Lessons, Activities & More

At the start of the school year 2009-2010, I sent a letter to my children’s academy teachers. I believe it is important to inform my counterparts, of each kid’s general and specific goals for the year. Below is a copy of a letter I sent my 6th grader’s Montessori educators. To maintain each person’s privacy, I changed their actual names.

 

September 28, 2009

Dear Montessori Teachers,

Thank you for your email. My main focus for Incredible for this year is to challenge his critical thinking skills and improve his technical writing and public speaking. He is a voracious reader with a deep love for learning; he is also athletic and always enjoys a good laugh.

Allow me to share what our family is doing in general for home school activities and projects. Please, if you or other parents have other ideas, do not hesitate to forward the information to us.

The last Mondays and Tuesdays were pretty hectic in our household, since we were in the process of blending the children’s academy classes into our home school system. My children and I agreed on goals and action plan last summer to make this year’s home school more fun for everyone. Like any good plan, we also agreed that should there be a need our action plan may have to be altered.

Like you, our overall goals are to strengthen our children’s Math and Language skills. My husband and I also want them to develop a solid foundation in Science and an appreciation of History and Geography. However, we also do not want them to feel inundated with too much workload. Incredible, along with Cullen and CG has other activities such as Dance, Gymnastics and Karate. Incredible has indicated he wanted to enhance his game of chess. CG want to learn how to play a guitar. Cullen is still developing his interests.

To make room for all these, we use the link we see among different subject areas. We customize any significant connections among different subjects to ease the student’s load and at the same time maximize integration of knowledge. For instance, the reports, summaries and researches they write for Social Studies and Science will be their Language Arts sample work. If Incredible reads the History of Rome, he will complete a table of new words learned (please see attached form) for Language Arts. If he studies the methods of writing for Language Arts, he may prepare a Science paper to apply the writing principles he learned.

One of our home school projects for this year is the analysis of household expenses (grocery bills, mortgage and house maintenance, utilities, clothes, and education and entertainment expenses). This is an opportunity to apply different principles learned in Language Arts, Science and Mathematics to Practical Life. Another year-long project is to study in depth three historical figures, e.g. Abraham Lincoln. Three weeks ago, I asked Incredible and CG to research ten famous and influential historical figures and choose which personality or work they want to study for the next three months.

I have a three year old daughter who has activities during the week, but I will be truly happy to help the class in some capacity. Please consider me if you need any help in preparing materials for the class. Attached is sample forms/materials I devised for vocabulary build up and World Geography.

Thank you again for all that you do for Incredible.

Sincerely,

Incredible’s Mom

 

 

Below are few samples of my children’s academic highlights for the school year 2009 to 2010.  I converted the power point presentations into .wmv format, so these can be directly viewed.

 

 

By 6th grader son:

 

  

Most of the photos my 6th grader used for the above Casa Montessori school project were from Google Image. The snowboarding physics illustration was traced from an actual photo.

 

 

 By 5th grader daughter:

 

This is my 5th grader’s Science Fair project about coral reefs. The original powerpoint presentation had her voice narration.

 

 

 

By  1st grader son:

 

This is my 1st grader’s first exposure to power point presentation. If a six-year-old boy were able to navigate through the complexities of video game consoles, ipod, ipod touch, and the likes, why would I doubt his abilities to learn and handle the intricacy of a power point program? I heard a self-confessed old school parent say she will not let her daughter use a computer because it is dangerous. She fears technology could potentially affect in a negative way her child’s behavior. Although I share the same fear, I maintained that technology has no power to effect change in a person. The electronic medium, the amount of exposure and purpose of use are all dictated by the user. As a home school educator, I decided to make use of the available electronic media as a tool to benefit my children’s education.

 

 We actually raised butterflies when we did the life cycle of the butterfly project for the 2010 Science Fair. We took hours of videos to capture the metamorphosis.

 

 

Understanding the Anatomy of a Flower by our 1st Grader

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