Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter Break

I just couldn't keep up with personal stuff, holiday projects, AND homeschooling. So we're on winter break!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wrapping up, moving on

Been quite here on the blog because it's been quiet in the homeschool area. We pretty much exhausted our Australia studies and I decided to wrap up insects. We're just starting to move into space and, after that, to ocean life.

Things have been busy around here, but Nugget is begging to study space. So I've got to get moving and give her some materials....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Australia, insects, and golden beads

I'm really loving how "school" is flowing around here these days. We don't have sit-down time; instead, the materials are out for us to pick up at any time and I have a few topics in mind that I try to emphasize throughout our day. Some days we do nothing, some days we do a lot. But it's so much easier and more enjoyable than what I was trying to do before.

We're slowly moving along the math progression. I put the golden bead material out a few weeks ago, and we worked on terminology for a while. She mixed up "hundred" and "thousand" quite a bit, but when she seemed to have them straight, I brought out the 1, 10, 100, and 1000 number cards. We've worked with those for a few days, but now she's mixing up "hundred" and "thousand" again. So we're going to slow down and I'm going to try to come up with ways to bring those terms up a lot more.

We've spent a couple days on each of a number of insects -- butterflies, ants, and ladybugs. My choices have been driven by what life cycle models I have. :) Nugget LOVES the life cycle models. Sometimes she'll choose one to take to the store with her. I have a pile of library books about different insects, and when we've hit a lull, I just pull out the next one that seems interesting. I'm thinking about maybe going with bees next.... or maybe I'll wait until we can get to the local farmer's market and taste samples from the local honey producer!

Our main focus has been on Australia. Once Nugget was able to name all of the continents on the continents puzzle, I let her choose which one to learn about first. Her choice of Australia was a surprise to no one.

I've been worried about doing continent studies because I don't have many items or materials. But we just jumped into it and I started making things to stay one day ahead of her. Over the last 2 weeks or so, we've covered a lot and accumulated quite a collection.

This is our continent/science/language shelf. The top shelf is Australia, the bottom has sandpaper letters and Progressive Phonics readers (we're not doing much language these days) and insect books and life cycle models.


The Australia shelf. The "artwork" is our versions of Aboriginal dot paintings (there's an outline of a wombat somewhere under Nugget's) and coloring book pages of Australian kids. I put out some of Nugget's stuffed animals from Australia, a couple of our MANY Australia books (the rest are with the rest of our books), and figures from the Coral Reef and Australian animal Safari Toobs.


This is a felt map of Australia that I cut out. The pictures are of Australian landmarks; they're attached with velcro, so next year she can remove them and figure out where they go.


Nugget's obsession, as always, is with the animals. So that's where we've done most of our focus. And Australia has some of the most interesting animals, ones that my husband and I have always been fascinated with!

Her main interest is the Safari Toob animals. She talks about them and carries them everywhere, which provides opportunity for all sorts of interesting discussions. Like when she's burrowing under blankets with her wombat, my husband can talk to her about how wombats dig their burrows and what they're like.

I've made some activities for with the animals. I printed out pictures of habitats and food, so that she can match the figures to the appropriate picture (answers are on the back).



I also made cards for her to sort by how the animals have their babies (egg, pouch, or live).


In the past few days we've also listened to didgeridoo music and decorated a paper towel tube like one. Today we started to touch on the Great Barrier Reef.

This has been really interesting and fun for both of us. I've learned a lot, too!

I am a bit worried about the other continents.... Australia is so easy because continent == country. Those continents that are so much more diverse -- like Africa, which she expressed interest in doing next -- are going to be much more difficult.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ant experiment

We moved from butterflies to ants -- mostly because I have life cycle models for those two. :) We talked about the life cycle, read a book, and watched some videos the other day.

Today we did a fun experiment. I divided a paper plate into sections and Nugget raided the kitchen to find foods she thought the ants might like. Each food went into a section, and we put the plate between 3 anthills.


We went out a few times during the day to check on it. I thought about counting and charting how many ants appear, but I think that's a bit complex. Maybe next year!

Instead, we just observed. I was actually surprised! I had expected the fruits to be the big draw, but instead, it was the Honey Nut Cheerios and the pizza! The raisins drew a few visitors, none for the fruit or bread.

Tomorrow, we may gather some ants in a glass jar and watch them dig tunnels!

In geography, Nugget's got the continents down. We looked at some pictures from the various continents (thanks, Jo!) as well as a bunch of the postcards I've gotten from Postcrossing.

I let her choose which continent we'd study next and, of course, she chose Australia! We'll start in on that once the many, many books I've reserved from the library come in....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Small steps

Yeah, I'm liking this new way so far! We managed to grab a few minutes again during Sprout's afternoon nap. We went over the terminology for the golden beads again, and I demonstrated that there were 10 in each (10 units in a ten bar, etc). Nugget decided to build a house with them -- which I allowed because I was subtly bringing in the terminology as she built. Ha, tricky me!

Later, we reviewed the continents again. She picked them up a lot faster than I expected! I did the orange-peel demonstration to show how a globe turns into a flat map, and then I brought out the continents puzzle. A hit, of course. It's a puzzle! Nugget *loves* puzzles.

We continued to talk about butterflies a bit. We watched some videos of their life cycle, Nugget brought the caterpillar model to Target, and I mixed up some "nectar" for her to taste (water, a bit of orange juice, sugar). She used a curly straw to be her proboscis. So fun!

We read through the Progressive Phonics books that she's had and moved on to a new one. She's mostly memorized them, not so much reading them. But sometimes she has to, and it's small steps, at least. They're there when she's ready to start to read.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trying another approach

I'm still working out the best way to make homeschooling work for us. Today was my first shot at another approach -- more of a traditional homeschool situation with Montessori materials than Montessori at home. I didn't try to set everything out the night before for Nugget to work independently. When Sprout went down for his nap, Nugget and I settled into the nook to work together.

The last few days, I made a list of the big subject areas and the next 2-3 topics I want to cover. That way, when we had a few minutes to sit down together, I knew what we could cover.

