Today was a busy day here! I have a cookies exchange tomorrow with my sister in laws, so it was baking day here! The girls wanted to make gingerbread so badly! So I decided that it would be fun. After lots of taking about it, shopping for just the right sprinkles, we made our batch. The hardest part of it was waiting for the dough to chill. While we waited, the girls traced cookie cutters to make paper cookies. I pulled out all of the glitter bits and the girls decorated to their hearts content. After that we watched some videos of our favorite Gingerbread Boy story on Jan Brett’s website. Jan Brett wrote a very sweet and beautiful version of this story and it is by far my favorite! On her website, she has some videos of her reading the story to some children and of her cooking gingerbread babies! What I thought was really cool was that she decorated the cookies before she baked them! What I thought was brilliant was that it saved me the trouble of trying to frost them, and the kids got to have all the cookie fun right away instead of waiting for the cookies to cook and cool first! It was the most relaxing and fun time I have had making cookies with the kids! I rolled, they cut, and then they decorated! Simple and fun!
I was offered a chance to review a new book that is written for the Montessori Homeschooler of lower elementary kids (ages 6-9). I cant tell you how excited I was to do this because as we all know there is such a limited amount of resources out there for this! What I got was a 365 page Kindle E-Book! Magellan Montessori Homeschooling Early Elementary book is written by Miriam Coates, M.Ed. who is a Montessori Directress! That means this book really is truly Montessori. The book starts off by going in depth into a description of the preparation of child in the Primary (age 3-6) classroom and then it goes into the changes a child goes through as they enter first grade. The book then offers many idea about setting up your own homeschool environment. The ideas are really great at helping explain how to set it up, even if you dont have a whole room to use. As it gets into the lessons, I love that it tells you the objective for the lessons and it also gives you some alternatives to the traditional materials you need for teaching. This is great, especially for those of us that are trying to operate on a budget! The only thing that I noticed is that when it explains the presentations, it gives you an idea, but it doesnt get into any step by steps for how to give the presentation. This is where you would need a set of traditional Montessori albums if you want that kind of help (like me:). It does cover a majority of the subjects like Practical Life, Language Arts, Math, Botany, Zoology, Great Lessons, Geography, Art, and Astronomy, so there are plenty of ideas for learning! Another thing that this book does is give you links for what the materials look like using the Neinhuis website. I personally like to see pictures in book, so this is a bit of draw back for me, but at least there are links! Finally, there is a website that goes with the book to offer support and answer questions! I love it when there is someone to ask questions to, and if you read this blog much, you know I ask alot of them! So if you are looking for great new Montessori resource, this might one you want to look into! When you look at the book, price may seem a little high, but if you compare it to other classes and courses, it really isnt too bad! I hope you check it out! Happy Schooling everyone!
***Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book to give an honest review of my opinion of this book. These thoughts are my own!***
Well I have been trying really hard to start getting Bunny interested in trying to read again. So far she has been really frustrated and I thought that backing off for a bit would be a good idea! So I did. But the other day, I thought it would be fun to bring out the grammar farm again to use as a reading exercise. In the remedial reading section of the elementary albums I have, they talk about making sure that there is a lot of success. So they start with reading words instead of books. This is not a new idea, in fact it is really how you are supposed to do it. So I thought that Bunny would have alot of fun reading some of the labels! So I got it all together and set it out for her yesterday. She wanted to work with it right away and I was proud that she read about 10-12 labels all on her own. I wasnt down there with her to help at all! Good progress right? We left it out for her to come back to if she feels like it.
Another reading progress thing that has happened here is that Bunny found a new book she is in love with! We all love Fancy Nancy here. If you dont her, she is a character in some books written by Jane O’Conner. Nancy loves to be fancy and use really fancy words! These books always have a bunch of great vocabulary lessons built right in! Nancy is also very kind and always does the right thing. Sometimes I find books have the kids talking back to their parents or being kind of mean, but I havent found that in any Fancy Nancy books!
So when we found her first chapter book, we had to get it our from the library!We read the whole thing in two days and Bunny has literally carried the book around with her since then! This is a rather big book and it has a lot of big words in it, but Bunny loved it so much that she was willing to read almost a whole paragraph even with the big words! She also copied the title of the book several time working on her handwriting! I was really proud of her and I know that she can read. I am hoping if we practice alot, she will get it. So we are going to talk together about it and find a plan that works for both of us! I was thinking that maybe having a goal would be good for her. She loves to have a goal. So maybe I will buy her the Fancy Nancy book if she starts to read! Either way, we are going to start working on it! She was also talking alot about the math problems she knows, so I guess its time to work on that too! Let the remedial work begin!!!!!! Dont worry, I will keep you all posted on how it goes! Happy Summer/ Schooling!
