Friday, September 30, 2011

September Review and Reflect

Things are actually working out better than expected. Ken and DJ are enjoying learning at home and Michelle is loving the " I leave for school life". Every member of this family is bringing a lot of contribution to the table and it has helped out tremendously with the many different hats I wear. The chores are getting done(correctly), the school work is being accomplished, Michelles' homework is done with patience and still dosen't consume our evenings, and most importantly we are able to spend quality time together for at least 1 hour before bedtime everyday during the week. The weekends are wonderful and relaxing!

Michelle has been designing and painting these wooden Matroyska dolls, they are not quite finished yet.

I have had to change some things in the school department. The Moving Beyond The Page curriculum levels were too high for Ken and DJ. Luckily the people at the company did a quick switch for us. So now Ken is working on the Poetry unit. DJ picked up where he left off on Magic Treehouse chapter books reading aloud to me. Next month DJ and Ken will both be working on Geography/History together using the Geography unit for ages 8-10 from the Moving Beyond The Page curriclum it is focused on Native Americans. During this time I will be reading to them, and the activities are awesome. Although Kens' Poetry unit has a huge focus on Language Arts and United States geography as well, she still will be reading aloud to me chapters from the American Girl Kaya series picking up from the book Kaya Escapes. DJ loves the Montessori Language materials which has relieved me from searching for another language program. Both Kids get weekly Spelling Words that I use from the Evan Moor Grade Level Spelling books.

 Using both Moveable Alphabets while completing language works is popular with the kiddos.

 They also enjoy labeling objects.

Math well it is has been about money and deschooling. The work load has been light so far, and it has helped to master some skills that needed to be addressed.
                               Constructive Triangles

     Small Bead Frame completing addition problems. Multiplication Bead Board.

Our cultural works have been fantastic! I have another post coming soon sharing the creative ways my children have been learning about the world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                              Making the phases of the moon



Practical Life activities are still the most favorite activities that the kids enjoy doing.     


         Threading the eye needle in the sewing machine.

                             Building a treasure chest.

Well it has been a wonderful homeschooling experience for all of us so far. Next month we will be adding in more subjects so the work load will be a bit more, I am sure it will all work out. So far we have been done with "school" by one o' clock. I think we can make it to three o' clock with no problems, especially since iit has been a lot colder outside now. To see other homeschoolers' recaps of their month or week please          visit  Weird,Unsocialized Homeschoolers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Orange Belts In The House!!

Friday night the kids had their second belt testing at TaeKwonDo and they passed! They were so excited to move up rank. They are learning a lot from being in TaeKwonDo. All of three of them practice, practice, practice!!  They have TaeKwonDo class three times a week. Here are some pictures I took of them in class the day they were presented with their certificate and orange belt.

 At the end of class they played the "Chicken Fight" the goal is to knock the other person down while holding one leg up.                       

I am so proud of them ! When you are testing there are over fifty people watching your every move. They stay focus and remain calm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Life Cycle of the Star

I thougt this was a neat way to extend the Life Cycle of the Star work. DJ decided to do a watercoloring of the Life Cycle inspired by Counting Coconuts  free pdf of  The Life Cycle of the Star.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Starting A Business:Montessori Monday

Getting my kids to read and write isn't a hard thing to get them to do. Math is a whole different matter! I noticed that when they are allowed to choose their math work, they always choose math work that they have already mastered. That is cool to a certain extent, repetition is a good thing. Math is something they are definetly going to need to know to be successful  if they truly want to become independent individuals. Math is especially important if you want to own your own business. Entrepreneurs are exactly what my kiddos want to be! Thank goodness!! They all want different kind of businesses as they grow older, but for now they have agreed to own and operate a School Store. I allowed them to make decisions in every way. I agreed to be a private investor and offer them a start up cost of $30.00 interest free ( they haven't got a clue yet about what I meant by interest free, something I am waiting to present at a later date:) Didn't charge them mileage (another trick to present some more math skills:) and took them to the local Dollar Stores, and Target dollar section, everything else they needed to use was on hand. Well now I want to present to you the highlight of their homeschool week the opening of the school store.