In Math, I spent the last few days verifying that she can count out items from 0-9 and that she can identify the written numbers (she has to think extra about [and sometimes mixes up] 6 & 9, but everything else she has down). So we're going to move into the golden bead material -- I brought out the decimal tray and we've been looking at and playing games to become familiar with "one unit", "ten bar", "hundred square", and "thousand cube".

In Language, I have out the Progressive Phonics books (which she hasn't touched in a while) and we're going to talk about the double letters ('ee', 'sh', 'th', etc). I've come around to seeing reading as very much something she will step up to herself. I'm not really pushing a progression toward reading at this point (she's not even 3.5 yet!), just giving her pieces of the puzzle and waiting until she's reached the developmental point where it starts to click.

For Science, I put away the plant and seed materials and we'll start into insects. Today we read a book about butterflies, played around with butterfly life cycle models, and glued down pictures of the life cycle. Later, we hit the library and stocked up on books about different insects, so we'll pick our way through those over the next few weeks.

In Geography, Nugget really wants to learn about Australia. But today we started in the beginning, looking at the sandpaper and continents globe. We talked about the continents globe for quite a while, learning the names and talking about where we live, where penguins live, etc.

Practical Life, I'm just going to let happen in daily life. If I'm particularly inspired by something in a blog, I might put it out. But I'm not going to try to keep that stocked daily. And Sensorial I'm going to follow her lead. She doesn't really seem to want to do much Sensorial, but I'll keep a shelf or two of it out, in case she comes back to it (which she did today, after our other topics -- she played around with the Pink Tower and Brown Stair).

We had a nice time. We didn't cover a ton, but she seemed really "present" while we worked together. She showed a lot of interest and was very cooperative. It was a nice touch-base time for the two of us without the little Sprout sticking his nose (well, fingers) into everything.

And can I just say how much I LOVE the three period lesson?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Antsy

So I'm starting to get antsy to start up some homeschooling again. But I'm still feeling so overwhelmed and burned out on the preparation work. I was working for hours each night, making materials and setting up activities, and I can't do that long-term. But I do want to do some work with her.

How do you do it? How much time do you put in to your prep work? How do you keep from being overwhelmed?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting our hands dirty

Our square foot garden is in!


I know it doesn't look like much, but that's 2, 2x6 foot gardens that should give us a good amount of tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, peas, and broccoli. It's a place to start, given my historic black thumb.

Nugget worked really hard on the garden, mixing, moving, and shoveling. We talked a lot about compost, where it comes from, and why plants need it.

I've made up a seed matching game, inspired by My Montessori Journey.

And we're still loving the various plant books by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace!

The next experiment we'll do is to sprout some seeds and then see how they react with and without sunlight, with and without water, and with and without soil.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Geometric solids!

I'm so excited! I just rounded out our collection of geometric solids!

I've been wanting them for a while, but wasn't happy with any of the sets I found on the various Montessori sites. I really bought Margaret Homfray's guidance and wanted smaller shapes with more variety.

What I ended up doing was getting was the set of 19 solids from Learning Resources which covered a lot of the list. The big gap was the Platonic solids, which I just couldn't find anywhere! Thank goodness for playschool6, where someone pointed me to the Gallery of Wooden Polyhedra in Japan. I paid $35 for the small set of solids and shipping and got them in about 2 weeks. They're gorgeous and exactly the right size to match up with the rest of my solids. I'm so excited!

I'm going to try to hold off working on them with Nugget until we do some 2D geometric work. But.... maybe I won't be able to!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Leaf walk!

This evening, between dinner and bath, Nugget requested that we go on a leaf walk. I'd mentioned last post about not seeing much variety in the trees in our neighborhood, but I thought we'd give it a shot.

It turned out we had a really good time! Sure enough, the great great majority of the trees we saw were Live Oaks. But we found a few other ones along the way, about 8-10 types of leaves. By the time we got home it was nearly bath so we only got to look at them briefly. But they're pressing under some of my husband's nursing textbooks tonight, so we can take more time with them tomorrow.

I'm having a lot of fun having this undercurrent of plants running through this month. It gives me a consistent angle to look for in our daily lives.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Life and time are great teachers

I've been feeling conflicted lately on backing off of formal Montessori time. I really, really admire the bloggers out there who are doing a couple of hours of at-home preschool, and that was what I wanted for us. It's hard to give up that vision, even when I can see that it's not fitting in to our life right now. I've been doing a lot of second- and third-guessing.

So it's nice to have a moment to see that something is working. This evening, for instance. A few weeks ago, I posted about doing patterns with Nugget, and how it was just out of her grasp. She's mentioned patterns a few other times since then, but we haven't "worked" on them.

She had some foam puzzles out after dinner and she started lining them up. She called me over and asked if they were patterns -- she'd arranged them by background color in groupings like yellow-orange-yellow-orange and pink-purple-pink-purple.

So many times now, I've seen that it's often much more about time for her to grow and develop rather than anything I directly teach her.

And in the realm of life-as-teacher -- we've started a square foot garden! We've been sprouting seeds inside (or were, until the cat hopped up to munch them all), and we built the frames the other day. Nugget got lots of counting practice bringing me "4 screws and 4 washers".

Since we're focusing on plants this month, I'd wanted to go on a leaf walk. But our neighborhood in Florida has nothing but oaks and pines, oaks and pines, pines and oaks. I'm hoping to get out to a local nature preserve when it's a bit cooler.

On that topic, I found a fabulous book at our library. "Leaves! Leaves! Leaves!" is written for young kids but covers things like photosynthesis. Nugget loved it and has been bringing up parts of it at random times for days now. I really want to check out some of her other books.

Continent swap

I'm totally drooling over the results of the continent swap on Mondorfment . Nugget is starting to ask about different parts of the world, so I need to start thinking about getting things in gear. I'm sure I'll get a ton of inspiration from the blog hop, but finding time to make and buy materials.... that's the hard part!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How THAT is what I'm talking about

After we moved the Montessori materials out to the nook on Thursday night, Nugget didn't touch them. We got a new seed and root puzzle on Saturday and she did each once, but really didn't engage (a surprise to me, since the puzzles are her favorite part). But I just let it ride.

