new skills

Working Away

Yes, here again is another school day post! I hope that you all enjoy reading them! I know it is alot, but this is my way of recording what each girl has done and where they are at! Today was fun! Bunny wanted to do fraction work, so I gave her the next presentation! We talked about denominators and numerators. She really got it and loved the presentation.


 Pup wanted to work on sandpaper letters, so I introduced a couple more letters. After we did that, I pulled out the farm animals and played eye spy. I have tried this with her a few times before, but she really didnt get it. Today she did! She was able to pick out most of the beginning sounds between two objects. She loved it and we are going to keep playing this with her! Later on, she was playing with her zebra and she was sounding the sound out. She told me that the sound was “zzzz”! I was shocked! She was very excited about her discovery and I asked if she wanted to see the letter that made that sound. She told me yes, so I went and got the “z”. She traced it and said it over and over. Then she asked if she could have the letter in her room! 🙂 Awwww…what a Montessori child!

So that was our excitement today! We did a few other things too. Bunny made a book about baby mammals, we talked about where conifer trees grow in forests and about the northern and southern hemisphere, and she also read a book! I hope that you all had a great school week! Happy Schooling!

Work and Research!

Well if this wasnt a Montessori blog, this title would really sound like a boring, dry post! 🙂 However, it is anything but! Both the girls have been doing alot of work and I am really excited about the research that Bunny has been getting into too! She has really asked to learn about mammals. So she has been picking out an animal that interest her and finding out about it with our Animal book. However, that excitement is tempered by my inability to find a way for us to research methodically. I really do question how to make this work since she cant read very well, so it turns out that I am doing alot of reading to her when she finds something that grabs her interest. I have tried to streamline things a bit by using the Research Outlines from Montessori Print shop! They are free and offers some ideas of information to find. I really liked them and so did she. I also bought the Plant and Animal Research Guild from Montessori for Everyone. These are nice because they ask specific questions that she needs to answer. Right now they require her to write out too much information, but I really think that they will really be awesome as she grows in her writing ability. She still gets frustrated writing out whole sentences, but we are getting there. If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear them! Here are the things she has been hard at work on.


Here was some of her research on rocks. Bunny found out where the rock was from, and she found out what it was called. I let her keep the rocks she found out the info.

Panda Research page

Zebra Research Page.

We learned about the ruler and how to measure to the nearest inch. She thought it was pretty cool and she did a great job at it too!

Bunny was finding out what fractions made a whole. She recorded her work and did a great job with it. I love that she can explore this so sensorially.

While Bunny was working away, so was Pup! She has been “discovering things” and loving “doing her math” with  me! 🙂 She has been really busy and I think that she is learning alot! Here is what she has been up to!

“Doing her Math Problems”!

We have been doing some work with the Geometric Solids!

She said that the cone was like a party hat! 🙂 How cute is that?

She did all the pieces, even the tiny one! Hooray!

She had the idea to make a tube and was proud when it worked out!
So there you have it! Lots of work is happening here and everyone seems rather happy about it! I am trying something new and kinda experimental here too. I noticed that the girls have not been playing with very many toys lately. So I took alot of the toys and put them away. I replaced them with some out “Montessori” toys and puzzles. I also left some of the kitchen toys, doll stuff, blocks and things like that! I will see how this goes. I did this on Monday when we had out Great Lesson for the little kids and it worked really well! Pup loved the idea, so I think that this may work! We’ll see! I hope your work week is going well and there is lots of learning at you house too! Happy Schooling!

Bunny’s Recipe for Dinner!

Today Bunny told me she had a an idea for dinner. She wanted to make chicken with pepperoni and a cream “whip” (sauce). I asked what that was and she told me that she wanted to put the chicken in a pan and add the cream sauce and put pepperoni on it and them top it with cheese. Now I thought about it and realized that it sounds like it might actually be yummy! So since we were off to the store anyway, I helped Bunny pick up the ingredients. She was very excited to make dinner, and since she thought of the recipe herself it was even better! Here is what we did.