As summer rolls on here, I have noticed how amazing a good book is to learning! Bunny has found certain books inspiring and most of the time, it inspires her to do something creative as a result of it. Today was a perfect example of this. The book was a story I grabbed at the library to read. It honestly isn’t a well written story and I really didn’t like it a lot. It was good for a quick good night story, but I wouldn’t read it more then once. However, this book captured Bunny’s imagination! In the story, Isabella is asked by her Dad to help out with his to do list. She always tells her Dad that she is somewhere else. One time she is an archaeologist at the pyramids, another time she was an artist at the Eiffel Tower, another time she was the Statue of Liberty, etc! I did love that it incorporated all of these great places in the world, so did Bunny! She read this book and then it started a whole day of little projects! She started by drawing a picture of Big Ben in London (it was in the book) and a picture of the Statue of Liberty. This she made into a card to send to her writing bunny in England. She even wrote a bit of it herself! After that she dug out the Around the World Toob Objects from the continent boxes. I suggested she could make a map of where Isabella went or to make a map book of where the different landmarks are in the world. She didn’t like my ideas however, and instead matched them to the book. She even sorted them by tall landmarks and short ones. I can see how amazingly easy it is for her to want more information and to go after it, just from reading a book! I am hoping so very much that this is a good start for the fall when I introduce the Great Lessons! The Great Lesson are stories told in a Montessori Elementary class about the beginning of the world that are a told in such a way that they inspire a child to look for more information! The goal is that we can inflame a child’s imagination, and this will lead them to want to learn more! So it is fun to watch Bunny start to learn that way. To hear a story and then learn more about something in the story is a HUGE part of the Montessori Elementary. It is so cool to see how it works so naturally! I again am so amazed at the gift of watching a child learn naturally! It really affirms my goals to stick to the basics, and keep it simple in the fall!
A while ago I volunteered to review this party book, and I got it in the mail last week. I will tell you thin, I was not disappointed!!!!! This book has it all~ invitation ideas, decorations, recipes, time lines, and activities!!!!! There are 12 different parties, 3 for each season of the year. Each of them is different and unique, and each of them is earth friendly and beautiful!!!! When I first saw this book I fell in love with it! If I had gotten it from the library, I would have probably bought myself a copy! There were so many great ideas here and it was like holding a pintrest board in my hands! I know for sure that there are at least five different parties in this book that I think that I can realistically do easily this year! The ideas are simple, but the results were unbelievable! There are a ton of pictures in this book and they are really beautiful. I love how they use what they have on hand and show you how those elements can really work together to become a party that will impress any guest you invite! But enough talking, I will show you what I mean! I was having my sister in law over and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to use some the ideas from this book to have an Easter egg party! The first party in this book is the Egg Dyeing Spring Party! It is a beautiful outside party with upcycled fabric banner, fabric wrapped glass bottles with flowers in them, Inspirational banner made with fabric and sticks, bread baked in flower pots, and of course egg dying (they include all the natural dye recipes). I thought I would pull out some the ideas and apply them to my house (it was too cold to be outside). The results were wonderful!!!! I think that it was really pretty! Here are some pictures for you to see and I will tell you what I got from the book!
Today we did a good work session and during this work time, Bunny wrote a story about our Tool Fairy! I love that my story has inspired some really good work that is just so Montessori! She had the materials on hand and really worked hard on something that meant a lot to her! It was also a really great language work and she put alot of concentration into it! I was really proud of all the thought she put, not only into the pictures, but the story too! I had to stop her while she narrated so I could keep up with her! Here is her story!
I want to take a moment to tell you about a book that I have been reading that has been really making me think alot about myself as a mother, and it is changing my life in a really great way. This book is written by Meg Meeker, and the title is “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers”. I love how she is talking from experience and as one mom to another. She really has found some amazing habits that are starting to make me a better happier and more joyful mother! I LOVE it. I would love to do a book discussion about it on my other blog Peace, Love, and Blessing, so if anyone is interested let me know! If not I highly recommend that you try and get you hands on this book! I wish I could give it to each and every one of you! Let me know if read it and what you think!