Sunday, May 24, 2015

Phonetic Object Box

Is it calling for rain?  It looks like Bubs has an u..u..u..umbrella to use!

Bubs was thrilled to start this work.  He really started it a few weeks ago back in April, but I wanted to wait until he did his second box before I posted on it.  Just to give some additional examples.  However.....I don't seem to have any of those pictures.  Hmm..must be on the broken camera.  Oh, but hey!! Guess what??  We have a brand new snazzy camera on its way.  Can't wait to start using that thing.  I mean, of course, the Ipad is great and all, but not so fun transferring pics back and forth. 

The phonetic object boxes are quite fun and just what Bubs needed at the time to boost his interest in reading.  He is clearly over the sandpaper letters and almost over the sand tray.  He also isn't a moveable alphabet fan either.  We had some difficulty working with this because the shapes of the sandpaper letters don't match to the moveable alphabet for every letter exactly.  So Bubs got frustrated having to essentially learn sounds over again.  I still tried to make it fun, but this new presentation helped ease the tension.

So..I bought the really cute package of objects from Montessori Services.  Wow!  There are a lot of small objects in that bag.  Even a small drum with two miniature drum sticks.  Let's just say it's a miracle that I still have those drum sticks and that they aren't lost in the carpet, in the belly of T-man, or even worse, up Nito's nose!!

The first object box I set up for Bubs had beginning sounds that were phonetic (single symbol - single sound).  Objects like jug, bus, hat, box, mop, cat, etc.  There were 12 objects total.  I would tell him that I am thinking of an object and then I would write it down on a small strip of paper.  Then we would take each sound and say it.  We would say it faster and faster each time until we blended all of the sounds and said the word.  For example, hat.  H. A. T.  h   a   t, h  a  t, h a t, hat.  By the time we were saying all of the sounds together, he would screech and then immediately find the object that I had written.  It was so sweet to watch it click and see the joy on his face.

Can you see the old-timey vacuum cleaner in the upper left corner?  Nito thinks its a lawn mower!

Here Bubs is trying out his g, g, g, glasses. 
We still have only two boxes out on the shelf for this work.  Bubs is now to the point where he can work independently matching the labels to the objects.  However, I am struggling with trying to figure out how to get him to read all of the sounds on the label and not just the first one.  He tends to just read "b" and match it to the box for instance, but the label actually reads "bee", not "box".  Maybe it just takes time, but we will keep working on it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Practical life

Bubs was busy busy with a lot of practical life today.  I asked him this morning what he was excited to work on today and out of the blue he said ironing.  I was like, "ironing?".  He was like yeah.  I want to iron my clothes on my hook (the ones from Mass that I make him hang there because they aren't dirty).    Gotta try to cut laundry down somehow!

Here Bubs is watering this desperate plant.  So sad to see it hanging on for life!!
He went to water the plants, inside and outside while I was getting the ironing board set up.  We have a few sad pots of herbs along with a few flowers on the deck.  My husband says that our house is the plant hospice!  I can kill a plant pretty quick.  (See that sad little plant above?!)

It was absolutely hilarious to watch him water the plants on the deck.  If you remember my post on Parts of the flower, we have a bumblebee issue on our deck.  There are about 2 or 3 that like to buzz around and then collide into each other and scatter in different directions,  it makes for quite the "enjoyable" time outside.  Soo....let me setup the visual for you.  Our deck is only like 15 x 15 at most and we have a circular table with four chairs. Then I had a drying rack out there which didn't allow for much room to move around. So Bubs got his watering can and ran out onto the deck and went around the drying rack to reach the pots.  Well, then I hear him screaming, "shoo shoo" in a high pitched voice!  Then I see water spraying all over the deck and then him screaming, "ah ah!!" Then he runs inside and only part of one pot is even watered.  We were all laughing so hard at him, even T-man (the baby).  Bubs said so sternly and with such a serious face, "I'm not going out there again to water any more plants."  It was so hard to keep a straight face at this point.  I told him he needed to at least try to finish watering and then he could come back inside.  So then he convinced Nito to go out there with him (as if two people out there on the deck would scare the bumblebees away).  Nito said no way, but Bubs told him he could help water.  What toddler doesn't love a chance to use water?!  Well after all the drama, the plants finally got watered, no children or bumblebees were injured.  However, Bubs did give a good swing toward one of the bees with his watering can and I thought for sure that bee was coming back for him.

Btw....if you are wondering why he is wearing a different shirt, I will sadly admit that it was laundry day and he didn't have anymore uniform shirts.  This was as close as we could get.  In the ironing pics, he finally had some clean by then.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of him "shooing" the bumble bee away with his watering can.....

Phew....then he moved on to ironing.  Teaching them young ya know.  If he doesn't become a priest one day, some lady will be quite lucky to get this little boy of all trades!  Ok so he chose some shirts from upstairs off of his hook and we began.


Don't mind the pink hanger (ok let's call it salmon).  He wouldn't choose a different one!

Window washing was the next activity.  Bubs likes to reach the highest part of the window available.  So of course the stepstool allows him that extra reeeeach.