Here is her finished Pizza Chicken

We started off with making the cream sauce

Then lined the pan with pepperoni

Next we added chicken and put the cream sauce on it.

Topped it with more pepperoni and some mozzarella cheese.

Here it is all baked up. There was a bit of grease from the pepperoni, but I used a slotted spoon to serve it, so no one ate bunches of grease!

It was actually yummy! I wasnt sure how it would turn out, but the chicken was tender, the sauce wasnt too thick, and everyone liked! It was rather rich and not the healthiest meal. But when Bunny makes up a recipe, I love to try and see how they will turn out (provided it isnt something I know will be not good and use alot of ingredients. I just cant let her do that quite yet! Its a learning process!)
If you want to make this, here is the recipe. I added measurements even though we eye balled everything.
Pizza Chicken
3/4 cup of Sour Cream (softened)
1/4 cup of Ranch Dressing
2 Tablespoons of Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
7-8 Chicken Tenders (or 3-4 Breasts)
Mozzarella Cheese
Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Line 8×8 with pepperoni, and add chicken. Pour cream sauce over chicken, and top it again with pepperoni. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 325 for about 30- 40 minutes until bubbly and chicken is cooked through. If you are using large chicken breasts the time maybe longer! Let it sit for a few minutes before serving to let the sauce thicken up a bit and cool off. We served it with salad on the side! Everyone loved it!
Let us know if you made Bunny’s Pizza Chicken! We would love to hear what you think! Happy Cooking!

Montessori Monday~ Work in session!

Well it has been a rather busy day! I feel like I have a million things to do and I really planned on taking it easy with school work. I figured that one more week of summer before we got into a full schedule would be a good thing for everyone (mostly because I am still working on that schedule)! But the girls decided that we should do school anyway. Who am I to say no? So they worked and worked hard! Bunny worked with some money, reading, and using the insets to practice pencil control (I showed her how to do the different designs)! She really enjoyed that! Pup was all ready to go to work! I showed her some new presentations with the Pink Tower and the Brown Stair. She really loved it! After I finished the presentation, she got to work. When I told her that I needed to help Bunny, she told me to be be quiet because she was making discoveries! 🙂 How precious is that? Here is pictures of my ladies hard at work!

Pink Tower on its side

She was so proud! 🙂

Here I have sorted the cubes out on two rugs. Pup has to build the tower. Its hard because she cant see them all at the same time. She did a great job! I was shocked to find that she could do it almost perfectly the first time! She did it once on its side, and the next time in the tower!

We also tried the Brown Stair in a vertical direction. She mastered the horizontal way the first time and vertical was no different! She is really amazingly good at these works!

After that she was on to some practical life work and she really made some fun discoveries! She poured out some colors and them was so excited to show me that one was bigger then the other. I need to talk about quantity terms I think for her! She is really into finding different sizes in things! I think that I will represent the cylinder blocks tomorrow for her! She will like to see the different sizes.

She did it! This was a hard one for her!
Bunny and I really worked on money today! She and I talked about how much each coin was worth. This is actually a hard concept for her to get. I think we are going to need lots of practice!!!!

She worked so hard though and actually kick me out of her area so she could work better! Hooray! Maybe she is getting better at working independently!

After that, Bunny was on to the insets! I noticed that she is writing really hard all the time. I am hoping that this work will help her with that lightness of touch!

So there we have it! Our work day! Things are getting to a point where the school work is going well and I think that next we are going to rock the Great Lessons!!!! Be sure to stop back! I am linking up to Montessori Monday! Stop by there and see all the awesome Montessori work! Happy Schooling!

Montessori Monday~ Panic and Perspective

Today we started week two of “getting back into school routine”. We are still not jumping into full elementary Montessori work and I think I know why….I am freaking out a little bit! There is so much to do, so much to know, so much that I dont know if I can do right! What if I dont tell the great lessons well enough and Bunny isnt inspired? What if I miss a step in the sequence and we dont learn something important? What if What if What if…. *Sigh* So what to do? There are two choices, one let the panic take over until I break down, or break the work down so I dont loose my mind! So I chose the latter. I started thinking about what the main goal of a Montessori education at this age.

