Thursday, July 24, 2014

Squishy Circuits

We had a little impromptu lesson on simple circuits today. They have mostly learned about circuits using the snap circuits kit. While they were making the play doh they noticed that we were using sugar, distilled water and lemon juice. These were all things we have never used before when making play doh. This is the first time that we discussed conductors and insulators.


I think this weekend we will make some circuits boards using a light bulb and also one with a buzzer. I know what they will be exploring tomorrow while I am organizing :) I love impromptu lessons!

A Giveaway: Fundamental Needs of Man Chart

One of the beauties of blogging is that it allows you to make virtual connections with people that share the same interest as you. I have enjoyed reading the blog Work And Play, Day by Day immensely. They are having a giveaway for the Fundamental Needs of Man Chart. It is gorgeous and I want it!! By accident they ordered one too many and then instead of returning it back they decided to bless a family with this. To enter click here. While your there I highly suggest that you read through the blog, it is amazing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Preparing Our Learning Space

I am going to try to be as real as possible in my postings and I am expecting the kids to do the same here on this blog. I wanted to share the before photos of what will be our Montessori Maker Space. My goal is that this area is inviting and encourages spontaneous learning that is not dictated by me.


This is our dining room that extends into the living room where if they need floor space it is also available. We aren't limiting ourselves to this area. Our basement area is where a lot of making will happen if it involves messiness and friends. I am going to start with organizing the shelves, then I will add in the new materials that we will be using when school starts, which is probably when I add the new materials on the shelves :) I will decorate as we get comfortable in this space.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our Schooling Resource List

I added a page "Our Schooling Resource List" to the top. Please know that this list is what I will be using to meet public school requirements. There is so much more that I hope to be including into our mix to get the best out of life and these resources that fits the kid's learning styles. We love Projects! It would take me all year to write everything down how we vision our homeschooling year. I also didn't include any links, but I am confident that if you copy and paste the titles into your search bar you will find it. I will definitely link to the resource in the blog post when they first appear as reference. Since this blog is so much more than just about curriculum I didn't want to waste time with just the 5 percent of it.


 We already started our first Arrow and Boomerang subscriptions. Ken is reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and DJ is reading Frindle by Andrew Clements. Nia is reading Popular: A Vintage Guide for the Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. We are officially starting back to "schooling" after Labor Day. I have some obligations that will be keeping me busy in the day, like work :)  a new schedule and it makes no sense to start back while I am figuring out how our schedule will actually be this Fall. Will we school in the morning? Or will we school at night?  We are flexible for sure! DJ and I actually read a chapter of Frindle at 10:00 tonight. It was just natural as it was when I use to read him bedtime stories. Which reminds me that I should be still doing this more often, because that is exactly why he likes to read. Another thing is we all have been falling asleep to classical music, who would of thought? Us? Naw :)  So we shall see where our music lessons will come from.

No lesson planning just material making that I will share if I think it is meaningful or fun. I think I will share my planner though, I am real excited about that. Lesson planning is hard to do when you follow the child, you can't just pencil it in . You have to be ready in observation mode and say "I gotcha this time, I knew where your going with this! ".

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Making it Your Own

The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations - Eli Khamarov

 We help operate a non profit that is operated out of our house, it sounds crazy doesn't it?  The kids help me out a lot, especially when I want to test out an activity that I will be doing. The Marshmallow Catapult will be an activity done in one of our weekly events "Get Unplugged!" it is for ages 6-9 years old.  DJ saw the materials and volunteered for this one. I showed him the pictures from this tutorial, so he could have an idea of how to get it started.                                                             

Now I know you may have seen a Marshmallow Catapult before or heard about it. I just wanted to share our Marshmallow Catapult engineering experience. DJ's catapult kept falling apart and finally he asked can I do this another way. He went and got some tape and the catapult was working to his liking. We have concluded that no two catapults will be just alike! I think our friends who attend  "Get Unplugged!" will totally agree with us. 

We are going to make some targets too, hopefully this will decrease the amount of marshmallow eating :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Project Talk: Chinese Water Dragon Tank

I have been getting better using the saw. It was kind of scary and fun at the same time! I now know how to cut straight lines. I have been helping my mom with projects too. Today I get to go get some more materials for my Chinese Water Dragon's tank.


My Chinese Water Dragon doesn't have a name yet. As soon as I decide on the name I will share it with you.                                                                       

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How Lip Balm Is Made

I really love experiments that makes us aware of our chemical senses. My two Making obsessions right now are making Do It Yourself Kits and Hands On Learning Kits. I put together a lip balm making activity to find out if it would be worth it to make a  boxed DIY Lip Balm Kit. I set this activity up for children who were between the ages of 6- 16, and they all enjoyed it for hours. I simply put the materials out on the table, and asked  if anyone wanted to make lip balm, they said  "Yes" and then I told them "Great- the stuff to make it is on the table".  Yes, it would of been easier to just give the kids the directions on How to Make Lip Balm, but I aim to involve discovery in our experiments.


They measured, read the labels on the ingredients, sniffed a lot, licked their lips, and made a whole lot of concoctions! When it was all done and over they knew how to make lip balm,, their way and that was the point. Success!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet the Montessori Makers



Hi! My name is Donovan, but I like to be called DJ. I am 10 years old and I love animals. I consider myself an Herpetologist, even though I haven't attended college or high school for that matter. My favorite sport is TaeKwonDo. My favorite food is any kind of noodles. My favorite thing to learn about is Zoology. My current project is building a bigger tank for my Chinese Water Dragon. My favorite tool is the Saw. My favorite Montessori material is the Checkerboard. What you may want to know about me is that I often don't finish my projects before I start another one. I like to take my time and while I am thinking I think of another project and start it so I won't forget about it.


Greetings! My name is Kennede, but you can call me Ken. I am 13 years old. I like learning about Physics. My favorite Montessori material is the Binomial Cube. I absolutely love Duct Tape! I also like acting and making YouTube videos. My current project is building a Model Car that was inspired by a recent outing to the Michigan Historical Museum. I am also researching more about Go Cart Racing. What I love most about being a Maker is that my projects allow me to express myself.


Hola! My name is Nia. I am 16 years old. My favorite subjects are History and Language Arts. I am very interested in learning other languages and about other cultures, so that's what I spend a lot of my time doing. My favorite Montessori materials are the Continent Boxes. The Continent Boxes are packed with objects, pictures, and facts about the specific continent. My favorite tool is a pen because I love to write! My current project is making jewelry. I always journal my ideas and designs before I start making, sometimes this process may take several days to do.




Thank you for visiting us! This is a family friendly blog where we hope you will find a whole lot of Montessori inspiration as well as encouragement and ideas for Makers. I homeschool two of my children ages 13 and 10. My oldest is 16 years old and attends high school.  My children will also write post on this blog so this should be a lot of fun. Enjoy and thank you again for stopping by!