She spent most of this morning working on a 100 piece Hello Kitty puzzle. When she finally finished, she turned to the new seed puzzle. After doing it a few times, she started asking what the parts where. It took me a while to research it, and by then she was asking about the root puzzle. So we talked about both for a while, as well as the tree puzzle. I pulled some lima beans out of her sensory tub and we soaked and dissected one.

After that, she started counting various Sensorial materials (counting has become a favorite activity in the last few days). So she counted and we labeled things -- the texture balloons and weighted cylinders (with a pause for her to match them up, as well), the sound eggs, the Pink Tower and Brown Stair, and all 40 cylinders from the Cylinder Blocks (which she then dismantled and replaced).

I'm really happy with how smoothly that time fit into our day and enjoyable it was for both of us. This next week we're going to be building and planting a square foot garden, so she'll get lots of hands-on with plants and gardening, and we'll be doing a few experiments, as well. We've also moved to book #2 in Progressive Phonics and have been playing sounds games in the car.

This is more what I had in mind for our homeschooling. I'm excited to see how it plays out over the next few weeks.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Progressive Phonics

We're giving Progressive Phonics a try over here. The thing I like about it is that Nugget is reading words right off the bat -- a nice way to contradict her insistence that she can't read. I also like that the words she can read are mixed into a story that I read, so the stories are more interesting than your basic phonics starter. And, of course, having the main character be an animal is a big plus for my animal-lover. :)

Although she's sounding out the words in the first 2 books, she's definitely got a developmental leap or two to go before she's really reading. In the meantime, I think this is a nice, low-key way to keep the letter sounds fresh for her and keep her from getting stuck in the "I can't" rut.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And now for something a little different

We took a little hiatus over here. Turns out Wednesday was Elephant Appreciation Day at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and what good is homeschooling if you can't scrap all previous plans and go to Elephant Day? :) Then Thursday, my husband had a class for work and couldn't be here to watch Sprout while Nugget and I worked in the room.

During our little break, though, I did a bit of re-evaluating. We're 3 weeks into our new routine, and I felt like we'd established a baseline from which I could look for improvement. Here's the problems I'm seeing:

#1 -- I'm totally overwhelmed by making topical materials for the current focus, keeping the foundation areas fresh (PL, Sensorial), keeping up with her level in Language and Math, and planning ahead to the next few topics (book selections, experiments, etc).
#2 -- She's not learning as much about the topical areas through the materials I make (matching, 3 part, etc) as she does through talking and experiencing.
#3 -- On days when our time in the Montessori room doesn't go well, it's stressful for both of us and I don't want that affecting the rest of our day.
#4 -- I see more concentration from her when she gets involved in other things through the day (puzzles, bean sensorial box, projects only a preschooler would understand) than in the Montessori room.

On the other side, some things are working well. She really enjoys the materials when they hit her at the right time. She's made definite strides in math in just the last week or two. And she loves the changing topics.

So we're going to try something a little different. My husband and I moved a number of shelves and materials from the Montessori area into the nook between our living room and kitchen -- this is where her thoughtful and creative materials are kept (puzzles, art supplies).

I'm hoping this will make the materials more visible and encourage her to work with them when she's having a sensitive moment.

There are possible problems, too. She might turn the materials into toys -- but I think she has enough experience with them at this point not to do that. When Sprout is mobile, we've got lots of problems.

As for the topical focuses, I'm going to incorporate that into our days with more experiential work -- the best thing for a preschooler seeing so many things for the first time. Oh, and books. LOTS of books. Some of her favorite things.

So I think we'll try this new way for a bit. I have no idea how it'll work.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sept wk 3, day 2: Clothing (human needs)

Wow. Nearly 2 hours today! And a very fun time.

The topic was clothing. We read a book with clothing from around the world, then Nugget headed straight to the activity that had caught her eye when she came in -- the dressing doll.




I got the pictures from about.com's family crafts section, colored them, glued them to felt, and cut them out. Then I made the body out of felt so the clothes wouldn't slide around.

Nugget loved this. She dressed the doll for all different climates and events. And she came back to this throughout her work time; it seemed to give her a break, re-energize her, help her concentrate more on the next thing.

She worked on table setting, using a placemat I made up.




I wanted to work on letter recognition of some the trickier letters, so I printed out some worksheets. I know, I know, so not Montessori. But she loves them, and that's what matters.




She chose the Pink Tower!




Then I showed her that she could make a tower with the Brown Stair.




And that she could build them together.




That really caught her attention. She built and rebuilt those towers multiple times -- sometimes she was WAL-E stacking trash cubes, sometimes she was building a house for Cooper, the teddy bear that joined us today.




Thanks to dressing-doll induced concentration, she also counted buttons into the spindle box - correctly - twice! And then she tried to count them all -- got as far as 17 (skipping 15) before stalling out. She's definitely had a developmental leap with respect to counting.

This is something we didn't get to -- her alphabet book, ready to get pictures of food and clothing items.




This is the current state of the PL shelves -- sock pairing, scooping to a line, flower arranging, place setting, and containers.




Tomorrow -- shelter!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Discussion question -- what do *you* do during Montessori time?

I'm still trying to figure out what works best for Nugget and I, and I'm curious about how other moms handle this. What do you do during your little one's dedicated Montessori time?

Do you sit with them, maybe have some activities to do together, talk with them through works, etc?

Or do you distance yourself, have your own work (a book or something), encourage them to work independently?

Comments encouraged!!

Sept wk 3, day 1: Food and water (human needs)

Argh. Aaaaargh.

We spent 45 minutes in the room, but Nugget only did about 10-15 minutes worth of work. She would do one small piece of something, then spend ages hanging over me asking questions and talking. I'd respond briefly, then after a while ask if she was done and wanted to leave the room. No! She wanted to work! So she'd do one or two small pieces of something. And then stop again.

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Oh, and her little Hulk action figure joined us. He rode around on the trays as she carried them.

So. What did we do? Well, we read books about food. She traced two metal insets with her fingers (I saw her tracing the puzzle pieces last week and wanted to give her an outlet for that, since I don't have the geometric cabinet.... although I'm thinking about making some 2D shapes). She set a place setting (PL work).

Most of her time was spent doing -- or, really, not doing -- an alphabet book. I put together a blank book with a letter on each page, then cut out pictures of various types of food for her to glue on the appropriate page for the beginning sound. She was doing fine hearing the sounds, although she mixes up some letters (h and n, b and d). She would glue one.... then talk.... and talk.... and talk.... glue one.... talk.....