Pup was so excited to discover that these were all different sizes!

To understand the main goal, you need to see the big picture. The main goal is to inspire the child through imagination. They are naturally full of questions that they want to have answers for and it is our job to help them tap into that! To do this we use the great lessons and the follow up lessons. The point of doing the great lessons is many things, but mainly it is to help the child get an idea of the big picture of the universe. To see how every living and non living thing in the world works together to form and change the universe as we know it. We want the child to see how everything in their life is a part of the this amazing universe too! Everything we do, everything they do, everything that happens is a part of the formation of the universe! That is a great thought and it is humbling too. We are so small and yet we are an integral part of this universe. Another thing that the great lessons do is that they inspire in the children a sense of wonder, awe, and gratitude for the God that created it all! I want my kids to really appreciate and see the amazing love of God in everything that they do and see in this world. I also want them to see how the contribution of the human who came before us shaped how we live and behave today. I want them to be grateful for all the people who worked, lived, and died in this world. They are a part of all we do in this world too. These are the main points for all the work in the elementary classroom. While we tell the stories of the universe, the child starts to see the connect between what they are doing in math, language, science, geometry, etc. and the whole universe. They begin to see how math is a part of the language of life and they use it. The begin to see the value of reading and writing in getting and and recording the information they want to know. They understand the handwriting is important so others can read and understand their work too. All of it works together and is important, school work is not just stuff to learn, it is part of life and what they are looking to learn! Really cool right? This is the big picture of how it all works, however trying to make this happen is overwhelming since it require the teacher to make sure that there is information and materials ready for when the children need them and it also requires the teacher to keep things moving. Unlike in the casa, the teacher is now very involved and constantly giving presentations and moving information along as she follows the child. Nomenclature is important and should be available for work when the child is ready. Group work is a key corner stone of this age and the works are big , exciting, and very detailed. Whew!

So how do I break this down so I can simplify and not loose the essence of Montessori? Well for one thing, the great lessons are a major key element. I want to do those, and I want to make them an integral part of our education, so we are going to do those. But the pressure to get them just right is huge because everything hinges on them inspiring the child! However, we do repeat these each year for the next three year (at least), so if I dont get it just right this year, I am sure that I will next year! Bunny loves stories and is very interested in learning more about a story that captures her interest. She is going to love the story and I am sure that it will inspire her in some way. So I will let it go. I cannot do more then my best, and her response it up to her.

Another MAJOR stress is all the nomenclature and materials that require putting things together. This is something I am willing to change. For one thing, Bunny doesnt like nomenclature work. She does it if she has to, but really she would much rather look at a book and learn that way. So I will let go of all the work I “need” to make and plan to use the library for most of it. She will enjoy it more, and it is easier and free! 🙂 So we will let this go. It is not going to change the interdependent aspect of her work. I will help her with presentations, but we will pick them as the season or the interests hit.
Another thing that I am worried about is making sure that I somehow manage to go through all the presentations that there are! It is amazing how much there is to learn and frankly it intimidates me a bit. I want to do it all, but I am afraid that I will push in order to do it all! That ended really badly with Bunny last year and I know that I can only teach what she is ready for. So I am planning to do what my theory album advised. Have a list of the work a child is required by the state to know by the end of third grade. This is something that we can talk to the child about and then they can work with us to make sure that they are learning those things. So long as they are learning those things, the rest is extra! This means that so long as Bunny is keeping up with her peers in school, then she is free to learn what she wants when she wants. This is liberating to me because it means that if we dont cover it all and she still know what she is required to, we are all ok! She can go as deep as she wants on something and I can relax! Of course I will still keep my eye on presentations so that I can offer her some new ideas as we go too! As Maria Montessori said, we teachers need to sow as many seeds of information as we can since you never know when they will sprout (I of course paraphrased that)!

