Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cummins School House October week 4- Mason

Mason presenting the Teen Board to Athena
The boys are settling right into the school curriculum as we continue to use Karen's albums from World Wide Montessori.  This week we have started a new Co-Op (sort of) My friend Janelle has decided that she wants to home school her 2 girls.  She is still at the researching all the curriculum stage (which we all know is the hardest part!)...So I have invited her and the girls over on Tuesdays to "do school" with us Montessori style.  This way she can see first hand how the Montessori method works and see if it is right for her girls.  So each week Janelle with hang out with the toddlers playing with all the great materials on James shelves and I will be with Mason and Athena, while Mason presenting lessons for Athena.  I think this is a great opportunity for Mason to get the peer interaction he does not get at a Montessori school.  Since Athena is younger, I thought it would be great for him to show Athena all the lessons that she can do. By the way they worked so wonderfully together!

We are continuing to use Story of the World with Mason's (other) Co-Op group.  This week they learned about the pyramids. At home we listened to the story, worked on the map and coloring sheet.  We went to Brenda and Evan's new house and made pyramids out of sugar cubes.

In our Montessori history this week we are "Keeping Track of Time" with beans? They take turns adding a bean to a jar for each day of school. 

Our friend Maddie from Co-Op let us borrow magnetic pieces that let you build buildings and structures from ancient Egypt.

Geography: For Geography Mason made a "Primitive Map" in a tray of sand, they way people would have along time ago.  I gave him an example with simple picture of mountains,trees, tepee, moon etc.  He then drew them in the sand.  Well anyone who knows Mason knows this is right up his alley! Drawing a MAP! It was a dream come true for him to be able to make a map at "school"!

Practical Life: It only naturally made sense to have him sweep up the sand off the table and chair when he was done! He needed a few pointers to get the sand into the dust pan and not under it!

Physical Science: We will continue to use the 3 part cards from http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/ for invertebrates along with his Save the Bay Class for the whole year. This month they explored the rocky shore line (on a day when it was POURING!!!) This did not bother the kids they were having fun exploring the rocks and finding, sea stars (I learned they are not fish so you can not call they star fish!), crabs, sea weed, snails plus more.  They went back to the exploration center and talked more about these animals and why they can live on the shore line. Lots of great vocabulary words to look up too....Echinoderms, water vascular system, tide pool, rocky shore line, habitat.....

We are also learning about Elasticity! we talked about how things with elasticity always bounce back to their original shape.  In the tray we have elastics, hair elastics, strips of sewing elastic, a spring etc... 

Science/Nature study: We are talking about the season of Autumn! on the Nature table is things you would find outside now: acorns,milkweed seed pods and seeds, leaves, apple seeds, and a robin's nest that fell out of our apple tree in the wind. Also is books, and 3 part cards for the seasons.

Math: Mason worked on the 100 and1000 chain this week.  This was allot of work for him!  He only got thru 1/2 the 1000 chain in one day and finished it the next day! During this lesson there is a chain of 1000 beads with little paper arrows labeled by 10's. Mason had to place all the labels along the chain from 1-1000. I have to tell you he was so proud of himself when he finished! I used an egg carton to hold the arrows in groups of 10's

There are so many more "unschooling" lessons that go on during the day that I would be here forever! 
"We love to learn and we learn to love!"

Home Made Nutrigrain Bars, by The Home School Den

A fellow Homeschooler posted this recipie on her blog, they look so yummy! I thought I would share.  Hopefully I get time to make these soon!
She also has a link to a video about High Fructrose Corn Syrup that I have not watched yet.
Home Made Nutrigrain bars, by The Homeschool Den

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Montessori Print Shop "HUGE" Give-away!

Montessori Materials GIVEAWAY #1!

We're so excited to be having our first Montessori Materials Giveaway. It's big, really big. We couldn't make it any bigger or better if we tried. 
The giveaway runs from Friday Oct 15th 2010 to Friday Oct 22nd 2010. 

We're giving away ..... drum roll please.....

