Fall Recap 2022
I haven’t had much space to blog about our studies this fall (I do share regularly on our Instagram page if you want to follow us there!) so I wanted to pause and do a seasonal recap to give a picture of what we have been studying. In the past, I have just done this for our summer studies and for our Year In Review. BUT since I haven’t blogged about our unit studies or anything this fall, I decided to do a Fall Recap! I don’t know if I will make this a thing but I can see myself at least doing it in this season. It is hard to blog with littles around!
In Montessori, the subject of language covers reading, penmanship, creative writing, copy work/transcribing, spelling, grammar, and read-a-loud. Spelling and copy work are pretty organic for the most part right now. I expect to get into this more further down the sequence. Each of the girls are in very different places in their language work. For simplicity, let’s start with the tot.
- Sound Games (Level 1 – still with two choices)
- Matching Work 1:1 (pictures, colors)
Now onto Little Miss 5. Her work “looks” more like language work than her younger sister’s work. As far as the Montessori Writing Sequence goes, we are through the writing on paper lesson (and have been writing on paper since August?). We have informally (or perhaps organically is a better description) discussed upper and lower letter case but we haven’t done the first Montessori lesson on them. We still have pre-writing activities on the shelf which work to continue to build hand strength and refine penmanship as well. Here are some samples (I may try to take some more pictures and add in some better samples?):
Creative Writing (Creating with Words)
All that I’ve described so far definitely goes under penmanship. In addition to this, Little Miss frequently creates with her words. She writes with with moveable alphabet, as a journal entry (often paired with drawing), labeling her work, or scribing to mom or dad. Here are some samples of her writing:
At the end of the summer, Little Miss was reading back what she had written with the moveable alphabet. Shortly after this I pulled out the language object box and she excitedly took to it (after fighting it and circling back to all the fun things listed here – lots of moveable alphabet work though). Since then, she has mastered this box. We have done small booklets and poems (that are phonetically spelled) but she has mostly been reading single words. She enjoyed reading words I write down, so we did some with each theme (apples, horses, pumpkins, farm) and leaned into the phonemic awareness activities with our pumpkin theme which has some beginning reading activities. Here’s how we used it last year vs. this year. I also made this fun early reading game called, the Big Red Barn I had seen on Instagram or Pinterest. No original source. We also did some small book making with our apple and pumpkin themes that are fun beginning readers. Early December I introduced the second object box (which I ended up adding a couple words to) and activity words. Next up are puzzle words and readers. Read more about the Montessori Reading Progression here. Here’s my original game plan for curating readers. I need to update it because I have gone a slightly different direction I believe.
We sensorially introduced the animals (aka nouns – no naming the nouns as of yet though) and played a bit with them as we made our way through the action words. I believe after we work with puzzle words a bit, we will begin labeling and working with the farm. I need to get a grammar farm mat together… I think. Maybe. We shall see… I can see being a bit more minimal with it and using our imaginations as well.
We read ALOT over here. I always have something different to choose from on the shelf, we do daily Bible Study or Devotional Reading together, and we are reading 1+ chapters a day in our chapter book of choice. This fall, we participated in a book club with our Wild & Free friends. I wont go through ALL the books we read this fall (you can check out some of our rotation on Instagram) but I will list the chapter books we have read together:
- “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain
- The Magic Tree House Books
- “Black Beauty” by Ann Sewell
- C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia Series (we are wrapping up Prince Caspian soon!)
We are going to continue The Chronicles of Narnia Series and then dive into the Little House on the Prairie books as far as chapter books go. We do a TON of picture books and have a selection out for each child in addition to our chapter book we are reading together.
In Montessori, before the math sequence begins (which is typically started around 4/4.5 depending on the child – some are ready sooner!) all math is organically encountered in the environment. Just doing life together! Math is all around us. You count things together, have the child bring you 1 pen, 3 balls, etc. My middle child is very much in this phase (2 year old in our “tot school”). She does love to count and gets more exposure than her sister at this age to the numerical representation of numbers, but I am not giving her lessons specifically nor am I requiring her to work with numbers yet (the later will come later in the sequence).
