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The Genial Hearth
I’ve just put the kettle on, join me for a cuppa and a chat.

Archive for March, 2007


Week 1, Block 3
Nighttime reading. Letter recognition. Cutting. Made clock. Bread and spread.
mouse and clock

(Very abbreviated so I can get it out of my drafts folder!)

This Week

Our plans for
Week 1, Block 3
‘Hey Diddle Diddle’, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ from My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie
Where Go the Boats?’ from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert L. Stevenson
The Goose Girl’ from The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter

Folksong: Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Classical/Roccoco)
Work: Piano Sonata in A major K. 331
Artist: Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Work: Tower of Babel
Art Activity: Make a clock with moveable hands
Cooking: Bread and Spread (we’ll probably include cutting shapes out of the spread bread:-) )

The Other Post Should Have Read Tooth…

But this one is definitely teeth!

The two bottom ones are through. We had a rather disturbed morning!


Week 5, Block 2 (Break Week)
This was break week. Part of the reason for including it is to allow us to finish things up. So we did do some more of our ongoing reading (Benjamin Bunny in particular).

We did sing a lot. At swimming, the teacher used ‘I’m a Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow‘ as one of the introductory songs, and Puggle just jumped at it! I’ve had to sing it again and again! We didn’t get to the cooking I’d planned, but he did help with a bit more of the normal cooking—he rolled his own Vietnamese Spring Roll among other things:-)

Teaching Science

I came across this today, thanks to Mama Squirrel. Teaching science with a yoyo looks like some fun, although, probably a little in advance of our needs:-)

Useful Montessori Links

Montessori World has links to the presentations of a typical school. It includes pictures that may be helpful for me when I make materials (and some ideas about storage/organisation). I’ve been mostly reading the reading, maths and practical life pages.
Another set of Montessori albums are here.
I also found some Singing and other music information.
And to finish off, a word on the Prepared Environment. (That’s something on which I really need to focus…)

This Week

Week 5, Block 2
This is a break week. The plan is to sing “Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!”, and theoretically make Cup Cakes. We’ll make Icypoles again, early in the week. We’ll take the opportunity to finish some of the reading we have in progress.


Week 4, Block 2
We did some reading, but mostly this week has been about drawing. Puggle has been writing ‘A’s (pronounced as in the song… as distinct from ‘a’s (short vowel sound) that he recognises. I had printed out some ‘b’s for us to use for crafting. He has spent quite a bit of time tracing those, and then drawing on the paper. This week has also been the occasion of a big leap as far as drawing goes. He has typically drawn one or two lines on a page, definitely in one colour only. This week, he started drawing using a couple of colours, and often scribbling multiple lines. He’s taken great delight in giving these works away:-)

Narration in the real world

Here is one family’s approach to narration. They’re producing kids who love to write, and who seem to be quite successful with it:-).

Montessori Monday, MMM progress—Sandpaper Numbers

They’re finished!
Sandpaper Numbers

I selected a suitable font (Chalkboard, 250pt) and printed out my templates.

The other day I got my ‘sandpaper’ (I went with 240 grit wet and dry, so that it is as near to black as possible) and I also got the cardboard to use as the backing.

I cut half a green sheet of card into ten 10.2mm by 12.7mm rectangles (it may seem like random measurements, but was what resulted from dividing the large sheets evenly). I did end up trimming all the boards. They are all now 100 mm wide and 125 mm high.

I ruled lines across the boards for the numbers to ‘sit’ on (to help orientation, and also to model correct positioning), 25 mm from the bottom.

I traced the templates onto the ‘sandpaper’ (remembering to reverse them, so that the textured side ends up on top!) and then cut them out.

I have positioned the numbers on the line and central. I decided to do this so that they will suit both right and left handed users.

I did the gluing in a single batch. I would lay each card out, select the number and check its position (so that I considered its slope for example). Then I turned the letter over and used PVA glue to dot along the back. I spread it carefully over the whole back of the letter, making sure that it wasn’t too thick. I then placed the number on the card as accurately as possible and patted it down with a tissue to collect any excess glue.

I finished by turning the number over onto the table, and weighting it down with a large book to ensure that the card and number didn’t curl away from each other. After they were allowed some time to dry (about 15 minutes I think, the glue wasn’t very thick) I collected them up and allowed them to stand between books on the shelf.

Now to make/find a suitable box to put them in:-)

ETA a link to Shu-Chen Jenny Yen‘s Presentation information for the Sandpaper Numerals.

Blueberry and Buttermilk Sherbert

Blueberry and Buttermilk Sherbet, based on a recipe from this site. (I’m still not sure what qualifies it for a sherbert. I had thought non-dairy was a requirement, but now I don’t know…)

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
300 grams blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice (I didn’t end up including this. It was too hot to go out to the tree.)
1 cup cold buttermilk
2 egg whites

Place an earthenware container in the freezer.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for three to four minutes. Add the blueberries and cook until they are pulpy (about five minutes, unless they are frozen, then it may be longer!). (This is where the lemon juice should have been added.) Chill for an hour.

Place the buttermilk in the earthenware container, add the bluberry mixture and mix well. Freeze for about an hour (until it’s just beginning to freeze).

Beat the egg whites to soft peak. Beat the semi-frozen mixture until smooth. Fold in egg whites and freeze until firm. (The recipe said about six hours, I think we ate ours after about four.)

We served it as is, but the recommendation was to soften slightly, then scoop into stemmed parfait glasses. Serve with oatmeal cookies.

This was a fabulous purple colour—I was expecting something softer, but was definite (might make a good IWD dessert:-) ). It tasted pretty decent. Certainly good enough to do again, but I think the lemon juice would probably make it better. It was a little one dimensional. Still, no comlaints:-)

Blueberry and Buttermilk Sherbert

St Patrick’s Day fun

A very pleasant (if a little hotter than ideal) afternoon was spent on the patio yesterday. Definitely worth repeating. Although, I think next time, we’ll try for more of the making our own music bit.

Dinner wasn’t quite as good as it could have been. Even the addition of Guinness didn’t really improve the Irish stew. Dessert was certainly acceptable though. It deserves its own post.

Plaid Dad linked to this site with some cute things to print and use. Might be fun for next year:-)

St Pat’s on the Patio

In honour of St Patrick’s Day (tomorrow, the 17th), we plan to spend the afternoon on the patio. Music, blarney, and drinking:-) If I get organised, I’ll do some cooking.

Feel free to join us from about 3… Hope to see you there!


Bilby has a tooth! Only just broken the surface at this stage, but I’m glad to see it that far as she has had rather a tough time of it (well, tougher than Puggle’s teething, which pretty much involved a couple of hours only). We’ve had a couple of days where she pretty much hasn’t slept during the afternoon.

But, a tooth!

A Charlotte Mason Morning

I’ve long thought that I need to spend more time outside so that the boy would spend some time exploring the garden (he doesn’t spend much time out there if I’m doing anything else, I have to be right there with him). So, this morning, we took a rug and a small pile of books (our ‘school’ books) out to sit in the yard. I also took some sewing, on the off-chance that he’d wander around.
Later, he went and collected some food, so that we could have a picnic outside. (I need to be a bit more organised about this, maybe if we can sort ourselves out to get outside with everything regularly, it’ll be easier to go somewhere to be outside… )
We had a lovely time! We read, and he and I narrated. We sang (although, he wasn’t so impressed with that for some reason). He didn’t go exploring, but he did lay in my lap and watch the sky. There weren’t many clouds, but he talked about the colour, and the birds he could see. It was delightful:-)
Sadly tomorrow has too much else happening to repeat it. Maybe Saturday:-)

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