Week Twenty

Health and Wellness

Scooping flour.

Rolling cracker dough.  Recipe adapted from Going Crackers by Becky Lee Hirdman (actually the mom of a college friend). Mix 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups shredded cheddar, 3 tbsp water, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 cup quick oats.   You may need to add a couple more tablespoons of water.  Put about a cup of dough onto parchment and cover with waxed paper.  Roll into a thin sheet and remove waxed paper.  Bake 8-12 minutes at 350.  Cut with pizza wheel.   We don’t buy crackers, so these treats disappear quickly.

Trying a new sledding hill.

Daring Ruby surprised us by choosing to go alone, head-first down the steepest, longest part of the hill.  Go Ruby!

At the park some afternoons.

Ruby made some soap balls and was very proud.

Recipe adapted from Beautiful Sun Montessori blog:  Soap Balls (makes 3 small).  Grate 1 bar of soap (pretty much any kind, but the soft milky ones do work best) and add optional ingredients.  Add a tablespoon of water at a time and stir until the mixture sticks together. Shape.  Set on a piece of waxed paper to dry for about a day.  Ruby is working on washing her hands after using the bathroom, and these are a fun incentive.

1/3 C Oatmeal (less is more…it can be abrasive)
1 tsp chopped rosemary or other hardy herbs (we omitted)
3 drops of essential oils (we omitted)
1-2 drops food coloring (we omitted)

Play dough ‘food’ in between block ‘teeth’.  The string served as our floss.

From the Hive blog for dental health ideas.

Scooping beans with a ladle from How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin.

Tracing letter in cornmeal.

Mystery bag:  each took turns choosing an object in the covered box and letting ‘their hand’ tell them what it was (before ‘their eyes’ tell them).

Continue reading more on Maria Montessori and her methods and Montessori Education, and oddly enough we have been applying some of these strategies since Miles was tiny.   Interesting site for curriculum ideas: Montessori for Everyone.

Adding some character development to the mix.  This week’s word is ‘thankful’, and is a printout from Sarah’s Sweeties.

Hooray for Family Swim night!

Snack tray to the rescue.  Lessons punctuated by getting snacks have been a challenge.  We have been using a snack tray on most days of the week.  It gets filled during breakfast prep and is put out mid-morning.  We always have water cups out too, and both have been helping keep us on task for longer periods of time.


Sprouting onion in water and green top carrots (after a trim) placed in water to see if they’ll grow roots or greens or both.

Looking at tracks in our yard and guessing who they belong to.

Yellowstone National Park site for pictures and videos of Old Faithful and geysers, hot springs.  We watched the webcam of Old Faithful.

In continuation of our Volcano lab book (seen on Homeschool Share blog) we reviewed with Weather Wiz Kids volcano section. We sculpted a foil volcano (similar to Homeschool Escapade’s) and added orange icing.  After it set for a while, the outer layer of the icing firmed up, similar to Pahoehoe lava.

Playdough volcano using baking soda and vinegar.


Boston’s Museum of Science for Leonardo da Vinci’ and his work. A Book About Color by Mark Gonyea and created paintings.

Miles made a parachute according to the directions in the book Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson.

Different types of lines.  As we read Texture Featuring Loopi the Fantastic Line by Rob Court, everyone drew Loopi the Line’s friends (Heavy, Dotty, Squiggly, etc.).

Looked at different textures of fruit around the kitchen.

Miles ‘sewing’ on a board and practiced different styles of stitching.

Math and Logic

Ice cube pattern game.  Made blue and red ice cubes and put on separate plates.  Miles and Parker chose from different AB or ABC patterns and completed the pattern on paper.  Then they made the pattern using the ice cubes in the tray.

1+1+1=1 blog for more Lego math.

Grabbed a random box of colorful Legos.  Miles completed the equations (such as yellow bricks minus red bricks).

Then he asked to build something with all the Legos in the box.

Begin Roman Numerals and Ordinals by Kylie Burns and Mr. Putter & Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Rylant that uses ordinal numbers.

Count Me A Rhyme: Animal Poems by the Numbers by Jane Yolen.

Miles adding birthdays of family on our school calendar.

Counting and sorting coins.  Miles used them to ‘buy’ items from our pretend store.

Miles and Parker continue working in their Brainquest workbooks.

Read One Bear Lost by Karen Hayles and Jenny Jones.  We began with ten animals (like the ten bears in the book) and as we read Parker subtracted one and said how many were left.  Then he ‘lost’ one (by throwing it into the other room).

