## Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This is an introduction to a RULER, and new concepts like length, inches and centimeters were also introduced.

We have done measuring activities previously but at that time, my son wasn't really interested and cannot grasp the concept.

But I happily announce that in this activity, he was totally engrossed!  I can't describe the concentration and dedication he showed me whenever I ask him to cut a center length of paper strip or make a worm of  certain length using PlayDoh.

Make sure that your child understands the concept of length (or how long) as you will be using it often in this activity.  Also I recommend that you talk about the ruler first, describing inches and centimeters (this depends on the age of your child).

Here are some of the tools we used that can be easily found inside your house:

• Small and large paper clips.  You can connect them and make your child measure (inches or centimeters) it or the other way around.

• PlayDoh or homemade dough.  I asked him to make a very long "worm" of playdough and cut them into specific lengths.

• You can also use craft sticks.

I also cut different strips of paper and made him match the labels for each strip using a ruler.

Now this time, I made him create the strips according to my instructions.  BUT first, you need to show the child how to use the ruler to measure strips of paper and most importantly TRY TO DEMONSTRATE at first.

Here, I have to keep on reminding him always start at '0'.  I didn't realize it was complicated because he has to adjust the ruler's position from time to time to make the starting point at '0'.

He labeled the strips.

And what more would interest your child than to measure parts of his body!  In our case, we measure his fingers LOL.

Hope this post gives you idea on how to go start learning about lengths and sizes.  My next objective is we'll measure weights.  But I still have to get some materials for this one and I am eyeing this weighing scale.  A wishlist for Christmas!

## Saturday, October 26, 2013

Creating sets by sorting is for me a fundamental basis of virtual mathematics.  A set is basically a collection of objects with distinct properties.  And for kids, we do this mostly with the basic activity of sorting.

Since it's the midterm break, Mavi and I will be doing lots of math activities.  We'll be reviewing basic math concepts using manipulatives for retention :)

First on my list is the concept of "sets".

For toddlers, this is just a sorting activity.  But for a kindergarten, I have to elaborate that it's all about making collections or groups.

WHAT YOU NEED:

• counters and other manipulatives (buttons, bear counters, patterning shapes)
• instead of using a sorting cup or tray, I used colored cardstock

Here's how I set them all up on a table.  I prepared instructions on a strip of paper for him to read and work on.

Each instruction varies, like: "set of seven red objects", "set of three blue buttons", "set of four squares".

And we also revisited our Numbers and Counters :)  My son loves this!

We'll do basic addition and measuring next :)

## Wednesday, October 23, 2013

(Click the image for the link)

Due to some request, I made a copy of my Solar System and Astronomy Cards at Sellfy.  The file is now up!  It is composed of two files:

• Solar System Nomenclature Cards and Definition Booklet
• Space and Astronomy Nomenclature Cards and Definition Booklet
• FREE Planet GUIDE

The file is available for only 1.50USD, so affordable isn't it?!

Grab a copy now!

## Monday, October 21, 2013

We're doing  lots of art work for the past few days as we've been busy with school events (no time to brainstorm for other subjects).  This work is inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's Autumn Leaves.
Georgia O'Keeffe is an American artist.  She is known for her paintings of flowers, leaves, trees and other natural forms.  Her work features enlarged objects from nature and painted as if viewed through a magnifying glass.
So what we did first, was to splash some colors into the art paper using watercolors. Once dry I cut them into different leaf shapes.
We identified the autumn colors and used oil pastels to add textures on the leaves.
This is how it turned out.

Son loved the texturing!  He would explain why he used certain color combinations on one leaf and a different one from the other :)
And finally, I added black paint for the veins and the outline. They turned out lovely and we compared it to the work of O'Keeffe.  He asked if we could do the shell as well, but told him we'll do that in the summer or try other objects around the house as well.  These leaves are so colorful that I'll be putting them in his window.
It would have been nice if it didn't rain for the past days as I plan that we do a nature expedition at first, observing natural objects using a magnifying before we do this activity.  But unfortunately, mother nature did not cooperate.  So if you're on the side of the world where the weather is good, I suggest you this activity first before starting the painting activity.
Happy Monday to all!

## Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Last week we tried looking into the works of Henri Matisse.

I told him that Matisse is an artist from France.  He loves to paint and later on got sick and was confined in bed. And because he loves art so much, he started using his scissors to cut paper to make pictures and paper collages.  He called this technique "painting with scissors".

More of Matisse's biography here.

Making Organic Shapes

Because Matisse uses a lot of organic shapes, first we practice how to create organic shapes.

I realized that it was hard for him to make organic shapes than creating the geometric ones. Though he can identify organic shapes by visualizing leaves, clouds and water splatter he still could not create something 'close' to organic. We'll be practicing more on this :)

Matisse uses bright contrasting colors

Now it's time to put our little skills and knowledge to test.  I took a few art paper for him to cut into rectangle and squares. Then we draw organic shapes on the paper, cut them and place them on the squares (using the contrasting color scheme).

Now this is the activity my son enjoyed.  He loves cutting and gluing!

Well what do you think?

Son loves Artist Study and I will compile the famous works of some artist so I can pile them in album.  So whenever we would do an Artist Study, we'll just skim through the album and select which one we would like to replicate :)

As of the moment, we're doing A LOT of Halloween crafts so we can use them as decor inside the house.  I have a  FREE Nomenclature and Counting cards for you to use this season.  Hope you like it!

## Friday, October 11, 2013

Hello everyone! Since it's the month of Halloween, we're doing a series of Halloween-related activities.  And my son picked the The Human Skeleton first.  We used our Human Skeleton Nomenclature Cards and a model (bought this at a Euro store).

We discuss each parts and its function/s.  Here he talks about his hand bones.

We did the three lesson period and here, he matches the picture cards and the label to the control cards.

Since I have multiple pieces of those skeleton models, I cut out the parts, place them on a card stock and added label.  I read the definition of each part of the skeleton as my son observes them using a magnifying glass :)  Then he assembled the pieces (just like a puzzle) to form the entire human skeleton.

One activity he loved the most is the coloring and labeling of his favorite parts.  He enjoys this kind of activity.  This activity sheet is included in the The Human Skeleton file.

Another version of puzzle is the printed skeleton which I downloaded from here.  I told him he can form the skeleton in any way he wants it, like if he wants the skeleton to run, jump,walk or just stand.  You can also get a much bigger version of this puzzle from here.

This his dancing skeleton.

And his standing skeleton.

We  also talk about the foods that makes our skeleton healthy (he's been eating yogurt, cheese and drinking milk religiously since then).

For visual and animation, we watched this video of Make Me Genius.  It helped a lot in understanding how our skeletal system works.

# Get the Skeleton Montessori Cards here:

## Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Update on how we go about our spelling and reading activities at home.

We are wrapping up Consonant Blends this month.  I've added another set of activity sheets for our Consonant Blends and this is the Trace and Spell version.  If you have been following my blog, I have a version of this for CVC words as well.  Read about it here and here.

The file Consonant Blends Trace and Spell also contains list of words with pictures highlighting the blends' use.  Here we use Melissa and Doug magnetic letters to identify the beginning blends and the ending blends and how they are pronounced.

See how my son works it out.  By mastering the "sound" of the blends, he was able to spell the words perfectly.  He's just confused with 'sc' and 'sk' though, and the use of the double letters like 'll' and 'ss'.

You can purchase the file by clicking the picture below.

Now when it comes to reading, I have no problem with it for he's such a good reader.  He can read complicated words and my explanation to this is that he was exposed to reading early on.  I read books to him before he turned 1 yr old and by so much exposure I guess, he can now easily decode the words.

Since he is now five, I wanted to train him how to understand what he reads.  It's not good enough that he knows how to read.  I think that he should also learn how to understand what he is reading and be able to grasp and absorb the concepts.  I came across this English workbook in a local bookstore and thought that it would be a good material for reading analysis.  I can't say it is the best, but it's good enough to have something like this to practice on.  This worksheet is for 1st graders actually but he likes it and never gets bored as it challenges him.

It has activities on it as well.  He loves working with words :)

For more learning materials, please check Pinay Homeschooler Shop or the FREE Downloads and FREE Learning Materials page.