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!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Dinner for Daddy

Lamb and I had a great play dough session the other day. My husband was home and Lamb insisted that we make dinner for Daddy.
Here is what we have:

A steak with olives (because Daddy likes olives), peas, carrots, yellow capsicum and florets of broccoli.
For dessert he made a banana and some blueberries but was a bit perplexed about how to make ice cream so squished it all together and said it was chocolate mousse instead!

The sense of hearing

First of all I introduced 'silence'. Maria Montessori writes a lot about the benefits of silence and how her small groups of children really enjoyed tip toeing around avoiding making noise and to a degree my tots are the same. She would write the word 'silence' on the board while I hold my finger to my lips until they have both caught on then I hold up one finger or two depending on whether we are doing one minute or two. It did depend a little bit on the mood to whether Lamb played along or deliberately made as much noise as possible but when he was interested he would ask to do it again and again so that we would tip toe around or eat soup with silly smiles on our faces without making any noise!

Then we practised isolating sounds. One of these activities we added to our 5 senses chart and Lamb isolated the sounds of his breathing and the trickle of the fish tank in another room, the birds outside and things like that. Outside is of course much better.

Then we talked about different kinds of ears and I set up this activity.
I found some pictures of animals and printed out two sets cutting the ears from the second then I arranged them on the paper and Lamb had to match the ears to the correct animal and glue them down. He quite liked talking about the different appearance of the ears especially the lizard ears which are little more than holes in their heads!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Smelling spices

How I wish I had taken photos but alas I enjoyed the moment too much (and also didn't want to interrupt it) but yesterday Lamb created a Montessori activity on his own.
I was at the computer. He opened the pantry on the pretense of having a discussion about what he would like for a snack then proceeded to scan the shelves naming things and asking about things he didn't know the names of.
Next thing I knew he had all of my little spice jars down all lined up in a row and was counting them. Then there he was carefully removing the lids, smelling them and holding them up to ask me the name of the herb or spice that was contained within the jar.
He repeated it several times then put them all back into the basket they were in and toddled off to do something else!
I had never even thought of that for an activity but what a great idea!


Look like a math lesson?
We used fruit skewers to talk about patterns and sequencing. Until now we have done it with a tub of play buttons that we have of different colours and shapes and with a strip of pictures that I printed out and you place the missing squares but here we decided upon a pattern and applied it to the skewer! Apple, banana, marshmallow....
Lamb thought it was great!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Primary and Secondary colours

I found this great idea for introducing colour blending!
You can check it our here.

First make a batch of play dough with the three primary colours.
I printed out a picture of a colour wheel as a control from here.

Then mix the primary colours (Note: little hands get fatigued very quickly here)

To create a completed colour wheel!


In our household we have just celebrated Shavuot. The feast of weeks. Firstfruits. Pentecost.
In the past it has been a meal that has come and gone but as we seek to disciple our children by obedience to the feasts of the Lord as they appear in the Old Testament, we think a little more about what these feasts really mean.
Shavuot is the commemoration of the ingathering of the harvest. Being as we live in the Southern Hemisphere and it is really not harvest time here we made a meal with seasonal vegetables, creating our own harvest to thank the Lord for.
This resulted in a conversation about northern and southern hemispheres, what 'seasonal' vegetables were and so forth but it also helped Lamb to understand that all good things come from the Lord (James 1:17).

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Our trip to Tasmania created an interest in penguins as we visited a little blue penguin nesting site there. Lamb loves to mimic the noises they were making!
We got several penguin themed books for our book basket including one of blue penguins which nest exclusively in Australia.
I made some 'breeds of penguin' cards for our shelves and we have spent some time talking about their similarities and differences. Lamb's favourite word at the moment is 'similar'!
We did some penguin themed activity sheets.
I found this poem about penguins and typed it up with the number words in red.
We go through the poem identifying the numbers and the words that match and take a cartoon penguin away each time. I have introduced Lamb to addition but not subtraction, counting upwards but not counting back so I thought this would be a good start.

THEN we got the measuring tape out and drew some penguins in chalk.
Here Lamb is clicking the lock over so that the tape doesn't move while Mummy draws a penguin at the correct height.
And here's Mummy drawing the penguin (Lamb took the photo, pretty good job I thought!)
From left to right....little blue penguin, adelie penguin, chinstrap penguin and emperor penguin (please forgive the crude drawings: chalk on brick is a very unforgiving medium!)
And then Lamb and Cherry 'painted' the penguins with water thereby cleaning the wall.

And finally we watched 'March of the penguins' which really was fabulous. Lamb asked an incredible amount of questions all the way through but was surprisingly stalwart in the face of penguin eggs, chicks and their parents meeting their ends. Highly recommended family viewing!