Beginning Homeschooling for Toddlers 01

Friday, November 28, 2014

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Vito is 12.5months old.
This is Vito’s first adventure in Tot School.  This is my way of journalising his wonder years, capturing his “firsts” and discoveries in the same way that I have documented Mavi’s preschool  years.
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These are the books we’re reading so far for the month of November. 
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2 We started our pincer grasp activities a few weeks ago and you can read about it here or by clicking the picture below. In the picture, Vito is inserting Galt Toys Inc. Fun Buttons through a slot that I've cut from an old plastic container.
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As you can see, we’re using as much ‘red’ in our activities.  This is because were are exploring the colour RED as of the moment. I gathered toys like red LEGO Duplo blocks, shakers, red wooden stacking ring, blocks, pompoms and red bug counters and placed them in a basket.  The card you are seeing is a homemade colour card. 
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Best way to explore the RED colour is by finger painting.  In this case, we used the Giotto Bebe finger-paint, the line of paints for kids that I truly adore.  They are 100% odourless, nontoxic, washable and has this creamy texture (not watery!).  If this brand is not available you can also get Crayola Washable Finger Paints from Amazon US.

Vito loves holding paintbrushes, so instead of giving him crayons to scribble I gave him paints for him to try with his paintbrush.   Vito loves the creamy texture and the vivid colour is so good in the eye!
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I previously made these homemade shakers.  They’re plastic travel bottles, with beads and pastas in them. We shake them to produce sounds, and at times I would sing children’s songs with the shakers.
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The weather has been so glorious lately.  So I took a few leaves and brought them home so Vito can play with them.  He loves holding the petiole and waving the leaf  like a flag.
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Here’s Vito exploring Mavi’s school grounds. He loves it there!  outdoor
Well, that’s it for now! Hope you enjoy the post.  Till the next one!
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Tot School 1Plus1Plus1Equals1

Pincer Grasp Activities for Tot Schoolers

Monday, November 24, 2014

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I am working on a list of fine motor skills that Vito has to practise on.  First on the list is the pincer grasp.

Vito recently turned 1 and I’m starting to introduce him to a routine of activities which include developing of fine motor activities, language (reading books and baby signs), nature exploration and more. 

Now, this post is all about his love of dropping cereals and GeoMags in a container. One of the most important fine motor skills that child should develop early on in life is their PINCER GRASP (picking up small objects using index finger and thumb).  This is a basic skill needed to be able to hold a pen, feed themselves, using scissors, manipulating small objects and more.

It started with the cereals (he eats this every morning) and I gave him an empty water bottle and demonstrated how to drop that cereal in the hole.  He was taken right away.  He started mimicking my actions. A few tries, he failed.  But I find it so amazing for this little fellow to try and try and finally succeed!

So cute, how he opens his mouth as he attempts to drop the cereal.  As you can see, I am holding the bottle at first.

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He grabbed it from me and attempts to hold the bottle in one hand and using his other hand to drop the cereal.  I was amaze that he’s able to control the movement of his hands for their individual task!  Right hand is in control of the bottle, making sure it doesn’t move so he can drop the cereal easily, and the left hand is in control of the cereal as he try to focus dropping it on that small bottle mouth.  And I have to say, good hand and eye coordination practice as well!

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See here, his hands switched roles!  And he can do the job in either hands!

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Oh and here, doing it again the next day :D

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Wow! You can’t imagine how happy I am that he was able to do that! And he was so happy as well, and kept on clapping his hands for his major achievement. He’s hooked whenever he works on this activity.

Then a few days, I tried to challenge him by giving him GeoMags.  Now this one is not as small as the cereals and they are of different shape.  It’s tricky for him as he has to position the magnetic stick to a correct orientation so he can drop it.

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Last material we used is the buttons (from Galt Fun Button).  We these buttons! They’re big enough for little hands to hold.   See in the pictures below how I need to position the tub in different orientation so he can drop it easily.  He cannot do it yet with the tub standing upright.

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I love that he pushed the buttons more!

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More tot school activities in the next few days!

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Water Cycle: Ocean Deep

  • Difference between the salt water and fresh water
  • Discovering the properties of salt water
  • Looking into Oceans, Sea and Lakes

Salt Water vs.. Fresh Water

Majority of the Earth’s water is in the oceans but the water here is not pure.  Ocean water contains components and elements that have been dissolved in the water through time (water eroded the Earth’s surface). 

From here, I started to discussing why water in the ocean is called salty water and those in the lakes are called fresh water.  Note that the term “fresh water” can be misunderstood.  Water in the ocean is not good for humans as it is salty.  Too much salt in our body is not good because the body cannot take it out.  Same thing as water in the lake, though it may be called “fresh” or may look clear, it may still  have something in it that can be dangerous to our body.

Seen below is our “salty” water mixture.  It’s made up of clean warm water, plenty of salt and a blue food colouring for the ocean effect.

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Create a salty water mixture as mentioned above and let them taste the salty water and the freshwater for comparison.

