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North America Unit Study • ⛵️Pilgrims & 🏹American Indians

While up until now, we have been studying 🌍geography in general, from 🌌solar system to our 🌎Earth, to the world's continent, 🌊oceans, and biome, now, we will begin to focus on one continent per month to be able to explore 🙌🏻hands-on its maps, ecosystem, native animals, people and their customs. 

This month we are focusing on North America. 

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Materials and books we are using:

DSC_0014This lesson is more an introductory history lesson on how pilgrims have moved on and began the widespread of Europeans throughout the North American Continent. 

Materials and books we are using (left to right):

  • Pilgrims of Plymouth book is a National Geographic book that will explain to a young reader what was it like to be a pilgrim child in 17th-century Massachusetts. For example, you will learn that pilgrim children didn't go to school. Instead, they helped their parents with chores and played games such as marbles. There were no convenient grocery stores either. Pilgrims had to hunt and gather food, then cook their meals on an open fire or in an outdoor oven.
  • The Very First Americans book (bottom-left with a picture of a Tepee) is a great resource to show a young reader that long before Columbus landed in America, hundreds of groups of people ~ known as the very first Americans had already made their homes here. The Sioux, Hopi, and Seminole. Where did they live? What did they eat? How did they have fun? And where are they today?
  • Maps book is amazing!  This big book of maps is a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. It features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet. The book also comes with a companion  Maps Activity Book bursting with fascinating facts and puzzles from around the world. Informative and inspiring, the myriad activities in this book challenge the reader to discover something new and explore their imagination to draw, decorate and design on every pull-out page.
  • The Story of the Pilgrims (bottom-right) books tells a story of the dangerous voyage across the Atlantic, to the first harsh winter, to the delicious Thanksgiving feast. All the excitement and wonder of the Pilgrims’ first year in America is captured in this vivid retelling that is perfect for the youngest historians.
  • Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage (top right) ~ Plimoth Plantation and the National Geographic Society come together to tell the true story behind the legendary voyage of the Mayflower with vibrant photography of a rare reenactment using the Mayflower II.

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We talked about how originally, long before any humans lived in North America, animals had moved to the North American continent from Asia, and hunters had followed. So, I set yellow marbles representing a land passage then existing. We are using a Montessori World Map puzzle and these figurines.

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Pilgrims of Plymouth book explains through vivid photographs how Indians showed Pilgrims the best places to fish. Indians also taught Pilgrims how to grow corn and the trick they use to assure better crop by placing fish in the soil where the corn is to be planted. 

DSC_0019We are using air dry clay to make corn. This very soft smooth clay does not stick to your hands and is super stretchy. When it dries, it hardens and the clay stays lightweight. This is the most amazing clay we have played with so far.

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 We also talked about American Bisons and how important they were for American Indians. Bison, which are also known as buffalos, are extremely strong, compact wild cattle from North America. (Reading Maps book.)

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I only share the books and materials we absolutely love, so I hope you will find some of our materials useful. Stay tuned for more on North America study. 

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Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons

I think that the most drastic seasonal change occurs from winter to spring: when nature, rested from its natural respite, awakens in all its glory to start the cycle of life once again.

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To learn about the season's cycle, we started with a Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.

It is Winter. It is cold. The days are short.
It is Spring. It is getting warmer. The days are getting longer.”
It is Summer. It is hot. School is out.
It is Fall. It is getting colder. The days are getting shorter.”

DSC_0066We then talked about the Earth being tilted on its axis, and how the seasons are caused by such a tilt as the Earth travels in a loop around the Sun each year. Summer happens in the hemisphere which is tilted towards the Sun, and winter happens in the hemisphere which tilted away from the Sun.
DSC_0066We also read Watching the Seasons book (buy here), which offers a perfect way to introduce the cycle of the year as a whole. The book, with its simple text and relevant vocabulary, familiarizes young readers with the basic environmental characteristics of each season in sequence. 
DSC_0066This Earth (buy similar here) is part of the Solar System set, which was handmade to order from wool and organic cotton. 



DSC_0109"The sun opens the buds and tiny leaves uncurl." 

Adrian loves My First Discoveries series Trees book (buy here), which gracefully explains how nature's cycle works.

DSC_0109"In spring, chestnut trees blossom. The flowers grow into chestnuts."

Through these beautiful overlay pages, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. A tree flowers every year, bearing seeds, which will fall to the ground, to grow slowly into more trees.  

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Woods and Forest book (buy here) is another great book from the same series which will teach a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests. Deciduous trees grow leaves, which wither and fall off in the autumn. Evergreen trees have needles. See how forests change with the seasons ...

DSC_0116In spring, the leaves appear and the branches grow. In summer, the woodland foliage is dense and green.

DSC_0116In autumn, the trees change color and lose their leaves. 

The Woods and Forest book (buy here) tells a beautiful story about nature's cycle, and the gracious transformation the trees undergo: from bare elegant branches in a winter to emerald green shoots in a spring, to bright forest-green hats in the summer, to golden crimson red in the autumn. 

To make nature, seasons, and weather observation more hands-on, we decided to get a perpetual Montessori calendar, where children can actively learn about the concept of time, by monitoring days, weeks, weather, seasons, and even the moon phases.

DSC_0123Perpetual Calendar & Weather Chart (buy here).

