Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Wet Felting

The kids and I tried our hands at wet felting last week. It took us longer than the directions said (about 2.5 hours total), so we had to break it into two days.
We took wool roving, and soapy water, then built up a ball.
We took turns squishy the ball in warm soapy water. Here is Seth having his turn. Playing in bubbles, what more can a two-year-old ask for?
After covering the ball with plastic we added the next layer and squished in soapy water again. This was repeated for the remaining four layers.
After this was all nicely worked and squished, we cut into each layer forming the flower. We then rinsed it and set it out to dry.
Here is the final flower stacked.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Introductions in Preschool

I work from lists-many lists. I have just received a large order of Montessori materials and was researching logical orders of introductions, which I placed on a list. I then decided to add some of the other areas to the list. This list would be appropriate to start between 2.5 and 4.5 years. It is not going to all make sense, but for those familiar with the Montessori materials, and some Waldorf materials they may understand it. About one new item is introduced a day. After the item/lesson is introduced it is left out for the child to work on as he pleases. When items are no longer appropriate for the boys they are removed from the preschool cupboards, to be reintroduced later as is, with variations or not at all. Without further ado, here is my list-

Knobbed cylinders
Stacking blocks (pink tower)
Color box 1
“Los Pollitos,” “Lavender’s Blue” 1-3, “Knives and Forks” handrhyme
Art Folders 1-1

Cuisenaire Rods staircase
Tactile boards match-gradation

Fabric Box 1
Storytelling with props
Matching seeds
Baking Bread
Baby to Mother animals matching
Poetry memorization 1
Mozart Mouse 1 Music time

Japanese Painting Board
Pour beans
Geometric shapes
Mozart Mouse 1 Music time
Water Color Painting with yellow and story
Geometric insets
Art Folders 1-2

Nuts and Bolts
Music with parachute etc.
Sorting bears by color
Pouring rice
Classify shells

Wet felting
“Cabballito Blanco,” “A Wise Old Owl,” “Skip to My Lou”
Storytelling with props
Magnetic sorting
Spoon beans
Color wheel
Mozart Mouse 1 Music time
Poetry memorization 2
Fabric Box 2
Geometry gradation of sizes
Leaf rubbing
Art Folders 1-3
Sound cylinders
Set up nature table
Mozart Mouse 1 Music time
Sand and paint wooden animal
Folding a napkin
Sorting bears by size
3-part language cards
Poetry memorization 3
String beads
Knobbed cylinders extension
Is it an insect file folder
Storytelling with props

“Arre, caballito,” “The Lion and the Unicorn” “Little Mice”
Watercolor painting with blue and story

Art Folders 2-1
Sound cylinder extension
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
Change nature table
Sorting by size blindfolded
Using a large dropper
Modeling beeswax
Walking the line
Stacking Blocks extension
Color Box 2
“Aserrin, Aserran,” “Good King Arthur,” 2nd version of “Head and Shoulders”
Poetry memorization 4

Using a small dropper
3-part language cards
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
Fabric Box 1 extensions
Art Folders 2-2
Classify quadrilaterals
Carding wool
Linking cubes matched to numbers
Sponge transfer
Setting a table
Color Box 2 memory
Change nature table
“La luna es rednonda,” “Old King Coal,” “Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow.”
Storytelling with props

Pour water
Spindle box
Hand spinning of wool
Color wheel extension

3-part language cards

Overcast stitch on board
Mix colors with dropper
Poetry memorization-5
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
Watercolor painting with red and story
Silence game
Hole punch

Sand Paper numbers
3-part language cards
Art Folders 2-3
“La viejita,” “There Was an Old Woman,” “I Travelled Over Land and Sea”
Storytelling with props
Tokens matched to numbers
Baric Tablets-2 boxes
Running stitch
Coloring with block crayons
Wash chairs
Quanty Graphing
Knobbed cylinders further extensions
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
Using a funnel
Sculpey clay animal
Tactile boards-blindfolded
3-part language cards
“La Mariposa Linda,” “The Queen of Hearts,” “Show Me Your Handwork”
Make Numbers out of pipecleaners and beads, Syrendell
Folding paper
Sandpaper letters
Change nature table
Art Folders 3-1
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
Poetry memorization-6
Sounds cylinders gradation
Fabric box blindfolded
3-part language cards
Wash table

Magnifying images to match
Watercolor painting with yellow and blue and story
Screws and screwdriver
“La arana pequenita,” “Come Out to Play,” “In and Out the Bonnie Bluebells”
Comparant graphing
Flower arranging
Geography sandpaper cards
Storytelling with props
Art Folders 3-2
Smelling cylinders
Mozart Mouse 2 Music time
3-part language cards
Pressure cylinders
Comparant graphing with symbols
Baric Tablets blindfolded

Color box 3 gradation
“Cinco Pollitos,” “Cross Patch,” “Looby Loo”
Polishing coins or metal
Command cards
Mozart Mouse 3 Music time
Watercolor painting with yellow and red and story
Art Folders 3-3
Poetry memorization-7

1-10 in tray, teach odd and even
Knobbed cylinder-memory
Change nature table
Sandpaper letters match beginning sound to words
Baric Tablets extension with 3rd box
Beeswax modeling
Mozart Mouse 3 Music time

Tweezers work
Command Cards 2
Mystery bag
Storytelling with props
Finger knitting
Moveable alphabet
Fraction skittles
“Este chiquito,” “Dance to Your Daddy,” “A Tisket, a Tasket” with dance
Watercolor painting with red and blue and story
Match words to pictures
Hundreds chart-count
Poetry memorization 8
Hundreds chart find numbers
Change nature table
Mozart Mouse 3 Music time
Hundreds chart skip count by 2

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Links of Free Resources

The charter school I work for begins Monday. Some of the students do not have there orders in yet, so I am required to give them options that they can do while waiting for the orders. As part of that I compiled some of my favorite links by subject. I only put in the ones that are free. I thought I would share that here, also, in case others are in the same boat or are just looking for something else.

Free Resources from the Web

Language Arts Books in the public domain More books in the public domain Library of Congress Free audio books Picture ebooks Diagramming sentences

Math Free complete math program this site is predominately math, but also has worksheets for other subject areas Video lessons


Social Studies/History A variety of timelines Studies for political cartoons

Art Films on art

Music Free Piano Music by levels

Foreign Language

Handwork Videos


Complete Curriculums or Eclectic
Complete Curriculum with links to Many books and activities available online free site for free unit studies, lapbooks etc.
A list of books found online and in the public domain found in all subject areas This site offers one new freebie each day that is about anything homeschool related This describes the Great Brain Project that can be adapted to any subject

Religion Coloring pages Upper grade Bible Study

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Running Record

During my early childhood education I was introduced to the idea of a running record. I have really liked this way of recording a child's actions, and have used it periodically since my oldest was born. All you do is follow the child around for five to ten minutes or so and write down everything they do.

Here is one I just did of Seth at 2.5 yrs:

Seth was getting into something, his sister said, “No, no Sethie.” He looks up at her innocently and says, “I Fred.” Then he came in and told me, “I Mom.” I said, “No, I’m Mom.” His response was, “You Seth, I Mom.” So I began to pout and said, “Mommm!” He says, “Yes, sweetie,” in the cutest high-pitched voice. I told him I wanted my nana, “I get it, sweetie. You tired?” He ran off to get his blanket, but soon got distracted by a book. All of the characters in this book have noses. This is very exciting. He points to several noses and says, “a nosey, a nosey, a nosey.” He shouts, “Nose!” in delight. He sees Thomas the Train in a picture and says, “Thomas! Thomas where are you?” He begins commenting on other pictures, “He’s going swimming. Ooo, what shall he do? He hab a train, Thomas. Thomas! Thomas? James, where are you? Come here Thomas. Shoo, shoo, choo.” He looks up at me, “You want a milk? You want to go to sleep?”

The nice thing about these records is they can show how many words the children are using, what their interests are, and how often they move around. It is like a little snapshot in words.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Artist Studies

This term our artist is Casper David Friedrich. He is not someone I had ever heard of before, but I tend to pull my artist from previous years Ambleside recommendations, so that I can glean from the archives, and because we often start school before the current terms works are selected. Over the summer the older two learned cursive, so I used the idea from Queen Homeschool and interweaved artist study with cursive. I had the six paintings printed at Walmart as 8x10’s. I then typed in a cursive font a sentence about the painting or the artist for them to copy each day. I put all of this in a pronged folder. On the first Friday of a painting study the children are asked to do a blind placement sketch of the painting. This is when the children draw as much about the painting as they can remember without looking at it. On the second Thursday and Friday the children are asked to attempt to recreate the painting as best they can with whatever art medium they choose. They may look at it this time.

This was the painting from the first two weeks:

Here is Aubrey's recreation:

Brennen is doing our typical method of study which is to once or twice a week study the painting and then hide it and tell me all he can remember. To this we occasionally add some other form of narration such as sketching, acting out the painting or discussing it. For him it is a short ten minute a week study. He spends two weeks per painting, six paintings by one artist. The older children have done this since the beginning and we love the collection of beautiful paintings that are now familiar friends, which we have gained.

This is the painting we began studying last week and are continuing this week. Brennen's blind narration was, "There's a guy on a rock and there is fog, and mountains. There's two mountains in the fog. It's light and there's a little tiny bit of yellow in the fog."

For the younger children we use the “Childsized Masterpiece” program. This is a Montessori type approach to art study and builds from matching paintings, to recognizing paintings by artist to learning to recognize the different schools of art throughout history. These are kept in folders and worked on as the child desires or as I reintroduce them, so there is no schedule. Even Seth is able to work at the second level with these, which is to match different paintings by the same artist, and differentiate them from paintings by other artists. We work with six pairs at a time as any more does overwhelm him.

Baby Sweater

I have almost finished a sweater for the baby, whom the doctor thinks is a girl=). I still need to pick out and add the buttons. I also made a matching one for Aubrey's doll-it also needs buttons. She will get it for Christmas.