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!

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!


I know I know...first dinosaurs and now snakes!
Part way through our dinosaur unit we had a visit at our playgroup from the snake man and since then the children have been REALLY interested in snakes and lizards.

After this we found a crocodile hunter dvd at our local library featuring snakes which Lamb watched several times.
It led to using cushions as rocks for gopher snakes (shoelaces) to hide in and tying up snakes in calico bags (blankets) so they didn't 'tag' us!

We got some snake books from the library so here Lamb is reading the book and deciding what snake the white shoelace should be.

I popped the library books and a threading activity on the shelf

 And we've been using pipe cleaners (snakes) for counters with our number cards

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cherry's activities

Approaching two years old Cherry has become much more capable and eager not to be left out of anything that Lamb is doing...

She still enjoys spooning activities
Here she is tonging pasta in the kitchen while I was cooking

Matching lids to jars
Colour matching

She has also been working with number cards to five so I introduced the beads to her also.

She loves working with sandpaper letters but can't quite trace things correctly. Even so she knows about seven letter sounds though I haven't yet attempted a first sounds activity to see if she really understands. At the moment she just gets excited everytime she sees a letter she knows, scouring the newspaper or signs at the mall!


The winkles and I have had fun over the last couple of weeks making playscapes.
I have always sorted their toys into categories I suppose but haven't pulled them out and set them up in order to provoke interest.

Here I pulled out some fabric I already had (for grass) and set up their barn with barn animals. I put brown fabric in the trough for mud for the pig and we set up a fence for the other animals.
Then Lamb decided we needed water so the little spot of blue came out and we made a bridge for the birds (so they didn't get eaten by the crocodile) and then we needed trees apparently for the deer so I pulled these out of his wooden Thomas set. Both winkles played for ages!

For Cherry's birthday party I set this up out in the garden complete with a tray containing her tea set and toaster. The little girls were enthralled and one or several were in there for the entire afternoon.

Montessori work

Once we finished our dinosaur theme I thought we would take a little break from a theme. It just so happens that the parcel of Montessori materials that I ordered arrived !!!
I knew we were officially a Montessori family when I realised how excited I was and when Lamb started asking which works he was allowed to do and did he need a mat for this one?

Working on the teens board with beads

Lamb with the binomial cube which he mastered the third time he used it!

He sat at the knobbed cylinder until he got it without making a mistake so I would show him the second one. Now he is working on two together equally as eager to get access to the third tray!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

More dinosaur activities

A few more of the dinosaur themed things we've been up to....

We made dinosaur shaped cookies.

That's Cherry's little fingers pressing the dough into the cookie cutter (Being gluten intolerant I chose a choc chip cookie recipe that works well and we squished it onto the cutter rather than a roll out dough to cut that would taste awful!)
They turned out triceratopsish...

I also tried to add a few more activities to the shelf that Cherry would be interested in.
Here she is matching some dinosaur shaped rubber bands to some colour cards. lamb matched the bands to his dinosaur breed cards.
We also did some size sorting that I got from 1+1+1=1

The highlight for us was of course the trip to the museum!
Lamb was super excited!
He raced from one skeleton to the next talking about what they looked like AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS. My children generally speak loudly but people around us couldn't help but give us that smile that says "Wow, he's really into dinosaurs huh?"

Lamb also played several of the games on this website

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Being paleontologists

A key part of any book on dinosaurs is fossils; bones and footprints waiting to be discovered so we decided to relive the experience at home.

In playdough....
We made footprints

And in ice....
I popped our little (cheap) dinosaurs into a container with water, froze it then popped some more on top and froze it again so they were in layers.
I gave the winkles a couple of nails and a wooden hammer. The sunshine was helping but they would have been there for ages....so they ended up using the metal paint roller as a hammer. It was great for chipping!

New activities on our dinosaur shelves

We have updated a few of the activities on the dinosaur shelves.
Here is what the winkles have been up to....

Dinosaur pin poking
(I just drew the outline on a piece of paper which was attached to a piece of cork I got from a craft store. The pin was stored in a blob of blu-tack)

Dot stamping with a printout I got from Confessions of a homeschooler

I got these printouts from the same site as above and punched a hole in each for threading. We threaded them as a number ordering exercise as well....

And scissor practise.
I made the strips with stickers and more interesting lines so that Lamb could practise something in between a straight line and a shape (which is still too hard for him)