Reading and Writing

New Math Work {and awesome work day}!!!

Well today I stayed home this morning with the girls and got them into a really steady work period! It started off with Bunny wanting to write in cursive! Yikes! I was not prepared for that! So I quickly printed off a chart showing cursive letters and I showed her how to write her name in cursive! This led to me showing Bunny how to write on the lines with that think lined manuscript paper that the use in schools. It took a little bit, but she enjoyed trying to make the letters look like the sample page I wrote out! I was happy that she took an interest in this since her handwriting is something that we needed to work on! I guess keeping my mouth closed can lead to her taking an interest in exactly what she needs to learned! Montessori is awesome! 🙂

After she wrote a few words on her own she moved on to a new work that I made for her {does anyone else make materials while their kids are working hard at something else?}. This new math idea came from a blog Kingdom of the Pink Princess and I just had to try it! I wrote some simple addition problems on Popsicle sticks that didnt add up to more then 9. I then pulled out the spindle boxes, minus the spindles! The work for Bunny was to add them up and put the sticks in the slot that had the right sum on it. For example if the stick had 3+4, then Bunny would put the stick in the 7 spot. It is am amazing way to reuse the spindle box! Bunny loved it! She has been really excited about being able to add and subtract with her fingers and this let her practice that! As I watched her work, I realized that with all the adding on her fingers, she has memorized quite a few problems! She just knew so many more then I realized! Yeah for her!

While Bunny was working, Pup was hard at work too! Pup worked on the ring stacker and it was great to watch her self correct when she put them in the wrong order! After that she moved on to doing our napkin ring work from our thanksgiving trays. She really enjoyed this! After she got them all in the rings, she took them out and folded them all back up! Another work I was able to get her interested in was the red rods! I asked her to get the longest rod and lay it on the floor in another part of the room and we did this till the rods were built. Then she took them all back and put them in the proper order! I was shocked that she was able to do it well! She hasnt been able to do it before and I have been waiting for her just “get it”! She hasnt been able to line them up at an end though, but she did try! Maybe in the spring she’ll be ready for some sandpaper numbers! But sandpaper letters is what we moved on to after that! She loved tracing the sounds and then trying make them in the sand. She memory of the sounds isnt quite there, but I think it will happen as we go! 🙂 I have tried to play sound games with her, but she just doesnt have any interest in it. But I will keep trying!

When Pup was working, Bunny had really had taken off in math and wanted to learn more. So I pulled out some work that I thought Bunny would like, the squaring beads! I used the presentation that was in the Karen Tyler albums and she loved it! First we explored the beads by laying them all out in line with the squares at the end. Then i had her pick one of them and we saw how it folded up to become the same as the square. The we counted the beads one by one. Each time we got to the end of a bead bar, we put an arrow there with the number there! At the end I would say “9 is the square of 3” and we would do another one. We worked until we got too hungry and went to eat lunch!

 It was a really great work and I really motivated me to try harder to get more time in. They do so well when I make time to work with them! So I hope that you all have had a great week so far! We went together to see the Christmas Lights at our zoo tonight and the girls had an amazing time! Will be post pictures on that tomorrow!

Montessori Monday~ Christmas Season Fun!

Well everyone, I am finally on top of the holiday! I have Christmas trays out now! Plus I have a few more that I will change out as we go through the month! I hope that this will work. My thought is that we are going to be so busy doing so many other amazing things this month, that we may not get as much work time in with the trays. So this will allow me to change a few, but leave them out long enough for the girls to really work with them! So here is what I have out this week!

Sorting Buttons by Size
(This one was so fun because Bunny had no idea what it was for since all the buttons were together. 🙂

Sorting Buttons
(Bunny has been really into sorting!)

Spooning Beads into a vase with a Funnel
(yes this is still out! It is amazing how excited they are when I change the beads)

Polishing a Mirror
(I found a new mirror, so the kids are all excited about this too)

PomPom Tweezing
(This is really for Tadpole since he cant hurt it! We are still fighting the throwing works)

Tonging Ornaments into Box
(This was a big hit too! Another one for Tadpole. He is loving tongs, so I am giving him some options)

A Sensory Bin!
(Its been a while, but I found something that Tadpole cant choke on, that my dog cant eat,
and I dont need to sweep up every few minutes! Hooray!)
Here is what is in it:
Gift Bows
Star Box (there is a button inside)
Giant Jingle Bell
 Prophecy tray for the First Week of Advent 
(This tray had papers with the prophecy printed on in the lightest gray scale possible in Monotype Cursive. All the kids need to do is trace the words with a marker and then glue it on the purple paper.)

