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Made for Learning

FCL Co-op: Save on Art and School Supplies

High quality art and school supplies (Lyra, Artemis, Stockmar) at 40% off our regular prices.  There is no need to buy bulk – just what you need.  But you must be a member to participate in the buy and enjoy the savings.


Included in the buy are:

Kite Paper
Main Lesson Books (packs of 10)
Lyra Super Ferby Graphite and Coloured Pencils
Stockmar Crayons
Artemis Plant Coloured Modelling Wax
Stockmar Modelling Wax
Stockmar Watercolour Paints
Blackboard Chalks
Wooden Painting Boards

You must purchase a membership to order from this (or any other) buy.  Membership is good for one year and allows you to order from Members-Only buys at deeply discounted prices.

I’m not online so much anymore, so I’d really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this awesome buy.  I will be loading more buys monthly (or more frequently).

Next up: Yarns and Fibres

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

One of the advantages of homeschooling is that we don’t have to follow convention.  We can follow inspiration in the moment, we can use the world as our classroom, and we can dispense with the wearing of shoes.

This morning, James picked up a tape measure.  William, concerned that it might be a safety issue, came to tell me about it.  I decided that we should work with James’ curiosity about the tape measure. I set them an assignment that would satisfy James’ need to know what the tool is for, and William’s interest in more real-life math.  It was also something to keep them both constructively occupied for a while.

I asked them to measure a fence panel, and a gate, and then to count up the numbers of each.

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

 

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

{Made for Learning} | Barefoot Homeschool

Later, I had William multiply the measurements by the numbers of each.  And we explored some long division when we converted the inches to feet.  An excellent way to spend an hour or so learning – and getting some fresh air.  In bare feet.

Passport to Wonder

 

 

 

 

“I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new”
― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days

Yesterday, the children finished up their unit study of “Around the World in 80 Days”.  The passport books are full and packed away – with fond memories.  We’re looking forward to the next adventure.

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

{Made for Learning} | Around the World in 80 Days Unit Study

 

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”
― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days

 

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{Made for Learning} Time and Money

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Learning how to tell time and to count money is an important milestone in a child’s education. It is as important as learning to dress oneself, to tie one’s shoes. It gives him a particular kind of independence and confidence. And there are other benefits as well. He will learn, gently and naturally, how to skip count (by fives, tens, and more); and about fractions.

 

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Teaching time is a simple as can be.  You’ll need a clock.  You clock can be battery operated (without the batteries) or electric (unplugged).  You can use a broken clock so long as the hands are still moveable, and will stay put when you set the time.  Ours was purchased from a discount department store for under ten dollars.  My only criterion was that the clock be analog and not digital.  This clock is large enough to be read easily, yet small enough to be handled comfortably by small hands.

Explain the parts of the clock, show your child how the hands can be moved with the knob or dial, and – if you’d like – introduce him to “AM” and “PM”.  If your child is, or will be, taking Latin, explaining the origins of those two labels will be a nice introduction and connection.

Next, demonstrate different times by demonstrating to your child how YOU make the different times with the clock, as shown on a series of pre-printed cards (which can be easily created with slips of paper or card and bright markers).  I chose to demonstrate the quarter hours from twelve o’clock.

 

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Let her have a go at moving the hands to get her accustomed to moving the dial – backward and forward:

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Now let her try setting the time from a card:

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Show the different ways in which a particular time might be expressed, including how the same time would look on a digital clock.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

If you are a military family, it might be fun to add expressions for the twenty-four hour clock.  You might even be able to find an analog clock that has twenty-four hours on it (usually printed in tandem to the usual twelve hours).

Now try another…

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Beautifully done!

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Make as many cards, and try as many different times as you are happy doing at one time.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Teaching a child to count money is just as simple.  The only tools you need is a jar of change and possibly some small bills.  We collect loose change from our wallets, and have a quart sized jar filled almost to the rim.