SuperKids time telling worksheet to practice writing the hands on a clock.

Social Studies

Dividing the tortilla dough into equal pieces.  Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Castaneda and Children of Guatemala by Jules Hermes inspired our tortilla activity.

Using tortilla press (which doubles as our playdough press).

Tortilla recipe adapted from an April 2008 High Five Magazine:  Mix 1 1/2 cups white flour, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup water, and 3 tbsp vegetable oil.  Knead until smooth.  Divide into 12 pieces and roll flat.  Cook on skillet until browned.

Looked at  pictures of Guatemala and practiced common words in Spanish (Grandmother, Grandfather, brother, sister, hello…) with help of Wikipedia.

Leap Year discussion and coloring page from Scholastic.

Beautiful Sun Montessori was giving away world landmark cards, so these were printed out and glued to post-its.  This week we talked about Statue of Liberty, Pyramid of Giza, and Sydney Opera House (with help of Wikipedia).

Read The Elephant Quilt by Susan Lowell and African Elephants by Shannon Knudsen and used animal study cards from Montessori for Everyone. Susan Lowell writes that the elephant in this book is figurative, and that “in the 1800s, ‘to see the elephant’ was a popular American expression, which meant to have the thrill, or shock, of a lifetime”.

Language Arts

Ruby ‘twos’ day!  Ruby likes two of lots of things.  If we give her a piece of carrot for example, she’ll usually ask for another to make two.  We traced her feet and hands and drew her eyes and wrote the corresponding sentences ‘I have two hands’.

Relating the parts of a sentence (nouns, verb, adjective) to the parts of a bike. Bikes have parts that work together to make it work.  Sentences have parts (nouns, verbs, etc.) that work together to convey thoughts or give direction. For this activity, Miles chooses a sentence, colors the nouns red, verbs green, and the adjectives brown.  Then we glue them onto paper plates which serve as spokes and mounted them onto skewers so they’d spin.  Parts of a bike graphic from Google search.

More Mad Lib fun.  This time Miles and Parker wrote it with minimal help.

Sippy cups filled with either dried beans, rice, salt, or water.  The boys shook each and matched it to the corresponding word, letting their ears tell them what’s inside.

Miles enjoys reading the DK’s Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.  We noticed some traits of an encyclopedia.

Played the Verb Game (from How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin).  Miles and Parker read the cards I held up and acted out the verb (such as hop, eat, wave, clap, sit).  Then they read complete sentences and acted them out.

Working with homophones and reading Take Care, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas.  Only the title of the book really relates to homophones (knight/night), but it was a good introduction.  We made a game of using these cards (from Beautiful Sun Montessori).  I held the pairs of homophones so they couldn’t see and asked them to describe ‘sun’ and ‘son’.  Then Miles spelled each word.

Superkids site for word of the day in Miles’ small notebook.  This week he’ll write a new word and definition from either this site or dictionary (and we’ll discuss parts of dictionary).  Some words were rural and manufacture, which related to books we read.

Letter box.  In addition to the two wooden letters are picture cards of things that start with a and b (pictures from Beautiful Sun Montessori).  This activity is mainly geared toward Parker to reinforce letter sounds.

Make up a verb game.  Using Old Maid card deck, we took turns choosing a card and making up a verb or ‘action’ word that the character would do.  For example for artist, Miles wrote ‘painted’ or for the baker card he wrote ‘baked’.


We took turns reading pages of Scat Cat! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli at the piano.  As each character in the book told the cat to scat, Miles would move the cat to a different C on the piano.  He also threw in some ‘scat-dat-dee-dooo’s’ when we read the word ‘scat’.  Put the cat on all the C’s.

Roll the dice and play that note.

Play the rhythm (four quarter notes for example), similar to exercise in group music class.  Wrote out cards and all followed on either bass, guitar, drum, or claves.  Later in the week we did this activity using the sensory shakers (recycled sippies containing rice, beans, or salt).

After learning more about Guatemala, we listened to some marimba music on YouTube and All About Mallet Percussion.com and saw some other traditional instruments.

Miles plays various Star Wars and Harry Potter tunes.  He is going to perform Minuet in G minor (J. S. Bach) at his MacPhail group class, and is playing that at least once per day. Parker continues dabbling in various songs using both hand.

We continue listening to both Suzuki book discs in the morning and iTunes classical and Genius mixes.


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