Anyway. She did that for a while. Then tried the trapdoor readers again. And lastly, counted Cheerios into the spindle box.

I'm not too disappointed with our day in there. Mondays are always hard, because we're getting back in the swing of things. So it wasn't unexpected. It was frustrating at the time, but she did get a little bit of decent work done. If I could do it over again, I'd probably try to engage her in a more physical work, like moving the Brown Stair, or a work that she could get into imaginatively (like the Cylinder Blocks). That might have kicked her into more of a concentration mode.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Topic overview: Human needs (Sept wk 3)

Monday: Food
  • Books: "Bread Bread Bread", Ann Morris; "Eating the Alphabet", Lois Ehlert
  • Topical activity: plant to food matching cards
  • Practical life: place setting
  • Language: initial sound book - foods
  • Math: TBD
Tuesday: Clothing
  • Book: "Clothes from Many Lands", Mike Jackson
  • Topical: dress-up paper bear
  • Practical life: dressing frames
  • Language: initial sound book - clothing
  • Math: TBD
Wednesday: Shelter
  • Books: "Houses and Homes", Ann Morris; "How a House is Built", Gail Gibbons
  • Topical: types of homes classification
  • Practical life: TBD
  • Language: initial sound book - household
  • Math: counting around the house
Thursday or Friday: Communication or Family/Friends/Love (undecided)
  • Books (communication): "Communication", Aliki; "What is Your Language", Debra Leventhal
  • Book (family/friends/love): "Big Brother Little Brother", Penny Dale
  • Topical (family/friends/love): family tree
  • Practical life: TBD
  • Language (family/friends/love): initial sound book - family members
  • Math: TBD

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sept wk 2, day 5: Touch

We had a really nice day in the room today. I think it was about an hour we were in there, but I'm not really sure where the time went. I can't point to any one thing that occupied her time, but we had fun.

We do one fiction book to kick off the theme, and today's was a favorite from the library -- "Tickle the Duck". So it started out on a fun note. I made up some touch tablets from textured scrapbook paper, and we talked about how they felt and did a blind matching. I put out the texture balloons from a few months ago, and those are always a hit.

In the rest of the room, she successfully filled the spindle box with counting bears, did a very little bit of practical life, went back to the hearing game, and worked with me on the Pink Tower and Brown Stair.

I printed out and set out 4 of the trap door readers. I LOVE these. I'm not sure how she did with them -- she had trouble holding them without pinching the slider and just wanted to see the pictures. I intervened a bit to make them work correctly, and she did seem to be blending.... but it's hard to tell.

Now, a weekend of preparations for next week -- human needs!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept wk 2 day 4: Smell

Another quick, 30 minute day. Our topic was smell -- I had some nice, smelly flowers in the room and I had three smelling bottles with orange, pine, and cinnamon for her to match to those items. I don't think she matched, just smelled, but it was fun anyway. Here's our topical shelf -- smells on top; hearing, sight, and taste on the bottom.


In math, she had no problems setting out 0-5 counting bears. Her counting has advanced a lot in the last month or two, and I can't take any of the credit for it. It's just a developmental thing, I think -- before, she just got too excited and jumped ahead of her one-to-one. We'll see if she can stay on track long enough to count out 6-9 bears. :)


In language, she sequenced the story "Curious George Rides a Bike". And she matched the words "web", "fox", and "egg" to their pictures.


In sensorial, she worked on a height-shape puzzle and partially corrected her mistakes. She really just doesn't seem to see the problem when some of them are swapped.



And in practical life, she did some spooning. I also have out tonging into small, plastic "champagne" goblets, spooning coffee beans, and flower arranging and containers.


Like I said, a quick day and nothing really grabbed her interest. I didn't push it, because Thursday is daddy-daughter day and there were much more interesting things to do with the rest of her day. Usually we don't do work time on Thursday, but I really wanted one day for each sense.

Tomorrow -- touch!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sept wk 2 day 3: Taste

Another hour in the room. I delayed taking us in because Nugget was so involved in a 100 piece puzzle and I didn't want to disturb that. In fact, she's back to doing it again after we got out of the room. :)

We started out with some books on taste and then went on to tasting. Last night, I made 4 different flavors -- salt water, sugar water, instant coffee, and lemon juice. Nugget tasted each and I told her the names. She only wanted to do it once in the beginning, but she returned to it at the end (and ended up spooning lots of sugar water into her mouth :) ).

The rest of our time alternated between nice, productive work and near-breakdowns. She did a little of everything -- PL, puzzles, sequencing, sensorial, etc.

I set out some pictures of pink series words ending in 'g' and 'n' and she sorted those very well. This provided an interesting example about being very careful about making materials. When I'm making materials, I hardly every re-use ones that other people have designed because I want to make sure that the picture shows exactly what I'm aiming for and that I think Nugget will understand it. In this case, I made a picture for "egg", but chose an image with multiple eggs (I thought it would be easier for her to see what it was). Of course, then she didn't hear the 'g' at the end of the word -- she heard an 's'. So I dashed into the closet and quickly pulled out a Sandpaper 's'.

The ending-sound activity was pretty easy for her. She looked to me for verification each time, but got all of them right. So ending sounds are too easy, middle sounds are too hard. Guess I'll just give it more time.

I tried the Moveable Alphabet again and she helped me find the sounds as I sounded out a short grocery list. But then she wanted to write "grocery store" and somehow working to do this led to a breakdown. I think the MA is just out of her reach, and so it's easily frustrating. I'm going to tuck it away for a while and might step outside of the usual Montessori sequence and see how she does at reading some simple CVC.

At the end of our work time, I had one more taste experiment. The night before, I made 3 yogurt smoothies -- one banana, one strawberry, one vanilla. I put them in opaque containers and had her see if she could tell which was which. She couldn't, but it was tasty anyway!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sept wk 2, day 2: Hearing

Just under an hour in the room today. We did a game where I played various sounds and she chose the picture of its source. I think you can find the sound files online if you search for sound bingo.

