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!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Gingerbread Men

As we have adjusted to life with baby Winkle in tow, I had preplanned a few easier units...ones that I thought would invoke less questions from Lamb ( questions usually involve more indepth researching than I thought I would have time for) and a bit more craft (that baby can play on the floor for).

Gingerbread men!!
We got a version of the story from our local library and also have 'The Lamington Man' from the Aussie Gems series which is a lot of fun.
Reading two different versions of the story led the children to work the story into their games with different toys playing different parts (lovely to see that creative story telling)

We made gingerbread then of course had to decorate them...
The winkles really loved this! Even Lamb who has traditionally not been into anything crafty unless it's something with wheels that he could maybe play with later. They did about 20 (with help from Mummy and Arma) and had a great time distributing them between their cousins at the family day we had the following day)

We also did some language activities with printables I got from here
Lamb is getting very familiar with the process of sound, build and write which is great!

We did a couple of craft activities as well...

I printed several gingerbread men outlines (sorry not sure from where). Cherry coloured several and is suddenly really detailed about where to position eyes, ears etc. Here I ripped up a brown paper bag so we could collage...

I also introduced Lamb to the concept of graphing with a sheet from here

Thursday, 19 July 2012


We have just finished our unit on frogs and done very well considering we have been incorporating a newborn into our household at the same time...


The children had a great time with this froggy jump game that I picked up from KMart for $1. They were much better at it than I was.
That was on the shelf with a frog themed memory game I got free from Montessori Print Shop.

Also from Montessori Print Shop, I got a set of printable life cycle cards and nomenclature cards which we used as three part cards. Lamb seemed to really enjoy this so I think we will have to do a few more of these activities.
On the right I have a little hidden number game and I can't find where I got it from! Cherry loved this and has been working on recognising some of the numbers she is not so sure about.

This is the same PDF as the memory game but in matching form.

By far the most used aspect of this unit was the book basket filled with frog themed books from our new local library (which is fabulous for children! YAY!). We read books about different breeds of frogs, how to classify amphibians and a frog's life cycle as well as a few kiddie books with cartoon frogs.
We watched several You Tube clips about frogs and our Life series has a dvd on amphibians that we revisited.

Lamb also did a 3D build a frog with Daddy which we subsequently painted. He insisted upon doing a strawberry poison dart frog so we had the breed card from our little kids National Geographic magazines.

The children also had a field trip to a mini zoo that houses mostly reptiles and birds but had several different breeds of frogs on display as well. They went with Daddy while baby and I rested so sadly....no photos.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cherry's activities

As Cherry approaches 32 months...
she has become a lot more interested in her letters. She sits at our little table and chairs dictating letters for herself to write (they come out gibberish on the page of course), sings the alphabet in the toilet a lot (there is an alphabet chart on the back of the door) and has started tracing the sandpaper letters with care.
We have introduced her to numbers up to nine with the bead material. Her counting is flawless but she still needs help matching to numbers above six.
Here she is sponging water from one bowl to another.
She is also a regular fixture in the kitchen now. While Lamb tops and tails beans, she is chopping mushrooms with a butter knife and she is so much like her Mummy....
...this is how orderly she leaves her chopping board!

The Solar System

We had a great time looking at the Solar System.
It all started with a few new books and a trip to the library of course...

We talked about the order of the planets from the sun and I made a little sun, moon and earth from felt so that we could enact the orbits singing:
"The earth turns round and round,
the earth turns round and round,
once a day every day, the earth turns round and round.

The moon goes round the earth,
the moon goes round the earth,
once a month every month, the moon goes round the earth.

The earth goes round the sun,
the earth goes round the sun,
once a year every year, the earth goes round the sun"
(I've seen this little ditty on several sites so I wouldn't know who to credit it to)

We did several activities...
We made glittery night time pictures
Stuck star stickers onto a star outline

Star and planet cellophane cookies
And matched our planet cards to colour our planets correctly.
(The colouring sheet is from www.coloringcastle.com. The planet cards came from Montessori Print Shop) 

Lamb had a lot of fun on the Nasa Website playing games and things and we visited the planetarium at Scienceworks which was fun for all of us!

There are tonnes of great You Tube clips one can watch too on Aurora Borealis, shooting stars and the like. 

Friday, 15 June 2012


Well and here we are....still here!
 I had not realised how long it had been since my last blog post but there are of course very valid reasons for our absence...WE MOVED COUNTRIES!
My husband was offered a great job in none other than New Zealand...where we moved from 6 years ago so after but a moment's hesitation we were all packed up and on our way!
It has been a roller coaster ride, not least of all because I have been heavily pregnant throughout the shift but children are resilient and apparently Mummy's are too.
We are all settled and have just gotten back into learning proper over the last fortnight with a unit on frogs. We did an entire solar system unit before leaving Australia so I will have to blog about that one too.
While on the move we have done lots of drawing and walking, Ready to read units from the Moffatt girls and stories galore. It has been SO nice to set up their shelves again. In fact the first day Lamb was so excited he spent more than an hour going from item to item with the occasional question about how things go together and whathaveyou.
Just two weeks until my due date with wee winkle number three so I daresay it will be slow going over the next little while but the winkles will have Daddy and an assortment of grandparents to keep them amused!!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Musical Instruments

The winkles and I have finished up a unit on musical instruments.

