Lady P has been asking to sew for a while now so I finally decided to teach her a bit on the sewing machine. I helped her cut out fabric to make a pillow then she sewed the sides herself and turned the fabric right side out. She stuffed her pillow then hand sewed the opening closed. She was so proud of herself and always sleeps with her little pillow.
This week has been a blur! I’ve been visiting my mum and dad in Canada with Little Man and the girls have been home with daddy!
The home education officer came for the first time and it went really well! So we are pleased about that!
Lady P and Cheeky Girl have been busy doing all sorts of exciting things. They’ve been flying kites! The weather has been wonderfully warm so they’ve been outside a lot!
I am creating an Autumn unit in my head, and doing activities with my girls focussing on the Fall season. (I say, in my head, because I am so disorganised and can’t seem to follow a routine).
My two youngest were sick at home with daddy while Lady P and I went for a stroll. We picked up leaves and brought them home. I drew an outline of a hedgehog on their paper and Lady P cut hers out while I helped Cheeky Girl. Then they glued down leaves for the hedgehog prickles. The result was lovely! The fall leaves are bright and beautiful.
I ordered a free Toucan Box promotional petite craft box for Lady P and I was a bit judgmental at first. I thought it wasn’t very inspiring but was pleasantly surprised at how much my girls enjoyed the project. They had to create an old pirate map and a parrot. The small pack included everything I needed (including a teabag to make the map look old) and we did our project!
Afterwards, Lady P wanted to continue with the fun so we made hooks for our hands (an extension activity it recommends) and I hid treasure in the house for them to find! It was a nice little project! I’d continue to get them but I’m still deciding if I want to spend the money each month!
I finally finished my moveable alphabet and I am super happy with the results!
I love Montessori manipulatives. They are so beautiful but so expensive! I especially wanted a moveable alphabet because I think it really helps children to understand how words are made: patterns, letter combinations etc. A small moveable alphabet costs about £27 (not including shipping or the storage box) from Absorbant Minds but I really don’t want to spend that kind of money!
Sorry I’ve been away for a while! I’ve just gone back to work after maternity leave and I have felt exhausted after work, children etc. I’ve only felt like vegetating after the girls go to sleep!
Anyway, in my year 8 history class, I have been working on the Titanic topic with a student I work one-to-one with. He has a few learning difficulties (severe dyslexia and dyspraxia) and I felt lap booking would work really well!
We learned about the Titanic through lots of discussion together. He did his own research at home and we created mini books on different topics (the band, first class vs third class, why the body count and passenger list was not accurate, statistics etc). Then we created a model of the Titanic using paper mâché. Here is a step by step photo log of what we did!
So I have come to the realisation that Montessori supplies are amazing but so expensive! I love the Language material and decided to create my own sandpaper letters for a quarter of the price! I’m sure many of you are happy about this!
26 squares of wood, mounting board or something equivalent (if you use mounting board, prime it with gesso to prevent the board from warping when you paint it)
Tester pots of paint (pink for consonants and blue for vowels)
Alphabet template (d’nealian template)
Matte mod podge to seal and protect the letters
1. Print the template off and glue onto the back of your sandpaper. The link I have given you is great because the template is already backwards so you can just stick it on as is.
2. Cut out each letter individually so you can glue them onto your wood pieces. Use a craft knife for the centres of letters.
4. Cut your wood to the desired size (I just made all of mine the same size; though the suggestion is to make certain letter boards bigger to accommodate letters such as t, f, h etc. Paint 5 boards blue and the rest pink. I used tester pots (one of each colour: £1 each)
5. Stick the sandpaper letters onto the boards using pva glue or wood glue. Then coat with matte mod podge which is a sealer and will prevent the sandpaper from wearing off. Voila! The finished product!
If I can make them, anyone can!
So what can you do with sandpaper letters? Well it’s a great way to teach letters to your toddler using the sense of touch. Use three period lessons to teach her the sounds of the letters. You could make a matching game using a moveable alphabet. You could match objects to the beginning sound they make. You could use them to spell short phonetic words! The list is endless! There are loads of pre-reading lesson ideas online to choose from!
I hope you enjoy!
So, you want to teach your child the basics of counting from 1-10? My research led me to Montessori counting sticks. I made mine for about £7 in total. I bought the wood from B&Q for about £5 and I bought tester pots of paint ( you only need one of each colour) for £1 each.
I used a jigsaw to cut the wood. The smallest length is 10 cm, then 20 cm and so on, until you reach 100 cm. There should be 10 lengths in total.
Next, I used masking tape to mark off the exact lengths of each colour in 10 cm increments! I started painting with red as each stick starts with red!
This is what they should look like once the tape is pulled off. You can choose to keep them like this or paint the rest blue to keep with the Montessori colours.
I chose to paint them with blue as well, so when the red dried completely, I taped off what I wanted to paint and painted the sections blue. Now I need to find some sort of way of making them glossy. Any ideas? Here are the completed counting sticks!
My daughter is a little too young to use them right now (unless I want to rearrange my lamps or destroy any breakables), but I think in the near future, they will initially help her understand the concept of larger and smaller (she can put them in size order); that numbers have meaning (counting using her hand to go up each colour); addition and subtraction of numbers to 10, and understanding one more/less etc. These are a valuable, hands-on way of teaching the foundation of mathematics…Or, you and your loved ones could use them as light sabres! The choice is yours!
My baby S is now 11 weeks old and very alert. She tends to cry if I put her down so infant mobiles have worked really well with her. I decided to make an Octahedron mobile as it is really beautiful and simple to make. It helps with depth perception and aids the visual sense.
Firstly, I found a octahedron template from here. Then I traced the template onto the back of metallic card stock (red, blue and yellow) which I bought from the local craft shop. I cut them out and folded the cutouts and used hot glue to make the octahedrons. I used clear beading string to hang them from a wooden dowel. Voila! You have a very simple, yet beautiful mobile!
Mobiles are a great start to the Montessori method of teaching at home!