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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Montessori at Home: Infants and Toddlers

There have been SO MANY questions of late about what to do with infants; how to setup a Montessori environment for toddlers...

Legoboy, over a year ago, put together this list of then-current links to our infant Montessori and toddler Montessori experiences - I am copying/pasting its current version below.

I did find more old pictures that I want to get posted - but in the meantime, I thought I would highlight some of how we did Montessori at home, during a few moves (and a few months of no consistent home), and in small spaces (like the house we stayed in where we only had the bedroom!).


(the following copy/paste is from the Infant-Toddler Page here on Montessori Trails - updated every so often, please visit for newer post links!)

Infant & Toddler

Our Infant Toddler homeschooling Montessori Trails:

More to be posted as I get through our older photos :)


Exercises of Practical Life in Infancy

Infancy: Home at Last

Infancy: Our Adaptations

Infants, Toddlers and Toothpicks


Infants, Toddlers and Toothpicks

Toddler Montessori at Home

Infants and Toddlers at Home

Starting Montessori with a 2-Year -Old

Exercises of Practical Life in Our Home

Toddlerhood - Montessori Home Environment

Legoboy's First Dictionary

Last Updated: Legoboy
December 11, 2013

Monday, February 16, 2015

Vermi-Composting Part 2 - Building the new Bins

The worms are doing quite well! 

One little friend in the corner. 

Another from the other side. 

What caption would fit here? 

With the drill bit, he could do 3 at a time, so he stacked a 4th underneath
to ensure he didn't into the material below. 

He acts like he doesn't want to drill. So I said, "Oh just plug it in!"
"Just line it up here."
"Just squeeze the power button."

Amazing how powerful the word "just" can be ;) 

In the meantime, I was tracing, cutting and sanding 2 inch wide
strips for the frames to hold plastic sheets over the basement windows. 

Working totally independently now. 

Pretending to sand the rough edges (and tunnels from the melted portions!)

Authentic sanding

Bin #1 (the original - transferred into the new deeper, now drilled bin)
The bottom bin received no holes so it can catch the worm tea. 

The second one - a deeper bin with the drilled holes
placed in the original bin to catch the worm tea.
I moved about half the worms to this one. 

The second one I made more full by adding the rest of our fruit/veggies scraps that has been sitting in our garage and some soil from a dead plant and some more dry stuff. This one I will leave sit, removing the lid each day for a time, until it is almost fully composted; then we'll place the next bin on top of it (placing the lid on top of the new bin) so the worms can crawl up through the bottom holes, leaving the completed compost behind. When the worms are fully migrated, we'll take that finished bin out of the stack and use the compost!

Everything I read talks about that worm tea. And all the good worm compost bins I could have paid $65 or more for include a spigot in the bottom portion to drain the tea. I wonder how LONG it takes to get any?

I caught him peeking in on the worms earlier today - he claims he thinks they are creepy now that we have them and he throws a dramatic "AAAH!!!!" every time he sees them and I am around. Without an audience though? Well, I'll see if I can catch him in the act!

Elementary Montessori Practical Life - an updated post

I recently updated this post of for elementary Montessori exercises of practical life

Take a look and tell me what you think!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Biology: Vermi-composting

Yep. Counts for school ;)


Composting. With worms.
Montessori elementary practical life in action.
or is it biology?
or geography?
Actually - practical life at the elementary level is integrated into every subject. 

The container just to get started.
Our real bins arrive soon. 
Our "real bins" are still going to be homemade; I simply can't justify spending $65 on the cheapest variety; $120 on the one I really want... And Legoboy approved (actually he was the one who balked at the price first!). So we have bins coming about twice the size of the above (6 of them for $30) - drill holes in the bottoms; the bottom bin will be placed inside a tub we already have, for liquid (worm tea) to drain from it; then we start filling the bottom bin; as it gets pretty full, we place the next bin on top of it with some scrumptious yummies for the wormies - they crawl upward through the holes (the bottom of the top bin rests on the top of the compost below) as they have less food below and more options above. As that one fills, we add another bin. Eventually, the bottom one is pretty much worm-free (doesn't have to be perfect) - and we have perfect compost for both indoor plants and our outdoor garden.

