Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

March 21, 2011 marks the 6th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder as we celebrate the abilities, talents and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome.

Almost one year ago my life changed.  3-30-10, not the birth of my son but the day after, the day we were told he was born with an extra Chromosome, number 21, called Down syndrome.   A moment in my life that I will never forget.   A moment that I cannot fullly describe but the word fear and grief come to mind.  I feared how he would be treated by this cruel world and I grieved my baby. 

On this day of awareness I want you to know that my son is amazing, he is so sweet and brings so much joy to our lives.  I want you to know that not a day goes by that I don't think about a milestone, am I doing enough, and what will he do or not do.  I want you to know that I don't want you to feel sorry for me because I feel lucky, blessed and proud.  Know that if you have questions do not be afraid to ask.  I love to talk about my son and do not mind talking about Down syndrome.  And from what I read, many parents of children with Down syndrome feel the same.

My life is filled with purpose and joy! 

Such a Big Boy!

He LOVES water!  
With Daddy a week ago, in need of a haircut!  How he LOVES his daddy!
And the hair cut!  Haircut number 5 and not even one years old yet :-)!!!



Jamming!  Look at that beautiful posture! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

School Week 26, 27, 28

Art Class

Picasso Sculptures




Bella talking about her sculpture




Some of the children's work not including the Angel!



Geography

This is an animals of the world work.  Most works around here are put together while we work on them.  I do not have any time to prep so I got the map, a book with animals of the world, our tub of little animals and some Geography Kid Magazines and we got to work!



We stoped when the kids got tired.


Here the kids made a mountain out of sand, rocks and mud.  They then slowly poured water on top and discussed their observations on where the water ran, the landforms formed and erosion.

Religion
Stations of the Cross Work discussed here.



History

Presidents Day.  I loved these presidents cards from the $1 section of Target.  The kids were very interested in hearing about all of the presidents.  Surprised me!
Baby trying to eat the cards!

Language
Sweet Boy spelling.



Geometry
I found a page in a workbook that used the same shapes as in this work.  they were even the same color.  It was great.  Bella really got into this.


She is basically finding different ways to make hexagons.


Sweet Baby working!  This is the Object Permanence Box with a tray.  This material develops hand-eye coordination and indirectly allows the child to experience object permanence.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kids Work Bench

We went to a schools silent auction a few weeks back and came home with this great kids workbench and accessories made by a parent.  The kids have always loved to work with their tools, hammering nails, and building things but this bench has added a little space just for them! 

This is when we brought it home.  It lived in our living room until it got warm enough outside to put it on our front porch since we do not have any more space inside, no garage and no covered porch out back (not yet!).


Stations of the Cross Box

Read all about how to make this work in Family in Feast and Feria Blog.



Stations of the Cross Cards and Details about the Box

Here is what our work looks like.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

On the Road Again

After the Holidays I started thinking the kids should go back to school.   I have always been able to do many things at once but I finally found my limit!  Working full-time, homeschooling full-time, a parent that takes care of 90% of of my children's needs, the one who takes care of 90% of the home needs, a new baby and babies special needs took me over my limit!

One really major factor, not like the ones above where not enough, was that I have seen my kids in a Montessori School and comparing it to home, I actually prefer the Montessori school environment.  The energy and peacefulness and just amazingness of a Montessori School that breathes and lives Maria Montessori's philosophy is where I want my kids. 

They kids have made their all day visits and are ready to return.   Sweet boy loves to be at home with Mom but said he loved being back at school and my daughter, I am sure you are able to tell by the pictures how social she is, can't wait!

It took me a little while to commit to going back to that school because of the drive.  It is a 20 minute drive with light traffic.  Like I had said before, it is close to us but because of a major highway we have to take there is traffic.   Once in a while, traffic can be very bad.  There are side streets but I think it takes the same amount of time.  I had been concerned with the baby riding in the car so long every day but I now have a wonderful lady helping me take care of the baby during the week so I am going to have her come before I have to pick-up the kids so he only rides in the car in the mornings.  Which works out great because at the time of pick-up is the babies nap time.

I am happy to now be able to be done with work when the kids and my husband come home and have time for babies needs. My husband will have his wife back and my kids will have their happy and playful mommy back who does not go hide in the evenings to work!

So, back on the road again!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent Resources

Here are some great resources for Lent geared to children.

Catholicmom.com
 - From here I printed coloring pages for the stations of the cross and Ash Wednesday.

Family Feast and Feria 
 - From this site I made two works.  Stations of the Cross cards with a box that contains objects where the children can tell the story.  And rosary cards.

Explain and pray the stations.

I have two books displayed.  One titled 
The Easter Story by Patricia A. Pingry and Mary Ann Utt
and one titled The way of the Cross : Holy Week, the Stations of the Cross, and the Resurrection by Biffi, Inos.

I will take some pictures of the works I've put together and our table to display the works.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

School Weeks 22, 23, 24 and 25

Some other pictures from the past month!

For Chinese New Year we watched a few videos, looked at a couple of books, made origami items and talked about the Lunar Calendar.



We used the Melissa and Doug Origami Paper and Instructions Kit.  The kids made cubes, stars, an airplane,  and swan.  Sweet boy watched me and his father and then practiced and practiced until he made all of them.  Daddy made this one :-)
 
Bella working with CVC (Consonant - Vowel - Consonant) words.



I've been working on the Fundamenal Needs of People with the children.  This is a book of different homes across the world.
Fundamental Needs of People is the study of how people in different historical time periods satisfied their basic needs.  Currently we are talking about what ARE these basic needs and looking at books that show these across the world.

More information about Fundamental Needs of People Lessons
This is the only link I could find when I did a quick search. Montessori For Everyone.
If you have another link, let me know.  I will add it here!

Baby working while we work!

I use many of the off the shelf Workbooks and modify to work for us.  Here I cut one page in half and made two works for Bella.  Here I provide the letters she will need.  She actually ended up writing the letters because that is what she wanted to do!  You could laminate this so you could re-use it.


Kids created their Noun Families!


Linear Time line Lesson for Sweet Boy.


 


Valentines Work

Making Valentine's


Making heart decorations for our classroom!



Zoology in the past month!

I made this to talk to the kids about the life cycle of a frog.


They chose to create little booklets for the frog life cycle.   We found a few very cool videos online about different types of frogs and where they lay their eggs.  The videos were rich in color.  It allows them to see that not all frogs are green!!  We also checked out some books on frogs but have not had the chance to actually sit an observe a live frog.

Book
From Tadpole to Frog by David Stewart

Cute Froggie Activities!




Here is our new pet!!  His name is Harry :)  Harry is a Guinea Pig, in case you did not know!  Harry is one of the mammals we are studying.
I am starting to create little baskets with pictures and little plastic animals from each animal group.  We did activities between Mammals and Reptiles.  I put all of the animals together and they sorted them after we had talked about what ARE the characteristics of a mammal and reptiles.  Here is a simple website with the animal groups and their characteristics.  Here is another very helpful website with resources on the Animal Groups