Sssshhhhhh...... Learning in Progress!

It's been busy around our house, but not so busy on the blog! 

I didn't realize until just now that three weeks went by in a *flash* without a blog post. Never take silence on the blog to mean that nothing is happening - it's just the opposite, actually. Usually, it means that everything seems to be going on, and when life gets busy, the blog is the first thing that seems to take the back burner. 


I thought I would give a little update of what we are doing now, 7 weeks in to the school year. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures. At our busiest times, when pictures would be wonderful to get, I can't stop to take them! I do have a few that I can pull together, though.

Okay.... so a 'few' is relative :)



This little Bug has been the source of a great deal of hair pulling busyness! Where the older three children are doing really well staying busy and moving from one thing to the next now, she is NOT. She still wants to be right beside me, doing something with me, all the time. In fact, she can be interested in doing a work off the shelves, that she has been presented, and knows how to do herself - but will not do it if I am not right there doing it with her. I have tried to explain to her that once she knows how to do something, mama doesn't have to be there to do it all with her, always, and she can choose it any time she wants, to no avail. So normalization is still not in her - she loves what she is doing, as long as I walk through all the steps with her *every time*.


 I am working on encouraging her to work independently as often as possible. We have been using our cards and counters numerals from Montessori Print Shop's Free Downloads along with glass gems for their intended purpose, as well as some early addition.


She has a desire to use the addition board, but I think it stems from seeing Miss Priss moving swiftly through the addition memorization charts, and she wants to do the same. I told her she can't move on from doing this style of addition, however, until she begins to work well on her own whenever she needs to. That may or may not be orthodox Montessori, but I am hoping it will work anyway. I think I will be adding practical life/fine motor/sensorial things as much as possible to try and help improve her concentration and ability to work alone.

We had an unplanned 'wash Mama's truck' night, which led to some yard work and weed pulling. While doing so, we found milkweed vines growing along the side of the house, and had a little fun breaking open the pods and looking up what we found online to read about it a little.


^^^^
 This great, kid safe knife is from Pampered Chef! While the four older children used butter knives, Buddy Boy was able to work well with this one, without me fearing for his cute little fingers!




The pods were still damp when we first opened them up, but within a few minutes they began to dry, which made for quite a bit of mess floating around when we began to clean up! :) It was fun for them to see, though!


Although I know he was completely holding the knife upside down, I loved the great way he had his hands lined up to safely cut something - were the serrated edge to be going down, instead of up, that is..... :)



Miss Priss has enjoyed the extensions that I made for our Brown Tower and Brown Stair - I will have to share the pictures in the next post. I need to protect them with contact paper, but they are still usable right now! 






Hoss has been working diligently on cursive writing. There is apparently a debate on whether cursive writing is important and worthy of teaching in schools anymore - I would say my opinion is a BIG, fat YES! Although I think manuscript is important to start with (if you go anywhere as an adult to sign any kind of legal paperwork, you don't actually have to be able to sign in cursive, but you almost always are required to be able to print), I have seen amazing results out of Little Mama when she learned cursive. While her manuscript itself is so-so on the neat side, she has beautiful cursive and really enjoys it.



I have large cursive writing cards from Abeka that I was given, and he uses those with me for teacher-led lessons on the correct way to write the letters and learning to join them. There are also things on our shelves, such as dry-erase boards, and this set of cursive writing worksheets that I put in a binder inside sheet protectors. He can do these any time he wants. I try to give him a new lesson every 2-3 days.






I have sandpaper letters (lower and upper case) that we borrowed from our little library's homeschool shelves. I had them out in a box, but they weren't garnering much interest. So I pulled together some letter groups, and set a couple of them out on one of our shelves that hold mostly language materials. These pictures are of Buddy Boy doing this work, which he can do with me there to work with him. Miss Priss and Bug also do these, even though Miss Priss really doesn't NEED them - she just likes them. 

What I don't have pictures for:

Little Mama is moving forward on her personal science work, but still does a LOT of reading - so much that she has to be reminded that there are other things to do. She is enjoying reviewing some language work that she has learned before, and has been sneaking in some art with it - as she works through her compound words/synonyms/antonyms/homonyms, etc., she likes to write a story and illustrate it using all the words. This was her own idea, and makes the work so enjoyable to her! I promise, if there was a curriculum that allowed you to do nothing but write stories and draw, her name would be all over it! She is beginning some LARGE multiplication on the checkerboard in the next week or so, and I expect her to pick up on it very quickly. She is working on fractions steadily, and I hope to be able to move to decimal work before too much longer - but I don't want to rush her. I have to observe her very carefully in Math to be sure I don't rush or overwhelm her.

Hoss is just doing amazing with everything - grammar, cursive, working through the multiplication charts and doing some work with the stamp game in subtraction. He finds this very easy, and a LOT of fun - he is very good with numbers. We are behind on a 'Montessori' scope and sequence, but right online with where we need to be for them. I am wanting to begin more writing with him, and am looking for the place to start that I know will set just right with his personality. He is moving well with History, but we haven't done a great deal of Science yet this year. 

Miss Priss is also enjoying Math - she is very quick with addition, and is working through the memorization charts very quickly. I DO NOT have the golden bead materials, although I do have some homemade-style bead bars (not made of beads, but on paper and laminated), so I working on how I want to re-create the golden bead decimal work in order to introduce her to large numbers in a concrete form before we begin working with the stamp game. In the mean time, we can work through addition and subtraction with the beads, boards, and charts. We are still working on reading and she thinks it is great fun to copy words from her reading book onto dry erase boards and work on spelling what she can sound out. 


We have NOT started dong any group Science work yet this year. I know - horrible teacher-mama - but I am still working on it. The kids do really like that Netflix has Magic School Bus episodes, and they don't realize how much they are learning when they think I am just being nice and letting them watch TV during lunch :). History is done mostly by the older two, but we have been enjoying episodes of Liberty's Kids that can be found on Youtube, which are usually followed up by google searches of the particular event or main characters in the story. 

To see what Buddy Boy is up to, you can check the 'Tot School' category at the top of the blog.

I think our year is going great, overall, and hope to see it improve more and more as time goes by!

***I apologize for the lack of links in this post - it was hastily written, and still took me three days to finally post it on the blog! BUSY, BUSY, BUSY has been our life!***

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