We tried to work on identifying middle sounds (sorting CVC words for e vs u), but she just wasn't hearing them. I put out and she worked on opening and closing containers, as well as more sequencing. I think most of our time was spent on the Pink Tower and Brown Stair -- she initially built the BS incorrectly, but eventually corrected it. It's still just on the edge of her grasp, I think.

Sorry these are getting short -- I'm feeling pretty swamped by getting things set out for the next day, prepping materials for the next week or two, and planning topics further out.

Tomorrow -- taste!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept wk 2, day 1: Sight

Tired. Long day. Been working on materials since the kids went to bed. But I want to get down some quick notes about how the day went.

Nugget wasn't very taken with the materials today. We only spent 30 minutes in there, which included reading some books about sight. She tried the patterning activity using counting bears -- this is just every so slightly out of her reach. Sometimes she gets it, sometimes she doesn't. She did story sequencing (easy for her, but a way to practice left-to-right). She used both whole-hand and tongs to transfer some plastic pompoms (and counted them with a very distinct touch-count; usually she skims over but gets the right number). I managed to get her to try the color 3-part cards (using our family's favorite colors), which she did well at. And she finished up with color shade matching, still not at all a favorite.

After we left the Montessori room, we had a few sight-related experiments to do. For night-vision, I taped up a picture of a cat in a dark room, had her look at a light for a while, then brought her into the room. It took a few minutes for her eyes to adjust to be able to see the cat. And for color-mixing, I used food coloring to color vanilla pudding red, yellow, and blue, and then mixed to get the secondary colors. And then she got to eat it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Topic overview: Senses (September, wk 2)

Going for 5 days this week to give one day to each sense.

In addition to our topical activities, I'll be swapping out the oldest Practical Life almost every day (aiming to have one whole hand, one wrist turning, and one three finger grasp out). The week will start with last week's pouring lentils into two small cups and moving water with a sponge. The first day will add transferring with tongs.

We'll also be moving forward in Language Arts with rhymes, story sequencing, and the Moveable Alphabet.

In Math, I still have out tanagrams and will introduce a pattern activity (which she started asking about last week).

Sensorial will grow a lot this week as I bring out materials that relate to each sense. I also added the Brown Stair.

Each day will have the appropriate book from the series "Exploring our Senses" and "Rookie Read-About Health" in addition to the fiction book listed.

Day 1: Sight
  • Color shade matching (homemade material using paintchips and clothespins; never been a big hit with Nugget)
  • Color 3 part cards (no real interest so far in 3 part cards, but I chose our family members' favorite colors as a hopeful point of interest)
  • Night vision experiment
  • Color mixing with food-colored pudding
  • "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you See?", Eric Carle
Day 2: Hearing
  • Silence game
  • Listening walk
  • Bell/no bell sorting
  • Sound eggs
  • Sound bingo
  • "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?", Dr. Seuss
Day 3: Smell
  • Smelling bottles w/ cards
  • Salt dough or play dough w/ scents
  • Herb & spice 3 part cards (maybe)
  • "A Very Good Smell" (Peep and the Big Wide World), Laura Gates Galvin
Day 4: Taste
  • Tasting bottles w/ cards (sweet, salty, sour, bitter)
  • Mystery flavored yogurt smoothies (strawberry, banana, vanilla)
  • "Pie in the Sky", Lois Ehlert
Day 5: Touch
  • Touch tray (various textures: sponge, spoon, feather, etc)
  • Mystery bag
  • Texture balloons
  • Art project w/ friend: textured paint
  • "Tickle the Duck!", Ethan Long

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sept wk 1 experiment: Calcium in bones

Well, it took all week, but our experiment finally finished up! On Sunday we ate fried chicken drumsticks for lunch and saved the bones. One bone we let dry out. The other, we put in vinegar. Vinegar dissolves calcium. As the week passed, the bone got softer and softer. Finally, on Friday, it was flexible enough to bend!

Nugget was fascinated by this, and carried the bones around the house for a while this afternoon.

Sept wk 1 day 4: Staying healthy

An hour and a half in the room today. We might have been able to stay more, but she was starting to tire out and we had visitors coming for messy preschool art fun.

Today's topic was keeping your body healthy. We talked about healthy foods and exercise. The topical activity was sorting food cards into sometimes foods and all the time foods, which was no problem for her -- we talk about that sort of thing all the time.

There was a new Practical Life activity -- transferring water with a sponge. I also had a semi-Sensorial activity to sort by size -- the cheaper version of this. She got two of the middle sizes mixed up, oddly enough. She also worked on tanagrams and was starting to show signs of tiring out. So she moved on to a new language activity, matching rhymes. It took a few cards for her to remember how rhyming worked (I realize now that we haven't done it in a while), but she was hitting all of them by the end.

Then, Nugget chose another language -- the Melissa and Doug See & Spell. We were hanging out together, working on this and chatting... I spelled a word off of the cards and we started talking about how you can lay out sounds in a word to write it. I knew she was starting to be able to hear sounds inside of words.... so I took a chance and pulled out the Moveable Alphabet.

We worked together on the first word, "mom". Then "dad", which she wanted to turn into "daddy". Then she just wanted to keep going. We ended up spelling out all of our family names.


Here you can see her working on "Liz". She insisted that she heard lots of "z"s.


Column 1: Miles ("miz"), Gramme ("grm"), Aunt Heidi ("iet hd"), Ken ("cn")
Column 2: Mom, Daddy ("dade"), "atle"
Column 3: Nana ("nen"), Pop-pop ("pppp"), Liz ("lzzzz"), Grandpa (I helped with this) Johnny ("jn")
Not seen: Pap Webb ("p wb")


She was definitely getting tired by the end (you can tell from her efforts), but she really wanted to write everyone's name. You can also tell that hearing vowels is still tricky for her. But what an amazing step! I'm just blown away! You could have knocked me over with a feather.

We've got a few day break before we start the Five Senses on Monday, but I'll probably pull out the Moveable Alphabet over the weekend to give her some more exposure to it.

Oh my goodness!!



