Thursday, December 1, 2011

Geometric Shapes & Shelf

Out of all of the traditional Montessori work, after the long Division work, the Geometric Shape Insets is my favorite. I used to love working with color pencils as a child, making all the beautiful patterns. I thought the price to buy one would not be in the budget so I didn't give them much thought until I saw this post. Her DIY Geometric shapes were beautiful and I attempted to make some, but I did not have the right cutting tool. My shapes were not geometrical. But you know what, Lil A likes them anyway and it gets the job done. We just won't be creating any exact geometric patterns with it. However, I am satisfied with the way the shelf turned out and guess what? It was super easy, no nailing or screwing, I just used my handy dandy super glue gun!

The man at Lowe's cut a piece of wood into 4 pieces about 5 1/2" width.
The length of mine is 24"
I hot glued wooden square dowels to serve as the ledge.

Africa Continent Box

Our Beloved Aunt S recently went to Zimbabwe & South Africa on a fantastical adventure that included trekking the Kalahari desert, swimming the Zambezi river and almost peeking her head over Victoria Falls. Her husband, Uncle B did in fact peek his head over the edge. She posted the video on facebook, it was Awesome! Note to Self: I must start teaching my Beloveds about God's Magnificent Creations (or the Natural Wonders of the Earth)

Well, Aunt S sent a box of wonderful souvenirs from her travels and I thought this would be a perfect start for our African Continent Box.
Aunt S sent two dolls, a lion, two dollies, currency souvenir, three pencils, three bracelets
two puzzles, and a T-shirt (not pictured). I ordered the African Village sticker book from Amazon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

B is for Brain

Free Download

Our brain is such an important part of our human body, I pray that I did it justice with trying to convey this to my Beloveds. When you have a great brain scientists like Dr. Benjamin Carson for inspiration, it is hard to not get excited about learning about this fascinating organ.
Dr. Benjamin Carson
First neurosurgeon to separate
conjoined twins.

Our local science museum has a nice interactive body exhibit with a huge brain in the middle that shows videos about the function of the brains.

I used file folders and felt to create a brain function puzzle. The colors of each part of the brain were chosen based on the available paper and felt in my home. I did not purchase anything new for this activity. A paper brain and labels is the control card. It can be flipped open to check the child's work. I glued felt to the background so that brain would not slide off and I made felt pockets for the cards. The cards are available free for download. I also share a website at the end where you can download a free paper brain puzzle.

For Lil A we worked on vocabulary and matching the parts of the brain.
A good way to start is to have your child match felt
pieces to the control card.

Lil A did an awesome job of reconstructing the brain.

Z Man and S Man constructed the brain from memory.

Many ways to use the card

More Brain Activities

The plan is to complete the body as we work through
ABC of the Quran, i.e  we will put on her heart
when we do H is for heart.

We also visited Vanderbilt University Brain Exhibit

Noor Janan's Link ups:
Living Montessori Now- Montessori Monday

Noor Janan's Links:
Download Noor Janan's Brain Function cards
Brain hat we used
Ellen Mc Henry's brain hat
Crafty Classroom's brain puzzle.
First Human Body Book
Melissa & Doug Body Puzzle

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why Montessori?

Living Montessori Now, shared two very practical videos in support of Montessori Education. One of the videos asked Why Montessori, which got me thinking about why I Montessori? Will Montessori Education produce the Leaders for the future?

Montessori emphasis on understanding World Geography may also be a great benefit after the release of this youtube video . Montessori incorporates this understanding of Cultural Geography in all aspects of education from Art, Globe study, Morning Circle, Continent Boxes, and even in learning how to write with the Geometry Shape Trays.

If you skipped to 45:00 in the above video she talks about the "most wonderful buildings covered with the most elaborate designs" of "the Islamic people" She also states "You can get them (children) appreciative of other countries, by showing the art of other countries."

The Green Crescent in the Montessori Grammar box
may have been influenced by the another Crescent in the Pakistan flag.

