Sunday, December 30, 2007

Plans for the new year.....

1. More art projects
2. Composer study
3. More fun~can it be possible?
4. More nature walks
5. More tea parties

We do field trips too!

Here are some photos of our great field trip to a local
bakery that I mentioned. I think the parents learned just as much as the kids. There is nothing quite like bread when it comes out of the oven is there?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reflections on Christmas & New Year

We have been having such a nice time this season. We have read lots and lots of Tomie dePaola books in preparation for Christmas, and following up with lots of crafts. Our educational plan has sort of shifted into holiday mode, which has been good.

Christmas was very blessed with my dad here. The girls had a wonderful day!
They both got American Girl doll clothes and beds. Just what they told Santa about. So perfect.
We spent about 4 days here in the rain, cooking and making merry.

I have had lots of relaxing time over the holidays to evaluate or plans for the new year. I am looking forward to our work starting with the beads. They are just beautiful.
And we both have been having so much fun with her globe that we have sort of dove into geography up a bit more. We will continue with First Language Lessons, and Story of the World, and trying to mix in the Montessori wherever I can.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The education (& the tamales) are happening~

I have been overhauling the office/schoolroom this week while everyone has been down with various sicknesses. It has been great for me to re-vamp.
I am trying to get things sort of all together again, instead of that stuff completely all over the house method. I would like to actually start using the dining room table again for~eating. Since I have decided to incorporate mas Montessori, I have noticed my needs have changed. Of course I need more shelving, but I will tell Santa about that.

We have really been having a good time celebrating the Advent season this year. Lots of crafts and feasts. We made Guadalupe grottos for our altar. Anything that requires glitter & sequins in a hit around here. A very nice morning....

During the weekend, we prepared tamales. The girls really got into it. So adorable. It was an all day project.

I remember how much I loved making tamales with my grandma. I would try my best to study everything she cooked~prepare the masa....if it floats, it is good to go. Then the big job of spreading the masa on the husk, placing the meat, folding them, steaming them... Little packets of fun and goodness.

Ok, back to modern day...Lucy had such a good time helping, and Sophia really did some great ones!! We read Too many Tamales
and went to bed.

For some info on Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Hispanic Fun
check out this

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Golden Beads~

I have put a lot of thought in the past month into acquiring the montessori bead material. Currently I am using Shiller math, and it is OK. I just would really like to get a bit "deeper" into mathematics. So I have decided to just go for it and order them, I was originally hesitant because of the cost, but I think it will be a superb investment. I am finding that the more active way of montessori works well for us. She has been working really well with different 3 part cards that we have. Today She put Roman numerals in order form 1 to 20. Fun~

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ahhh Kauai~~

I guess I should talk a bit about Kauai, it seems it is all I have been talking about lately, but there were some learning moments to mention :)

Learning moment # 1- We went to a very sweet lei making class on the west side of Kauai. About a 45 minute drive from where where we were staying, so it seemed a bit of a hassle when we were getting ready in the morning, especially with the beach calling us, but my husband was determined to get us there~there were a few thrift shops in it for him......
When we got there, I walked into the museum to see a table full of tropical flowers waiting for us. The scent was intoxicating. The lady welcomed us, and we got started right away. Sophia and I were the only ones in the class! I wish I could remember the names of the flowers. Anyway, she was so sweet, and after talking for a while about all the tropical fruits on the island, she got into her car, and drove down the road to a friends house to pick me some fruits she wanted me to try~I could not believe it! We had a great time~~well worth it to see the beautiful leis that Sophia made for her and her dad. I made one for me and Lucy.

Learning moment # 2- Snorkeling~magical fun under the sea. This is science right??? We saw amazing & colorful fish, and creatures. She saw sea stars, urchins, and an eel. I think it really gave her a taste for the undersea world. She wanted to do it everyday. Me too! After our beach adventures, we looked up the kinds of fish we saw.
I am sure there were many more learning moments that i have not mentioned, especially the one when we woke up to an unidentified sea creature on the floor in our house......

This week we did a lot of catching up after Kauai. It feels pretty good getting back into the swing of things. We began the week learning a bit about St. Martin on his special day. We made lanterns in honor of the occasion, and it was a lot fun, we have kept on doing it all week, even Lucy has been into it. I can tell things are about to get crafty around here for the holidays.

We had a field trip this week with the local homeschool group to a fabulous local bakery. A superb field trip. Especially the warm focaccia samples at the end.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Brown and Furry....

Caterpillar in a hurry;
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk.

May no toad spy you,
May the little birds pass by you;
Spin and die,
To live again, a butterfly

The Caterpillar

by Christina Rosetti

This was the first poem Sophia memorized with First Language Lessons. I think it is so sweet, and she loves to say it.
We have been loving our caterpillar nature walks lately, as there have been hundreds of these Wolly Bears, on and around our trail this fall. Soon they will "spin and die to live again" as an Isabella Tiger moth.

Landform Fun

You know them, you love them, landforms~
today we spent the morning exploring the landforms of our planet with clay and blue water.
We worked with our Montessori cards for guidance and created archipelago, a strait, bay & lake (the picture above is a strait by the way). It was great fun, and perfect for our pre-study time before the Hawaiian Islands.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Project Time!

Today we did a project that went along with our history studies of ancient civilizations. We have spent quite a bit of time on Egypt. She has covered the fertile crescent, hieroglyphs, mummification, and pyramids. We build a pyramid out of sugar cubes and Elmer's glue. Very fun, we worked together and I really thought it came out good. I think she is ready to move on to the Greeks~

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Loved Person~

From The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori

When the child goes to bed in the evening he calls the loved person and begs him not to go away. When we go in to dinner the tiny child that still feeds at his mother's breast would like to come with us, to stay near to watch us, not to eat. The adult passes by this mystical love without perceiving it. But the little one who so loves us will grow up, will vanish. And who will ever love us as he does? Who else will ever summon us on going to bed, saying, "Stay with me"? When the child is grown, he will say an indifferent "Good night". Who then will be eager just to watch us while we eat, though he eats nothing? We defend ourselves against this love that will pass away, and we shall never find anything to equal it. We in our turmoil say, "I haven't time, I can't, I have a lot to do," and we think in our hearts, "The child must be taught better, or he will make us his slaves." What we want is to be free from him to do what we ourselves like doing, so as not to give up our convenience.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Heart Maria~

I am finding I have renewed passion in anything related to the Montessori method.
I love to see the way my daughter responds to it. I spent some time figuring out how to do the stamp game this week, with her former teacher, and friend. Sophia picked up where she left off with it last year at the school and jumped right in. She really was able to show me the way. I want to utilize as much as possible ways of learning that already make sense for her. It was fun, and it is really fun for me to explore what is out there as far as Montessori resources for homeschooling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oh my gosh, there are books everywhere!

They seem to be multiplying as fast as I can get bookshelves in here.

Between my 3 year old hauling in about 20 books each night for bedtime, school books in every room, and Sophia's piles of reading, I spend the first part of every day putting them all back, just to have it all over the place again the next day.