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, April 28, 2016

Latest Doings

So much for our blogging plans! LIFE happened!

You could say we have been unschooling for the last few weeks. He has been learning a lot, experiencing a lot - just not from a pre-recorded curriculum or textbook.

Some images from the last few weeks.

At the end of February my maternal grandmother passed away. I was numb for a while and losing my memory - seriously. You could say something earth-shattering to me and 3 minutes later I wouldn't have any idea that you even had been in my presence a few minutes earlier, let alone speaking to me - yes it was that bad.

Then I had an intense week-long formation course for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which brought me out of the funk, and got me started on planning a "Montessori Essentials" course for everyone - homeschoolers, teachers, assistants, CGS catechists, whoever and everybody! ----- but I still have moments I just break down. Memory skills are not quite where they used to be but that week in March helped kick it back into gear!

Before heading to Michigan and being dumped on with FEET of snow, we ate lunch outside one day. We didn't eat outside, even where we are, until many weeks later:

I was just about to publish this post when I found this image on Legoboy's phone. I didn't realize we got any pictures of Grandma's funeral (his great-grandma). Inserting here since it was the start of the time period covered in this post.
And there it is - a flood of tears - and such painful regret I didn't preserve the rose from her bouquet. I still have it and plan to get some resin to make a paper-weight - but I should have done it when the rose was still more moist than it is now. I didn't even hang it... I'm sorry, Grandma.

That same weekend he helped his other great-grandma shovel her back porch. That was an undertaking! 2 days later, everything melted for the above-shown burial.

Legoboy spent a week at school in April. And celebrated his birthday and confirmation anniversary this month.

And we are doubling our household size!

 He knows well how to sleep in the car. ;)

NEVER too old for Easter baskets! Or Easter egg hunts (had one at the church - can't find the photo!)

My big boy helping with the grocery shopping. He normally only gets by himself what will fit in a basket, but he got some fresh donuts in a long flat box that he didn't want to tip. So thoughtful! ?? ;) hehe

At the museum center's science exploration area. Directing a laser beam with mirrors to turn on some classical music. He played with a few configurations over the course of an hour, with varying assistance from other children who came and went no more than 5 minutes at a time, usually less than 3.

There are a LOT of pictures here with a red and black shirt - he DOES change his clothes. Just not as often as a normal child. He has two of these shirts and his out-growing them, so wearing them as much as possible. There are no more shirts in this style in his size or larger - at least that we can find. Next shopping trip, he will pick out some short-sleeve t-shirts, I will buy some ivory and some black fabric that is like what is on these shirts and sew it on the t-shirts ---- make some more!

We decided we wanted these type of coolers for get-togethers - hoping to find them online cheaper than at our local Kroger. Legoboy asked me to post this to remind me to do so ;)

 Helping out with the Little Kickers class (generally small anyway - but only 1 this time around!).

Putting together two bunk beds (a total of 4 beds: each bunk bed as a queen mattress on the bottom and a twin mattress on top) AND a loft bed (ostensibly to place over the twin bed seen below - but we've since rearranged all over again). Total of 6 beds on the second floor.

 Continuing on with STORM team and regular taekwondo classes.

Marching with the Chinese:

Taekwondo Tournament:

Weekly Level 3 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium:

He joined Swagbucks (with my permission and guidance) and on this particular day had more Swagbucks than I'd ever had to that date. In the between time, I have totally surpassed him ;) We COULD pick up more gift cards now, but I like to save them for the first of the next month - one $25 gift card at a discount once a month (2200 Swagbucks instead of 2500). I like the discounts - they make the Swagbucks go further.

Affiliate link: Want to join under him?
Or want to join under me? 
If you join under one of us, we get 10% of most of the swagbucks you earn for life (some are excluded from the referral bonus)

Grandma got him a desk and told him to pick out all the accessories he wanted. He chose a small fish tank. 1) that was all he asked for (I prompted him to request a chair too!) and 2) we didn't check the size - it is much larger than anticipated. We might put a REAL fish in it! He put in the bit of aquarium gravel I had on hand already and put him some toy plants and fish he already had on hand. It IS a nice fountain! He hasn't yet decided if it will go to his room or keep it somewhere with sunlight and put real fish in it.

