Saturday, July 26, 2014

Seed and Plant Matching

I made this great work tonight. I can't wait to show the girls in the morning! Montessori Print Shop has a number of completely free printables. I downloaded the nomenclature cards for seed and plant matching twice. I mounted them on bright yellow card stock and laminated them. They turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself!

I also used a pattern from Montessori Print Shop, here, for making a folder for my nomenclature cards. I think it turned out great as well. I don't think I'd use it for a classroom because I don't think it would last, but for our home, it's perfect!

Then, for an added task, I found most of the matching seeds (I have a massive number of seeds saved...for what? I'm not sure...). I'm going to place some plain white squares of paper in the tray and have my older daughter create a seed book by writing the names of the plants, drawing the plants and pasting the matching seeds on the page.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DIY Montessori Felt Parts of a Tree

The girls really love them some science! I would love to purchase all of the botany puzzles and cards, but unfortunately as a homeschool family I not only can't afford them, but I also don't really have the space to store the entire set of materials. I decided to make a felt tree to stand in for the parts of a tree puzzle.

The quality of these drawings is pretty low, but I thought someone else might benefit from having the pattern ready to print. Perhaps someday when I have lots of spare time I will make higher quality patterns. I will also try to add other simple patterns as we go along. The pattern can be found here:

Please link to this page!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Montessori Pink Tower

The pink tower is such a classic montessori material that I knew we had to have it for homeschooling. It and the brown stairs were my older daughter's favorite "work" for the better part of a semester and I'm sure her sister will love it too.  We already had a set of the cardboard nesting blocks, and those are great, but they lack the weight and flexibility of the pink tower.

My husband made these for us on a Saturday afternoon. He used a scrap 4x4 that we had left over from building our house. The pink tower is made up of ascending cubes, 1cm x 1cm x 1cm up to 10cm x 10cm x 10cm. He used a combination of the table saw and the mitre saw to cut them to the right size and then sanded them.

The hardest part of this is cutting and sanding the 1 cm and 2 cm blocks. They are so tiny!

Our 'pink' tower is still the natural wood color. I think we will paint it someday, but I really like the way the raw wood looks.

Our next project will be to make the brown stairs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

I have put SO much effort and research into our curriculum choices for kindergarten in the fall. I think I've finally got it all figured out.

History and Reading

We will be using the Build Your Library curriculum for kindergarten. It's a fabulous, inexpensive, literature-based curriculum. I really debated between Bookshark and BYL and decided on BYL for a few reasons:

  1. It is much less expensive, so if I end up not sticking with it I'm not out a bundle.  
  2. My daughter is only four, and the curriculum is a bit less intensive than Bookshark. 
  3. I really like the activities/art/ideas that are presented in the curriculum. Bookshark really didn't have much in the way of "extras" and my daughter absolutely loves her arts and crafts. 

We will be using Artistic Pursuits for our art curriculum. I got a great deal on this from another homeschooler who was finished with the book. My daughter loves art so I wanted to make sure that I picked out something that was very thorough. This curriculum is great, it gives a sort of tour of the various art materials and styles. 


We will be using Singapore Math Essentials for our main mathematics program but we will be using Montessori materials like the golden beads to supplement the text. The Essentials Kindergarten A text is very basic and probably better suited for a three year old. I think we will move through it very quickly and move onto the next one. I will keep updating posts about how we combine montessori and Singapore Math.


We will continue using the Primary Phonics system this year. We finished their K book a few months ago (the consonant book), and we are now starting to use their Level 1 workbook and reading series. My four year old wasn't too excited to begin this work a few months ago so we put it aside. Last week she brought it to me and wanted to try again!  I'm also using the Explode the Code Level 1 workbook from the same publisher. This seems to be a nice bridge between the two primary phonics level. 


The BYL curriculum that we are using has some science, but I will definitely be adding more. I plan on incorporating Montessori science and possibly getting the Singapore Science - My Pals are Here book for even more extras. Science is the most challenging curricula to find for this age group. Most of it really jumps around or is just purely experiment based. I will be posting updates about the materials I put together for our science. 


My daughter is only four and I really don't see handwriting as a necessity yet. She loves to do the Draw, Write, Now! books, so we will stick to those for the year.

And there you have it! Questions/Criticism/Concern always welcome!