Just have to lift the bins and remove the bottom one. The liquid we have a hose set up to suck up the "worm tea" which is also good for enriching the soil around plants.


I was looking for a drawer system - so we could move drawers around and not deal with lifting out bins -- but I couldn't find one I liked. I sent Legoboy on a mission to find one and he came up empty too. Some close calls, but we both really like the systems where *we* don't move the worms - the worms transport themselves, so the next bin up needs to touch the compost below...

(if anyone has ideas, please share!!!)

Here is one little guy!  

We ordered a 250-count bag. Comes with the worms and some soil.
Our mailman placed these on our front porch in 32 degree temps. 

Yep. SOMETHING told me I better stop at home between dropping off Legoboy to tae-kwon-do and going to the atrium. Sure enough, a small white priority mail box was sitting on my freezing porch. 

It looks like they are no worse for the wear! 

Less than 12 hours - they've made some nice tunnels!
How did we know how many to order? Recommendations seem all over the place - and it does depend on the size of your bins. In the end, Legoboy decided we should go with one person's recommendation which really seemed to hit home: buy the smaller amounts and the worms will adjust to their environment. Everything we read agrees that the worms WILL adjust - they will not lay eggs if there is not enough food; but they will lay more eggs when there is more food and more space. They naturally balanced themselves out --- so why buy more that might die, when we can spend less money and let them "be fertile and multiply" - even if it is worms, let's create life instead of intend to destroy it. 

Cool. Then he has his joke below. Sigh. 

Legoboy is ok with the worms; but when it came time to actually look at them? 

"Ewwww! I am STAYing OUT of the kitchen!" (where we have the bin sitting for now - it will be moved to our basement once I get the windows better insulated.)

Today's reaction? Well, I will post all of the video attempts - none of which correspond to yesterday's reaction - and all of which highlight his goofy personality ;) 

I guess we count this as a preparation for adolescence. Learning those individual skills now (in elementary) that will be useful then. 

It is creeping closer and closer..... 

Exercises of Practical Life at the elementary level should be integrated into all areas of life and study. Children participate in Goings Out, so need lessons on finding their way on a map, planning bus or vehicle driving routes, exploring options for other forms of transportations, making phone calls to inquire about available products or set up an interview, interviewing skills, and the list goes on - just for Goings Out.

This leaves me yet pondering primary level practical life - if elementary practical life is SO practical, why DO we decide to get into the froo-froo stuff at primary? We tong-transfer pom-poms to the tops of golf tees to help with fine motor skills, but what else? It's just not *practical* - and there are SO MANY *real* practical life activities we can incorporate to practice those fine motor skills AND build skills in other areas.

Every primary (3-6) Montessori material might be intended to have one direct aim- one main purpose - but the indirect aims for some of the materials are almost endless! They are just that deep.

So let's keep up the standard! Real practical life in primary; moving into real (and integrated) practical life in elementary; leading into continued real practical life in adolescence and beyond!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Friday

This was a stay-at-home day. It has been a full out-of-house week and I really am a homebody. Legoboy could go either way, but really does like to be home too. In fact, he put together his favorite schedule as a joke:

(not finished with adding images and descriptions - posting anyway)

It was a pretty low-key day, even though we both had big plans. We just needed to veg ;)

He worked on some science experiments.

A session of his apologetics course

Christian Heritage Art lesson 6 of level 5

Played the piano - actually worked on a lesson this time

Read through his magazines some more.

He finally had time to work on EEME and he somehow forgot. That happens!

We talked about putting away our Christmas decorations. Then did nothing about it.

He spent a lot of personal time LEGO building.

Watch Shark Tank to see what kind of business ideas people come up with.