So that is how we are going to do elementary here. It isnt going to be the way it is in a school because it cant be, but it will be good for us! Easier and good! I dont want to get myself so worked up that it all stops being fun for both of us! I cant be making materials everyday of the year and she cant be forced to do it all either! We are going to do what we can and whatever we do is going to be the best ever! I know that this is a LONG post, but it helps me to clarify my thoughts!


 On a side note, our school work today was absolutely amazing! Bunny and I did the noun presentation and she LOVED it! She has totally understood it and started writing out nouns with the noun symbol before I even finished explaining how it worked! I guess we are going to move on this fast! She then worked with the grammar farm which is also good reading practice for her! She also pulled out fractions and found what combinations would make 1/2. She wrote all of her work down in her own way. I was really proud of her and thought I would show her how we write this work out in math equations so we dont have to explain it all out. She and I wrote her information in fraction form and she thought it was cool! Pup, she worked as if I didnt exist! She only really talked to me when she discovered something that was interesting to her. She discovered how to make some colors, and she also showed me the different sizes in the cylinders. She was very excited about how they were tall, shorter, and shortest! All of this was done in her own time and way while I was working with Bunny! She is really working like a Montessori child!  I’m really glad that you stopped by and stuck with through this long post! I am really excited after figuring out how to do it all this year and also after such a great school day! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your school year too! Happy Schooling Everyone!!!! I am linking up with Montessori Monday!

Projects that Inspire Resposibility

Today we got a chance to head out to a fair in our area! I love fairs, the food is yummy, the animals are fun to see, and there are all kinds of things to do. The fair was a very integral part of my husband’s life as he was growing up, so I always think its fun to see what he did each summer as a kid. As we looked at the different fair projects and animals that were there, I thought that this is something that is such a great concept! A child takes the responsibility to learn in depth about something that interest them, and then they complete the project with dedication. When the project is finished, they then come to the fair to present their project to judges and their peers. The projects are as varied as the kids that do them. You can take an animal, you can sew something, cook something, paint something, grow something, learn about something, etc. The possibilities are really amazing. This reminded me so much of what Maria Montessori said in Childhood to Adolescence. She talked about the benefits of the scouting movement for a child. She said that when a teacher took a child out into nature, it was good for them but they dont get to freely try out what they learn. When a child is in scouting,they learn what they need to know to do something, then they go and try it on their own. This gives them the chance to fail, master it, or adapt what they know to make it work out. I think that 4H is much the same way. A child chooses a project and follows it through to the end on their own. They are given the information and left to use it to finish the project! I love this idea! It is so child led and great a teaching the responsibility that a child needs to know as an adult. Not to mention, you get to go to fair and that is always fun! 😉 Today it was only about fun, but maybe someday we will be there for more! 🙂

Bunny’s Sewing Project!

Today I finally put some more thread on Bunny’s sewing machine! I really havent done too much with her with her sewing since she was still having some problems, so I just let it go. However, when I remodeled her room, I added a craft area and it was a perfect place for her to have her machine where she could try it out when she wanted. Today was the day she pulled it out! I expected her to try sewing some of the material scraps she has together, but no! She had some big plans! She asked if she could sew clothes with her machine and I said yes, she could sew anything. She wanted to make a skirt! WHAT?!?! She pulled out a piece of what fleece that she wanted to use. It was really short. So I found her a bigger one. She and I worked out where to sew and how to make it fit around her waist. We decided that adding some elastic would be necessary. I helped her sew the elastic in, but she did the rest herself! When she put it on, she was so happy! She made a skirt! It was really hard to let her go once I helped her see what she needed to do. I wanted her to feel like she did it herself. She did a great job and I think you will see alot of it in the photos! It was also a great learning experience for her as she learns to use the machine, control the fabric, and correct the speed of the presser foot. She did a great job and I know she will only get better!

Didn’t she do a good job? I see more sewing the near future! I am afraid I may never see her again! 😉 I am promising you a great tour of Bunny’s room hopefully tomorrow! I have been working on it and I finally think that I have all her favorite things and some of the things that tie the colors together! So be sure to stop by and see what a Montessori inspired room looks like for an older kiddo! Happy Summer!