Details later....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept wk 1 day 3: Digestion

Not as great a day today. Nugget wasn't in quite the right mood and Sprout was exhausted and wouldn't stop crying and go to sleep for DH (so my mind wasn't on the task at hand). Still, we covered everything I wanted to for digestion (books and experiment), did the organ location exercises, and got in a few Montessori and Montessori-like materials (pouring into 2 too-small containers, tanagrams) in the 45 minutes we spent.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sept wk 1 day 2: Brain, heart, lungs

Another great day! We studied the brain, heart, and lungs, and spent an hour twenty in the room.

Again, we started out by reading books. Then we did a version of "Simon Says" (we used "my brain says") and the felt body organs. We blowed bubbles (well, I did, Nugget tried to) and listened to her heart with a stethoscope before and after she ran around. I demoed some three (well, four) part cards about the organs but it was way over her head and she blew it off. I'm not surprised; I'm going to simplify the cards a bit and try again tomorrow.

Then Nugget moved on to the typical Montessori work. I put out a lentil pouring activity which she dug in to, then tried the bead sorting (I simplified from yesterday) but didn't do it right.

She did puzzles, and when she started looking around, I suggested a Pink Tower game (she looks away, I remove one block and ask her where it was). Through our work with the Pink Tower, I'm certain she CAN do it, she just has more fun not doing it (the sly smile and "is that right?" when she put them in the wrong order).

She went back to the pouring and, for the first time, poured into two containers (tomorrow, I'm going to set out containers that are too small to fit all of the lentils). Then she sorted -- correctly, when I suggested that she was putting the animals (the beads are shaped like sea life) into their homes. She noticed that they were beads, and asked about threading them. The beads and holes are so small, the only way to do that was with a needle and thread. She worked so hard and so carefully! She threaded all 36 beads. I was very impressed with her work.

She finished up doing some sequencing work. Interesting note -- she'd been sequencing one of the stories -- a dad lifting a girl -- incorrectly. I'd thought last night to put stickers on the back so that she could check her work, but didn't. Today, in order to help her see her error, I asked her to tell me the story of each group she sequenced. And she wasn't wrong! Instead of seeing the story as "girl runs toward dad, dad starts to pick up girl, girl is in the air", she saw it as "girl runs toward dad, girl is up in the air, dad puts girl down". I'll totally give her credit for that answer -- it could be read that way! Another reason to love homeschooling. :)

Tomorrow -- digestion!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sept wk 1 day 1: Bones and muscles

Our first day went well! We got started at 8:30am and stayed in the room for an hour. That's a great length, I think -- my eventual goal is 2 hours, but right now an hour is just fine. Today, I would have been happy with anything over 30 minutes. My husband was home to be able to hold on to Sprout, so I just had to leave once to nurse him.

I'm not taking many pictures while Nugget is working -- it's a big distraction for her. But I've got some pictures of our environment and materials.


This is our set-up. It's part of our master bedroom. I have one shelf for Practical Life, a couple for Sensorial, and one each for Language, Math, and the current topic. The shelves are pretty bare because I don't want to swamp her with a ton of stuff right off the bat.

This is our Practical Life. I have a sorting activity and flower arranging (a perpetual favorite). I spent a lot of time setting out an assortment of beads so that she could sort by either color or form -- I was interested to see which she would pick. But she poked at it, didn't find any matching pairs (nothing matches in both color and shape), and turned it into a straight transferring activity.


Current Sensorial materials. This will slowly grow as the days and weeks go on. She completely ignored them today, as is usual.


New Sensorial material to go along with "muscles" -- weighted containers. There are pairs of 3 different weights. Nugget did a great job with these -- she was able to pair, grade, and name (heavier, lighter).


Language. On the bottom is a Melissa and Doug activity, on the top are sequencing cards available for free from Montessori for Everyone. I chose to start with these because Nugget seems to have a hard time with picking the "first" letter when looking at a word. She often picks the last letter instead.


Our topical shelves. I have out some things to pick up and look at -- a paper mache skull and a remarkably nicely done skeleton from a Dollar Tree garland. (I'd like to highly recommend doing a unit on skulls around Halloween.) Behind those are the skeleton matching cards, and on the bottom is a skeleton puzzle she's had for a while but I tucked away so that it would feel new for this unit.


Here's a fun craft project -- my version is on the left, hers on the right.


We started out our time in the room with a silly song ("Dem Bones", and Nugget looked embarrassed for me) and then read some books about bones. Nugget then went right for the animal skeleton matching and did it perfectly -- even recognizing some skeletons without seeing the animal picture. I introduced the idea of "checking your work" for the first time, with stickers on the back, and she used it (before, she'd just matched the backs without attempting the activity).

She proceeded to do the craft, investigate the hands-on bones, try the sorting, and assemble the skeleton puzzle. Then there was a break to look through the "Visual Dictionary of the Skeleton" together (she loves books like this). Then back into the room for sequencing, flower arranging (and unarranging), and weighted containers. BACK to the "Visual Dictionary of the Skeleton", then she started to "play Pixar" on the bed, so I got her to straighten up the room and we called it a day at 9:30am.

Outside of the room, we've been soaking a chicken bone in vinegar (to dissolve the calcium and make it bendable) and looking at an x-ray of her metal-skeletoned Bullseye stuffed friend (gotta love having a family member in the health care industry!).

Back tomorrow for heart, lungs, and brain. I won't do such a detailed review every day; I've got enough on my plate just preparing for the next days! But I do want to track what she's up to, so there'll be SOMETHING here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Topic overview: Human body (September, wk 1)

Here's what I have planned, created, or checked out for this week. It's a lot; I don't know how much we'll get through, but we'll use what we can. In addition to this, I'll have a couple of Practical Life activities out, the basic Sensorial (Pink Tower, Cylinder Blocks), and some early literacy (sequencing).

