Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On the Shelves - October

Once again, I meant to take a tidy set of pictures to post this month to show what's been on our chelves, and, once again, I find myself with very time left before turning the calendar page and no grand “What’s on the Shelves This Month” post ready to go. Thus, instead of taking some of the precious few moments I have awake without chidlren awake with me, I will simply, once again, record what’s been on the shelves (and all over the floor!) for the past month as the kids continue to explore and enjoy, learning as they go.

Montessori-Inspired Shelves
- Sensorial: Color and Shape Block Sorting – a muffin tin with red, yellow and blue colored labels on the bottom to help sort corresponding cylinder, square, half-circle and triangular blocks
- Religion: Mini-Altar for Home Catechesis
- Religion: Various Bible Stories and Saints Stories with Accompanying Dramatic Play Materials
- Religion: Basket of Home Catechesis Altar Work Materials
- Practical Life: Cleaning Caddy (Spray Bottle, Cloths)
- Language (Pre-Writing)/Mathematics: Basket of Clothespins with Various Extensions throughout the Month
- Language (Phonics): I Spy Books and Cards
- Mathematics: Apple Counting Trees and Crab Apple Counters
- Language/Mathematics: “Big” and “Small” Cards with Large and Small Apple Counters
- Science: Basket of Natural “Treasures” and Magnifying Glass
- Language (Pre-Writing)/Mathematics: Pegged Puzzle
- Language: Visual Discrimination Train Matching Cards
- Mathematics: Construction Theme Floor Puzzle
- Practical Life: A Hammering Activity (that we took outside, as it gets so messy!)

Special Interest Shelves
-Read Alouds: The Little Engine that Could, Down by the Station, Johny Appleseed, various construction picture books and a rotation of Halloween books
-Train Tracks and Trains
-A Melissa and Doug Take-Along Tool Kit
-A Firefighter’s Costume and Accessories
-Little People Firehouse, Vehicles and People, along with Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic Fire Trucks
-A Construction Costume and Accessories
-Drawing and Coloring Items

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Halo for Jesus

“This can be his halo,” Luke proclaimed as he balanced a gold metal lid atop a small crucifix.”

Ah ha! I thought. Improvisation. Ownership. Success. We were in the middle of our first exploration of a homeschool version of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), and I couldn’t have been happier to see Luke so involved.

Only a few minutes later, when the kids’ friend, Francesca, took her turn with the little home altar that was our “work” of the day, she carefully opened the book of Bible stories that Luke had insisted on adding to our materials, and, in the cutest voice, began a reading, “Lord...”

Not long after that, as Francesca’s mom and I chatted, Nina went over to where we had put the altar away and quickly, with huge smiles, set to work putting all the pieces together just so.

What a joy for each of us! The kids each brought their own understanding and interest to the lesson and we moms beamed, thankful to God for helping us provide an opportunity for our children to come to know Him better. Indeed, I offered a silent prayer of thanksgiving and praise. It was with a bit of hesitation that I had jumped into our first “official” CGS-inspired lesson last Wednesday, wondering if I was prepared with sufficient knowledge and materials at hand to make it worthwhile. However, as the lesson unfolded, all uncertainty disappeared. God’s grace took over where my preparation may have lacked. He made perfect my imperfect attempt to finally begin the CGS journey with Luke, Nina and their friend.


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