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Don’t worry, I won’t post every single week what we are doing during homeschool, but I do want to share from time to time the things that my boys have accomplished and what has been working (and not working).
My son put the finishing touches on his salt dough map last week and it is AMAZING! I’m so proud of him. All I did was buy the paint and show him how to dab it onto the salt dough to get into the crevices. He did everything else. I’m hoping we can display it somewhere. Right now it is high up so my 3 year old won’t wage war on it! Salt dough is really easy to make and doesn’t use a lot of ingredients.
In Chemistry my son has been learning more about density. He learned the formula for finding density (d=m/v, or d = g/(cm)3) and has compared density of solid objects to liquids. He has taken it further and explored how the formation of the atoms that make up solids and liquids also affect their densities. He’s gone into the periodic table to find the atomic weights of the atoms as well and compared them to other substances (he used this Elements book by Theodore Gray…you can also get them in cards and there is a book on molecules as well…we LOVE them!). We got a pretty cool balance scale from a garage sale that came with gram weights. It’s come in very handy for this unit! Occasionally we’ve had to be creative because some items have weighed more than the 100g we have, so we used paper clips, since they are close to 1 gram. At one point one item weight a lot more than that, so my son got even more creative and weighed a magnet clip with paper clips to get its weight, then added more magnet clips to equal out the balance.
My son has been on a lava lamp obsession lately. I have no idea where it came from, but he wants one very badly and wanted to learn how to make one. So he found a super easy tutorial on youtube that used stuff we already had and:
We also finished through chapter 7 of The Hobbit so we were able to watch the first movie together! We discussed the differences between the book and movie (why so many?!). He is loving this book so much! There were a couple of times where he laughed so hard he made me read them over and over again.
In math he has been working on adding and subtracting mixed numbers with unlike denominators on Khan Academy and in his work book.
I can’t afford the actual metal inserts from Montessori, but these plastic ones are a great alternative! I love them because they give the child a real sense of how firmly to press on the paper, how to get good lines in different directions, and how to hold the insert down while drawing. We’ll move to the opposite version later once he gets better control using these. He likes the little pencil gripper too! He also worked on tracing lines.
We explored the inside of a pumpkin together, which is always lots of messy fun! He loved putting the pulp on his brother’s hands and watching him squirm! We sorted out the seeds and let them dry before using them for counting and transferring. He’s learned to count to ten, but has no real concept of what it means. So we’ve been working on some number recognition and counting objects. My oldest then drew the face on the pumpkin and helped me carve it out.
We read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin, by Margaret McNamara, a staple for every elementary teacher or homeschooling parent, imo! He let me read the entire thing to him, which is huge. He was sitting at the table doing other things, but he didn’t tell me to put it away, so that is a win!
I also put this pocket chart up to show my little monster the different stages of a pumpkin’s life cycle. He really has no sense of sequence right now, but exposure is a good thing. I am hoping to get some of the seeds to germinate soon so he can see them sprout. My students always LOVED seeing that! I included both the illustrated version (the cards are part of my Pumpkin Science unit that you can find HERE) and the Montessori nomenclature cards (which I got from MontessoriForEveryone).
Continuing on with shapes he started using a geoboard (which he LOVES…I mean, who didn’t love using a geoboard when they were young???) and then we used tongue depressors to make some shapes he was learning. I would do half of the shape and he would finish. This didn’t keep his attention too long, but he started to get the hang of it.
One of the best parts about living in rural Germany is the nature trails. Germans know how to do it right. Walking and biking trails are everywhere and people are always taking advantage. Our village is up in the hills, and our street is the highest street which gives us great views of our village and a few others. Right down the street from us is a trail that goes even higher and straight behind the houses on our street. So we went on a walk to go leaf hunting. We found a lot of colors and had fun exploring. Later while I was out running errands and my husband was watching the boys my youngest decided to cut up all of the leaves into tiny pieces, so we will go back to look for more so we can do graphing, leaf rubbings and identification. But he said he was very diligent in his cutting, so doesn’t bother me a bit!
We are loving it. I am still learning to let go of regimented routines. They just don’t work here at home. For instance, this has been a busy week for us. Two of the days my youngest was at preschool we had to go to appointments, which meant no chemistry or Hobbit for my oldest. So instead he did reading work from ReadWorks, summary writing over current events at DOGO News, coding and more math from Khan Academy. It’s hard for me to let go of a schedule, but I am learning to embrace it. Now, if only I could get potty training to progress, we’d be all good. That’s an entirely different post, though….
Happy Halloween week!