Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Montessori Giveaway

Montessori Print Shop is having a give away through the blog Living Montessori Now Check out all this stuff you can win!!

Head on over there for details. It's a fabulous prize of cds that are worth over $500 big ones! I've entered, have you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Books read week of March 21-27

I'm trying to keep a good list of what ODD is reading so I'm going to try to keep it here. Hopefully it will be a good resource list for other moms with fast readers. These are also good read alouds. My 4 year old loves listening to these as well. I have the kids color a page or two that is a similar theme or do quiet activities while I read aloud or we listen to a book on tape. Some of the quiet activities include:
Play dough, legos, Montessori activities, building with blocks, putting together puzzles. That gives them something to do with their hands. My SDD needs to be doing something to understand what is going on and so does YDD at 22 months.
I try to read ODD's books ahead of time for 2 reasons.
1. to screen what she reads. There is a lot of junk out there and stuff that either she's not ready for at her reading level, but not age level and also influences that I don't want her to have. This is another reason we homeschool and don't have tv except select dvds and videos.
2.to be aware of what she is reading and screen what is appropriate or is more appropriate for a read aloud than a silent read.

Billy And Blaze: A Boy And His Horse

Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony

Blaze and the Mountain Lion

The Great Shark Escape (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book, No. 7)

by Jennifer Johnston

The Magic School Bus Chapter Book #10: Expedition Down Under

by John Speirs

Pony Pal series by Jeanne Betancourt
(She read three this week. This is a big favorite series right now)

Prudence with the Millers

Charlotte Mason Inspired Booklists Links

Well it's been a long slow slog as far as life goes and I haven't been up posting. My elbow is FINALLY tolerating typing a bit more and we only have 2 doctor appointments this week instead of the 4+ we've had the past few weeks, and that means I have time to entertain you with our book lists!!
From the beginning of my Education classes, teaching preschool, my elementary education classes and my Marriage and Family classes I've always felt books were important. And i"m talking the kind that are written by an author. Not the test book or compilations that are found in many schools. I'm also talking about books that aren't kept to a stilted outline and that aren't genuine ( a few early readers series come to mind). When I read about Charlotte Mason I knew I had found a philosophy that matched mine. And so living books is what we are focused . Both in school and in free reading.
ODD is a ferocious reader. I can't seem to find enough good solid books that are on her age level (6 1/2) and her reading level (3rd grade plus) and not too old for her content wise. In my searches I've found some really good sites. Many of them also have their philosophies of education. Some are Charlotte Mason based, some are other curriculum or resources. I've found I need to stick to what works for us and not read more about other curriculum because I get.. what... oh yeah- DISTRACTED!!!
So I can't necessarily vouch for the curriculum, but these are based on solid living books and not the fluff that passes as popular children's books right now. Here we are:

New book list:
Ignite the fire
Best online classic books
Simply Charlotte Mason Book Finder
School of Abraham reading lists (a list of lists)

Great resources we've taped into quite a bit:
Old fashioned curriculum
Milestones Academy year 1
Milestones Academy year 2
Milestones Academy year 3
Ambleside online
1000 Good book list
Five in a row book lists (scroll down)

I'm especially excited because many of the one in the new list are available free or cheap on the kindle. The challenge is then I need to give up my kindle for her reading time! I really need to find an older version of the kindle so she can have on of her own!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Schedules and Spring

It's a beautiful day! We are going to be looking for birds on our nature walk today! I will also be sending new mystery bird postings sometime today. We are starting our new routine and fingers crossed it works with this new time change! I really don't like the time change- but not enough to move to Arizona!

Here's our new schedule:

7 mom wake up, breakfast, shower, scripture reading, pull together final things for our morning

8 kids up Breakfast

During breakfast: Devotional, picture study from Gospel Art Kit, scripture memory, Poem memory

After clearing the table back to the table for play dough and math. We’ll be rotating the order

After breakfast and math, get dressed

Head to school room for Pledge of allegiance, fun songs and then get focused on work boxes and Montessori centers.

Then we do lunch and naps/quiet time.

I’m trying to figure out the after noon after naps and getting in a nature walk before lunch and naps, but not sure when to work that in there. I’ll update as we work through it and see how it goes.