So needless to say there was a great deal of excitement over all the new trays! They really jumped right in when they got down to the school room. Bunny and Bug got right to work. Tadpole dug into the sensory bin right away! And Pup wanted to figure out what how she could do more then one at a time. 🙂 They worked so hard for quite a while, but it just didnt last as long as I wanted them to. I will be honest, we only worked for about 45 min. Oh well, it was one of those days! But they did do some good work while it lasted! Here is what we did!
Bug had a hard time with the chopsticks, but she tried it.

Tadpole loved this for about 2 minutes! 😉

Bunny really liked using the new mirror work!

As I predicted, Tadpole loved the tonging! He is still trying to figure out the open close, but he’s getting it!

Here are the girls working so well! I love that they look busy together!

If you noticed, after they finished, they switched trays! 🙂

Pup wanted to try this, so I helped her out a bit. This was really beyond her. She did well once I sorted out the sets and then asked her for the “next biggest”.

She moved on to the ornament work. She liked this one, but said that I put too many in the basket because they couldn’t fit in the box with the lid closed! So I guess my control was off! Montessori Kids are great! 😉

Bunny really liked this! She did a great job and wanted me to take a picture of her tray when she finished!

Here is Bunny tracing over the Prophecy card for the week! I loved that she Illuminated it with her own art work! She did a wonderful job! I hope that this work will, not only allow her to connect with the prophecy, but also her her handwriting as well!

She really concentrated on this!

Bug did this whole puzzle! I was proud of her since last time she tried it she couldn’t quite get it!

Tadpole really wanted to do a cylinder block! This was something that he actually sat and concentrated on for a bit! Yeah! I am seeing some growing in his work ability and that makes me happy!

There was also a ton of art work that got done, and some inset practice as well!

Bug was really proud of her work and carried it around the rest of the day with her!

Pup is really been working on her coloring! She is getting a hang of that three finger grip! 🙂

Tadpole even tried listening to a few sound containers. It didnt last too long, but he had fun.

Here is Bunny’s Advent wreath with the oval Inset!

Pup pulled the Binomial Cube out and tried it, but she couldn’t get it. So Bug took it over! With a little of my help representing it, she was able to do it and was really proud!

This of course inspired Bunny to pull out the trinomial cube. This lead her to realize that she forgot how to put it together! It took a bit, but she got it! I guess we will have to do it again!

Here is her word list for today. She is doing really well writing. I am trying to keep her interested. I hope that since she has been writing words with ease that reading is coming soon!

And, yes there is alot of hoping for snow here! 🙂 Bunny made this with the insets!
So that is our day today. Now in the spirit of honesty, this was the best few minutes of the day. I think that my girls were in time out almost as much as they were working. And even though it all looks so peaceful, I spent quite a bit of time yelling at my kids to stop yelling and to just listen to me. Sigh….it was a rough day. I love having a blog to stop and look at all the good moments. It helps me to see past the negative and to get the strength to go forward tomorrow. It lets me see the amazing progress and learning that my kids did while I was trying to get my head together.Do you have days like this?
Now, aside from my harder day, there are a ton of great moms out there with really wonderful weeks that are sharing ideas over at Living Montessori Now and  One Hook Wonder! I am linking up there!
On a another side note I was wondering what you all think of my blog. Is there something that could make it better or easier to use? Is there a certain type of post that you would like to see more of? Are the pictures helpful or too much? I just wanted to get your input since I write as much for me as for you! 🙂 You are all the best readers ever and I cant tell you how amazingly blessed I m to know you all! Thanks for stopping by and reading! Happy Schooling! 🙂

Montessor Monday~ FIAR Cranberry Thanksgiving

Well we are officially rowing Cranberry Thanksgiving this week! It is a great story with lots of great moral themes to talk about and there are a ton of ideas for work trays! 🙂 So here are the trays we have for this week! I had a lot of fun working the trays for this row! I know that we are going to have a short week, but I think I will leave them out for two!

