Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Topics and Subject Areas that I need to cover for D

Here is the rough listing of the things that D and I would be working on over the next few months.  Some of these she has covered at school, some at home, some are things that I think she should progress into.

  • cards & counters, odd/even - covered at school as well as at home, but i think too much practice on this one is never a waste.
  • teens & tens board - at home, she would still benefit from practice
  • hundred board - she has been asking for this one for a long time, i finally made a home version for this and she did up to 40 all by herself and got bored after that.  We would be practicing this a lot.
  • addition - we've done some simple stuff using dominoes, beads, etc.  Need to work on the Montessori stuff.
  • chess -  she is very interested in this one.  For now I've taught her the names of the pieces and the placement, we will slowly work on this.
  • snake & ladder - she loves this, this is good counting/addition practice.  One advantage of using dice in playing this is that, she no longer counts the dots to figure out the number on a face, she just knows it by sight!
  • number rods, greater than, less than - I've been making this at home, need to finish it up and use it.
  • decimal system and complex numbers - i don't have the bead materials, i need to budget for it and then buy it.  i love the Montessori stuff on math.
  • step counting - need to start figuring out fun ways to do this, may be not right away.
  • currency - i want to start teaching her about the different coins and notes and play simple shopping games with her, this would in turn help her addition skills also.  There are a lot of great ideas at the Joyful Learner website.
  • clock - she already knows the hour/min/second hand.  Slowly introduce time-telling concept.

I have already  collected miniatures for sound bins.  Just need to get the box for putting the objects.  She already knows all of the beginning sounds, I would be working on identifying the middle and ending sounds also.

She has also started work on the pink materials, she needs lots of practice though.  I also want to get a nice reader set to motivate her and get practicing.

I have the Kumon Lower Case alphabet and Number trace and wipe flash cards.  She loves these.  I got these before getting my printer and laminator, else I would have made these myself.  We would work on these as well as other practise stuff that I come up with from time to time.

We started creating poetry baskets back in December and it has been a huge success.  I got this idea from My Montessori Journey.  We would continue this every month with a new theme.

We are voracious readers and D loves books.  We get a bunch of books from the library every month.  I need to make sure the themes for the non-fiction align with the work I plan on the Science, Geography and Cultural areas.  She is into a lot of fairy tales (pink princess kingdom!) that we own which we read regularly.  I need to start looking for good classical fiction and introduce those to her.


These are the topics that she is already interested in knowing more about and some are what I think she would be interested in - Parts of a plant, life cycle of trees, butterfly/frog life cycle, five senses, human body, living/non-living, plants/animals and food pyramid.   We would move along these and may be add more depending on her interest.

I want to add a live plant and a fish in a tank for study as well as for good practical life activity practice.  Need to buy these.


This is another area of Montessori that I love.  I don't own the globes, nor the puzzles.  D has learnt the continents at school.  I'll decide to purchase or make materials depending on the lesson and the budget I have.  For now, these are all the items I want to focus on in the next few months.
  • continents, oceans, north america
  • land, air, water
  • solar system - I already made some cards and got some planets from the dollar store.  D loves this work!
  • land forms

This is an area that has been lacking in D's school.  We are not Christians, but Hindus.  If you know anything about Hinduism, you would know that there are a ton of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, two major epics and the Vedas.  I need to research and find materials suitable for D's age.

In general I would love for her to learn about the different religions.  I need to do a lot of prep work in this area.


I've been inspired by The Adventures of the Bear blog.  The art works she does with her daughter is amazing.  I love her idea of focusing on an artist per month.  Not only does this inspire creativity but also teaches art appreciation.  I would probably borrow a few books from the library on the artist and plan our work from there.

In addition to this I will also be doing some seasonal art/crafts and general drawing.  I love the book "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brooks.  I will be doing some of the activities from that book too depending on the mood.


Another on of my favourite area.  I've made Red rods and worked with D on this one.  I currently have the paint store samples for color box 3 (she is already well versed with color box 1 and 2), need to assemble this.  I need to make/buy the following:            

  • sound box
  • smelling bottle
  • tasting bottles
  • mystery bag
  • texture matching
I already have created a sensory box for D's exploration.  I had rainbow rice with some pouring/scooping tools previously.  I just changed that and added some rocks/marbles.  My inspiration for this comes from Counting Coconuts.  She is just amazingly creative and so organized!
Playdoh (store bought) is always available.  On most of the blogs I see home-made playdoh.  Is there a specific reason?  On the label our playdoh says that is non-toxic.  Just curious.

I am debating the purchase of the knobbed/knobless cylinders.  For the knobbed version, I've seen some smaller size ones, not sure whether to go with these or the full size pricey one.  I need to also buy the geometric solids.

Practical Life 

Other than the regular life activities and the stuff that she does, I want to focus on the following:
  • pouring, spooning, tonging, tweezing
  • buttoning, snap, zipper, belt buckle, lace shoes
  • peeling and slicing eggs  (she does this daily for snack)
  • make sandwich
  • helping with preparing vegetables/daily cooking
  • folding towels, matching socks
  • hammering, pulling out nails - we have the Ikea set for this one and it is her favorite
  • screws, nuts and bolts
  • lock and keys - another one of her favorites
  • cleaning windows
  • sweeping, dusting

Second Language

D had been learning Spanish at school.  This is has been one her best experiences at school.  She just loves learning new languages.  I need to find a nice program for her and learn along with her!  At this point I want to do this at least once a week.

Third Language

We speak "Tamil" at home other than English.  D speaks well in Tamil much to the delight of her grandparents back home.  I know to read and write very well in Tamil, so I will be teaching her some basics.  Mainly the alphabets, colors, numbers, months, seasons, tastes and plenty of silly songs!


We currently listen to a ton of Indian movie songs!  D loves these.  I am not that familiar with Western classics.  I would love to teach her both Indian as well as Western Classical music.  Just need figure out how!


Some of the other activities that we've already been doing that she enjoys are listed below.  I would be putting together some of these as well for variety and practice.

  • scissor/glue practice
  • sequencing
  • pattern blocks
  • what doesn't belong
  • pattern matching
  • picture matching using the magnifying glass
  • where things come from
  • months of the year, days of the week
  • calendar/seasons
  • traffic signs
  • using push pins to punch out a shape
  • sticker collage
  • lacing shapes
  • puzzles

Physical Activities

Lots of play outdoor depending on the weather or at the local kiddie play place.  D was doing ballet at school, so I need to find a place for her to continue that.  She also wants to do Ice Skating.  I don't want to have too many in a week, so she would have to pick between dance and Ice and Skating.  We would definitely continue her swimming classes in summer.

Whew! Just typing this out this long post has been so tiring!  I just wanted to list all that I had in mind, so that I pick and choose and plan the weekly/monthly activities from this.  Not sure if I have missed anything, but I think I have plenty to choose from.

Just a word of thanks to all the wonderful moms with the wonderful blogs.  You've totally inspired me.  If not for these I would have no clue where to start.  I can't even imagine how parents home-schooled kids before the internet era.  It would have been possible surely, but entirely difficult!  Lucky me!


  1. the best way to teach religion at this age is by starting with festivals as we have tons of festivals too... telling the impotence and the stories behind them. one nice book.. for story time u can include panchatantra tails there are a treasure

  2. Thanks Swapna. The festivals are where I have started for my little D and M. The panchatantra tales are a great idea!


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