A Montessori Print Shop Deluxe CD Rom 
(2 Disc Collection)

Current Value - $589.32 US

 Click on the link below to check it out...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cummins School House weeks 1 & 2 -James

Here is what James has been doing in "school". I have it in our schedule to spend 1 hour working/playing with James each day!

Putting chop sticks into a narrow neck bottle and dumping them out again.

Pouring beans from a wide bowl thru a funnel into a pitcher

sorting leaves

washing rocks for the rock collection

Matching color cards made from Disney paint samples I got at Home depot.

Number cards 1-3 with cranberries as counters

Working together with Racing Ramps (see Mason's post for more info on these)

working together on coloring.

Our butterfly we raised and released!

Click on the link below to see what others are doing with their toddles!
                                                                Toddler Tuesday

Cummins School House weeks 1 & 2- Mason

The Cummins school is in session!  The boys have really taken to the school schedule (love the schedule!) They are still wanting to "walk" to school every morning....We go out the back door and after feeding the chickens and rabbit they hug and kiss me good bye at the back door, Mason holds James hand and they walk (with empty backpacks on) to the front door and ring the "school's" door bell.  I am willing to play along with it as long as it keeps them happy with doing school!
researching invertebrates online
Both boys take their school work time seriously, even James tells Mason to leave "his" school area when he comes over to see what we are doing.  Mason is zooming right trough the beginning lessons we have done, I spent all summer preparing the lessons and materials and I am already finding that I need to get together more.
here is what he has done so far...

Math: red & blue rods, teen/ten board,100 chain, snake game
This is the Nile river were the first Egyptians became farmers.  The Nile river floods every year which would bring rich soil to the farm land.  This project mimics that idea...we flood the river each week to water the winter wheat we planted.
History: Intro tray, keeping track of time, &  counting tree rings
 Our history curriculum also includes "the-story-of-the-world- we are doing with out Co-Op group. we have learned about the Samaritans or nomads, the first Egyptians, and the first writings.
Geology: We learned that Geology is the science that studies the Earths history that is recorded in rocks. Both boys collected rocks from the yard, washed them, and glued them to a board titled "our rock collection"

 For something fun to do...I found this Racing Ramps activity HERE, Mason LOVED it! This is right up his ally. I have to add some fun stuff into the day, so its not all work! He followed the command cards and built the ramps to race the cars down, put the marker cards were they stopped and then drew a pic of the car that one, complete with the square floor tiles!

 Science: We have been learning about Life Cycles! So much fun! We had LOTS of these really bright green caterpillars on the carrots patch in the garden, so we put 2 in a jar to watch what it turned into (we were not sure at the time if they were beneficial bugs or pests) with in a week it made a crystallise and then 2 weeks later James comes running up to me with the jar yelling "Look Mama, look what happened in the jar!" Isn't she beautiful! We looked at her a few minuets and then took her out side where she was more than happy to fly away! That was cool!
We also have various seeds we have found on the nature table milkweed,acorns,pine cones,apple for checking out with the magnify glasses.
I have books out about the seasons.
Mason is taking a class called "Save The Bay" in RI. All year they will explore and learn about invertebrates! So we are doing the Montessori invertebrates now along with it. We have the tray with invertebrate figures in it (starfish,bee,spider,octopus...) I just downloaded and printed the Types-of-Invertebrates-Nomenclature-Cards- from Montessori For Everyone (they are awesome and saving me time!)

We took out the compass and map and found places where friends and family live around the US and put little stickers on them.

He has started cursive, and seems to enjoy it so far.  I gave him a wipe off book to practice in and he chooses it everyday., He also made a pic and letter to a friend in NJ, addressed the envelope and mailed it to her.  We are going to try to do this to someone different each week.

Mason started piano lessons this week.  He LOVED it! His new teacher Nathan from Norton Piano School was a great match for him.  Nathan was very impressed with his musical abilities! This is the first class he has been in where he was bright eyed and attentive the whole time! He was really interested in everything Nathan was saying. We look forward to the next couple of weeks to see how he continues.

So all in all it has been a great couple of weeks here at the Cummins school house.