Monday, October 29, 2012

Great Lesson Charts - Free Download

Here are the charts we used for our great lesson story.  I made these using Google Images for the first two and hand drew the rest using outlines present in the Kathy Zielger albums and browsing online for various pictures.  Not perfect, but gets the job done.  You can click on the links below the images to download the files for your personal use.  These are also available in the downloads page.

As always these are for your use only and not for sale.  If you want to share these, please link back to this post, thank you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Great Lesson: The Beginning

If you had read my original plans for this year, I wasn't keen on doing the Great Lessons this year.  I was going to follow my favorite blogs (here, here and here), see how they do this in their home schools this year, prepare myself and then voila, I would have everything laid out perfectly for the next year! But seems like fate and D (who is going to be six in December) had other plans.  We began the year with out usual primary presentations, but D wasn't satisfied with just what I presented, she was questioning everything.  She was asking me really deep questions of how everything was created starting from herself to planet earth.  We have a collection of "All About" books on a wide range of topics and D was researching on her own based on her interest.  If you've been following my blog, you know that we have completed almost all the primary language presentations.  D can read well and is very keen on writing fluently in cursive.  She is almost done with the HWT 3rd grade cursive book and writes in cursive now whenever she can.  We are progressing steadily in Math, but in Geometry D is ready for more.  So I've had a really hard time keeping up with D this year, hence my really infrequent blog posts.  Meanwhile I won a giveaway and received this book.

This is an amazing introduction to the Big Bang Theory and is the book one of a trilogy.  D got a hold of this book before me and read the entire book cover to cover and asked for more!  Granted I had to explain a few concepts, but she just loved this book.  She has been asking for the rest of the books in this series and I have placed an order for that too!  So finally I gave in and decided to do the first great lesson now when her interest is this high.  She is not six yet and I did not want to present things too soon, but then doing this now also gives us plenty of time to repeat things and we can have a longer elementary cycle!  So here we are a almost the end of October starting our Great Lesson Number one!

D and M patiently waiting for me to begin

Since we had read the above book a couple of times before the lesson, the presentation was very interesting to D and there were a lot of a-ha moments for her!

The next few shots are a close up of the layout.  I have a couple of different free albums and I also used for our story along with a few additions of our own.

The black balloon, lantern, Attraction/Gravity Experiment and a bowl of Salt

Sorry this picture is Right to Left, but here you see our Sun vs Earth chart, globe, Dance of the Elements Chart, Matter Trays.

From L to R, after the Matter Trays is a small bowl with hot milk (crust on top),  Liquids of different weight experiment, home-made volcano and the two Volcano Charts.

As you can see above, I created the Sun Chart and Solar System Chart using google images.  I hand drew the Dance of the Elements, Volcano and the other Chart.  I found another hand drawn version at Discovery Days and Montessori Moments after I had finished these!  I am definitely planning to use her Timeline of Life for the next presentation!  In the mean time if anybody would like a copy of my hand drawn charts let me know, I can upload my charts.

We had an awesome time with the presentation and as with everyone else, the Volcano was the big hit! It has been repeated several times since the presentation which happened on Monday!  D pulled out a few of our books on Earth, Volcanoes and Rocks and started reading through them this week.  I am helping her research specifics and create reports based on what she read.  We've been working on volcanoes this week, but that is for another post!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


D LOVES to write! Our house is littered with little hearts everywhere with love notes written on it!  It is funny how I even found one that said "I love myself"!  On days when there is non stop chaos at our house and I ask everybody to be quiet for a while D often writes out what she wants to say in a letter form and hands it over to me!  So anyways, it was time to work on some capitalization rules.  

We've already learnt to capitalize the beginning of sentences during the course of our All About Spelling lessons.  So we started to work on the other rules. I had read about these ideas on a few elementary albums.  The first is a set of command cards that emphasize proper capitalization of names.  I simply wrote these out on pieces of index cards.  D wrote down the answers using correct capitalization rules in her composition book.

The other fun idea was to combine the capitalization of pronoun "I" with proper names.  To work on this, I wrote down riddles based on familiar nursery rhymes.  The answers were on the back of the index cards.  D loved this!  Again, this idea was taken from one of the elementary albums I have.

I am linking this post up Language Linky @ God who has no hands  and and to Montessori Monday @ Living Montessori Now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Addition Snake Game Extension

Addition Snake Game has been a favorite here for some time.  D loves writing her own long addition problems and solving those with the snake game.  The other day while I was looking through the Karen Tyler's albums I found this cool extension.  She even provides the printable needed for this activity!

This was a big hit and D worked through all of the cards in one sitting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween/Fall themed trays

I don't do themed trays often, but Halloween and Christmas are too good to pass up. So here are some of our Halloween/Fall themed trays.  I prepared them Sunday evening and both the kids loved it!

Threading Halloween Spiders
Pumpkin Tonging

Sifting Bugs

Spooning Ghosts

Googly Eyes Pouring

Fall Leaves Sweeping

Halloween Stamping

Cutting Orange and Black Strips

Making Halloween Candy with pattern blocks

Thursday, October 4, 2012


D attends a Space class for kids taught by a very creative mom at our co-op.  They made this cool project on one of the days.  This has various size beads, pom-poms and glass jewel stones to show the relative size of the planets.  I think this turned out so cool!

They also went outside and planted sticks on the ground to give the children a sense of how far apart the planets are from the sun.  We are fortunate to  belong to such a wonderful co-op!

I am linking this post to

World Space Week 2012 Blog Hop

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Toddler Montessori

M is 2 years and 5 months old and is slowly moving into the primary stage of Montessori. She can already start and work successfully with some of the starter materials like the Pink Tower, Color Box 1 and 2, Power of 2 cube, etc.  I love that she understands that the work trays have to be put away and the mat rolled and put away after every work cycle, most days! I am still working with my 5 year old on that!  My 5 year old needs constant reminders, could be because we started Montessori at home with her only after she turned 5, while M has it since birth.  I just love working with my kids at home and glad that we found and are using Montessori principles for that!

I don't post often about the work that M does.  She in fact works with us everyday, usually by herself.  Some days she will just go in and out of the school room doing her own thing.  She has mostly learned to leave D alone with her work and mind her business!  Here are some pictures of her work on a day from last week.

We love to build the pink tower vertically.

Horizontally, not so much!

We love the power of two cube!

Spooning lentils

Pouring Pasta

Tonging Stones!

Matching Rainforest animals to pictures in the book,  an all time favorite work!

Matching some wild animals using cards I purchased from Montessori Services

Old fashioned hammering.