Pacing and Waiting

I must say that I have been reading a ton of Montessori theory in my new set of albums and I am so excited to begin with all the amazing things I have been reading! I am ready to jump into everything tomorrow! I am ready to reorganized the classroom and make sure its all in place. I am ready to start the great lessons, the grammar, the writing and research. I am ready to start it all and I haven’t even browsed the Montessori stores online yet! But this is where I need to pull myself back. It is a sure way to homeschool mommy and kiddo burn out! We are not ready. I need to pace myself and wait. These are two things that I am not so good at. I am not good at waiting, but I must learn to. Waiting and pacing your presentation until the kids are ready is a corner stone part of Montessori. As I read more about the second plane of development, I realize Bunny is changing. But even though this change is happening its not ready to change everything. We are not quite ready for a full on switch to elementary. I need to wait. Pup is changing too. She is ready for more and more real work with the Montessori materials. She is blowing through learning her numbers, but she is not ready for letters at all. She is just not ready, and I wait. Ugh! So much waiting, but in the end it will be better for them, better for me. If I jump into everything right away, they will get frustrated and upset, and I will get frustrated and upset too. So we wait. We will keep learning as we are and get ready. In the fall we will be ready to jump in with both feet! We will be ready for numbers, for the great lessons, for all the amazing things that are out there to learn. In the fall it will be the right time. Right now, I am excited, but the girls are feeling the call of summer and outside! They are ready to learn and explore, but not inside! They want to run and play and be in the outdoors. We keep learning but at their pace, not mine. We will learn outside, we will learn inside, we will have time for fun, and we will wait! 🙂

And during all this waiting I will read! I will find out all I can about what is happening to the thoughts of my dearest little ones. They are changing, but do I understand what is happening so I can help them become their best? No, so I need to learn! Summer become down time for the kids, and full time learning for mom! I want to understand. What I have read already has changed how I am treating Bunny and it making a huge difference. She is not a little kid anymore, and I need to adjust my thinking accordingly. She is learning how to be a person of herself, not so connect to me. But this also gives her moments of clinginess as she feels insecure. She trying to understand right from wrong and is constantly trying to figure out which is which. Then there is the fact that she is moving toward abstraction and needs me to be ready for that! Pup is no longer a baby and I need to really start to treat her like the preschooler she is. She needs to learn to pick up, to ask politely, to care for herself and environment. She is ready for that and I need to raise my expectation! So we all move forward together and we wait for the right time for everything!

So I know that these thoughts are a bit muddled, but I have great hopes that we are moving in the right direction and I cant wait for all the exciting paths we have in the future! How do you get ready for the changes that you can see on the horizon?

School Days!

Today we spent the morning working and both girls did a great job! Bunny read a book, did some math work with the stamp game, practiced memorizing her 1 additions problems, and she also made a plan for the garden and started some more seeds! Pup was working on all sorts of things today too! She has really been working so hard on her numbers! It almost an obsession with her right now, so I have been trying to keep up! 🙂 She has also been coloring EVERYTHING! In fact, she will just color in a whole piece of paper! I keep trying to show her how to color in the metal insets, but she has really gotten interested yet! Today was a big day for her though, because she was able to combine these two skills she has been working so hard on to write some of her numbers!!!!! I was shocked, but she did it! WOW! She made a 0, 1, 2 on the chalk board today! Here are some pictures!

Here is a 2, 1, and 0
(they are very light, but she did pretty good for her very first time ever!)

Pup made this all by herself and was pretty proud of it!

She wanted to do some Silence.

Plant or animal sorting

We also played Eye Spy together. This something that she still doesn’t quite get, but today we made some progress! She loves to play even though she doesn’t quite get it! 🙂 We played it three times! I only offer her two object to pick the beginning sound of at a time.

I have also been trying to encourage her to use some of the sensorial materials since she is older. I think that she could benefit from some time with them. So today I showed her how to say big, bigger, biggest as she touched the different cylinder spots. She really loved this! 🙂 Maybe she will repeat this soon!

This is a list of what plants need

Here is what we a planning for all of the garden space this year!