My oldest (5 – in her 3rd year of Primary) is solidly into the Montessori Math Sequence. This fall she has done:
- Addition with Color Beads and Golden Beads
- Place Value with Golden Beads and Number Cards
- Apple Math (math game with dice; single/ double digit addition and subtraction)
- Greater than/Less than
- Snake Game (making ten)
- Coin Unit (making change and coin recognition focus)
- Hundreds Chain
- Hundreds Board
- Thousands Chain
- Skip Counting By Tens (Hundreds Chain & Dimes – Different Times)
- Addition Strip Board (Math Facts!)
In non-Montessori Language that list means she has done:
- Place Value through Thousands
- Linear Counting 0-1,000
- Addition with four digit numbers
- Subtraction with single and double digit numbers
- Addition Math facts (Started in the Fall)
- Exploring Whole and Parts aka fractions (Tactile, Sensorial, Baking)
- Skip Counting by 10’s to 100.
- Counting by 100’s to 1,000
- Names of Coins
- Making change for $1.00
- Making change for $10 and $5 (with just bills)
- Exploring measurements (ruler and tape measurer)
We will continue working with these works and begin more of the “unit 2” work listed here (bottom of article). A big goal of ours is to ensure we have a handle on math facts before 6 – at least addition and multiplication. I feel like the clock is ticking! We will continue to play and sing until this is internalized.
We are still quite light in this area of work. My oldest has completed the bulk of this section already and my middle child will be starting this in January. The geometric cabinet and geometric shapes got pulled out some. In addition to this, I presented the trinomial cube.
Our cultural work this fall has been predominately seasonally influenced this fall. We have studied: the harvest moon, apples, horses, leaves, pumpkins, wooly worms, and farms. We had reading work, math work, art, book selections, journaling, labeling, and more with each unit (with the exception of wooly worms and leaves – not full blown units). You can check out my Instagram for more examples of each one on the shelves in our homeschool.
My oldest’s Year 3 project falls under the cultural category. She has chosen to “Save the Monarchs”. She has done research, made a plan, tried to harvest local milkweed (fail! We just missed it due to illness and the weather), sketched/drew/painted her presentation, and presented her findings (visually). She will work on starting seeds, finding better homes for the milkweed in our yard (our Butterfly Garden may be too dry – theory she is working with) and becoming an official Monarch Way Station. She hopes to collect her own caterpillars to protect and release throughout the spring and summer.
This was such a great experience for Miss 5. She made flower pounded tea towels, lavender bath salts (from lavender she grew herself and harvested), and baked both banana muffins and pumpkin oatmeal cookies (with the most delicious glaze!). She designed and printed her logos. We collaboratively did market research for pricing and then I gave her some options for pricing. She selected her prices and helped create her sign. And she also chose how to decorate her table. Prior to this, she did her coin unit and a dramatic play with a pumpkin patch set up (that helped practice exchanging money). SO much learning and fun.
Baking Project/Fundraiser for St. Jude’s
The girl’s and I decided to participate in a Baking Challenge for St. Jude’s in the month of December. We cranked out 4 different cookie recipes (which they helped or did depending on mood and ability), bread, cinnamon rolls, and then a pie! FUN! Maybe we did some muffins too? I need to review the pictures (which I will add in when I can!) This was a fun project and we went over our fundraiser goal.
This fall we continued to work our way through “Everything a Child Should Know about God”. We wrapped up our study of the Apostle Paul’s ministry (that we started at the end of September?). We studied the fruits of the spirit and how the Holy Spirit creates this IN us when we abide in Him. We do the Pumpkin Gospel at the end of October every year in our home. We did a thankfulness series in November. In that series we studied God’s provision in the stories of the Israelites in the desert (providing food and water), Abraham & Isaac and the sacrifice God provides, and God providing through Joseph. After that we did a “How to Be” series that focused on the stories of Noah, Jonah, Joseph, and Joshua. Then we dove into the Beatitudes with our yearly Advent focus following. We read through the redemption narrative in the Bible with the Jesus storybook Bible. The we focus on the Nativity story until Christmas.
Memory Verses/Work: Fruits of the Spirit; The Beatitudes, Galatians 5:22-23, Psalm 107:1, Ephesians 3:20, & Luke 2:10-11
This winter I would like to add some logic work, put together some sewing shelves, finish prepping our music work, and lean into cranking out some more bead work. I hope to look back and see that I made space for these things. It is so hard to fit in everything we want to do. We spend quite a bit of time learning outside, hiking, and just being outside as well. Ooh! And we want to dive into our continent studies again. We shall see how it goes. So many fun things to learn and do. Here’s to a fun winter!
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