                                The sign for the school store.

                                     Pricing the merchandise.
                                                      Doing store inventory

                                             First customers!!       

                                              Closing shop

The first day after the opening of the store they learned about supply and demand. All the boys wanted to buy snakes, but they sold out after the first three customers. They realized they didn't have receipts to help with matching inventory sold to what was left.  Most importantly Ken and DJ are enjoying learning math skills that they have been avoiding. By the way they made a whopping $10.50 on there first day of opening. Real Life, Real Money make  super exciting math lessons. To see other children learning inspired by the Montessori Method please visit One Hook Wonder and Living Montessori Now for Montessori Monday.                                                                                                                                                

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Handmade Goodness!

I am so happy for Ken today. Ken completed her very first sewing project done entirely on her own! No help from me whatsoever. The pattern for the project came in the book Sewing School by Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle. Ken feels really happy about sticking to this project and completing it. Now she is picking out her next project, making a list of materials needed. I love how this project incorporated math skills, because she isn't very fond of doing math work. Doing the measurements didn't stop her from wanting to do this project. Personally I love sneaking in relative concepts whenever I can. The truth is if I would let Ken get away with it, she would never do a math problem.

                                                 My Very Own Apron

Great for the first time sewer! By the way I just started to learn to sew myself. We are having so much fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mulitplication Rap

Getting DJ interested in things isn't a tricky thing to do. DJ really likes to learn new things everyday! The hard part is keeping him interested in something until the project is completed, or the concept is mastered. This guy will have you helping him get started in various projects and at the end of the day he has several things going on and not one of the things are finished. The very next day he will work on the project, start another project, and add another project to the unfinished project pile. By the end of the month after all the projects are piling up he will say "Oh yeah I was working on this project", begin to work on the project, and yes the cycle repeats. I haven't exaggerated one bit describing the method to his madness, I will add that DJ is a well rounded individual and takes pride in saying all of his school subjects are his favorite subjects. So lets get to what I want to share with you that has brought back some interest in learning about multiplication. At one point when DJ was first learning his multiplication he knew his facts well up to the six tables. Then his interest died down, and then I think the Rain Forest had his attention, or maybe it was building his own race track. Now we had a review of the mulitpication tables, and he found out that "when you don't use it, you may lose  it".

Lucky for him, he is the youngest so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get him "interested" in learning his multiplication facts. It actually caught him off guard, and when he started listening, a big smile appeared on his face.

DJ ran for the dry erase board and begin to write the facts as the music was playing.

I guess you can also consider this post a heads up on how DJ may be learning about one thing and I may blog about something he is learning that is entirely different the next day. I think this CD may keep his interest for a week. I'll  definetly share with you if the CD is still in play. You never know it may break a world record for DJ. Until then at least I know he is learning some multiplication facts along the way without me having to nag.                                                                        

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grammar Bingo: Montessori Monday

In an effort to get my kids more motivated to do grammar work. I came across a fun game of Grammar Bingo at the website This game definetly served its purpose,and we will be continuing to do these types of activities. What I loved most about it is it reinforced the meaning of the Montessori Grammar Symbols. This game also got my two kiddos to want to diagram sentences.

                              How I set it up for game play.

You pick a card that is facing down and you find all of the words that are associated with that part of speech.
 Along the way we sorted the cards, which led to how much fun diagramming sentences can be.

  When you get three in a row, you call out Bingo.                        

They're hooked!! I am so glad there are many other game cards that reinforce other parts of speech on the website.

To see other children inspired by the Montessori Method please visit Living Montessori Now for Montessori Monday                                                                   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time For A Walk

We have finally taken our first Fall season Nature Walk . The sun was shining, but it was still cold! We just went for a walk around the neighborhood. It still took about an hour to get back home, it was time well spent.
                                        Making tree rubbings.