Our other links to past Montessori Homeschool weeks:
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Thursday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Wednesday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Tuesday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Monday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Work Plan for the Week

A Week in the Life of Legoboy - Friday (includes links for Monday-Thursday)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Thursday

We slept in. Legoboy intercepted a late-night phone call intended for me which still woke me up and left my tired self unable to sleep for several hours.

up to gather schoolwork
I promised him bacon if we could be ready in under 20 minutes. Always works!

help transfer stuff to car/building
Lots of stuff to shift around to get some big projects done at the school building and prepare for atrium in the afternoon.
In the car on the drive there, he decided he wanted to help me (help me? I wasn't going to DO this!) put together follow-up packets for particular areas of interest. So a child has an interest in a particular area, the adult doesn't, here are ideas of what to do.

We'll see how far this goes! I know he wants to do volcanos, inspired by some of the seismology studies from Monday.

bake bacon at school building
Using the toaster oven I had used to bake bread the night before with the atrium children. It was working well until he left the room and didn't check on it!

schoolwork projects (wall of fame - confirmation notebook)
Continued Wall of Fame and worked on his confirmation notebook. 

An example of what he does when he thinks no-one is watching: 

visit the church
Like me, Legoboy is not a public pray-er, preferring to keep things more private. He loves alone time in the church.

heat up more lunch
Toaster ovens are great!

Computer time with Minecraft. My one rule: no killing innocent people - if you wouldn't kill/destroy/attack them in real life (self-defense, demons) you don't get to kill/destroy/attack them in a game.

As the atrium children begin arriving, they go down to our large open school basement (dining hall) and play tag. The children really like to arrive early specifically for this purpose ;)

Continue a Moses study with the group
continue personally chosen projects from the work packet
We had cake at the end - for the fun of it ;)

meet with confirmation sponsor
He caught up a few of the sponsor cards he hasn't done; but they haven't yet caught up with reviewing the other cards. He has 60+odd cards to assist in building a notebook. Some have a cross on them to indicate "do this with your sponsor" - then his sponsor also goes over all the cards he has done individually.

Thursday pizza. We love our Thursday pizza. I really didn't want to make this particular tradition - but now? It is SO nice to get to Thursday and NOT have to cook!

home again, home again
check mail - mostly for him: EEME monthly package, Odyssey magazine, Dig/Calliope magazine, Muse magazine (review post on EEME)
Relax with a good boy movie of Transformers (actually he started last night, he finished it, but I had gone to bed - so I needed to finish it). I am SO not into Transformers. He is "eh, ok" with it - I am pretty sure he is watching these out of curiosity only.
Then we watched our DVD we had picked up earlier in the week: Mummies of the World
I can't seem to find a link to the DVD - it might only be available for purchase at the exhibit?
We learned more about this family.

Settlers of Catan marathon
He beat me. Repeatedly.

Our other links to past Montessori Homeschool weeks:
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Wednesday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Tuesday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Monday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Work Plan for the Week

A Week in the Life of Legoboy - Friday (includes links for Monday-Thursday)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Wednesday

He awoke to immediately greet me with birthday greetings - his eyes weren't even open yet. Sweetie!
Photo is actually from last week
Too adorable not to post though ;) 

Morning prayer, breakfast, read a section in question from the Bible.

He did some chores at random points of the day - not sure when, but the house was clean when we left for afternoon/evening events.

Primary Grade Challenge Math
Legoboy finds chapter 19 to be particularly complexing. This is *again* one of those many situations where he could be more successful if he could just hold on to the math facts for longer than 1 day at a time.

Speech class

Wall of Fame - Mystery of History

Confirmation notebook

Dentist appointment
RELIEVED to report that our dental treatments have been a SUCCESS!

A couple of years ago, Legoboy got into the habit of chewing on ice. While this is a sign of anemia in most children, it turned out to be a desire for something tough to do - manliness.

WELL. That led to some chipped teeth. Then some rotten spots. Then one day he had an actual abscess. LONG story short, we went through a long route of natural treatments that included a homemade toothpaste of essential oils, calcium-magnesium, and real sea salt, a daily mouth-wash rinse of essential oils and xylitol and baking soda, and avoiding all fluoride.

Not only did the abscess completely heal, the hole itself healed over; small spots in cracked teeth actually filled in, and the one tooth that was broken in half (below the abscess) is actually looking decent. It is a baby tooth and JUST became a bit loose.

