Tag Archives: children

Montessori Constructive Triangles

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Everyone has some sort of illness in this house so not much is being done. However, we managed a couple of activities! Lady P continued with Singapore maths. She’s finding it challenging but I know once she understands the basics, future maths will be easier!

She is currently practicing adding and subtracting using ones and tens. She can do it using her snap cubes but when it comes to writing it down, it can be confusing! But we shall persevere!

Cheeky girl tried the constructive triangles today and enjoyed using them.

I think she enjoyed the hands on maths! She also learned how to add using snap cubes! I was quite pleased for her.

Although we didn’t do much, they seemed to do well with the activities.

Constructive Triangles and The Pink Tower

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Today the girls seemed ready to work! Lady P loves workbooks and actually prefers them to other activities. Read the rest of this entry

My New Curriculum

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I’ve not written in a while because the weather has been beautiful and we’ve been outside a lot.  Lady P and baby S have enjoyed themselves!

As you probably know from my other posts, lady P is a highly active child and I’ve been trying to find things that sustain her interest. I know she’s only 3 but I wanted to find something that works for her.

She loves hands on activities, dressing up, running and numbers. But what I never suspected was her love for workbooks! I never thought she’d sit long enough to do them but I bought a Gold Star maths workbook along with a few others and we started them yesterday. She absolutely could not get enough of them! Today she sat for an hour, happily doing her ‘learning books’, as she calls them. Read the rest of this entry

Why My Children Can’t Sit Still

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Last week, I went to homeschooling group and there was a fellow homeschooler with 3 little boys who were lovely.  They sat there and played quietly and nicely, then went and ran around at the play place for a while, then came back and played nicely.  They were really lovely kids!  Lady P is wonderful and happy and full of life and energy!  I can’t keep up!  But she cannot keep still!  She is fidgety all the time and hates to sit!  All of my homeschooling activities MUST HAVE kinaesthetic activities involved or else she gets bored and says she doesn’t want ‘to do school anymore’.  I have heard from many people who have sons that boys usually can’t keep still and are high energy.  Girls are good at playing quietly…HA

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A Montessori Education

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I never knew what Montessori education was until I had my own children and started reading other people’s blogs about Montessori homeschooling. I must admit, I fell in love. I’m constantly amazed at what children aged 3-6 years old are learning in the Montessori environment without being drilled or expected to memorise useless facts. Montessori is all about teaching children to become independent. It is broken down into different areas of study: Practical, Sensorial, Language, Maths, Science, and Geography (Culture)

Newborn to age 5 is the most ‘absorbent’ time of a child’s life. They are learning constantly! Montessori education breaks things down into a three period lesson. For example, let’s say you want to teach them the concept of tall and short using the red rods.

Period 1: With slow deliberate movements and speech, you say: “This is the tall rod”. “This is the short rod”. Repeat if you feel you need to. This step is where he/she understands a new concept, object or idea.

Period 2: Ask the child, “Can you give me the tall rod?” “Can you give me the short rod?” If they can do this task with no problem, move on to Part 3. This step helps the child to understand the differences at a concrete level (or understanding through the senses).

Period 3: Point to the object and ask, “What is this?” This allows the child to understand the concept at an abstract level thus solidifying his/her knowledge. Go back to Part 2 if they child is struggling to grasp the concept.

It seems like a simple process but I am amazed at how little I do this with my girls! Even though they eventually learn new things, I have found that this process really accelerates learning (Which is why children as young as 3 are learning things like Botany and Division in Montessori schools, and it’s not because they are geniuses). Children want to learn as much as possible. With the right tools, parents can really help their children with difficult and abstract ideas.