Tonging Pumpkins into a box.

One to One correspondence with cranberries

Still out from last week:
Tonging Acorns

Spooning cranberries


Filling bottle with corn using a funnel

Setting the table
(Optional extension making a placemat by tracing)

Putting napkin rings on napkins!

We also had a great work time with the girls. Bug and Tadpole aren’t going to be here this week, so It was just us. The girls really got into a few good works and I am hoping that we will get in some time tomorrow after the dentist appointments! We’ll see what happens! 🙂 Here are my girls working!
Bunny really like the napkin rings!

Here she is folding them back up!

Pup worked with table top rods again. She really loves to do these. She uses them right now like the red rods and so far it has been easier for her! The red rods are hard cause they are so big for her!

Here is Bunny making a placemat by tracing around the table setting pieces. This was really hard for her to do, but she really worked so hard to finish it.

She was really proud of it. I was proud that she even took the initiative to write the words Fork, Kof (Knife) and Spoon! She is writing and I am so proud of her!

Pup tried the red rods, but not without help to tell her to get the next biggest. She did a really good job though! It is cool to see her progress though these works!

Here is how she did.

She even rolled up her rug!

I set her up the cylinder block and she did them. It was tricky, but she did really well!

She also did the funnel work. She had fun with it and was really proud that she could do it all by herself!

Today I took a step forward with helping Bunny with her double letter sounds. I have really been bad at getting her to do the work and we need to buckle down. So we “poofed” some sounds. We have talked about all of these at some point, but she was really rusty.

Here she is flipping the sounds over that I said.

She then decided that she wanted to use the sand trays to practice letters.

And….thankfully her numbers! She did a great job!
 I hope that it will help her when she gets back to the paper! 🙂

There was also a TON of continent box work today! Pup looked through almost all of them!

To end our day, Bunny decided to pull out the dusters and she dusted all of my baseboards!!!! Hooray! It needed to be done so badly! They look a ton better and Pup helped too!

So that is what we were up to today! I hope you all had a great kick off to your Thanksgiving week! I will be posting this on the Montessori Monday Link up at Living Montessori Now and One Hook Wonder, so stop on there and see other great Montessori work! Happy Schooling everyone!

"SH" is for sharing~ Stone Soup Party!

Today was our first annual Stone Soup party with our homeschool group HOPE and it was great! Everyone was invited to bring an ingredient for our soup as well as a small gift for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child collects small items packed into a shoebox to give to impoverished children. Its an awesome ministry and a lot of fun for kids to help get in the spirit of giving!
We started out time together by getting our pot out and reading the stone soup story! We read the version by Marcia Brown and took some time to talk about how working together can have big results! As we read the kids all added their ingredients to the pot! 🙂 It was a lot of fun and the kids had a good time making soup!

 After the moms got the pot on the stove, the kids did a small craft where they tore paper to make a soup pot and then they filled it with paper torn veggies! 🙂 The bigger kids were good enough to wrap the shoe boxes for us! 😉 After that we put the boxes together to get ready to ship! We made a couple of kids boxes and teen girl box. They turned out really well!

We ended our day with amazing soup as well as homemade wheat bread, beer bread, Carmel apples, and pumpkin cookies! It was so yummy! Then the kids played inside, outside, and in the few snow flurries that came our way (the kids were SUPER excited about the snow!).

It was a really great day, and a wonderful way to head us into the holidays! Thanks to all of you who came and helped put this all together! The girls had a great time, even though Bunny didn’t like the soup much! My favorite quote though by Bunny and her friend was their amazement that “they could barely taste the stone!” 🙂 I love that we have a great great group of friends that we can meet with and spend time together!

Not your normal work day!

Today was rather fragmented, but it was good. We were able to do alot of work, just not normal work! Bunny did a few golden bead problems, but only after I promised to let her work on some math problems using her cash register (calculator)! I must have the only girl that will do math with the promise of more math! Then, she was done! So I got creative and played some math games with her. I have never talked to her about greater or less then, so I introduced her to the alligator that eats large numbers. She was able to do it perfectly with no problem! She really had no problem! So we moved on to language! I pulled out the old stand by Boggle game. I found the words in the block and Bunny read them and wrote them down. Not quite the regular rules, but it worked! 🙂 Then later that afternoon, I showed her some new Knobless Cylinder extensions! I have been trying to get her into working with some more with sensorial things. She just never picks that stuff, so I wanted to help her! She had alot of fun, and Bug even jumped in! It was great! Here are a few of the pictures of our work today.