We tipped our jar of loot out into a lined tray. It keeps all of the coins from rolling away, and muffled the rather loud jingle.

 

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

I created labels for each denomination with its common name and its value.  I also made labels to tell how many of each denomination equal one dollar.  I then placed one of each type of coin below its label.  This helps with the sorting activity.

Sorting coins by denomination helps familiarize your child with each type of coin by sight and touch.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Practice creating stacks of ten of each type of coin:

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

One dollar equivalents for each denomination.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Now, have him make equivalent change from each denomination. Place a one dollar bill on the left, with its label. On the right, place the label that tells what the equivalent in coins is. Here, Louis is counting nickels.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Dimes.  With help from Sophie.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Dimes, neatly stacked. Always emphasize tidiness. Subconsciously, this instills a sense of care and good stewardship.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Now some pennies. Stacked neatly in groups of ten. This is sometimes a tedious activity for a child. Help from you, or from another sibling can make it more engaging.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

James is helping here to pick out pennies from the pile. He feels like he is doing something meaningful to help, and he is also learning to distinguish pennies from other coins.

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Ask questions like: “How many stacks of ten pennies do we need to make 100?”,  “How many stacks have you completed?”,  “How many more stack do you need to make?”   These encourage skip counting, addition, and multiplication.  Later, this will help the child relate to simple fractions and decimals.

Sophie counting the stacks of pennies, while James counts single pennies out for her to stack:

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Keep the activity light and fun.  If your child becomes bored or frustrated, gently suggest finishing another day and pick up your tools.  This is an essential skill to learn.  It’s a good idea if they have have memories associated with it.  but that is true of all of childhood, isn’t it?

 

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

Encouraging care and tidiness when putting tools away is pretty important.  This activity is one of those that can easily devovle into chaos, noise, and mess.  “Gently, softly”, and soft praise for their care.

James putting away the coins. Using a jelly funnel makes it easier and less messy:

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

Josie tucks the neatly folded bills into the top of the jar. Learning to help and be neat starts early here. 🙂

{Made for Learning} | Time and Money

 

 

{Made For Learning} A Moveable Alphabet

Moveable Alphabets are one of the most important (and fun-to-use) tools in a Montessori-style schoolroom.  At least, that’s how our family feels about them.  And they are easy and fun to make at home.  Here’s how::

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

Sort your letters - vowels from consonants. If you wish, put half of your "Y" s in each pile.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

Gesso, and two different colours of paint. I chose blue and red because they are more traditionally Montessori style (pink in place of red also works). You choose whichever colours you like.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

Paint each letter with a coat of gesso and allow to dry. The gesso comes right off of the brush with warm, soapy water.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

Paint two coats of coloured paint on each letter. Blue for vowels...

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

... and red for the consonants. Next, apply two coats of varnish. You will need to wait a minimum of one hour between coats.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

A purpose-made or purchased box is best for storage, but something like this little box with a clasp will do for a time. You really do want something that will allow you to keep each letter separate... Like with like. I'll show you how to make a proper storage box in an upcoming tutorial.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

Scrabble™ Tiles also make excellent upper case moveable alphabets – and it’s a great way to recycle!  You can also purchase blank tiles from Etsy – purchase alphabet transfers in the scrapbooking supply section of your craft store.  Simple varnish over the top, or apply a couple of layers of Mod Podge.

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

 

{Made for Learning} | Moveable Alphabet

Your kids will be saying this about you, too. (Thanks, Will!)

Resources:

Cut out wood letters available for just under $12 for each set of upper or lower case letters.  I suggest 1/8″ thick baltic birch letters in Arial, (Garamond and Rockwell are also available) – 2″ tall by 2″ wide. {These are my favourite ones, but more expensive}

Cut wood letters sold in packs of 36 are available at Michael’s crafts (and probably at Hobby Lobby) for about $4/pack.  I bought four packs.

Scrabble letters are available on Etsy, and eBay, and can also be found at neighbourhood yard sales, flea markets, and car boot sales.

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