Sunday, September 27, 2009

Faith Filled Days

This is a great resource for inspiration in helping to plan out your liturgical year celebrations.
Check it out!: Faith Filled Days

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Last Saturday of Summer: Farmers Market, Parade, & Urban Farming Harvest Festival

We had a great day yesterday. In the morning we went to the Farmers market and bought apples for our Montessori co-op this week, we also bought flowers so the children could arrange them and put them on our little class altar. We sat on the grass and enjoyed some bluegrass music and tasted some delicious fire baked pizza from an oven brought all the way from Naples Italy!

Later we went to a parade and festival at an art school where my husband teaches. The children enjoyed seeing some old cars turned into garden beds for pumpkins and sunflowers. We even saw a tumbleweed sculpture there. It was pretty cool.

After lunch and naps, we headed out once again for an urban farming harvest festival. We got to enjoy an afternoon hayride underneath clear blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds. It was a lot of fun and later we got to watch a short documentary on our local "farm to table" program. That got the children all worked up about eating the apples we bought at the farmers market earlier that day. It was a really great day, one that we'll surely remember! Thank you Lord Jesus for days like this! The pictures below are snippets from our day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wildflowers and Marbles: Eye Candy and More!

Check out Jen's blog, Wildflowers and Marbles, for a glimpse into her home learning space. Aside from all the eye candy, she also has some wonderful posts about how she stays so organized. I absolutely love reading about organization, especially from other mom's, and love being able to peek into a beautiful learning space such as hers!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My First YouTube Video!

My husband showed me how to make a quick 60 second video and upload it tonight. It was fun, and more simple than I thought. Check it out!

Too much writing?

Here is an example from my 6 year olds daily journal from yesterday. It's a lot of writing and I'm having to help him. My 7 year old is starting to like the daily journal entries and becoming more self motivated. I wonder if this is too much writing though? The NAMC classroom guide I have suggested they keep a daily journal. I asked my friend Mary, who is a teacher, what she thought. I'll share her answer with you once she responds if you are curious.

6 year old:
Thursday, September 3, 2009
8:45-8:50 am
Prayer and Pledge
8:50-8:55 am
8:55-9:00 am
Worked on daily journal
Sat quietly
Presentation of minute sand timer
9:15-9:30 am
Decorated daily journal
9:30-9:32 am
Continued time line activity
9:32-9:35 am
Listened to 3rd day Creation story
9:35-9:52 am
Joined Diego in Bible Timeline cards activity
9:55-10:05 am
Colored pg. 2 in Genesis 1 book
10:05-10:12 am
Worked with Montessori small hexagon box
10:12-10:40 am
Worked with circles from Geometric cabinet.
Matched circles to solid, thick, and thin line cards in order of diameter
10:40-10:45 am
Worked on putting solar system cards in order of distance from the sun
Did matching extension activity.
Practiced reading names of the planets by myself
3-period lesson on recognizing: Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth astronomy cards
3-period lesson on continent globe. Recognized location and name of all 7
11:03-11:05 am
Used continent puzzle map to name continents
11:05-11:20 am
Chose to look at book on North America
Listened to Mami read book on North America. Discussed North America. Decided to check out library book on Greenland.
Worked with phonics 3-part cards
Read HOP book #9 to Mami
Break for lunch and recess

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2nd day of School!

My 6 year old son working with cards of the planets at 10:20 am today

Today was the second day of school for our lower elementary class. For those of you curious, I thought I'd post both my 6 and 7 year old's journal entries today so you can compare how some things are the same and others can vary. We had another short day because of my husbands work schedule. As soon as school starts for the 3-6 class this will get better. I can't complain though! It is a blessing to have my husband's help to watch the little one's in the first place and it is a blessing that in this economy we are still getting business.

Journal entry for my 6 year old:
Wednesday September 2
9:25-9:30 am
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance
9:30-9:40 am
Calendar and days of the week
Continued time line activity
9:45-10:05 am
Listened to creation story from the New Catholic Picture Bible pg.9 and discussed
Used colored pencils to color page 1 in Genesis 1 book
10:20-10:40 am
Worked on putting solar system cards in order of distance from the sun. Want to learn more about the solar system. Decided to check out library book on the sun for further study.
Repeated solar system card activity with matching extension.
10:55-11:10 am
Observed wasp and beetle specimens under magnifying glass.
11:10-11:15 am
Looked at World globe with magnifying glass
11:15-11:20 am
Reviewed 3-period lesson on continent globe. Will continue review of continents tomorrow.
11:20-11:25 am
Worked on daily journal
Clean up and dismissal

Journal entry for my 7 year old:
Wednesday, September 2
9:25-9:30 am
9:30-9:40 am
Calendar and days of the week
9:40-9:45 am
Continued time line activity
9:45-10:05 am
Listened to the story of creation from the New Catholic Picture Bible pg. 9 and discussed
10:05-10:20 am
Read The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
Worked on daily journal alone and then with Mami
Looked at world globe with magnifying glass
Drew and colored picture of God creating the sky for my creation booklet
Cleanup and dismissal

The purpose of these journals is to document what the children are learning and to teach them planning, time management skills, and record keeping. I think these are great practical life skills for the elementary students! At the end of the week, we will go over the journals and set goals for the next week. Soon they will learn that they need to keep a well rounded balance of all the subjects and can plan to dedicate more time to what is needed. Given our time constraints and it being the first couple of days, it is looking pretty good so far. The daily journal is a new activity for them so we are having to adjust. The writing is taking a lot of time right now, but it is also great penmanship and spelling practice. So far, they really like being able to look at the written record of the what they've been learning and doing in the past couple of days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1st Day of School!

7 year old at 10:15 am

Caught! 7 year old was supposed to be outside playing after lunch, and instead I found him reading in the classroom!

Today was our lower elementary first day of school. I've got a 6 and 7 year old in the class.
The children will keep a daily journal documenting their activities throughout the day. Here's a peek into my 6 year old's activities from his journal:
8:45-9:00 am
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance
9:00-9:15 am
Classroom Orientation
9:15-9:25 am
Calendar and talked about time
9:25-9:40 am
Worked on creating a daily time line strip
9:40-10 am
Heard Creation Story and had discussion
10:00 -10:20 am
Drew a picture of darkness and God creating light
10:20-10:35 am
observed bug with magnifying glass
10:35-11:05 am
Practiced phonics
11:05-12:00 pm
Great Adventure Kids bible time line card game
Clean up and break for lunch

My husband works from home and helped to watch our 4, 3, and 17 month old, but had to go out for work in the early afternoon. Because of this, our 1st day was done at noon. On most days, school for the lower elementary children will resume at 1:15 and continue until 3:15. For today, we watched the Padre Pio movie in Spanish with English subtitles. I reminded the children how blessed they are to be able to understand and speak both English and Spanish. Some days it is a struggle to keep the Spanish language alive with them, but we are persevering. The children were really into the movie and my 7 year old said, "It touched his heart".

Our 3 and 4 year old will be starting on September 14th. We'll be hosting a 3-6 homeschooling co-op in our garage, Monday through Friday 8:30am-noon. There will be 5 (possibly 6) children in the 3-6 class and 4 families including mine are participating. I've been really busy with that project and our goal is to start an actual Catholic Montessori school. We're very excited and will most likely be starting a blog to document our on going project. I'll let you know when we get that up and running.