Tadpole is really trying to work with trays! I am so happy that he is trying work with trays! Now if only I could figure out how to get him to not mix, dump, and eat the work! 😉

I presented Bug with the Binomial Cube!
 She really like it and even got it put into the box properly after a couple of tries!

Pup worked with the puzzle map
(Bug helped her put it away!)

She also wanted to look through her global kids book! 🙂

Adding on the cash register!

Here we are playing Boggle.

Here she is doing greater then or less then.

We also played this GREAT matching game that we won from Apple N Amos. They have AMAZING stuff. You really should check out their shop! Its a children’s Christmas dream!

Here is Bunny trying working on the Knobless Cylinder extensions that I learned about from Colleen at Sunrise Learning Lab.

Here Bunny made a wall!

Here is the rainbow

Here is Bunny making sure that all the blue cylinders are there. She didn’t think that we had all of them so she helped Bug make sure! I love it when they work together!

So this was our day! Like I said it was fragmented, but good! I loved that thinking outside the box allowed us to keep learning even when no one felt much like it! Hooray for homeschooling! Let me know what you think of or work day ! I love hearing from you all! Happy Schooling!

Montessori Monday~ Stone Soup~ "SH" is for Sharing

Well it was a rather long weekend, but here I am again! We started our week out with a little cold affecting Pup and Dad here, so we didn’t have any friends today! This week we are reading Stone Soup and rowing it (I don’t have the FIAR book, but we are doing some activities that work with it).  I have kept it pretty simple and most our trays are the same, I just used our play pots instead of bowls! It will all wrap up so well with the Stone Soup party a friend of ours is hosting on Thursday! It going to be great! So I will show you my trays for the week and our work from today!

Here is our funnel work again It was a huge hit!!!!

Tonging Acorns

Cutting Fruit

Whole hand Transfer


Tweezing Popcorn. This is still a hit too!
Today our work was a little short, but there was a lot of good work done! I hope to get more work time in so we can really move forward. It seems like we do a bunch of work, yet we don’t ever get in all three hours. Hmmm…I guess its a new goal! Here is our work from today!

Here is Bunny sorting beads.
She looked at the book and named each bead as an ingredient that was added in the story!
She is so creative!

Pup decided to play with the chalk board!

Here are some “sh” words that Bunny wrote.

Pup worked on the button frame again! She is so proud when she gets all done!

Bunny and I pulled out the Hundreds Board.
This work overwhelms her, but she can do it! She has figured out how to count all the way to 100, so I hope that she finds this fun!

She did it! 🙂

Pup also tried the zipper board.She still cant quite get it!
We also talked all about how sharing makes things better for everyone. I also wanted to help the girls start to see how so many people have really serious needs. It is starting to get close to Christmas and I know that I have been asking them what they want. This is not the view that I want them to have about what Christmas is all about. I want them to come close to God and also to see what they can do for others. So we talked about missionaries and how they are helping out people without homes, food, or clothes. We cant buy homes and food for everyone in the world, but if we help a little bit and other people help a little bit too, then we can make a difference! I want them to think about this and see that even little things make a huge difference (like each ingredient in stone soup)! So far this is our work. I hope that we are going to be able to keep talking together and I think that this will help as we head into advent to keep thinking about others. I really am working really hard on my plans for advent. I have too many little ideas floating about in my head and I need to find a way bring them all together! So off I go to think and to plan out our taking time Tuesday! 🙂
If you want to see more amazing Montessori work, please visit Living Montessori Now and One Hook Wonder to see the Montessori Monday Link Up! Happy Schooling everyone!