Day 1: Bones and muscles
  • Skeleton puzzle
  • Weighted containers to pair/sort (yogurt smoothie containers filled with sand & glue)
  • Cards to match animal to skeleton (available on my Box -- see sidebar)
  • Dissolve chicken bone in vinegar
  • Glue uncooked pasta onto body outline to form "skeleton"
  • (hopefully) an x-ray of her stuffed Bullseye with metal skeleton
  • "Jessica's X-Ray", Pat Zonta
  • "The Skeleton Inside You", Philip Balestrino
  • "The Visual Dictionary of the Skeleton"
  • "Funnybones", Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • "My Muscles", "My Bones", Carol Lindeen
Day 2: Heart, lungs, brain
  • Appropriate felt organs on body cut-out
  • Appropriate cards to match organ to location in body
  • Blowing bubbles
  • Simon says
  • "My Brain", "My Heart", Carol Lindeen
Day 3: Digestion
  • Digestion demonstration
  • Appropriate felt organs
  • Appropriate organ cards
  • "My Stomach", Carol Lindeen
  • "What Happens to a Hamburger", Paul Showers
Day 4: Staying healthy (food, exercise, cleanliness)
  • Hand washing demonstration (cover hands in cinnamon, demonstrate washing)
  • Healthy/not healthy food cards
  • Vegetable printing
  • "My Amazing Body", Pat Thomas
  • "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", Eric Carle
  • "You Are What You Eat", Melvin Berger

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our start-up plan

Here's our plan for the first month. I'm planning to do mostly 4-day weeks.

September, week 1: Our body
  • Bones and muscles
  • Heart, lungs, brain
  • Digestive system
  • Staying healthy (eating, exercise)
September, week 2: Senses
  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch
September, week 3: Human needs
  • Food and water
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Family, friends, love
September, week 4: Our local area
  • Our yard
  • Our neighborhood
  • Our village
  • Our nearest town
We'll have to see how that amount of things to cover works out for us. I'm thinking it might be moving a bit fast. Things will slow down after this first month -- we'll spend a number of weeks (possibly a whole month) on plants, then do more 2-week focuses.

Thoughts on New Child Montessori

I've had some people ask what I think of New Child Montessori. Here's my initial thoughts, keeping in mind that we haven't started Montessori time yet. :)

I think it's a fabulous purchase if you're looking for a bit more structure than traditional Montessori; it strikes me as a Montessori way of doing unit studies. I like that it brings in topics that don't fall into the core areas -- like animals and plants, history, space, etc.

We're not following it page by page. First off, there's too many things to do in just one year! Secondly, there are some things I want to focus on and others I want to drop until Nugget is a bit older. Thirdly, I needed to change the timing of things -- in Florida, it's best to do animals and plants in the fall and winter when we can be outside, and save the continent studies for when we're stuck inside in the summer.

I started by writing out the New Child plan for a year, then moving and altering as necessary to get a personalized overview of what I'd like to cover. I use the book lists and activity ideas, and may pick up on some of the songs/rhymes/etc.

So for me, it's more of a reference set than a day-by-day plan. I think it would work equally well either way.

I don't have any experience with the Supplement, Art Guides, or Yoga (although I totally covet the Art :) -- maybe another year!). But the seasonal guides are well-written, well organized, and generally an amazing amount of material for the price. I highly recommend them, and wish I'd gotten them sooner.

Just around the corner

Things have been quiet on this blog, which feels weird with everyone else gearing up or starting! I've just been busy with preparations and other things (making 36 fabric matching games for an activity bag swap, for instance).

We're starting in earnest next week, so I'll have lots more to say then. I'm also hoping to get a few posts up before that about the preparations I've done, how this year is going to be different from last, and what I think of New Child Montessori.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Approaching PL

I think my big problem with putting together PL is that I don't have a overarching plan and I always find myself digging around at the last minute for materials.

So I've been reading over some lists of PL activities online, consolidating and grouping them. I'm going to try to come up with a good progression and then gather up the necessary materials. I'll assemble little PL "kits" with the basics where I can then swap out pieces (for instance, put together two bowls and a spoon, but leave the material as something that I can change out depending on my mood, the season, or our theme).

Are there any favorites in your house that I should give a try with Nugget?

PL follow-up

Ok, I'm totally following you guys who choose fine motor refinement activities to put out. Makes sense to me. And I love the idea of a progression or other organization of activities.

But my manual (from NAMC) doesn't have that progression or categorization (I thought the PL one was pretty worthless). Can anyone point me in the direction of a list or resource for that?

Edited to add: Found one list....

ETA #2: And this one....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A question

I'm looking for advice from the other Montessori moms out there.

So, the Sensorial, Language, and Math parts of Montessori have a nicely planned out flow. I know what to start with and what to move to when Nugget demonstrates that she's ready.

For more thematic study, I have the curriculum from New Child that I'm kind of following.

But Practical Life.

...

Okay, confession time. I really don't like thinking of and assembling Practical Life activities. I kind of feel like I'd like to focus more on Sensorial and other "harder" areas than PL during the small amount of time we tend to be in the room. And it seems like there's opportunities during the day outside of the room to work on PL sort of things (dressing herself, pouring in the sandbox, spooning in the beans, cooking with me, etc).

So I'm pondering dropping PL activities from the room.

But I'm torn about it. She is of the age when you usually focus on PL. I'm slightly worried that without PL, she won't have as much to do (on the other hand, maybe it'll lead her to choose more of the Sensorial).

On the other hand, isn't the household environment the absolute best place to learn the skills of daily life?

So what do you do with Practical Life in your Montessori homeschool?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Deep in preparations

We're due to start up in 2 1/2 weeks! I'm spending most of my evenings working on various materials. I'm not really sure what materials are going to strike her this year, and I know they'll be used another year, so I've been doing more than is probably strictly necessary. But I'm starting to burn out, and I'm happy to start using the stuff and seeing how it's received soon.

I've been taking the time to find free images for some of the materials so that I can share them. I've put a link on the side to my box.net account that has a few things in it -- animal/skeleton matching, tablewear 3 part cards, and sorting types of houses (apartment, townhouse, house). I hope someone finds them useful!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You know you're a homeschooler when...,

You spend your evening making a life-sized felt cutout of your daughter complete with removeable felt organs.




This was a blast to make. I traced Nugget onto some butcher paper during the day -- difficult, with all the giggling it caused! Then I taped the paper up on the sliding glass door, taped felt over it, and traced my original. Cut out the felt and -- voilĂ  -- a felt preschooler!

My nurse husband and his textbooks came in quite useful for the organs. They helped me get the right size and shape as I freehanded.