Current x-rays show that all is well and we'll just wait for the remaining 3 baby tooth to fall out, adult teeth to come in, then we will look at addressing the top front four teeth which are angled odd (the middle two are tipped a bit backward, making the appearance of the next two (one on either side) tipping forward, look that much worse. Because they stick out, they could be an issue in things like tae-kwon-do ;)

Birthday dinner at LaRosa's! Yum! 

Dairy Queen
Stopped by to pick up an ice cream cake - peanut butter cup. I usually make something but this week was so full - and this thing was calling me!

Scored some awesome deals on some atrium materials as well as discovered that Goodwill gives a 50% discount on anything not already on sale - on your birthday. Score twice! 

Tae Kwon Do
STORM Team and regular class
STORM: Special Team of Role Models. Legoboy is getting a bit frustrated right now and I am letting him work it out. The last few weeks they did nothing but prep for a tournament at the end of January. He wasn't participating, but he helped others with anything they needed and he reports that most of the class he just sits. Ok, well that is over, back to regular STORM team business, right? Nope. The older STORM team members who are already black belts are testing in the upcoming black belt test for their next "dan" (the next level) and there are two younger members of STORM team that have brown belts with black stripes, which means they are prepping for their black belt tests. So they are spending their STORM team time working on belt test prep.

Legoboy is one of them. Why is he frustrated? Because they have their advanced belt class on Mondays already for this purpose AND they have Saturday mornings set aside - a 2 hour block of time EVERY Saturday that they can make it from the beginning of January through mid-May. Even a boy who wants his belt SO BAD needs to work on other things too.

I wonder what the lower belts who are on STORM team are doing? I teach atrium during this time, usually, so don't get to observe like I usually do during other classes.

All in all - a good learning experience for a growing young man.

We finally got some!!!!

I picked up Legoboy from his TKD instructor's home (the same apartment building in which we used to live) - he brought him back for me so I wouldn't have to drive through the ice and snow. This was the first time I had pulled into the parking lot of our old apartment since we moved out in October. Even Legoboy thought it felt kind of strange. It was snowing so hard, that sitting and waiting for them to arrive, I had to brush off my car --- I haven't even brushed snow off the car at our new home! (we have a garage). Legoboy thought this was riotously funny - 10 year old boy humor.

start a movie
I fell asleep; then was rudely awakened by an 11pm phone call from someone who should know better. I ignored it, but just the knowing that it happened and that there was a voicemail waiting for me, kept me awake for a few hours. Bleck. Legoboy watched the entire movie, then snuggled up with me and fell asleep. These days won't last much longer. Love them while I have them!

Our other links to past Montessori Homeschool weeks:
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Tuesday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Monday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Work Plan for the Week

A Week in the Life of Legoboy - Friday (includes links for Monday-Thursday)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Montessori Decimal Checkerboard: Multiplication of Decimal Fractions by Decimal Fractions

My son loves the decimal fraction checkerboard so pulled it out again and... I got pictures this time!

(one day break from the "Week in the Life of Legoboy - Montessori Homeschooling" series to present this work he did LAST week. And give me some time to catch up on including photos in the blog posts of his week!)

5,429 taken 0.38 times. 

Set up the numbers so the units in the multiplier and the multiplicand land in a unit square on the board. 

First row of multiplication.

Second row of multiplication. 

Just before exchanging the final answer.
We have slid the answer diagonally across equivalent squares,
not changing the value. 

He took this one for a close-up for you all. 
Final Solution
We can read the whole numbers down the side, then decimals across the bottom
(unit in the corner).

How NOT to do the Decimal Fraction Checkerboard Multiplication: 

The multiplicand is OK.
The multiplier does not have belong ON the squares
and the unit of the multiplier should be placed such that when multiplied by the unit of the multiplicand,
the answer will land in a unit square.
(the multiplier is 0.38 and should be moved two squares down - and off the board)

The only rule for where to place the multiplicand is such that the answer doesn't go off the board (in this case, if we had moved the multiplicand one column to the left, taking the 5 3 times would have resulted in a "1" being off the board. The children can problem solve what to do in this situation - re-do the entire problem, shift the answers already created, or figure out how to calculate the solution anyway. (hint: The answers would still be in the correct VALUE of squares...).

