We are a family with three 'wee winkles' exploring the pleasures and perils of educating at home using Scripture, Montessori and a lot of love!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Rainbow activities

The winkles and I have been having fun with rainbows so far...
Lamb and I painted a rainbow together
The whole way through he kept saying, "I really enjoy painting with you Mum"...NOTE: do this MUCH more often.
Once we had finished painting it, we turned it into a colour matching exercise for Cherry.

And then to jazz up snack time today, I set the winkles to chopping...
and then arranged everything in rainbow form...
Pink (watermelon), Purple (sultanas and craisins), Blue (blueberries...the best I could think of, the Winkles were satisfied with the explanation that they are called BLUE berries), Green (Avocado and broccoli), Yellow (Banana and Cheese), Orange (Bbq rice crackers and carrot sticks) and Red (Strawberries).
They both got such a kick out of this and sat there happily munching away on a really random combination of foods, some of which they won't usually eat.
How great!

We also made a rainbow cake (not so healthy)

And with all the colour action I set up a colour mixing activity for Lamb
I put red, yellow and blue food colouring in three polystyrene cups that I cut the top off to make child sized then Lamb used an eye dropped to mix the right amount of colour in to make green, orange and purple.
That wasn't enough though so...
I drew pencil circles on a sheet of baking paper and blu tacked that to a cookie tray (I think this activity idea is from John Bowman's ebook....and Lamb used the eye dropper to squeeze the colours onto the dots.
He hasn't done this activity before so, as you can see, some dots were huge and others not so much but he spent a good twenty five minutes filling a couple of sheets of dots!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Play food

For a long time Lamb's kitchen play things have consisted of a few old pots, spoons and containers from the kitchen. He has always enjoyed play cooking but I thought for Cherry's second birthday we might jazz up our play cooking department.

So we bought a set of plastic fruit for her to cut, a set of mini pots and pans and a wooden toaster complete with bread and butter. She already had the tea set from her first birthday.
THEN one of her aunties bought a little ceramic dinner set and the other made the beautiful blanket.

Mummy had gotten busy as well.

Felt eggs. Ravioli and bow pasta.

Felt steak, beans, cauliflower and brocolli. Then swiss cheese, lettuce leaves and tomato slices.

There are SO many ideas for making felt food online. I didn't follow any tutorials or anything but looked at the pictures and worked out how I wanted to do it.
It was actually a very relaxing project! Easy to do in front of the tele at night and nothing took very long so immediate satisfaction level was high.
I think I might be making some more felt food for the winkles at some stage!


After lots of reptiles and generally 'boyish' things I thought we might do something...other.
Cherry has been talking about rainbows a lot lately so I thought we might let her choose our next theme.

So I cut out a felt rainbow puzzle for our felt mat
Made up a rainbow sensory tub
Put out this dice game from here
I have kept out our colourful hundreds board but have taken away the control now. I think Lamb has well and truly got the idea and just needs a little tenacity to continue with it.
We got our Noah's ark pop up book.
And worked on our Noah's ark puzzle

Several more activities to go!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Homeschool giveaways

Great news!
Jolanthe from Homeschool creations has just let us know of the HUGE giveaway on Homeschool giveaways.
There are SO many valuable things being given away.
Go here to enter!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Grampians

  Our family recently spent a week 'hiking' in The Grampians.
The children really enjoyed waking up to kangaroos outside our windows each morning, searching for lizards in every bush and rock and walking.
They love to walk!

Lamb and Cherry throwing rocks into Lake Wartook (family pastime!) and my husband helping Lamb across the rocks at Mackenzie falls (Yes, my heart was in my mouth, the waterfall is literally right behind them)

Lamb insisted upon taking his backpack in order to be just like Daddy and Cherry seemed to do better on the more challenging walks. She seemed to get bored on the easier walks and then ask to be carried.

We decided it would be great to make a sport...extreme picnicing.
The children here are perched on a rockface bordering beehive falls having a lemon and barley drink!
Amidst the remains of bush fires many months before

Possibly the highlight was coming across this shingleback crossing the road. Lamb greeted him in 'lizard fashion' (note the tongue)

When we came home we thought it would be fun to make a book about all the animals we saw on our adventures.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Introducing Digraphs

As Lamb is getting through building words and remembering sight words I thought it might be time to introduce some digraphs seeing as he is close to coming across words he cannot sound out.

