Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hundreds Board

Bella did the hundred board!! Bella had been wanting to do this work but she kept stopping at the 20's. The other day her brother was doing this work and she wanted to help. I asked her to sit and just watch him. I told her that after her brother was done, she could do the work.

Well, it took her 3 days working a little bit at a time but she did it!!

Looking to see what comes next.

Notice the little box with the numbers divided by the rows. The box is divided and labeled with stickers that says 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc... This makes it much easier to put them on the board and to clean up.

Notice the name plate. I made it for her since it was going to take more than one day. She puts it on her work. Her brother then knows not to touch her work.


Also notice she is doing the work in her room. We are not the type to keep works in one room. We do have a dedicated school room but most of the time the works are taken to other areas of the house where the kids feel comfortable working. The works are then store back in the school room. This was in the evening when she decided to pick this work and I was doing stuff in the kids room so she brought it in there to be close to me.

This works is so GREAT. At first you look at it and think "ok, numbers 1 to 100, what is the big deal?" Well, the children not only learn their numbers and sequence but they start to see patters like "twenty-one, twenty-two, next should be a 2 and a 3 and then a 2 and a 4". They will say "2 and 1, 2 and 2" and you tell them the language "twenty-one, twenty-two". Older kids see the patterns going vertically. You have all of the ones lined up, all of the two's, all of the three's. They start to notice the tens, etc.. You can also use this for skip counting, addition, multiplication, and so much more! It's just wonderful.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Continents

Here the kids are working on the continents. Sweet Boy can read the labels and I read the labels for Bella. This should have a control chart so Bella can do this on her own BUT I have not made one and I actually think it is beneficial for me to sit with her and tell her the names and get to have a conversation about the continents. Like "North America". She would say "Oh, yes, that is where we live!". "Bella, show me South America". "Who do you know from your class that is from South America?" "What continent are you studying in your class right now?". etc.....
I do plan to create a control chart for all of the maps. It is on my to do list!!

Also on my to do list for Geography:

- Felt Continent Map with miniature animals!! Like Leptirs. Hers is so great!

- Flag Pin Maps.
Check out this beautiful blog with lots of Montessori Homemade works. Wise Little Owls Homeschool. Here is Sarahs homemade Flags Pin Map. I am excited to have found this blog because she has elementary school age children and she has great Language Works!!

Well, since I have written it here on my blog, I better get to work on these works!!!

By the way, anyone out there make a cabinet for their maps? I would love to see pictures of homemade map cabinets. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Family Music Theater - Cats

I am 38 weeks pregnant and feeling GREAT!! I do get tired and the normal swelling/discomforts but otherwise with lots of energy. My husband, the kids and I had last week off for Spring Break. The weather was FANTASTIC. One of the things we did was attend a Family Music Theater Presentation of Cats at my College. We have three musical productions a year, all adapted for families. Many of the kids in these productions are homeschool kids from the Colleges surrounding area. These productions are INCREDIBLE. I thought the kids might not last through the 2 hours of Cats but they absolutely LOVED it!

Here they are with their favorite cats!

The kids have always loved the theater. It is amazing how still Bella is during a theatrical production. She is my child that does not stop moving but since she was one years old and she started attending these, she just sat and watched!

I highly recommend checking out your local Community College for great and affordable activities for the kids. We attend the Music Practices, Music Performances, and Theater. The kids have been interested in pottery so I am planning on taking them to the pottery lab this summer or Fall to get a tour and see the process of pottery making. Community Colleges also have lots of summer activities for the little ones.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

6 Things About Me

Leptir has posted 6 things about her and passed on this game to me. This is a good way to get to know blogers. I really like this so I will play! I love to get to know the bloggers since usually they only write about their kids and what they do for schooling!

I LOVE Coffee. Lattes is what I drink. This is mostly milk with a shot of very strong coffee.

I LOVE to nap even when I am not pregnant.

I LOVE to dance to anything but specially Salsa and Merengue.

The only type of dessert I like is one that has chocolate. Chocolate cake, brownies, or chocolate chip cookies!

I love to sit and color with the kids or do puzzles. It is very relaxing for me.

I could eat rice and beans every day but I don't because my husband gets tired of it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Writing and Reading

The school room has been modified a bit because for a few weeks after the baby arrives I will be sleeping in there. Our bedroom is upstairs and since I have C-sections I don't want to be climbing stairs until I feel up to it. For now, the shelf below will be the writing and reading shelf.
I have moved all of the Spanish materials to their own shelf since that has been growing! Anything with words here is in English.

A lot of us have learning puzzles that just have way to many pieces to make it really beneficial to a 4 or 5 year old. Here is two ways I am using some of the learning puzzles we have.

This is not reading or writing but it is a learning puzzle that is better used if separated.
The kids LOVE this puzzle. Bella likes the counting and addition and sweet boy likes the addition and subtraction.

Spelling Puzzle
This spelling puzzle has three and four letter words. Here I have separate the three letter words. Later I will switch with the four letter words.

Cutting patters found at Montessori Materials

I've shown these before. This is what we use in substitute to the metal insets. The only reason I don't use the metal insets is because I already had these from Creative Memories. Same concept, some of the same shapes and some new ones!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homeschooling this Fall

With the support of my husband, we have decided to homeschool starting this Fall! This is something I wanted to do last year but my husband and I were not seeing eye to eye on the idea so I decided to put the kids in a half-day Montessori program and see how things went with my work and teaching them part-time at home. The kids school day is from 8:30-11:30am. I spend almost as much time driving them to school as they are in school! My husband cannot help with driving because of his non-flexible work schedule. I am on the road 2 hours a day and they are in school for 3 hours a day.

Fall 2010 I was going to have to put both kids in school all day because sweet boy would be starting first grade and even though I know Bella is not ready for all day, I was going to have to do it OR be on the road 4 hours a day with a baby. Well, this stressed me out and kept me awake at night. I was getting stressed out about Bella being in school all day, sweet boy being away all day, both kids not spending enough time with their baby brother, me driving so much with the baby, and not having enough family time.

Up to about a month ago, my husband was not supportive of me homeschooling because I work. It is work from home but it is still work. I completely understood his point. He does not want me to be overwhelmed.

So what changed his mind? Well, I am always e-mailing him articles about homeschooling and talking to him about the benefits. As I was reading the book “The Homeschooling Option” by Lisa Rivero this month, my husband came home one day talking about an ex-student of his, who had babysat for us, who went by his school to visit. He mentioned to her that I wanted to homeschool and she told him all about the great homeschool students she was attending college with. So he said that we should try it! WOW, you have no idea how excited I was.

My plan is to continue with the kids Montessori education at home. I’ve been spending a lot time for the past two weeks reading, figuring out where the kids are in their learning so I know where to start and I’ve began to make materials. I am also looking into our homeschooling Co-ops. My community is a HUGE homeschooling community so we have a big support group, co-ops, and families who get together weekly for field trips and playgroups.

It is amazing how at peace I am now, much happier, and productive!