Past Work on Decimal Fractions: 

When to Start the Decimal Fraction Board (the work that comes before the decimal checkerboard)

CAVEAT: See that white line across the top of our decimal checkerboard? IF you have that strip on your board, the numbers should match the numbers along the *bottom*. When I first made this board, a LONG time ago, I didn't fully understand the depth of this material and thought I would "do it right" (meaning in a way that made sense to me). Well, turns out, I was wrong and that top row makes no sense. Rather than fix it, we just simply ignore it. Nowadays, I make these boards for other people and I make them correctly ;)

This is why it is *so* important to understand the depth of each material before making changes. Modifications can certainly be made, but not to the core concepts!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Tuesday

Tuesday morning started off kind of slow. Monday was a drainer, so I wanted him to sleep in and I got up to work. At least that was the plan.

The alarm went off at 6:05. Somebody wanted to serve at 6:30 Mass across the street.

Go for it, kiddo; I can't move.

He came home, made breakfast (scrambled eggs - his specialty - touch of cream cheese, some salt and garlic. DELICIOUSNESS. Now if we could work on not giving Mama the ONE bite that has a bit of shell in it, we'll be doing awesome.), snuggled up with me and went back to sleep.

Once Upon a Time plot holes
By the time he woke up again, I was up and working. He started looking for additional plot holes in the ABC show "Once Upon a Time" - he is making a list of things he wants to look for in upcoming shows.

In the meantime, I was really not wanting to drive into the city again for the Lego Store's monthly mini-model build (first Tuesday of the month - stand in a long line - put together a Lego set and take it home for free - it draws CROWDS, MONTHLY), and Legoboy had expressed interest in attending one of this month's Lego Club meetings - which are different than they used to be. So I got brave (sucked my pseudo-asperger's) and called the store. Patrick answered the phone. We like Patrick. He knew my son by description which is both kind of cool and kind of creepy (in a good way). He explained that the new Lego Club set-up is far cheaper ($10 versus $25); no t-shirt anymore; BUT the children get to build and take home that month's mini-model build (so they could get two if they attended both events: the mini-model build and the Lego club meeting) --- and do some activities that build a story around the model. They also get a mini-box for the Wall of Bricks, that they fill up to create more components to that month's model's story.

And they take it all home.

Ok. 9:00 AM on a Saturday. Sigh. I don't like making commitments before 10AM. But he'll enjoy this - and in the end, I will too.

Back to work for me - on with school for him.

Decimal Fractions

Legoboy worked on the decimal fractions as promised. He remarked from time to time, "That is dumb! They put a zero in front of some of the numbers!" I reminded him that calling someone (the person who created this image) "dumb" when we don't know the person's intentions is a sin. We can judge behaviors when we know the full story; but not judge people. Ever. 

Best to consider the person's best intentions until we know more. 

A lesson we could ALL learn - some of us are more in need of it than others. 

In this case, Legoboy came around to, "You know what Mama? They probably put those extra zeroes in to be tricky! But they can't trick me!"

Mystery of History

He is getting really simple with his pictures ;) The focus is on the process - learning the skills of creating images from scratch, considering what goes into each image, what are the most crucial elements to include when it is not as easy as sketching with a pencil?
He allowed me to post this one very beginning draft. No details.
He doesn't want to share yet. 

Consecration in Truth

6 lessons together - mostly review. One new saint he didn't know about.


swept out the garage
watered all the plants
record the power usage on the basement fridge/freezer
clean up after self (clothing, etc. )

Swim lesson
He is actually MOVING through the water! Still holding on to a dumb-bell-shaped floater and he has a thin floater around his chest when in the deep-end (liability requirements - which I am fine with right now, because this is about getting over fears and building confidence). Previously he keeps his knees bent and gets upset when the instructor tells him to straighten his legs because he think he does have them straight (when they are bent underneath him - you can see where the "there is no thinking when in the water because of the fear factor" issue comes in). But he finally let go and straightened his legs! This boy can MOVE when he keeps those legs straight!


