie is going to a different preschool. Spunky may or may not be back.
So Montgomery Academy will be going from 4 preschoolers, 4 homeschoolers, 2 toddlers, and an infant TO 1 preschooler, 1 homeschooler, 1 toddler moving up to a preschooler, and an infant moving up to a toddler. From 11 to 4.
Times and Seasons. I know. And I've learned so much from this season. I'll miss so much from this time. But there will be different experiences I'm sure that I'll gain from teaching at Montgomery Academy this fall too.
PS Any locals, by the way, I would consider taking one 2 or 3 year old for preschool only, or full or part-time daycare for this fall.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
In fact, this year has been an interesting year for me, Montessori-wise. This is the only year in the past 7 years that I have had more than one child that is doing lots of work in Period 5 (and in Period 4 too) I'm also often seeing one or two children using the knobless cylinders, another using the brown stairs, and another using the block tower, and then they talk about how they each have ten, and how they can all stack up, etc. The Montessori materials never cease to amaze me - I don't even have to open my mouth and they learn the concepts, just from using the materials.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
- Geography for the Homeschoolers
- Geography for Preschoolers
- Language for Preschoolers
- Poetry for Homeschoolers
- Science for Homeschoolers
- Geometry for Preschoolers
Sometimes it is just hard to teach and blog and I'm a mother first, teacher second, and blogger third (or so LOL)
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wiggles working on the Shape Puzzles