Montessori Monday~ FIAR A Pair of Red Clogs~ "C" is for clouds

Ok….super long title, but I wanted to get all the information in there! We are officially rowing another FIAR book this week. We are reading A Pair of Red Clogs this week and the science portion of the lesson was about weather {we did “w” already, so we used “c” for clouds}. So that was the theme that I used to make our trays and our activities for the week! We will also talk about the decisions the girl made and about taking good care of the things we have. I want to hit on the art aspect of this too. We really dont do much with the language and math parts of the FIAR since Bunny is past counting and we are still working on our letter sounds. 🙂 So here are our trays for the week:

Tonging Clouds

Spooning pasta through a funnel

Shucking corn with tweezers

Cloud classification cards
{these were free here. I like that the littler ones can use it for matching and I can read the description cards to Bunny and she can find the correct card! Great for both ages! }

Making the 3 types of clouds with cotton balls.
{This Idea was inpsired by Adventures of Bear amazing unit on weather}

Here is a revised version of the honey Bear for Tadpole!
The day went fairly well with the kids. We really some good work in and the kids tried everything! 😉 Here are some pictures of our day!

Pouring turned into whole hand transfer! 😉

Flower arranging

Tadpole wanted to try the tongs. Here he is saying “open”! 🙂

He got the open and close after a few minutes.

Then there were cotton balls everywhere!

I gave a small {incomplete due to a broken pitcher}presentation on Dynamic Subtraction.
I think she will get it pretty soon!

Here are some weather words that Bunny wrote {she is really getting into writing!} She and I reviewed the spelling of the words together a bit {you can see where we erased some} The little “L”s at the end of each word is a check mark to she we talked about it! 😉

I also worked a bit with the number rods with Bug and Pup.

Bug is getting it! 🙂

She also worked with the sand tray! She was really good about tracing the letter first, then using the sand tray. I loved how she would stop half way though making the letter in the sand and re-trace letter to make sure she got it right!

It was a good day! Stay tuned, we have Taking Time Tuesday tomorrow and we played a really fun weather version of Simon says! I will write a post about that too! If you want to see more great Montessori fun be sure to visit Living Montessori Now and One Hook Wonder!

Montessori Monday ~ "R" is for Rock

Well today we jumped right back into school and we had a great day! We learned about rocks ( sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous) after reading our Book this week: “Rocks, Rocks, Rocks” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. We also painted some rocks that picked up on Put-in-Bay. The kids loved it! Bunny also got some tens boards work in, and some reading work. Plus Bug and I worked on some sandpaper letters and she did a really good job! So here is the pictures I took for the day!

Here is our rock basket for the girls to sort the 3 different kind of rocks.
{You cant see them, but there are labels and control color dots on the rocks}

Here they are experiencing the rocks that Buddy the Bear talks about in the book!
Its a great way to make the rock study real and to really help the learning stick! 😉

Here I am explaining Sedimentary Rock. I had the girls push their hands together in layers to demonstrate how the sediment becomes rock! The girls thought it was cool!

Here we have sorted out the different rock types

In the book, Buddy the Bear has some rocks that he sorts and make into designs,
so I gave the girls some rocks. Both of them thought this was a cool idea! Who knew!

Here is Bug working on a Fall grafting printable.

Here is Bunny sorting the rocks into the same categories that Buddy the Bear did.

 Bunny also worked on some reading. I write a small easy to read sentence on a paper. She has to read it and then illustrates the page.

Here she is showing me the word Crystal. I apparently had used the work rock and she said it should have been Crystal! My mistake! 😉 Yes she is still spelling phonetically “cristl”!

Here is Bug “poofing” the letters I asked her to find. She did a great job and it was fun! I mean who doesn’t want to use a magic wand to slap a letter sound! This idea is based off of what Julie is doing over at Adventures of Bear with her son JoJo. They use a fly swatter, but a magic wand fit better here!

I also add some objects that started with the letter sounds for her to add to the game! She did it more then one, so i guess I will need to follow up on this!

Next we painted rocks! I gathered some really great flat rocks while on vacation. They are a sedimentary rock and I thought that letting the kids paint them would be a fun art project! It was! 😉

Here are the finished products!

Later on in that day I worked with Bunny on her tens. I wrote the number on the board and asked her to fetch the right amount of beads and tell me the number name! She did it!

After we got through the tens, I started adding units to the numbers and asking her to fech and name them. This proved a bit trickier. It took me a few tries and the number cards to explain to her her how this worked. However, I must have gotten it right because she was reading the numbers in a book later!