Bunny got a Growums Kits for her birthday. She got a taco garden that grows tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and lettues. You start it with the little tray it comes in and later plant it outside. We are going to try and see what grows!

So that is what we have been doing today! I hope your week has gone well. I am going to pretty busy over the next few days, but I will try and pop by here to update! Happy Schooling Everyone!!!!
* Oh, don’t forget to enter my giveaway HERE! It ends Monday!!!*

Montessori Monday~ Soil….ok….lizards! :)

Well today we started off with some school work! It went well. Bunny wanted to work with the homemade lizard 3 part cards, and Pup wanted to do her math problems! So Pup and I got to work while Bunny worked on her own! Pup has been doing really well working with the sandpaper numbers and I am really proud of her. I have been starting to introduce her to letters as well since she has been asking and pretending to sound things out! 😉 She likes to know the sounds. I wanted to use the Dwyer Method with her in the reading, but it looks like we will be doing more PBG instead. I think ti will most likely be a combination of sorts. We’ll see!

Here is the 2ond period where I asked her to “poof” the number. She did pretty well. We still have a few we need to work on!

Pup loves to trace the letters with her fingers. I know that is how its supposed to be, but I didnt have Montessori when Bunny was at this age, so its been fun to see the different sensitive periods with Pup! I will just embrace this now while she is loving it!

I also asked for her recall, but there are a few we will need to redo later! But we had fun and that is what matters!
Another thing that I presented to Pup today was filling in the metal insets with lines. She has been in a crazy intense phase of filling things in when she is coloring. She always hands me her work and tell me that it was really hard. She is satisfied with her work when she gets it all filled in with color. So this work was right up her alley! She did 4 of them on her own!
While Pup and I were working, Bunny did all the three part cards for the lizard and then made her won book (I forgot to get some pictures). She did a great job though and it inspired me to look into getting us to the zoo to really see the lizards that Bunny wanted to know about!

Bunny also did a few math problems today using the stamps. She did a pretty good job and I was happy that she seems to be working hard at it! While she did that, I check on the weather conditions here! With no rain on the radar for a few hours, I packed up the kids after they finished their work and we headed to the zoo! Bunny has been wanting to see the lizards and I wanted to be sure she had a chance to! We saw a bunch of things (the reptile house was closed for an hour and a half when we got there) and it was fun to check things out. While we were killing time, we came across a HUGE chunk of coal that was on display. This was a HUGE opportunity for me to talk to Bunny a bit about the Carbon Cycle. This was a presentation in the Waseca study on soil. I wasnt sure if Bunny was really ready for it since it was aged 6-12. I think that it was a little more then she was ready for yet this year. However, the grammar presentation and the great lessons talk about coal and in the albums I was reading they suggest making sure that the child has some idea of how coal is formed. So I did a impromptu presentation using the coal at the zoo! It turned out well. I dont think that Bunny is going to be writing an essay on the carbon cycle, but she has been exposed to it, so I am happy! After that, we hit the reptile house! Bunny really loved seeing all the different types of lizards that there were. We learned about how lizards are cold blooded and how they lay eggs. We also learned about the different names for lizards~ gecko, iguanas, monitors, etc. Another things that I didnt know I was going to be talking about was salamanders! I really had no idea that they were different then lizards! Whew! I had to read quickly to figure out the difference and tell Bunny! I love that her interests allow me to learn too! Its great to learn together! 🙂 When we got home, Bunny and I hit the Internet to get some more information about lizards. Afterward Bunny and I filled out one of those animal discovery pages together! It was a good day and we both learned alot!


There were a bunch of Red Admiral Butterflies flying around! They are just like the ones in our backyard a couple of weeks ago!

Here is coal that we used for our presentation!!! Cool Huh?

So that was our day! It was a good one! Stop on back tomorrow for some DIY landforms! That’s right, I made some and they were really easy!!!!! Don’t forget to check out the Montessori Guild Books I have for sale! I am linking up to Montessori Monday! Stop by there for some amazing Montessori fun! Happy Schooling!