A good friend said "Montessori appeals to the Fitra" or purest state of our soul. This may be true and could be what attracts me. I do want my children to have a beautiful and enlightened soul, hence the name Noor Janan Homeschool.

"Maria Montessori pursued her educational work with a spiritual consciousness verging on mysticism."
Maria Montessori was a devout Roman Catholic, however, she spent 7 years in Muslim/Hindu India/Pakistan during World War 2 where she writes about hearing the adhan call the Muslims to prayer. Some scholars believed this had a profound affect on her writings as she began to talk about the child's soul.
Maria Montessori in a Sari in the 1920's
"Nevertheless, Montessori’s faith was not merely sectarian—it was a transcendental, mystical spirituality, and as such it touched upon core religious teachings at the root of nearly all world traditions."

Susan Stephenson
It was also in India where she developed the Peace Education which is used in her training course today. So is Montessori an education for World Peace? Susan Stephenson seems to think so. I went to Montessori school from ages 6-8 and again in 5th grade. I also was influenced by Montessori in my early childhood years in a Universal Church: I am 99.9% for peace, so maybe.

Whether, you have spiritual, peaceful, academic or creative ambitions for your child, Montessori addresses all of them. I am inspired by this and God Willing can continue on in my pursuits for a Montessori based curriculum.

AsSalaamu Alaikum. May Peace Be Upon You.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Children of the World

I found a real jewel in the library the other day. I wasn't looking for it, in fact, I really didn't want another project. The book was so beautiful, with so many delightful children, it was a project waiting to happen. If I didn't do it, someone else would of have to.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Chart

I loved this Food Chart and at the end of her blog post she writes " You can easily create one of these yourself." and that is exactly what I did, made a Food Chart that represents our family. The core things are the same, I don't like reinventing the wheel. However, there were some things like the sugar, fats, oil category or the particular foods we eat, mostly Organic, that I changed. I also added a water and vitamin check box.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Beginning of the Ancients- 10000 to 3100

I wanted easy timeline cards that I could print and take with us to Chattanooga to work with our Timeline. I remember seeing really cute ones on Satori Smiles. I knew I would have to make some adjustment to the cards like add a few dates that represented more countries than Iraq, Egypt, Greece, & Italy. We all know about Mesopotamia,  Ancient Egypt, the Greeks and Romans, but many of us don't know about Catal Hüyük  for instance. Then it slipped my mind that although, Muslim & Christians have similar beliefs when it comes to God Creation, we have a different view when it comes to when civilization began. I must say the similarities are the most important, we both believe that man started in paradise with Adam, not apes and the world didn't just happened, it was Masterfully Planned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Circles & Stars- Multiplication

Islamic Architecture has beautiful geometrical patterns throughout it. It uplifts the spirits and points to supreme mathematical intelligence of God throughout all creation. Circles & Stars are two geometric shapes that are often repeated.
From Islamic Pattern Website

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

History Time Line and Number Line

I wanted my blessings to study each country thoroughly, so I created a Fundamental of Human Needs Chart for them. However, I still needed a mechanism for my older children: Big A and S Man to understand the history of each country in a chronological order. A traditional paper timeline provides this opportunity, however due to space constraints it is more difficult to compare countries. A manipulative Montessori timeline can be successful at allowing children to see more than one country's history simultaneously. We often learn what was happening in Spain and England separately then what was happening in Nigeria and Costa Rica, although both the latter countries were greatly affected by the former, therefore, it is imperative to see date and events simultaneously. It will not correct history but it should give my Blessings a sense that all people are important, all history is important, and more importantly they will learn the importance of accuracy and upholding the truth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Drawing Letters in the Sand

Sand is such a sensual material, it draws children to its boxes and adults to its shores. No one can escape the satisfying feel of sand between the toes. Yes, there are some mothers who complain about the hassle of washing it out of hair, clothes and car seats. . . but these mothers have lost the memory of the excitement they once knew- of getting that first sand castle to flip out of the bucket intact!