Then I played “poof” the numbers with her! I figure that if Bug loved doing it with the letters, then Bunny would like it for the numbers! She did!
Well that is my day with the girls! They did a ton of work and I think had some fun too! I hope you all had a great day too! I am linking this up to Montessori Monday over at Living Montessori Now. So Pop on by and more amazing Montessori fun!

Playdough Reading!

Well Bunny is really close to reading! I can feel it! She needs to really understand the sounds blending and she will have it. I think she gets the idea, but she need to practice it. When she sees a word that she hasn’t seen before, she has to think for a really long time. She gets it most of the time.
Anyway, today we were all playing with playdough and Bunny was making snails. I thought I’d be silly and write the word snail with the dough! 🙂 She thought it was really cool and before I knew it we were talking about the double letter “ai”! She isn’t ever very interested in doing new sounds, so I was really glad I could take advantage of these teachable moments. Then I thought I would push a little bit and I wrote a “nail” with playdough and asked her to read it. She DID!!!! She was SO proud! Then she wrote it with her moveable alphabet!!!! We also wrote “cool” and “tool”! I told her she was reading and she was so excited her buried her face into a pillow! Then she really got confident and tried to read a book. It didn’t work real well, but she did remember some of the sight words I showed her the other day! I was really proud of her and I just cant wait till she reads! I’m sure that one day it will just click and she will read everything! 🙂 Here are some pictures of her work:

Here is snail. I showed Bunny that the two letters go together and she wanted to join all the other double letter sounds that we made! 🙂

Bunny made this word all by herself.

Here she is sounding out the word.

Here is Bunny trying really hard to read “nail”. She made it with the moveable alphabet after Pup tried to squish the one I made out of dough. She actually didn’t sound it out loud. She did it in her head.

She saw “toolbox” on the chalk board picture for the week and she added box to her word!

Here she is trying to read another word!

She got it! She was too proud to even look at me!

She read “cool” and was so excited her hid her face in the pillows!

We even tried to read “tail” I thought she would see that all the “ail” words rhymed, but she didn’t see it!

Here is her thinking face! 🙂

More thinking!

Here she is trying to read.
So that was one of the highlights of my schooling today! We also had a tea party and did some other work, but more on that later! Stay tuned! Happy Schooling!

Bunny Writes a 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!

Meeting all the Animals!

The Tool Fairy walked through the forest.

He met Mrs. Turtle and asked her what he name was.
“Mrs. Turtle”, she said.
He asked her what she was doing . She said that her house fell down.
“Don’t you carry your house on your back?” asked Tool Fairy
“Oh yes, yes,” said Mrs. Turtle, “but I like to have a place to stretch out and rock my babies and sleep out of the rain safe.”

“I can fix that,” he said.
So he got to work pounding and he built it.
“Oh thank you very much,” said Mrs, Turtle “It looks really good! I have to go now.”

Then he walked over the mountains and through the bushes and trees. And he left.

And then when he was walking he saw a crab and crab said
“My name is Crab. I know that my house inst broken, but I would like a bigger one.”
“Oh ok,” said the Tool Fairy. He got out his shovel and rake and built a bigger castle!

Crab said, “Thank you Thank you very much!”
“You’re welcome,” said Tool Fairy, “Now I must be going now!”

Then he met a horse.
He said”My Barn fell down. Can you build me a new one?”
“Yes I will,” said Tool Fairy
He worked so fast his hands went clickity clackity and you couldn’t see them! 

“Thank you very much,” said Horse!
“You’re welcome. I must go. Good Bye!” he said.

So then he went through three bushes,

and three trees and over mountains. He went and went and went with his tool box in his hand.

Finally he got home!
The End

This is a hammer that Bunny said went in the book. She traced the tools on the tracing tray and then cut it out!

Here is my little author hard at work!

She was so proud and so was I!
On our school table I have a basket of pre made books that the girls can write stories in. The idea for this came from the book Playful Learning. She has a section all about inspiring kids to love writing and she says that having a place for books is a great way to that! Bunny has written a few, but this is her very best work! I hope that you all are having a great time with your kiddos! Happy Schooling!