With the time change the times haven't been exact, but the order is working so we will continue to get the timing adjusted! Hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring wherever you are!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Montessori Sound boxes at work

We have been working solidifying beginning sounds with SDD (age 4). We have been using Sound boxes Montessori style. One Morning in her pjs she has some fun with it. Who says school is a certain time! :) Life time learning at it's best!

Step one: lay out letters on mat ($3.99 @ Ikea- :) )

Step 2: match items to letter using beginning sound.

She only likes to do this for so long. I think we'll work with less letters and less items to keep her attention better!

Montessori Materials

We have dabbled in Montessori for quite some time. I've made many materials by hand and from what I can find at thrift stores and dollar stores. I have also been blessed with a mother who had given the kids some Montessori materials for Christmas to help us along. It's been quite a journey and I am so happy to say we are finally able to have our own dedicated shelves in our dedicated school/play room.

Here is one week of our shelves. I am blessed to be able to take Karen Tyler's class that I won on a blog giveaway and I am understanding more and changing up the shelves a bit right now. As soon as I get those up and running I'll post some new pictures. But this was two weeks ago. Not al of these are Montessori, but most are.

Here is our Montessori work shelf. It's a regular bookshelf that I drilled more holes in and cut boards to fit so we could fit more in the space.

This s our top shelf. We have paper in the drawers: used one side, new paper and coloring pages), moving and matchmaking stacking rings, and our pink tower that isn't pink.

A great way for us to learn Spanish with Education Cubes

Sound box with sandpaper letters and various objects to match. You can see this in action here.

YDD doing transfer activity with wood stars and soup spoon.

You can see the spoon better here.

Clothespin activity

Tying activity- especially needed since they have no shoes that tie!

Lacing activity(re did the set up later to reflect more montessori style- having the beads in a bowl and the laces in a bowl

Spooning activity Beads from one bowl to the next. They made a neat sound hitting the china bowl (Thrift store)

Using tweezers and pom poms. One to one correspondence (math) being learned here as well as working on coordination and strengthening the pencil grip fingers (pre-writing). All of this with a fun activity my 22 month old does over and over!

Montessori is fun and simple to set up. We really enjoy it and the kids are learning and having a blast!

What's in the box?

A while ago I posted about our workboxes. I finally figured out how to easily download pictures and so can now post them. These pictures are the boxes we worked on one day in January. Sorry the pictures are side ways I thought I fixed it, bit apparently not!

Box 1- read a story about George Washington. We were given many of this series and it's a hit around here!

Box 2 Our current English Milestones academy- currently under revision ad not available right now. I found a great deal on the Mead 09956 Primary Journal here (I bought 10 for the discount)

Box 3 A puzzle do do after doing a Scripture worksheet Grandma sent. (My oldest needs to see the reward- knowing it's in the next box doesn't work, so putting them in the same box with the fun stuff underneath has been working better for her)

Box 4: Kumon Math followed by Peg board

Box 5: Draw write now, complete with pencils and notebook. This is actually her finished drawing of Native Americans

Box 6: Tanagrams, a favorite "fun" activity with a good dose of geometry hidden for good practice!

Box 7: Telling time clock found at Target's semi annual toy clearance and Kumon time work book. We're really working on some concepts that haven't been mastered in math(specifically time and money)

Box 8: Copywork made by me with Start Write This one line one of a favorite hymn.

Box 9: Reading George Washington Read-aloud while everyone colors. Favorite activity to end the day

We're only doing 9 boxes (instead of the traditional 12 workboxes) since we're sticking fun boxes in with other boxes) and for now that's allt he shelf space we have. Thanks for looking! Hope this gives you some ideas what to put in your boxes and what we do each day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coupon giveaway!!

There is a great giveaway going on over at Moneysavingmadness for Amazon coupons! THe issues of Parenting, Baby talk, and Parents have themand a few more. There are some great deals to be found as you can stack the Ycodes (there are two with different letters after the Y) and the $10. SOOOO you can get 20% off TWICE and THEN take $10 off your order!! There are some great deals to be found if you subsccribe to these magazines or have to be in the pediatricians office! Or you can head over to Moneysavingmadness and enter there! Good luck!
Kids are getting better and we'll be back to regular postings shortly!