So I put a couple of little bowls on his shelves labelled with the digraphs and containing an assortment of objects.
We then built the words with our moveable alphabet.

After this I made labels for the items and treated the baskets like 'phonetic object boxes' which is a bit of a challenge for Lamb.

He also did the 'sh' and 'ch' worksheets from Sparklebox


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

finishing up with snakes

I have to admit that the majority of our snake unit consisted of reading the books we got from the library and then 'playing' snakes with shoelaces (a game Lamb devised) but we did a few fun activities.

Lamb practised with scissors and made a spiral snake

I introduced the concept of even and odd numbers with our snake counters (pipecleaners)
We made some cardboard snakes.
The photo doesn't show it up very well but we went through some of the books we got from the library and talked about the characteristics of the different snakes (slender heads versus triangular shaped heads, spots or zigzags, sleek skin or rough) and then coloured our snakes accordingly. Several times Lamb pointed out that I hadn't blended the colours together correctly or that I actually needed a dark green while I had a light one...ahem.
Then we placed them on the continents map.
So I think I'm about done with reptiles for a while...time for something very different...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Continents Map

I have seen so many Mums manage to make one of these that I thought myself equal to the task.
I discovered that it's much more difficult than I thought.

I used the children's atlas we already have and made tracing paper outlines of each of the continents then cut out the felt...only to realise that they didn't all fit together as they were made to fit each page of the book...not each other.
So then I recut and altered for what felt like hours (I guess it was) then hemmed a large sheet of blue fabric I already had to hold it all in and VOILA!

Before I had even hemmed the mat (as I was laying it out for size) Lamb was getting his animals out asking whether they were from Africa or America and putting them where they belong (Note the lizard in North America which is apparently the horned regal lizard)
I love it how children know instinctively what Montessori materials are for and gravitate to the proper use. They really have been designed with children in mind.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lamb's Math

While I am doing the updating.....

I have found a few different ways of reinforcing addition and subtraction.
The playdough mats are from here.
Bead threading.
I just put a plus or minus card and a number in front of Lamb without talking and he carried out the instruction counting to himself.

I made a teens board out of cardboard though I have plans to make one that is a little more robust.
and we have worked with the beads a few times.
We have reviewed number ordering to ten and also worked our way up to twenty
I just put the number cards face up in front of Lamb and he works his way through (he does skip thirteen sometimes) and when he is finished I get him to count through the cards putting his finger on each one to reinforce it.
Because he seemed to be streaming through the counting I pulled out the numbered cubes I made for a hundreds board but used a control chart so that it is a matching exercise to begin with, and pushed him up to thirty.
He has also mastered the binomial cube so I will pulling the trinomial out for him shortly

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Lamb's language

I realised I haven't updated where Lamb is at for a while....

We have started using the ready to read units from the moffatt girls.
We are up to the second unit moving very slowly. Lamb is a little young for the 'crack the sight word' games but really enjoys singing the sight words and sorting and colouring word families.
Sorting ig and ip words
I also got out a few 'nouns' so that we could construct sentences with the sight words.

Stamping word families

I also made the reading cards that I made for him for simple cvc words  for the blends based on the blue word list. We read and build them with the moveable alphabet.

Through all of this he has been coming along in leaps and bounds with reading but not writing which is backwards to the way I expected it to be.
He will construct words with the moveable alphabet if I give him an incentive for later and he loves to trace letters in the salt tray but tracing or writing on paper he just isn't into and his pencil grip has been dismal no matter how many times I show him so....

we have been doing some sponging
and some work with nuts and bolts to encourage those little fngers.

I am pleased to say that Lamb CAN now hold a pencil correctly and is enjoying colouring for the first time being as he has better control over where the pencil travels and has even traced a couple of words for me!
The only thing I battle with now is the perfectionist in him that wants to use his eraser every time his lines aren't exactly where they ought to be...oi oi oi!