Properties of Salt Water (Ocean)

Around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by seawater (water, salt, and other substances and gases).  Seawater is more dense, meaning if you mix salt and fresh water without mixing, the salt water will stay UNDER the fresh water.  Other amazing facts about sea water includes:

  • Easier to swim in salt water because it helps to keep our bodies higher in the water.
  • It needs more heat to boil and more cold to freeze

To demonstrate this, we conducted a few experiments to see first hand the properties of salt water and fresh water.  Click on the image below to see our experiments!

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Investigating Oceans, Sea and Lakes

Using our printed and painted map, we identified four major ocean bodies:  Indian Ocean, Atlantic ocean, Pacific Ocean and Arctic ocean. 

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Also, we revisited our study of organisms that live in salt water and the fresh water and a refresher of our landforms (an island is part of the Earth, it doesn’t float in the water LOL).

Animals in the freshwater ecosystem: lakes, ponds and streams.freshwater[14] Animals in the marine ecosystem which includes the seashore, temperate and tropical oceans.

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Simple Experiments: Sinker!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Objective:  This experiment was conducted to determine how density affects water movement. 

Sinker!

1.  Prepare your  materials: salt, 200ml of warm water for your salty ocean water and a half filled clear water (representing freshwater).

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2.  Create a mixture of salty water for your ocean.  Make sure that your water is warm enough to dissolve all the salt.  Add more salt until it can no longer be dissolve in your water mixture.  Add food colouring, I used a blue colour to represent the ocean.

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3.  Pour your salty water in the bowl of clear water.

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4.  Observe the bowl from the side as you pour the water (as your helper pour the salty water). 

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As you can see the coloured salty water sinks to the bottom of the container, forming waves under the clear water above it.  The salty water (ocean) is more dense than the clear water it will stay under the clear water.

Floater!

Now another experiment we performed was to test how the water density affects the ability of an object to float.  This case, we prepared another salty water (in a big bowl) and a clear water in a separate bowl.  We used a boiled egg, as our test subject.

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Drop the egg in the bowl of clear water.  It sank into the bottom of the bowl right away.

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Now we tested the same boiled egg in a bowl full of salty water.  Once dropped,  it sank for a second but then it started to float afterwards!! Mavi was in awe!!

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In this case, it easier for humans to swim in the ocean because of the higher density of the salty water helps to keep our bodies higher in water :) 

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FREE Stamp Game Sheets

Friday, November 21, 2014

Like my Stamp Game sheets that were used in our Static Addition and Dynamic Addition activities?  You can get your copy now by clicking the image below. Or by clicking this link.

FREE Stamp Game Sheets
For the first page, I printed it multiple times. Then, I cut it in the middle and created a booklet.  For the second page, we used it to practice writing numbers as seen in my Static Addition post.  And the last page, I randomly wrote a number and Mavi has to indicate the correct number of thousands, hundreds, tens and units.

Colorwheel Flowers

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I came across this project at Deep Sparkle and decided to try this with Mavi.  I love how simple the project is and it uses basic colour combinations.  Since the project involves the colorwheel, Mavi and I revisited our basic art lessons about colours a few years ago. We talked about the primary and the secondary colours and how the are organised in a wheel type figure so we can easily remember the colour combinations.

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Read about colour theory I and colour theory II.collage

Mavi worked on the red, orange, green and yellow combinations, while I painted a blue-violet flower combination.  And here’s how they looked like after we added  black and white paint details.DSC_0784

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The flowers turned out really good and the colours were vibrant! You can see these hanging in Mavi’s room as of the moment.

For the details of the projects, click this link from Deep Sparkle.

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Dynamic Addition

Monday, November 17, 2014

Our dynamic addition starts with a brief discussion of what makes a 10 using a unit (1’s), 100 using 10’s and a 1000 using 100’s.  This is a visual presentation of smaller units that we can group together to form a bigger units.  From here, I told Mavi that whenever he encounters this when he plays Stamp Game, all he needed to do was to “substitute” the group with a bigger value.  DSC_0661

 

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The concept of dynamic addition in Montessori is the same whether you use golden beads, stamp game or bead frame.  Here’s how we do it:

  • [Top left photo] Mavi would take out a strip of paper with a written equation and copies it in our booklet.  [Top left photo]
  • [Top right photo] He would layout all the stamps according to the equation.  Then perform the addition by combining the two sets. See our Static Addition for this.
  • [Lower left photo]  Count the stamps starting from the unit’s place value. He counted 13 units, grouped the 10 units (green) and replaced it with a 10 (blue).  As you can see, he was confused at first he put the 10 (blue) in the units area.  This I emphasized that he has to place it on the correct area in the place value mat.
  • [Top right photo]  He recorded the sum after he worked on the tens and hundreds, applying the same concept of regrouping.

Note:  Mavi has memorized a lot of number pair in addition.  Most of the time he doesn’t use the stamps or beads, he automatically do the addition work.  Sometimes he would start on the thousands going down to the units. I have to explain that he always need to start from the smallest unit.  This is because he will produce an incorrect sum once the equation is dynamic.  That is the number changes (addends) because of the regrouping.  And he understood this somehow when finished a few equation strips.

Well, that’s all for dynamic addition for now.  This is just an introductory to my 6 years old.  We’ll practice more of this next year.