He asks me to note: we need to get a BIG aquarium for the living room yet. Yes, my son, I know. I keep putting it off. The perfectionist in me - I really want to enjoy the BIG moment and not have it be "just another a thing on my list to do". ;)

Celebrated his birthday with our first official "date". Once we have foster children in our home, my plan is for us to take a date once a month and do something just us. I'll do something special with the fosters too. Cheesecake factory! YUMMY!

 Celebrated his birthday with a great party with awesome friends - afterward he has a fire on the backporch with his Godfather.
Snuggling with his Godfather while setting up a game.
 More snuggling and playing!
And attending Mass the next day. Yes, with the Godfather ;)

Leaving for his "first day of (non-Montessori) school".

THIS AWESOME DOUBLE RAINBOW surprised us one day on the way home from tae-kwon-do. Competed with his instructor (drives the same route home) to get the better photos.

It doesn't show in the pictures, but when we got home, the sky looked orange - like Storybrook Underworld Sky Orange. Once Upon A Time fans will understand ;)

Another morning on the way to school.

Putting together two cribs. We may not need them right away; but they are in place!

Celebrating a friend's First Holy Communion! The cupcakes are just the snacks at the party.

BONFIRE! This one was just us. Got rid of some garbage boxes. May have set a box on fire that was sitting to the side (a distance away) because the wind kept picking up and the fire was that big and there were lots of flames floating up and away... I knew it was going to happen.
 We even melted some small holes in our picnic blanket. OOPS.

He hates washing his hair. But he chose not to comb it before it dried. And he slept on it.

 So he asked for a trim. Not too bad being only my second time with the buzzers; and only first time using them with some idea of even WHAT I was doing ;)

Meeting his new brothers and showing them the piano. He keeps up with practicing about 50% of the time, but his lessons the last 2 months have been sporadic. Between our schedule and his teacher getting married and spring break!

At long last - assembling the desk Grandma got him for his birthday/Christmas - it has been sitting in our kitchen since the day of (or day before?) his birthday party. It will be nice to have that space again!

 Hiding under his desk working on the back pieces (he has it turned so when you come to the door, he is facing you - he had to make some decisions of which pieces to leave off so that he can access behind the desk - since there really is NO space to walk around the other side! I think he may want to turn it around at some point.

However, the nice thing about this desk's construction, is easy to turn pieces inside each cupboard on either side, remove the top, then the cupboards are easy to carry around. Overall, it is heavy, but in those three main pieces, we CAN get it out of that room without sawing it apart ;)

He wanted to do it all himself! I helped with a door on one of the sides (the hinges were tricky - fancy kind of hardware he's never experienced - I did one, he did the other, now he knows ;) ). I held things for him, brought him the pieces as he requested them, and otherwise kept running off to do other stuff - after sitting there 15 minutes doing nothing and he gave me some random small task to make me feel useful. I was appreciating just watching! But alas, other work to do too!

Like putting together my own chair (he got the same one for his desk) for my sewing corner. Thank you Mom! It is amazing how little thing make me so happy! It's just perfect! Fits perfect, slides perfect, so comfy, supports my back; I can sit on it, lean back AND sew at the same time. It's not bulky and hard to move like the dining chair I did have there AND now I can leave the dining chair at the dining table. What novelty!

We also made an IKEA trip for more step stools (out of stock) and dining room table chairs that stack (we only have 3 wood ones that coordinate, so we got some black and white stackables to adjust seating quickly and easily) - we chose the Adde chairs which you'll see in an upcoming post. We almost got their bunk beds but went with alternates from Amazon - shipped TO me rather than me transporting heavy and long boxes and honestly, the metal feels more sturdy than the wood. Maybe I'm just being weird. I normally love wood everything!

We picked more IKEA Rast nightstands - because I can never seem to have enough of them! That is another post too! They are SO multi-functional. In fact, I think I have one started in draft format.

 And finally, we have been creeping along with the Keys of the Universe elementary math videos. A sample here, along with posting ALL of the snake game videos for primary AND elementary:


  1. Wow. It looks like you've had quite a life-changing late winter/spring. I completely understand about the memory loss! When my mom died my memory was so foggy. It was already damaged because of a lot of other life stresses that occurred back-to-back, but when she died it got worse. I wish you the very best in this journey of grief. For me, it has gotten easier. It's not really gone, it's just different now. I still have bad days, and it's been eight years. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself a lot of grace, and know that there are people out here who don't really know you, who are sending you prayers and love. And may you all be blessed by the experience of welcoming children into your home.

    1. I only JUST saw this message! Thank you, Marsha, for your kind words and prayers!