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, December 29, 2017

Keys of the World and Keys of the Universe

Legoboy and I have been working on some new projects!

New websites and some new structure on the current sites:
**Products are being added daily to each of the new sites**

Garden of Francis 

(new site is in-progress - once all products have been transferred over, the old store will close and the new store will replace the current site; for the time-being purchases are accessible through both sites)

New Site for Garden of Francis:

  • All of the offerings from both Keys of the World and Keys of the Universe in distinct purchase options: 
    • Mentoring via Albums/guides
    • Mentoring via Videos
    • Mentoring via Online Support
    • Certificate of Completion payment and instructions
    • Materials (download and physical)
  • Home Goods
    • Soap
    • Cloth items
  • Christian Formation
    • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd materials
    • modified Godly Play materials 
    • Prayer table and family altar cloths
  • Liturgical Celebrations
    • Organized by the liturgical season
    • Crocheted rosaries


The familiar site for Garden of Francis:

  • All current offerings (no changes)
    • Soap
    • wood cutting
    • custom orders
    • downloads for Montessori mentoring
    • liturgical seasons
    • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


Keys of the Universe

No changes have been made to the outward offerings.
Upcoming changes:

  • Mentoring via Videos will be a separate purchase, with the current prices set as a combined price separated to lower amounts. 
    • Those people who already have video access will continue to access it in the same place as now AND will be able to access the videos in their new homes on the online support. 
  • Mentoring via Albums
    • complete albums continue to be offered. 
  • Mentoring via Online Support
    • online support continues to be offered. 


Keys of the Universe Montessori

All Keys of the Universe elementary Montessori offerings in distinct purchase options:
  • Mentoring via Albums/guides
  • Mentoring via Videos
  • Mentoring via Online Support
  • Certificate of Completion payment and instructions
  • Materials (download and physical)

Keys of the World

All Keys of the World Primary (ages 2.5-6) Montessori offerings in distinct purchase options:
  • Mentoring via Albums/guides
  • Mentoring via Videos
  • Mentoring via Online Support
  • Certificate of Completion payment and instructions
  • Materials (download and physical)


The Shepherd and the Vine

All of our religious-based offerings from Garden of Francis, separated to their own site as well.
  • Christian Formation
    • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd materials
    • modified Godly Play materials 
    • Prayer table and family altar cloths
  • Liturgical Celebrations
    • Organized by the liturgical season
    • Crocheted rosaries

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Crazy Times - Some are Awesome - and A NEW WEBSITE!

Life is crazy - and has so many curveballs, some awesome, some so far beyond painful I can't even share them, and some downright heart-wrenching as the strength of my supportive friends and family is proven second after crazy heart-breaking second.


First the awesome news!

I get to babysit my newborn nephew for two weeks ­čĺľ


The oldest of my mother's grandsons
with the youngest of her grandsons. 

Brotherly cousin love ;) 


And I spent the bits of downtime putting together three new websites. The first one is now live and active!

Keys of the World Montessori Resources
The Mobile Site

The Desktop Site

The listings for access to mentoring via albums, videos and online support are all up - I will be adding materials over the course of the next week, while working on the other two websites to be updated: Garden of Francis and Keys of the Universe are both getting a complete overhaul, with a similar format to the new Keys of the World site.



For the weekend I am focusing on some craft projects:

The baby's older sisters are learning to latch-hook. I helped them find a way to organize their colors and their pieces. The youngest is 4 and is just practicing putting the colors on - not following the pattern just yet.





And I am starting on Christmas stockings for each of my family members. Won't all be done in time for St. Nicholas Day, but my son and I are the only ones who officially celebrate that one. Everyone else fills their stocking on Christmas Eve.

And the adolescent-Montessori-homeschooled boy is studies history, Minecraft and computer coding and the book of Proverbs - when he's not snuggling on my lap.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

REVIEW POST: Montessori Kiwi Elementary Montessori Boot Camps

There is not one thing I do not love about Montessori Kiwi's Bootcamps for Reading, Writing and Great Lessons!

I was privileged to access all three of them and, while I was asked for a review on just one, well, I can't do that. I truly appreciate the content of all three of them and can't pick a favorite.

As a homeschool mom years ago, just starting out; or as a newly trained Montessori teacher just going into my student teaching and even my first full-on teaching experiences, I would have loved Lisa's concise, focused, *practical* guides that she provides here. Even with my own studies, full training and many successful experiences in the classroom and at home, these boot camps provide a down-to-earth perspective that makes it all feel possible!

She includes ideas for "what if this doesn't work", shares experiences from her own teaching,

Each half-hour video is a slideshow presentation with Lisa's voice-over. A pdf of the slides is included with each video as well; the writing portion has a writing template.


Great Lessons: 
She includes specifics on what can be done before, during and after the Great Lessons. Typically with such resources there is always something that makes me cringe a bit or think "that doesn't quite fit with my reading of Montessori's work" or similar. But NOT this time! Spot on, 100% agreement! I gleaned some new ideas/tweaks as well; which just goes to show that collaboration does indeed help us adults go deeper!

Writing: 
Lisa includes information on the Inquiry approach which is very much in line with the Montessori approach, but (as she states) was not created for a Montessori environment - so some of the details are somewhat "givens" (such as freedom to go back and review a concept at any time). The way she organized and presents about the writing prompts, inquiry, and all else is very intuitive, very practical - and very much needed reminders about how straight-forward we can be with the children!


Reading: 
In this boot camp, what she describes as happening in primary/casa/other-name (ages 3-6) includes a variation on the pink/blue/green series, that not all Montessori approaches utilize. I find reading to be the one area that different Montessorians really take different approaches. I love how Lisa works through this area in a way that honors any of the approaches.



She also offers supportive downloads in a variety of areas. Take a look!





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Family Gardening in Our Home

Time to move these plants outside! 
My children and I need to get cracking on planning our gardens. It is March already and we should have seedlings going already! OOPS! Flu and public school issues will do that to a family, I suppose.


This year, with 5 children instead of 1, we are going for a modification of square foot gardening. Each child will have their own space to plan within.
(Technically we had 5 children last summer too - but we started the growing season with 1 child and 1 adult and added from there - and our garden FAILED last year. Utter Failure.)


Mama:
  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • In the yard: add more lilac bushes, landscaping refreshed, plant some berry bushes for the future

Miss 14:
  • Watermelons
  • Strawberries
  • Purple Trailing Petunias

Mister 13:
  • Pumpkins (more)
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon
  • Cantalope

Miss 12:
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Coleus

Miss 4:
  • Carrots
  • Sunflowers

Mister 3:
  • Flower mix
  • Sunflowers

Not as much variety as I would like to see, but we've had a late start in planning. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks!

The children will be responsible for their own area. With the particular needs we have in our mix of children, it is best for them not to share duties with the others, although Legoboy (Mr 13) and I will provide reminders and guidance for the others when needed. Miss 14 has never grown anything, ever. 12, 4 and 3 had a garden in their previous home but didn't get to see everything grow - they were provided some of their vegetable produced as it was harvested, but didn't get to pick it themselves.

This should be an interesting year to say the least ;)



Previous gardening related posts:
Lazy Gardening
Pollinator Week - Planning for our new home and garden
Nature in Montessori Education
Almost on the Farm
Vermi-Composting: WORMS! 
Gardening in an Apartment
KidzHerbs Garden Kit: Review Post
Musings on the Elementary Scientific Classification Material
Herb Love - Review Post of Herb Fairies




Other Posts in the Series: