Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A rainy afternoon of creative pursuits

I printed this Mandala here & love the passionate approach Lovely has used! 

He had been really wanting to use texta's for colouring & while I prefer them to use pencils (the texta's are on a higher shelf & they do have to request them) I understood that the intensity of colour (or should I say - lack of it with the pencils we had on offer) was the problem. So, I decided to invest in some great Lyra pencils. Oh, how I wish I had done this sooner! We have Lyra watercolour paints & crayon blocks & these pencils are such a great addition. The colours pack such punch!

Hug drew this during our Montessori work cycle. I recently bought some plastic insets to use until we can get a proper set. Using the Montessori metal insets was one of his favourite activities  at preschool. He used the semi-circle and star shapes & then - obviously! - went off on a tangent... Planet Earth with Australia at the top & then Saturn & Venus down the bottom & a Coconut Palm to finish it all off.

I had printed out patterns for the pattern blocks but they were the wrong size & Lovely took to colouring them instead.

Hug's bunny. Too cute, even if it looks like a squirrel ;) Or maybe a wombat sitting up! He's so into making Easter creations right now.

We hadn't had playdough out in ages. 

A new Mandala from Hug.

Hug's free-drawing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kite festival!

We went along to a kite festival last weekend. It was so beautiful! We sailed our maiden voyage with the pirate ship kite that T brought back from Bali last year. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A fruitful walk ;)

This is the bounty from our walk today! This morning we went past a farm in the neighbourhood overflowing with these huge Gourds ( I think!) with a sign saying "Please take". Why, thank you. Then, on the way home we went past a property that has fruit trees spilling over & chose some perfect Guava's from the grass beneath the tree. I think that the other fruit might be an unripe Persimmon?

The same place also has a tree heavily laden with Durian fruit! In case you haven't come across it before the flesh inside is super sweet & yummy but apparently smells like rotting flesh! Charming! The boys were begging me to go & ask if we could have one (like they'd be willing to try it!!) but there was a gate. And a dog. We have to settle with this photo ;)

EDITED: Thanks to a very observant reader (thanks kweker!) I am now informed that this is a Jackfruit not a Durian! Kweker called it a 'Nangka' which after reading up on wiki seems to be the South Asian name. Actually, after her comment this week I saw a few of these at the farmers market & that's where I realised that it was what we call a Jackfruit.  And... it doesn't smell bad! Hmmmm, maybe we will have to knock & ask to try one now!

Puppy power

The boys poppa breeds dalmatians and there are 12 puppies at the moment!

Now, that is breastfeeding!

Aren't they cute!

Homeschool activities this week

In the afternoon, Hug completed his Homeschool activities. He cleaned his own boots so that they'd be ready for school the next morning. They were really muddy from playing outside with Daddy. We used a bucket of soapy, a scubbing brush & the old-time favourite - a stick!

For his cooking activity Hug made Humous for us to have with lunch!

Garlic, lemon juice, chickpeas, salt, olive oil and Tahini. Puree.


What a difference a week makes!

As you might remember I was quite disillusioned last week! I got some wonderful responses to my post which I took a lot of time to think about & we were away after that so I had almost a week to think more (& if you were someone who left me one I am sorry not to have responded but I was heeding your words). 

Yes, 2 hours is a long time. Too much to jump straight into me thinks now. Got to work up to it. I know that the 'ideal' Montessori work cycle is 3 hours but we will go more slowly. I did have the boys out running about before we started last week & this week we spent about an hour riding bikes before coming in, having a snack and starting... and for whatever reason things just worked more smoothly. No one tried to escape! ;) LOL. We probably worked for 1 hour and 15 minutes together before going off to create morning tea together.

I realised that I need to 'grab' their attention a little more, instead of expecting them to choose something right away. So I need to start with a lesson that they'll like. 

I had just read about the 'Memory Game of Numbers' game (the closet thing I found to link to it is here at My Montessori Journey and it's mentioned here again  by Meg at Sew Liberated who's lesson I am actually following) so we started with this. Basically, you write the numbers 1 through 9 on slips of paper which you then fold up & put in a bowl or drawstring bag.  Each person takes a turn at choosing a number & keeping it secret to themselves. Eg. If Hug draws a 4 he reads it but doesn't tell me what it is but I ask him to go & get that many shells. He returns with 4 shells and puts them aside  with his mystery number and I choose a number & say I'll go & get that many spoons (for example). When all of the numbers had been chosen & items collected we laid them out in order. I would ask "Who has the 3?" or "who has the number that comes next?" etc. until we had everything out. It was a lot of fun! Lovely doesn't recognise the number symbols yet but it's a good introduction of the concept to him & with my help & a few whispers he was able to play with us.

The pattern blocks are popular with both boys. 

I like when it gets 3D :)

Lovely did some 'sewing' with pipe-cleaners and hole-punched shapes. 

Lovely also did some work with our cylinder blocks (not official Montessori ones but they're really nice anyway) and Hug worked with a patterning game before teaching Lovely some finger-game songs. It was sweet :)

What a difference a week makes. If anything this has been a really interesting week for me & I've realised that I want to get organised & really follow through with the correct sequencing of the Montessori work. That's were I'm at now. In lots of ways I  came to realise too that I wasn't challenging Hug enough. He's ready to move on with the Maths work so now I've been creating the Tens & Teens Boards... more on that to come! Here's a teaser from our work today!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Party Labyrinth

My finger labyrinth just got featured on the Crafty Crow :) If you are stopping by from the Crafty Crow please leave a quick comment & say hello! I'd love to 'meet' you :)

I'd been meaning to post these pix but hadn't got around to it and now this is the perfect opportunity. Just a few days after that post we went to a little friends 3rd birthday party & this is what welcomed us on arrival!

A party labyrinth! What a genius way to give yourselves a few extra minutes when you hear your guests have arrived ;)

My 3 favourite boys head on in...

This way.

Lovely carries a birthday rose for his little friend.

Done! What a lovely welcome and a really sweet & really special way to celebrate such a grand occasion as turning 3.

Another creature-friend

This little Praying Mantis was on our daybed cushion one morning! Hi buddy!

What a glorious green :)

I got out the kids Encylopedia of Animals & looked him up. We also grabbed a huge rubber Praying Mantis that we just happened to have in the bath toys. That's him here, not the real fellow.

But this is!

The eager students. 

Homeschool Monday: Ironing and Pizza

Here's what we did for Hug's 'Monday homeschool' activities last week:

Ironing action shot! Hug had never used the iron before so while Lovely was sleeping I set us up together. It had been our family's turn to wash all of the aprons from his classroom so we ironed up a big basket of them. Now, I don't know if I would have thought to 'let' a 5 year old iron but after watching this Montessori video of a boy making breakfast for his family I've been trying to push myself on this front & let the boys actually use the stove, toaster etc. and now the iron! All supervised of course ;) Watch that video. It's very cool.

Our cooking activity was making Pizza's for dinner! I did prep the dough in the bread machine & then each boy kneaded & rolled out their dough. Please excuse the washing basket on the table ;)

Preparing the toppings. Here's Hug seeding the olives. 

Table wiped and toppings are ready to go!  Fetta cheese, Grated cheese, olives, grated zuchini, fresh pineapple, capsicum & tomato.

This is where it really gets fun :)

Our street art

Lovely's Lunch Pal

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Learning on the road

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