And of course, look who is following his big brother around.  Actually this scene did not end so well.  Bubs had taken a break to go to the bathroom when Nito saw his chance and swooped in.  Ahhh, if only we had audio to accommodate this picture.  On another note, Nito is quite excited that he can spray the water from the bottle and he can open it to refill it.  Now if only I could get him to use the squeegee instead of having a puddle of water at the bottom of the window on my hardwood floor. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Adjective command cards

Today we worked with the command cards for the adjective grammar box.  I recently discovered (because I clearly don't have this whole elementary Montessori thing down yet) that Kui should be done with the grammar boxes.  That being said, I cleared them off the shelf and just left the command cards and experiments.  So today we decided to work with those to get a little more practice with examples of adjectives and their meaning.. These command cards provide a great resource for the child to develop a concrete understanding of the definition of a word.  It is a hands on way of learning instead of just using a dictionary. 
Yesterday we did sentence analysis which was a great change for her in the language department. So she was also excited to do command cards instead of those tedious filler boxes.  Plus the command cards allow her to be goofy and move around.
She first dealt with adjectives like: few, none, some, many.  Then followed with: double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, tenfold, half, and equal.  She did have to look up a few of them, but didn't mind since she was getting to use her brother's golden beads!  (Just a note that the pictures can always be enlarged simply by clicking on them.)

This card dealt with first through tenth.  She was excited again because she was using "primary" materials.  She was acting like a kid in a candy shop with her little giggles.  Nito was not too excited though because he has just begun to use those few sensorial materials (pink tower, brown stairs, etc.) and is clearly in the mindset that they are all his and she shouldn't be using them.  She decided to skip over the other two command cards with first through fifth using the drawers from the geometry cabinet.  She said that was too easy. (Well!)

I apologize for the poor picture quality.  Our camera is officially broken and we are waiting patiently (ok not me) for a new one to come in the mail.  My Ipad doesn't do the greatest of jobs with poor lighting.   The color tablets were a great material to use for light, lightest, dark, and darkest.  Bubs wanted to help her with this, but she was adamant that it was her work and he could only watch.
My other three pictures are being stubborn and refuse to turn right side up.  I didn't want to post pictures upside down.  Those pictures dealt with adjectives dealing with heavy, heaviest, thick thickest, soft, and softest. 

Kui is now inspired to dust off more of her command cards and experiments from the grammar boxes.  Maybe we can get them finished before the end of the year! posts are a little sporadic and have no set timing of when I post.  There will probably be a few more coming in the next few weeks as we are wrapping up school and I am having a little more time to post.  As always, thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment on anything I post.  I would love to hear from you!




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fun with the brown stairs and pink tower

This morning Bubs and I worked together with the brown stairs and the pink tower.  It was great to see all the different extensions of this work.  We made one pattern after another.  I think he did this for over an hour.  Some of them took great concentration while others were straight forward.  It all started because of the way they happened to be arranged on the work rug.  It sort of looked like a sunburst to me.  Then Bubs made the connection and said it looked like his color tablet work (when he made the sunburst with all of the tablets).  So off he went, trying to arrange them in different ways.  I did help him along the way.  For some of them I helped him get started and just watched to see if he could understand the pattern and continue it.
Bubs decided to sit in the middle of this one.

He said it looks like little steps, so of course there he goes stepping in the middle of it.

This one he decided to drive his car along.  Not sure if you can see it.
He tried to recreate the sunburst like from his color tablet box.


For whatever reason, he was super excited to finish this one and was attempting a handstand in the picture.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Parts of a flower

The bumble bees are out and on the prowl around our deck so it must be time to dust off the botany booklets!  They went a little dormant after the Parts of a Leaf booklet in the fall.  I was so excited to be able to use some of the materials I spent hours making.  Plus it was my first month into homeschooling and with us jumping into that boat a little late in the summer, I was glad to feel like we were being productive. 

My camera is on the fritz so I hope these pics from my iPad aren't too blurry.  We (ok I) chose the easiest of the booklets to dive into.  Parts of a Flower.  How hard can it be to find pretty flowers in the springtime?? proved to be a little trickier at first than I had anticipated.  (We did need to go to the store later in the day so my fall back was going to be store bought flowers to dissect.)  Thankfully God provided an abundance of choices for us on our walk.  The kids and I combined recess with a scavenger hunt for flowers.  The day was beautiful and we were quite successful, even finding a few flowers with pistils.

Kui seemed to really enjoy this work.  She also loved the fact that I didn't send her out in the backyard searching for flowers because that's where all of the bumblebees are.  She was quite happy to have us join her on her exploration.  However, the boys were more excited about the walking sticks they found.


Overall, I think we did a fairly decent job with the first booklet.  We did struggle to find the nectary, but we decided on it in the end.  (Shhh....don't tell her that I am not even sure what the nectary is!  I play it off well, wink wink)
We will soon dig into the other components which involve parts of the pistil, etc.  Kui doesn't know it yet, but we might just have to encounter the bumble bees in the backyard soon!