Summer Recap

Summer Recap

It’s a little crazy that the summer is basically over. While I thoroughly enjoy the seasonal changes and all that each season brings, since we’ve had kids each season goes by faster and faster. Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? And now the autumnal equinox is next week? Goodness. It was a beautiful summer though despite some unexpected things (isn’t life mostly unexpected things though?)

I’ve started doing an annual yearly recap of our school year. Since we fully embraced year round homeschooling (because we basically did it any way and we are loving the laid back approach!) I thought it would be fun to do a summer recap. Here’s a little look at what we did in our Montessori homeschool preschool this summer.

Practical Life

The summer is such a wonderful time for practical life opportunities outdoors. Gardening, yard work, setting up camp, composting, cleaning, and feeding the birds are practical life activities that both the tot and the preschooler readily chose to participate in. It can be hard to slow down and hold space for littles to participate in these activities with us but it is more than worth it.

Aside from outside work, other off the shelf practical life work frequently chosen includes sweeping, dusting, mopping, squirt bottle + rag, dishes (although a little less than before) and folding clothes.

Shelf work for our toddler included: Velcro dressing frame, zipper dressing frame, posting work, and puzzles.

Shelf work for our four year old included: geoboard, cutting work, sharpening work, hand shredder, turning a bean bag with a spatula, and pre-sowing work (tying knots, lacing dressing frame, buckle dressing frame, bow dressing frame, lacing beads).

Sensorial

This summer we really leaned into the sensorial materials we’ve already been introduced to. I wanted to ensure they were fully explored & mastered. We did advanced activities and explored: pink tower, brown stairs, red rods, geometric solids, the knobbed cylinders and the geometric cabinet.

I had intended to do this alongside of moving through the next sensorial materials on our list, but this proved to be too much at once. If I had it to do over, I would have gone lighter with exploring what we already had on the shelf and moved forward a bit. Mental note for the next kid. 😉

Language

This summer we’ve really been into sound games. I originally had planned to introduce the sandpaper letters this summer as we were at stage three of the sound games (per “Montessori Read and Write”) but decided to wait until after initial and ending sounds are mastered and middle sounds are going well. You an read more about our Early Language Sequence here. We are playing with both beginning sounds and ending sounds right now.

Mathematics

Much of the foundation for math is laid by sensorial work. The only material that precedes the first math material is the red rods. She has both fully explored and mastered the red rods. At the beginning of August she demonstrated that she was understanding quantity through the organic and hands on exploration we have done. I introduced the number rods towards the end of the month. We also had a cute tens board that came with our sunflower unit (see below) and a twenty board that went with our oceans unit. Neither were of much interest past a couple uses but she loved them when initially introduced.

Cultural

I’ve realized that most of the units I do fall into this category. I (quite organically) have fallen into a unit driven cultural curriculum. When I do a unit, I try to pull in all four of the main subject areas: practical life, sensorial, language, and math. This happens for longer units but sometimes a mini unit or study is more zoomed in on 1-2 subjects.

In Montessori, the cultural curriculum encompasses quite a bit: art, dance, music, science, history, and geography. In our home it also includes Bible & foreign language exploration (when there is interest). We have two tiny dancers in our home who love to dance, sing, and move their bodies. We express ourselves freely in these areas throughout our day. The work cycle often starts with art or practical life. Art has overwhelmingly been chosen this summer. Mostly unstructured but our oldest has really enjoyed the art study we have been doing and will sometimes choose to move forward with the next work in the study.

Butterfly Unit

This was such a fun unit and it was of interest for over a month with some works remaining on the shelves until August. Our butterfly garden has been such a fun adventure. The butterflies are drinking it up and so are the girls! Check it out here.

Fourth of July Mini Unit

This was such a cute unit! We used the Fourth of July art study from Green Urban Creative and did a Bible Study on being an ambassador for Christ. We focused on Daniel as an ambassador in Daniel 1. You can see more details about this mini unit here.

Bugs Unit

The Bug Unit was quite popular. It overlapped a bit with some of our butterfly unit. We explored the Usborne’ “Big Book of Bugs”, parts of the ant, dragonfly, ladybug, and butterfly, three part cards from Trillium Montessori, bug matching/puzzle work, and color matching with the 3 part cards and color tablets. We began nature journaling as well and drew some of what we saw on our walks or backyard explorations.

Summer Art Study

We loved our fourth of July mini unit from Green Urban Creative so much that we grabbed their summer bundle. One of the resources in the was a lovely summer art study. It has four paintings to recreate, experience and explore. The Sunflower Unit we did also included an art study (which was awesome because I didn’t’ have o create my own!)Both the tot and the preschooler have enjoyed this.

Camping Mini Unit

I did not plan this unit ahead of time. My oldest had been asking to go camping for a while so we decided to take the girls camping in the backyard for our first camping trip. It was so fun! We did three days of camping themed work. It was really fun to build up the excitement. I got this as a part of a summer mega bundle.

Sunflower Unit

Our plan was to experience the life cycle of the sunflower organically and then have a mini study when they were in full bloom. We planted sunflowers hoping to create a sunflower tent earlier this summer but alas, the deer ate them along with most of our garden. We were able to go on a hike to see the sunflower fields in a state park not far from our home. A neighbor of ours has some lovely sunflowers that we have been admiring on our walks lately as well.

In addition to this we had a sunflower tens board on the shelf, a sunflower art study (oh Van Gogh!), Poetry featuring sunflowers, 3 part cards, the life cycle of the sunflower matching + poster and a research page of info on them. Here’s a look at our Sunflower Unit with resources linked.

Ocean Unit

This was supposed to be a mini unit. While it is not the longest unit we’ve done, it was longer than a couple days. It was hard to keep it as short as I did. Too many fun things! Prior to this unit we had just introduced the continent globe and did a study of the land forms and water formations so we focused on the names of the oceans, ocean creatures, shells (not as of interest as I thought it would be… more for another time!), ocean art, an ocean puzzle, and a mini felt mat of the ocean floor.

Geography

It’s been fun to dive into this piece of the Montessori cultural curriculum. We really were very light prior to this summer in this area so I decided to lean into this piece. We supplemented a bit with Waseca’s Curriculum (free on their website) and we are LOVING it. We did the cosmic nesting boxes, sandpaper globe, land/water/air, land forms, and oceans.

Bible

This summer we studied Joseph, Daniel the ambassador (Daniel 1), Obedience series (Noah, Samuel, and Abraham), did a week and half focus on the five Bible studies from lifeway’s Concrete and Cranes, began studying Moses, and read from her devotional + the Bible. She memorized: Philippians 1:6, Ephesians 6:1, Luke 16:10, I Timothy 4:12, Romans 8:28, and I Timothy 1:7.

Goodness. That was a fun summer living life and learning as we go. When we are intentional, we can fit in so much without overdoing it. Our daily circle time is something the girls really look forward to. Maintaining our rhythm year round has been fun and laid back. It gives us flexibility to take time off when needed and to simply just enjoy life.

Do you homeschool year round?

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