Colored sand adds that much more excitement to the experience. I know how excited I get to see the White Sands of Carmel or San Destin! So when I presented Pink Sand to Lil A to draw the first letter of her name, she could not wait to give it a try. Some stragglers :) came around to give it a try also, Big A was one of the first stragglers, but S Man and Z Man could not resist neither. It's no wonder that these Zen Gardens are popular in adult office spaces.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Costa Rica- World Study

Our current country in North America is Costa Rica.
Our activity was making the beautiful painted Ox-Carts of Costa Rica.
All of our World Study Printables can be found at Montessori-World Study.

*We start our World study by reading books and internet sites about the particular country.
*Then we enter all important information in our North American Passport books with an emphasis on Geography. We also use a dry erase board to reinforce geographical items.
*We use a Montessori inspired printable to study the country based on the Fundamental Needs of Human chart.
*We look at the History of the Country using a Montessori inspired timeline.
Finally we have an activity that is based on the particular country:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Movable Letter Magnets

Movable Letters are a traditional Montessori item used to spell words. Many Spelling/Phonics programs now use a similar version including our curriculum All About Spelling. All About Spelling sells a nice one that includes the blends, diphthongs, etc. I made my own to use with the All About Spelling program and to use with my word cards for ABC of the Quran for Lil A. You are more than welcome to download them here. Most craft magnet strips come with an adhesive back and I have found them to be under $2.00. I cut the magnet to the size I need and stick them on. Putting them on a magnet board is so much easier than storing them in a sectioned craft or tackle box.

Playdough Letters

I want to keep a running view of Lil A's Playdough letters as we complete them, so this blog post is just for that purpose. We use the same printout for the Letter Collage from COAH, we just keep them in a sheet protector in Lil A's ABC record book.

A really yummy recipe for Kool-Aid playdough can be found at Mama Jenn
UPDATE: Chasing Superwoman's recipe is better!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Panama- World Study

Our current country in North America is Panama.
Our activity was recreating the beautiful Mola of the Kuna people.
All of our World Study Printables can be found at Montessori-World Study.

*We start our World study by reading books and internet sites about the particular country.
*Then we enter all important information in our North American Passport books with an emphasis on Geography. We also use a dry erase board to reinforce geographical items.
*We use a Montessori inspired printable to study the country based on the Fundamental Needs of Human chart.
*We look at the History of the Country using a Montessori inspired timeline.
Finally we have an activity that is based on the particular country:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Passport to World Travel

We are traveling the world starting with North America. We are using the Montessori- Fundamental Needs of Humans Chart and 3-part cards to study each country. My children will look at each country to see how they met their fundamental needs in the past and how they currently meet their fundamental need. We will not shy away from talking about how bigger countries encroach on smaller countries ability to meet their fundamental needs. i.e. cutting down rain forests, mining all of their precious natural resources. We are also using a Montessori inspired timeline to look at important historical dates of each country.

Well you can't very well visit a country without a Passport, even when you are World Homeschooled Traveler.  I laminated the cover and left the inserts plain white paper. I glued a picture of my children on each inside cover. Their passport number is our phone number in case it gets lost, maybe some caring person will try to return it to us. They use a skinny marker to outline the country and a colored pencil to color in the country on the North America Map and then they fill in the country's facts.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Math- Expanded Form

Z man is working on Expanded form on the bed. Yes, we homeschool everywhere! Montessori Materials used to have the number cards for free, I think I downloaded mine in 2004 when Big A was a tot. However, now they charge $2.50. I like their number cards they have both the standard and the miniature version. It is just incomplete for the Expanded form exercise we were working on. So I printed a couple of  "+" signs large and small in gold. I laminated it all, and put the small version in a 3-part card folder. Both the folder and the number signs are available for download here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fundamental Needs of Human

Making this Fundamental Needs of Human Chart was a labor of love. I really like the concept that humans have fundamental needs that are the same no matter where you go or what century in time you are in. These fundamental needs do not change due to social, political, or economical status, the only difference is the style or type of the needs. We all need food, but depending on where we live the style or type of food will change. We all need shelter, but the type of shelter will depend on our social, economical, or geographical status. To deny any human one of these fundamental needs is oppressive and inhumane.

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