                                                  Counting the rings on the tree trunk.

                                                 Climbing tree branches.

                                              Running through leaves.

                                      Found treasures from the walk.

The next day I  found DJ trying to match the leaves to the insets from the Botany Cabinet.

I think we are going to have to do this more often:)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"God Who Has No Hands": The Foundation Of Our Curriculum

"God Who Has No Hands" is a creation story written by one of the most brilliant woman in the education field, Dr. Marie Montessori. It is considered the alternate story to share in place of  The First Great Lesson: The Begining of the Universe and Earth.  I am not a trained Montessori Guide so I feel more comfortable referring you to this site for accurate information regarding The Great Lessons

I  presented "God Who Has No Hands" to DJ and Ken today, they had a blast!! The pictures you are about to see are mine. The words you are about to read were written by Dr. Montessori.

"I hear, Lord, and I obey."

At first there was chaos, and darkness was on the face of the deep. God said, " Let there be light", and there was light.

The countless hosts of stars are like these little drops.

It means that in one second light can travel seven times around the whole world.

One of those stars, one of those grains of sand among those thousands of billions of sand is our Sun and one millionth part of this grain is our Earth. An almost invisible speck of nothingness.

The particles assumed different states which we call solid, liquid and gas.

Each of the tiny particles were given a special love for certain particles and a special dislike for certain others. Some were attracted to each other and some were not. Just like human beings, they like some and refuse to have anything to do with the others. In this way they combined and formed themselves into different groups.

 In the solid state, God made particles cling together that they are almost impossible to separate.  They form a body which will not change its shape unless one applies force. If a piece is broken off, the particles cling together.                                                                       

When it comes to liquids, God said "You shall hold together also, but not so very closely. You will have no shape of your own, but will roll over each other. You shall flow and spread, filling every hollow, every crevice in your path.  You will push downwards and sideways, but never upwards".

And to the gases He said" Your particles shall not cling together at all. They can move in all directions."

But as the particles were also different individuals, they did not become solid, liquid or gas all at the same time. They changed their state according to the temperature.


And as time went on, the outer ring of this mass began to dance- a dance of the elements.....
Like little angels, they carried buckets of hot, burning coal into space and returned, bringing ice instead.

Finally the particles settled down, like tired dancers, and one after another they became first liquid then solid.
The heavier ones nearer to the heart of the Earth and the lighter ones floated above them.                                         

They had to follow the law of God: If you are hot you expand. But there was no place to expand and so they burst out.


 As everybody cooled down, more and more gases became liquid, more and more liquids became solid. The Earth itself shrank and became wrinkled, like an old apple that had been left in the cupboard.

The wrinkles are the mountains and the hollows are the oceans......

And today, as it is millions of years ago, the Earth and all the elements and compounds it is made of, as they fulfill their task, whisper with one voice: "Lord, your will be done. We Obey."

Once again I will like to mention that these words were excerpted from Dr. Marie Montessori's creation story "God Who Has No Hands."  The charts that I used can be found in the history album that we are using I have the link located on the sidebar. My children were in awe during the whole presentation. The only words were uttered were "Can I pour it" , "Can I touch it" in a whisper voice. After reading this story words have not stopped, they have a ton of questions. I have asked them to write them all down. Let the research begin!!

I have a couple of creation stories that I picked up from the library that they will have on the shelf. Also the history album has quite a few from different places in the world. In my kids own words " Today was the best school day in their whole life." I too share the same feelings as them. As I was learning the story, there were some new to me connections that I finally was able to make. I hold this story very close to my heart. I have memorized this and I hope to be able to hear my children tell this story to someone from their heart.

Do you have any creation stories that you hold dear to your heart? If so please leave a comment I would love to hear about them!!