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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Monday

Homeschool Class
Seismology - I really thought this was going to focus on earthquakes. They did do earthquakes, but they really covered ALL the movements of the earth. Four stations were set up with guided investigations at each. I really like this class because they provide some worksheets (ho-hum) and lists of additional resources and websites to explore. So wherever a child's interest lies, there are follow-ups already available that *I* don't have to looking for - or have him go looking for in a random manner. We can start with the suggested resources and build from there.

waves of energy

Mummies of the World exhibit
I appreciated all the reminders that these are real people and NO photography was allowed.
Seeing the children was HARD.

We learned about the variety of ways that mummies are made and saw several examples of each.

It was a worthy 45 minutes. A lot shorter than I thought - BUT considering the extent of what was covered and the cost it takes to maintain everything, I totally get it.

IMAX: Jerusalem the Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch narrates.
Benedict Cumberbatch - of BBC Sherlock fame - a modern adaptation of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. And Smaug. And the Necromancer (who later becomes Sauron) - these latter two roles being in the recent The Hobbit trilogy. Based on the books written by JRR Tolkien.
Very nice.

This is our second time seeing this movie. We wanted to watch it a couple more times because the footage is phenomenal. The movie focuses on the 4 quarters of Jerusalem (Muslim, Jew, Western Christianity and Orthodoxy), meeting with 3 young women who talk about their experience living in their quarter (Christianity and Orthodoxy are represented by one woman). They also share that there is not much interaction between the quarters, but it all focuses on the POSITIVE.

Ice cream break - awesome ice cream!

IMAX: Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Christopher Lee narrates. Of Sherlock fame - based on the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And Saruman - from The Hobbit trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Wait! Didn't I just say something very similar?
VERY nice. And quite humorous to this literature-loving, art-film appreciating family!

Educator's Guide for Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs

Scavenger Hunt in the Nature's Trading Post
Each month they have a new scavenger hunt. The children come in and pick up their slip and pencil. They read the questions, going around the Natural History Museum to discover the answers. When they return their filled-in slip AND pencil to the Nature's Trading Post, they receive points with which to trade or bank. Options for trading include geodes, fossils, shells and more.

The children can earn points other ways as well - doing projects at home to bring in and display, finding specimens to donate to the trading post, etc.

The images here are from last month's Scavenger Hunt that he did on Saturday when we were there for the Forensics of Mummies class in the Lite Lab (see below). Information on the theme is one side, with the questions on the other.

Lite Lab
In the same place where he takes monthly Saturday classes, they have free exploration options as well. Whenever the Lite Lab is not in use by a scheduled class, they have different scientific explorations at each table. Today they had out optical illusions, a wind machine to create and test a variety of windmills to create power, logic puzzles such as the farmer on one side of the river needing to get his items to the other side without them being eaten, some architecture --- and magnets. These were neat - and I finally remembered to pull out my camera!

Wendy's - 3 chicken sandwiches for the growing boy! And french fries, a salad, 2 cups of water...

Home Depot - he always compares prices to see if anything has changed; loves carrying long shoe bases strips around the store. I will get a picture one of these days!

TaeKwonDo (YMCA) - black belt preparation class, followed by regular class.

Swimming (YMCA) - deathly afraid of the deep end. I promised him Dairy Queen once a week if he not only does his weekly swim lesson with bravery, doing everything the teacher asks him to do without needing to repeat, but also gets in the pool during free swim and authentically practices floating and anything taught in class. ALL with a good attitude.

Yes sometimes what looks like bribery is OK. In this case, I see it much less as bribery or an unrelated reward but as a way to focus his attention elsewhere during the hard parts, so that he can overcome his fear and move forward with life.

So on this evening, we did not have a swim lesson, we could wait 45 minutes for open swim to start, OR go home. It had been a long day. He had the option and neither was going to reward or penalize him in regards to DQ.

He chose to practice swim!

I love my kid.

I didn't get pictures this time, but here are two from last week:

While waiting for open swim to start, we just chatted and played some mind games - and did some researching on the internet.

He found this riddle he wants to work on tomorrow, using only the decimal checkerboard for multiplying the decimal fractions. He CAN and DOES do this work on paper, but since helping me last week get some freshened images, he has really wanted to work with it some more.

Today was quite the full day, educationally-speaking and we have a full week ahead of us. We'll see how down-time plays out ;) 


  1. What a great week! It is just getting to be that time of year for us when we hit the museum every-other week or so. The puppy has been holding us back so this was inspiring :)

    The Homeschool Den has been featuring some great earthquake and Earth movement activities lately. He might find some things that interest him there.

    1. Week? That was one day - though I felt like it was a week ;)

      Anything destructive and loud is right up his alley!

    2. Ooooohhhh. The post title confused me. I know what your system is now. That's a LOT in a day.

  2. Ah. What a wonderful post! Getting out is not one of my fortes. I am very much a homebody and driving period, and going places that are already occupied by a lot of people makes me have heart palpitations. T loves going places and talking with whom ever is there. The other two not so much. But we'll have to sooner or later get out there and see what our new city has to offer! So cool to see what he is doing.

    1. Abbie - I prefer to be a home-body too, but this particular day just had so many opportunities and commitments ;) The nice thing about going on Monday (versus when we were there on Saturday, two days previous) is that we mostly had the place to ourselves by noon. I LOVE doing these sort of places during the week!

  3. Ha, I echo Jessica. We ONLY go these places during the week and during the school year. We don't even set foot on zoo grounds in July and August. Ack. People. Touching things. Germs.

    1. Agreed. I'll add rudeness to the list too. We were once at a museum during the week, but there was a school field trip - older elementary children, but apparently some brought younger siblings (I presume parent chaperones?). It was a museum that had LOTS of touch screens to learn more information. My son was much younger then (5 or 6 perhaps?), and was using one to genuinely learn from it. I was leaning over him from behind with my arms kind of around him - but not really holding him.

      A boy about 4 or 5 came running over, reached over and started pressing all over the screen - randomly - not doing anything productive. I instinctively scooped one of my arms arm, knocking his hand completely out of the way.

      He was not harmed AT ALL. But stood there with BIG eyes - SHOCKED - with this look that said, "You did NOT just touch me!? Are you telling me NO!? I don't even know the meaning of that word!" Just a very shocked look. He took off running.

      For the next 2 hours my heart beat fast every time I saw a security guard, because I thought for sure he'd go tell his mom that some woman hurt him and they would come drag me off for questioning or something.

      On the one hand, I thought "Bring it on! His mother wasn't looking after him!" On the other hand, I just didn't want to deal with it because I knew I would have a difficult time keeping my opinion to myself. As much as yes I DO try to understand other people's view points before judging (maybe she had a nursing baby and had PPD and was doing the best she could!), when YOUR kid messes with MY kid's freedom, Mama Lion comes out!