This is part of my preparations for the first week of our new start in September, which will have a My Body theme (not arms, legs, face; instead we'll do heart, lungs, digestion, etc). I've also made up organ 3 part cards, sometimes/anytime food sorting, and animal skeleton matching. I used free images from Wikimedia for the animal skeleton cards, so I'll figure out how to share those with you guys soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Inspiring

I know this is mostly Montessori-oriented stuff, but I wanted to share a blog that I've been obsessed with the last few days and find so inspiring.

It's called let the children play, and it's a blog about a play-based preschool in Australia.

But this is a DREAM play-based preschool. They trucked in dirt and made a dirt/mud hole for the kids to play in. They take walks into the bush and jump off logs. They set up an environment with tons of scrap items and let the kids have at it.

This has really inspired me to think more about giving Nugget more very-free free play. Right now she has lots of time to play in her playroom or art area, but the materials there have a fairly conventional use (Lego, animal figures, puzzles, etc). I would love to provide her a mud puddle and a bunch of logs and step back.

In that vein, my husband and I have decided to turn the one shady area of our yard into a more child-friendly-yet-still-wild place this fall (when the Florida summer has let up). I'm not sure how much Nugget will take to it -- she doesn't really like to be dirty -- but Sprout is definitely showing signs of being into messier pursuits.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scavenger hunt: Antarctic snacks

Here's my bonus post. :) Snacks in Antarctica!

At the Australian base, "expeditioners live mostly on frozen and canned food, supplemented to a small degree with hydroponically grown salad vegetables. At the beginning of the season, or following the arrival of a ship, some fresh food becomes available. ... With such a wide variety of frozen and canned food available today, expeditioners enjoy a mixed and interesting diet, very similar to what they would eat back home. The stations are stocked with about 700 different varieties of foods each year." But when going out into the field, even on short trips, researchers have to bring emergency ration packs. These include "freeze dried meat and vegetables, rice, pasta, biscuits, dried fruit, soups, muesli bars, desserts, chocolate, tea and coffee."

Thanks to the Australian Antarctic Division whose website (http://www.aad.gov.au) is totally amazing!

Scavenger hunt: New Asian snack

While we were buying ingredients for our big cooking bash this weekend, Nugget and I found and had to have these Thai fortune cookies.


I love coconut. I love fortunes. I love cookies!


Individually wrapped.


Nugget was pretty confused about the piece of paper wrapped in the middle of her cookie.


The fortunes were all pretty deep.

These were Delicious! Very crispy, toasted-coconut-y.... Vaguely reminiscent of a traditional fortune cookie but with much more flavor. I highly recommend them. And we found them at Target!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scavenger hunt: Asian snack rainbow


Red: Japanese Hello, Panda biscuits with creamy chocolate inside. These are our FAVORITE snacks! You can find them at Borders sometimes!


Orange: Indian mango lassi. A favorite of my husband and Nugget. We have some fresh mangos to make lassis tomorrow for dinner!


Yellow: Indian samosa. Filled with potato and peas and spices.... delicious! This was my first taste of Indian food (at a cheap cheap vegetarian joint just off Shattuck in Berkeley) and had me hooked.


Green: Edamame (soy beans). Japanese restaurants often serve these in a bowl before meals, often drizzled with soy sauce. Squeeze the beans out using your teeth and set aside the shell.


Blue: Japanese Coconut Pocky. Biscuit sticks dipped in coconut and chocolate. One of MANY varieties of Pocky.


Purple: Plum. Seen across Asian, also eaten as a prune.


Pink: Japanese Strawberry Pocky. Find some at Target!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Scavenger hunt: Asian snack recipes

This is linked up to the "Continents.... Sweet!" scavenger hunt at Sunrise Learning Lab.

Since I chose to represent Asia and we don't live in Asia or have access to a lot of snacks from there, I kind of took liberties with the scavenger list and went my own direction. :) I'm pretty sure I'll cover all the items, just with some of them mixed into others.

This post will be about three snacks from various countries in Asia that Nugget and I made and tried today.

1. India -- Masala chips
2. Thailand -- Spicy corn cakes
3. Iran -- Apple Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal cookies

Masala chips (fries) from India

This seems to be a fairly common snack in parts of Asia, with a lot of variations. I followed a recipe that seemed similar to most, with a twist of my own. Here's the original recipe I started with; what follows is what I ended up making.


2 lb frozen french fries
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
touch of turmeric
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Bake fries as directed on the package.


Meanwhile, mix oil, tomato paste, and spices. Heat oil mixture in a skillet to bloom the spices. Let mix cool slightly, mix in lemon juice.


Toss cooked fries with spices in a large bowl until coated.




Although she wasn't sure at first bite....


These were a HUGE hit with Nugget.


And, I have to say, they were pretty darn tasty. The original recipe called for more heat (with some chiles), but I thought that the heat might turn Nugget off. It also didn't call for garam masala, but adding that brought the taste a little closer to what I was expecting, gave it a touch of sweetness and more complexity. But you could totally leave that out.

Spicy corn cakes from Thailand

As soon as I saw these, I HAD to make them! Go look, and tell me that's not delicious!


1 cup sweet corn kernels
1 Tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp white sugar
Zest of 1 lime
About 1/2" of vegetable oil in the pan, for frying

Mix the corn, flour, egg, curry paste, sugar and lime zest in a bowl.



We took a break for Nugget to try a lime.


She ended up liking it and sucking on it for quite a while!

Drop by rounded spoonful (and smush a bit once in the pan to flatten) into hot oil.


Cook on medium-high heat until golden brown, flipping once. It should take about one minute per side.



I thought these were the YUM. Nugget wasn't a huge fan. She had barely a bite.


Apple Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies from Iran

You don't get much healthier for a "cookie" than these.


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal), ground in a blender or food processor
1.5 cups raisins
2 apples
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, ground oats, cinnamon, and 1 cup raisins in a bowl. Make sure the raisins aren't clumping and each is coated with flour.


Peel, core, and chop the apples; add to a food processor with 1/2 cup raisins.


Process until applesauce-like.


Mix applesauce and dry ingredients together, add water or apple juice if needed to thin the batter.


Drop onto cookie sheet.



Bake 15-25 minutes until firm.


Nugget is currently devouring hers.


But I'm not a fan at all. The "cookie" is gummy and has little flavor. I stopped baking these after the first pan came out.
 
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