Lucie has been getting into more purposeful practical life. I made finger dusters with leftover fleece laying around and she loves to put them on and dust things. I also am working on setting up our basement bathroom for a full purpose practical life center, to keep the school areas neat and tidy and practice our skills. I think, having moved everything downstairs, the kids feel more ownership. Or maybe I'm just projecting, but it seems that way.
Logan continues to use his right hand to use a pencil and hold a fork and his left hand for everything else. I actually decided to stop all language work with the sandpaper letters and see what happens. I don't want to inadvertently force him into the hand that isn't most natural for him. He loves the floor table I picked up at a thrift store for just-his-size workspace.
Kylee is reading very well these days. We continue to work on spelling rules and have started functions of words. Just the basics at this point, but she is always wanting to know why Aidan has more word types to choose from for his sentences than she does. This will be a fun area of study for her next year.
All of the kids finished up our study of the parts of a biome with the study of plants. Technically we didn't cover animals this spring, but we did this fall in the more traditional Montessori way (rather than the Waseca way we used for the other parts of the biome). In the fall, we will jump right into the specific types of biomes and more detailed areas of study relating to that.
Aidan and I created a flannel board work for the photosynthesis process. He designed most of the materials, and I created some command cards to match. The material is pretty straight forward (the circle die cut sped us up a lot) and I uploaded a copy of my photosynthesis command cards to Google Docs for anyone who is interested. I didn't level them by difficulty in the document and they aren't really in any specific order. Also for some reason, my printer had a hard time with some of the equations and I had to hand write them in before laminating...hopefully that won't happen to you.
Aidan also composed this nice little piece on the process of photosynthesis. (It was actually formatted, but copying from Pages is giving me trouble.) Tim's "official" evaluation is that it's a "nice understanding for a fourth grade level." Ever the science guy that one. This wasn't really about the science for me, it was about how MUCH Aidan's writing has improved this year. Absolutely amazing honestly.
We breathe out carbon dioxide (2 parts oxygen 1 part carbon). In a plant there are water molecules (1 part oxygen 2 parts hydrogen). These water molecules attract the carbon from carbon dioxide. The plant produces oxygen and glucose. This is the process of photosynthesis. Now the air is oxygen. We can breathe oxygen. The glucose molecule is what you get from photosynthesis. Glucose is energy. We need energy to live. Glucose is 12 parts hydrogen, 6 parts carbon, and 6 parts oxygen. We have to eat plants or animals that eat plants to get energy.
I am leaving the weekend for the Minnesota Catholic Home Educator's Conference. I don't know if I will have another schoolerish post for you before summer, but maybe one more! We shall see. In any case, I'm sure I will be back with other adventures to share....along with my own crazy ramblings.