Finally there is the period of complete development in which the capacity to perform some operation is permanently acquired. There are, therefore, three periods: a first, subconscious one, when in the confused mind of the child, order produces itself by a mysterious inner impulse from out the midst of disorder, producing as an external result a completed act, which, however, being outside the field of consciousness, cannot be reproduced at will; a second, conscious period, when there is some action on the part of the will which is present during the process of the development and establishing of the acts; and a third period when the will can direct and cause the acts, thus answering the command from someone else. (Dr. Maria Montessori)

Anyone can do three period lessons at home with their own children. I’m not an expert, nor have I been trained as a Montessori teacher, I just enjoy learning about it and sharing what I have learned.

How can I do the three period lesson in my classroom at school?
Part 1: Show the student an example of the new concept you would like them to learn i.e. similes. Repeat a few times to ensure understanding.
Part 2: Ask students to tell you what literary device a particular quote or sentence is displaying. Repeat as necessary. This is the concrete level of learning.
Part 3: Ask students to create their own simile thus using their prior knowledge to recreate an abstract thought.

A Walk In The Park

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Children benefit from daily interaction with nature; this is a proven fact! In today’s modern world, family life has changed. Children watch more television, play more video games and overall, spend more time indoors then they used to, say 50 years ago. We live in an increasingly dangerous world where playing on the streets is a thing of the past. Parents have to work more because of the decaying economical climate and children have to stay in because it isn’t safe anymore. So what can we do as parents?

I must admit, I don’t have enough time to take my girls on adventurous expeditions to beautiful landscapes everyday. But I do have spare moments to take them to the local park. In fact, today we went to the park and ended up spending more time playing in leaves and bushes then actually going on slides and swings. It was a run down area behind the park, with overgrown bushes and forgotten leaf piles, that intrigued my toddler and her little friend. They investigated leaves, picked up sticks, trudged through brambles and laughed with pink cheeks that glowed!

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So what are the benefits of daily time in nature?

Daily exposure to diverse natural settings:

1. Supports the multiple intelligences
Children develop intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually from being allowed the freedom to explore their environment.

2. Supports creativity and problem solving
Children tend to engage in more creative and cooperative play when in green areas.

3. Enhances cognitive abilities
If children are near nature, can see nature or experience nature daily, it can increase their ability to focus and enhance their thinking ability.

4. Improves academic performance
Studies have shown that children who go to ‘green’ schools improve in their overall test scores.

5. Increases children’s physical activity
Children who are exposed to diverse natural settings are more active, are more aware of nutrition are more civil to one another and more creative.

6. Improves nutrition
Children who experience nature regularly are more likely to eat nutritious foods, especially if they are part of the growing process; show higher levels of understanding of nutrition, and are more likely to continue eating healthily throughout their lives.

7. Improves social skills
Children are more likely to have better social skills if allowed the freedom to have unstructured play with others in nature.

8. Improves self-discipline
Access to natural settings enhances children’s peace, self-control and self-discipline.

9. Reduces stress
The colour green is known to be a relaxing and tranquil colour. Children who are exposed to natural settings are calmer and less stressed.

The ultimate goal of every parent is to raise happy, healthy children. Exposure to nature is one way we can help them on their life long journey towards these goals.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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Children’s books are plentiful in bookstores across the nation but which ones do we choose? Usually I pick up a lot of books from second-hand shops or from the local library but this summer, when I went to Canada on holiday, I picked up Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Classic Board Books) written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. This book is amazing and really teaches children their alphabet in a playful way through rhyme and bright pictures. Lady P loves this book and can recite most of the story!

The story is about all the letters of the alphabet who want to race to the top of a coconut tree but ‘Chicka chicka boom boom, will there be enough room?’

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There are several websites that produce activities based on this story. For instance, Making Learning Fun has several activities that are great to use. Lapbooks by Carisa also do lapbooks for this story that you can download for free. I also like to show my girls the discovery video from SchoolTube which retells the story with a catchy tune (but be warned, you WILL hum it constantly!)

Baby S can’t keep still to actually listen to the story but she loves looking at the pictures on her own and likes the video!

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Overall, I think Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is great for teaching the alphabet and getting children interested in reading. Older children will LOVE reading it to younger siblings! A must have for any homeschooling family or anyone who loves reading with their child! Enjoy!