Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Biology Studies

So here we are in the spring time again - and the skies are finally blue! We typically re-start our botany studies in the winter because we have so much sunlight in our south-facing balcony doors - but this winter just dragged on... So we got started on herbs, but didn't get just too far - not far enough.

And it is admission time - we do not follow an academic work plan every single week. We DO meet each week and talk about the upcoming week, what needs to be done, what is scheduled, what we would like to do. About half the weeks of the year we are quite heavy on the academics, about 1/4 of the weeks in a year we have some academics and the rest - we blow off.

Or do we? We're still meeting, we're still planning, we're still working - we just might not be doing specific math skills or specific album pages in ANY subject. But we are still learning, exploring, discovering, and experiencing REAL life. THIS is the reality of Montessori - not how many album pages we worked on in a week, but how deep are we studying? Album pages can be flown through if the right foundation is there, enthusiasm for learning and the right timing.

Thus our last few weeks (since our return from out of state in fact) have been focused on practical life (spring cleaning), closing up school year events (my busiest week of this semester, I had 8 atrium sessions - he assisted in teaching 3 of them; and joined me for 3 others; but we also have other school-year related events), preparation for the next TKD belt test, preparing materials for the atrium, co-op, and homeschool, and getting ready for a new niece and nephew. Oh - and lots and lots of Legos ;)

Legoboy has been busy. I'll have a few blog posts about what he has been doing.

Starting with his herb studies, it has branched out from there. (click that link for the first post about herbs)

A few weeks ago, I posted this message to a couple of yahoo groups - I thought I'd posted it here, but the scheduled time didn't get it up - sorry! It's available next year (sign up now to get the message when it re-opens):

"A few months back, through a rabbit trail style of Montessori elementary, my son fell in love with herbs. I've shared a bit about it before and I have a few blog posts to get up about it... in my free time (haha!).

My son and I discovered this site - - they have a great herb learning game (Wildcraft), which is a bit cheaper in other places, but the BONUSES this site provides are far more than worth the extra cost! All sorts of downloads - my son just loves them (think: a boy who is excited to learn about herbs!).

Only until Saturday, they have opened up their Herb Fairy learning system - they open up once a year, provide monthly stories and activities about specific herbs that correspond with that month (probably most matches northern hemisphere, but you could start it and save them for later if you are in the southern hemisphere).... I'm short on time to list all the benefits, but I wanted to share that if you have children interested in botany and/or herbs, or that might be - and you have $97 for an entire year's curriculum (that comes with a LOT), now is the time.

(note: this is NOT an affiliate link - I'm just sharing this opportunity because of my son's enthusiasm and how *thoroughly* pleased we've been with their materials thus far) "

(note - after the fact - we're on month 3 of this herb learning system and all I can say is "it is WORTH every penny!!!!")

Here are some of Legoboy's botany studies this winter/spring: 

Herbal Remedies
garlic chopped and soaking in olive oil (massage into feet to clear up coughs overnight)
right: onions chopped and simmered in honey - take small amount every 15 minutes
during a sore throat and/or cough
More information at

growing 1-1/2 year old tomato plant in the house; mixed itself with the flowers...
We need to move these out to the balcony, but we're both nervous to separate out the branches. 

Legoboy just had to try to replicate Mama's success in growing mint from seed
(usually not an easy task for anyone; and I have a black thumb)
Results: SUCCESS!
(tip - just cut back your mint stalks and they'll re-sprout from the roots on the stump)

The jungle mess of a 2 1/2 year old tomato plant - still growing (tiny but edible) tomatoes!
This one is housed in Legboy's bedroom - south-facing window.
What was left of the dandelions after making cookies and teas
(see for more information!)

All photos courtesy Legoboy. 

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