I started off by printing a set of musical instrument pictures from Counting Coconuts and popping them into a basket. The children would pull a card from the basket and we would search Youtube! Very basic activity and just perfect for afternoons when pregnant Mummy is feeling tired but it gave them a good overview of the instruments, what they sound like and how they are played.

We also got out all of our kiddie instruments and our house was NOISY for a fortnight.

We made shakers.
And  Lamb made a rainmaker...
There was winding the wool around the forked twig...
Threading on some beads and bottle tops I punched some holes in the top of...
And tada!

We also have free music concerts each year at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl each year so we went along to those...

And after all of that Daddy decided Lamb should have his wish... a drum...
Rhythm lessons in our lounge!

Introduction to Geography

I am sure I'm not the only one who snapped up Karen Tyler's Geography album for free.
I have had several unit studies planned for the beginning on the year so I have just popped in the odd Geography activity to introduce the children to the concept more or less.
Lamb was very weirded out by me bringing dirt inside the house but really enjoyed playing with the compass and getting the felt continents map out again.
We drew our first cornmeal maps
This was by far the most fun. We drew a map of the house and I laminated it that night for the following day. Lamb chose one of his favourite cars, I hid it in the house then drew arrows he had to follow to find his car. We did it about six times and would have carried on and on!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

All about me!!

As part of starting off the year, I decided to focus on the children themselves; their characteristics, where they live and such like to ease them into the idea of doing activities and things again after the break over summer.

We started off with a couple of projects.
I got the children to lay down on a sheet of newsprint, traced around them then had them paint themselves.
Then we stuck them to the wall with a little plaque featuring their names, ages, favourite colours etc.

Then we did a collage of favourite things.
Lamb and I spent some time searching google images for pictures of things he likes (the beach, walking in the bush, haloumi, dinosaurs and lightening McQueen among other things) then he cut the pictures out and stuck them on his collage.
I searched Cherry's favourite things for her and she was excited to see the little collection of things she loves. She sat at her collage for a lot longer than Lamb arranging things on the page.
Her list included Jessie from Toy Story2, rabbits, mango and inari.
These collages went up on the wall next to the outlines of themselves that they painted. All the children that have come into our house since have measured themselves against the two children on the wall and commented on whether or not they like a particular thing on the collages.

I also made this up.
I have seen a similar idea on several different blogs but I'm sorry to confess that I have not noted down where. One version was with little boxes that you could stack on top of one another but I just cut out different sized circles from card sticking pictures that I got from the internet and holding them together with a ring.
We've been going through country, state, city, suburb and home address during circle time. 

Sunday, 12 February 2012


So there is a fabulous giveaway I simply have to tell you about!
The giveaway is for Karen Tyler's online course and TWELVE Montessori albums!!!
Just perfect for those of us who are planning to use Montessori as the base for our homeschools or after schools.

If you are interested, the link is here

Monday, 6 February 2012

Cherry's Activities

I haven't posted about what my little Miss has been up to for some time so here we are...

Cherry is now 27 months old.
Chopping bananas with a bread and butter knife for practical life.
Eye dropping water from one cup to another to exercise those little fingers.
First time with scissors (I know, it looks so wrong). She pretty much just clipped around the edges of each square but was so intent upon it!
We went for a walk one day. Cherry and Lamb picked up these seed pods to bring home so I used them for little spoons for a transfer activity. The little purple tray has fruit shapes in it for making ice cubes and it kept Cherry amused for quite a while (she is still messy with the rice and not quite adept with the brush and shovel to clean up her messes). I love the way she is sitting (so ladylike).
Here I blutacked some golf tees to a tray and she threaded the beads on top. It kept her completely quiet during a morning 'school' session (normally she asks Lamb a lot of questions about his activity and he gets a bit cross when he is trying  to sound out words and things while she is making "all this noise")
Here she is with the knobless cylinders and the pattern cards from Montessori print shop.
Cherry has learnt several letter sounds, so lately I have done a few activities to ensure she can tell the difference between them. We have coloured in flowers that I draw for her with different letters on the petals. Here I drew a basic little garden scene and wrote letters on the flowers, the sun etc and she dot painted the letter we were looking for. Lamb would never have taken to an activity like this, he has always been more hands on with traditional Montessori items but Cherry enjoys book work a little more.


Over the last couple of weeks the Winkles and I have been looking at metamorphosis.

I had collected a few 'shells' left behind by cicadas at the beginning of the summer so firstly we had a good look at those with the magnifying glass.
Then we watched a clip of David Attenborough's about the life cycle of cicadas.
Here is the link if you want to check it out on Youtube

I made up some cards for the lifecycle of the cicada by doing a google images search
And once they were used to the terms that were in the life cycle we picked up some books from the library and I expanded our little chart to include pictures of ladybugs, butterflies, house flies and grasshoppers to cover the difference between complete and incomplete metamorphosis.
(For those who aren't sure: grasshoppers and cicadas have an incomplete metamorphosis from egg to nymph to adult while the others are complete going from egg to larvae to pupa to adult)

Here they are deciding on which picture comes next from the assorted ones I printed and laminated.
They both really enjoyed the activity!