Because he earned it!

Drive Home: Talk about Jupiter (it was to the left of the full moon - and despite the hazy overcast of clouds, Jupiter shown through! Awesome to know the names of these things. We couldn't see any other stars that evening.
Earth Sky Website gallery of images

We frequently use our car rides for discussions, sometimes just silence, we like to sing, or listen to classical music (he LOVES classical music!).
This is basically what we saw - this is not our photo.
Linked from EarthSky

Confirmation Notebook card
 - slowly making forward progress
Piano - just reviewing past lessons. Not ready for a new one yet.

Our shows were both on! Yes, we watch a tad bit of television. We did nothing for the longest time but now we watch Marvel's Agent Carter (while Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is off for the winter break --- these are both the back/connecting stories to the Marvel's Avengers series). Afterwards, I watch Forever and I let him watch some parts of it.
Legoboy's favorite line from all the movies and shows?
Ma'am, there's only one God. And I am pretty sure he doesn't dress like that. 
(that may not be a direct quote - but his rendition of it over time ;) Captain America!)

Second favorite:
Puny god! (Hulk)

Somewhere in there we did morning and evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; and still didn't get to our Oremus prayer study book! Yikes! Two weeks without doing the daily homework. At least the Sunday evening meetings, video and discussions are still fruitful!

Our other links to past Montessori Homeschool weeks:
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Monday
Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Work Plan for the Week

A Week in the Life of Legoboy - Friday (includes links for Monday-Thursday)

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 ;) 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Montessori Homeschool Week - February - Work Plan

Just for kicks, I am hoping to blog this whole week about Legoboy's homeschooling experiences - all Montessori (though if I didn't mention that, many people would think we were either unschooling or doing some other "curriculum". Why? Because Montessori is not about the materials in and of themselves, but about the child's needs and interests, both expressed and unexpressed - needs met through key presentations given by the adult and further research and exploration on the part of the child.)

Work plan for the week: 
  • Study something from his "herbal jumpdrive" (we have finished up some projects/studies and he has a few resources he still wants to explore - this one is left open-ended)
  • Continue editing images from Wall of Fame (Mystery of History - he is creating digital designs for each story that he wants to have printed into a book)
  • Watch 2 Apologetics course sessions (he is continuing with a middle school apologetics course he started this past December --- currently doing the Recorded Classes with all assignments with Homeschool Connections)
  • Daily work on his Confirmation notebook - meeting with his sponsor on Thursday to go over what is done up to that point. 
  • Review decimal fractions multiplication on the checkerboard. He had fun last week helping me create freshened images for this work, that he wants to "play with it" a bit this week. 
  • Three chapters in Primary Grade Challenge Math (he has been putzing slowly with this book - he prefers to have me listen to him doing all the math orally while he writes some of it down. He needs that communal aspect, but I am not always available; so he adjust his plans accordingly). 
  • Finish Consecration in Truth review: levels 2 and 3. He started this way back when, now he wants to keep going with it because "Lent is coming" and he wants to freshen up on things. 
  • EEME Project 3 should be arriving this week. Our review post on EEME
  • Practice piano daily
  • Select other work as appropriate and interested. 
  • On the schedule - some he planned, some we planned together: 
    • Homeschool Monday class at the local museum: Seismology
    • Mummies of the World exhibition
    • Jerusalem OmniMax film before it ends on the 12th
    • Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs OmniMax film
    • Tae-kwon-do Monday and Wednesday evenings; Saturday morning
    • Swim lesson Tuesday evening
    • Additional swim practice when possible
    • Atrium Thursday afternoon
    • Mass: Tuesday morning, Thursday morning (had to choose between tae-kwon-do and Mass Wednesday evening - various reasons, he chose tae-kwon-do this time)
    • Speech Wednesday morning
    • Dentist appointment Wednesday afternoon
    • Meet with Confirmation sponsor after atrium Thursday
    • Celebrate Mama's birthday on Wednesday - and another day when we have actual "time"