Sunday, September 6, 2015

Last Gasp of Summer

In the last two weeks of August, DJ has been enjoying what will likely be the last of our warm dry weather. We still haven't "officially" started the school year.

But of course that hasn't slowed DJ's thirst for learning. He has been driving me a bit crazy with question like "what color does brown, pink and green make?" These questions made me realize that I had not done the color mixing activities in my Keys of the World Montessori albums. So I went to my computer and found simple templates in the appendix of the Practical Life album, which I printed and laminated.

Using primary colors, red, yellow, blue, and a few Q-tips, we filled in the bubbles. I did the completed circle you see above and DJ filled in the identical second circle.

He enjoyed the paint mixing so much, we moved into the kitchen to do this impromptu food color activity. The goal was meant to be allowing the primary colors to soak up the paper towels into clear water and then mix into a new color. But since we did it so unprepared, we didn't realize it would actually take several hours to soak the colors through so we "cheated" and used the pipette to transfer the colored water. DJ was thrilled nonetheless.

In another day, DJ found this craft from his last Brainy Kit box which focused on North America. He placed the colored Popsicle sticks in the proper order and then glued them together on the back. Once that was a little dry, he turned it over and glued the stars to the blue section. He really enjoys doing simple crafts like this that he can mostly do all by himself with only a little direction from me.

I've written about the Decanomial Square before but I don't think I have stressed how fascinated DJ is with this work. He has asked to do it several times even though laying out all these pieces takes a great deal of focus and care.

As we're building the square, I have him lay the corner square of each color and then I fill in the horizontal row while DJ does the vertical row. As we're placing the pieces I'll say, "Ok, we have the 5 by 5 square, now here is the 5 by 4, then the 5 by 3, where is the 5 by 2, and finally there's the 5 by 1."

Finally in the photo above you can see DJ placing his Bead Stair along the edge of the Decanomial Square.

Another night, DJ talked his dad into helping him build the square. When they were finished, I suggested to his dad to place the Pink Tower on the squares. He had only placed the smallest two when DJ squealed and took over.

I made my version of the Decanomial Square on laminated cardstock. I could have purchased it, but I didn't really understand what it was. It was just the next thing in my Sensorial albums that we hadn't done yet. It seemed tedious to build so I fully expected to show it to DJ and then relegate it to a space on the shelf never to be touched again. But his fascination with the pattern is unmistakable. I am so glad I took the time to do this.

DJ has been fairly consistent in selecting work randomly throughout the summer with no apparent pattern to his choices. Last week, we experienced a severe wind storm that knocked out our power for a total of 43 hours. So what does DJ want to do to candlelight? He selects these Puzzle Pairs from his language shelves. They are 14 pairs of images that go together. The piece he has in his hand shows toothpaste so he's looking for the piece with a toothbrush.

On other days, while I'm enjoying my summer I catch DJ "doing school" even when I'm not involved. At one point he had all of his sandpaper letters out, reading the letter, naming a word that starts with that letter and tracing it. This is more attention to the sandpaper letters than he's ever made when I have suggested it!

I came down from a nap another day and DJ had his place value quilt out. He had laid out the large number cards for 4000, 500, 50 & 7 and he had 5 hundred squares and 7 units on the mat as well. Apparently he had become distracted and never finished but as I was having him put everything away, he insisted on doing the "magic slide" and reading the number 4,557 to me.

And then tonight, out of the blue, he selects a tray from the Botany Cabinet and begins some form of sorting the cards that match the cabinet. This is a work that he had not touched in MONTHS (and a quite expensive one too!). So of course I love any attention he pays to it. I'll have to get over my fear of Botany this year and start working on teaching him the names of the shapes (and learning them myself along the way too.)

We also went on vacation this last week and during a river walk we came across this very domestic flock of ducks. Hi, ducks!

Oh, uh, hi... duck. Did I mention they were very domestic? This one tried cozying up to Uncle Colin.

DJ really liked this slice of an old tree at the local museum.

And lots of quality time was spent with dad too. Vacations are so fun.

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