This artisan perpetual calendar is crafted by hand from solid hardwood maple. It is a great tool to bring attention to the purpose of the day and upcoming events and to teach children about weather conditions and cycles of the moon. I am loving the "Waldorf Colored Days" option, which follows the specific colors Waldorf homeschooling families assign for each day. And seasonal watercolor painted coins are so useful in allowing your child follow the season. 

By understanding nature's seasonal cycle and through daily monitoring of the passage of time, I hope my children can feel closer to nature, appreciating its cycle and all the beauty each season brings.

To find out which "Botany 🌸 Books 📚 we are 📖 Reading" ~ see a post here

For more Botany Lessons, read a post "Learning About 🍃 Leaves" here

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

Learning About ⏲ Time with Fractions Extension

Today, we are continuing to learn about time (see the initial lesson here). Learning how to tell, read and write time is very important, especially as children are getting older. Since there are only a finite amount of hours in a day, I teach my children to spend time wisely: if we waste time on something frivolous, we might not have enough time to do what really matters to us. To make this abstract concept more concrete, today, we are using this beautiful hand-made wooden fractions set (buy here) to represent hours and minutes.

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Originally, Egyptians divided the clock into 12 hours of daytime and 12 hours of night-time (or alternatively 10 hours between sunrise and sunset, an hour for each twilight period and 12 hours of darkness), as evidenced by various ancient sundials found marked with hours. So, a clock's dial displays twelve hours, and we can illustrate each hour by 1/12 fraction. Also, each hour has 60 minutes, and if we use 1/12 fractions, each fraction represents five minutes. Furthermore, using 1/4 fractions, a quarter of an hour is 15 minutes. There are four quarters (4 x 1/4) in one hour. Lastly, two quarters make half an hour which is 30 minutes. To illustrate this concept, we are using a wooden Time Learning Puzzle (buy here) made of non-toxic finish, which teaches a child basic time telling techniques with a rotating hour and minute hands. We are also using an Activity Clock, the Winner Of The 2006 Silver Award Practical PreSchool UK (buy here). 


DSC_0015A quarter past 8, is 7 o'clock and 15 minutes, which is 1/4 of on hour. 

DSC_0015A quarter to 4, means 3 quarters (15 minutes each) have passed since 3 o'clock: or 3 o'clock and 45 minutes.
DSC_0015"Half past" - means 2 quarters (15 minutes each) have passed or 30 minutes. 
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1/12 fraction can either represent 1/12 of 60 minutes which is 5 minutes, or 1/12 of a clock's dial, which is 1 hour. 

To learn more, we read About Time book (buy here), which tells an intriguing story about inventing the art of telling time. At first, no one knew the difference between a minute, an hour, and a day. Then people started creating tools to measure time. First, they used the sun, the moon, and the water, but soon they started building clocks. This book is a good introduction to a broader subject of time, including history of time making, and exploring various timepieces through the ages from an Egyptian shadow clock in 1500 B.C. to electric clocks in A.D. 2000.

For more about fractions, read here a post "Fractions -Montessori Math Lesson" and for more about time, read here a post "Learning all about ⏰Time."

How do you teach time to your children? Julia is seven, and she still needs lessons like this to reinforce her understanding of time.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🇺🇸Presidents' Day 🗽U.S. Landmarks and 🏛Monuments

Happy Presidents' Day! Today, we remember George Washington (our first President who lead through the Revolution), and Abraham Lincoln (our 16th President who led through the Civil War). We celebrate birthdays of both of these brave and honest leaders on the third Monday of February.

DSC_0131Today, we also honor all of our leaders who served as American Presidents. We discussed how many presidents our country had so far (besides our current President), and we read this Presidents' Day book. Children like "Rookie Read-About Holidays" series since all books are beautifully illustrated with just enough information for a three-year-old while bringing up facts interesting even to a seven-year-old.

After having discussed the American history and what the Presidents' Day holiday represents, we explored the U.S. landmarks and monuments and talked about their significance and what does each represent.

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We are using these miniature replicas for which I made 3-Part-Cards for matching. The set includes The Lincoln Memorial, the Hoover Dam, the Liberty Bell, the Alamo, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, the U.S. Capitol, the Empire State Building, the White House, the American flag, and of course, the majestic Bald Eagle. Each monument, landmark, and symbol beautifully represents our country! 

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DSC_0172This aerial photo captures the expanse of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This image shows the Lincoln Memorial (foreground), the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument, and, in the distance, the Capitol Building.
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DSC_0135Read here a post on how Adrian made Mini Mount ⛰ Rushmore Craft.

Happy 🇺🇸Presidents' Day!

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Starting the New 2017 Year with defining what a year means

What is a better time to learn about a year, seasons, months, and days, but on a New Year's Day!

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We started with understanding what is today: the first day of a year. So, we discussed (starting from general to specific): what is a year, a season, a month, a day. We read the Watching the Seasons book (buy here) and talked about the four seasons, and how many months are in each season.
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We then talked about a calendar. The Story of Clocks and Calendars (buy here) is a great book on this topic. The book is very detailed with a lot of interesting information.

Some children may not yet realize there are many kinds of calendars, both historical and modern, with many different names and units. This intriguing journey through time and across civilizations offers children the understanding that, for millennia, we human beings have relied on calendars of stone, clay, and wood to tell us when to plant, when to harvest, and when to rest. Engaging illustrations show calendar artifacts, calendar use in historical settings, and diagrams of calendar symbols and systems.


DSC_0263While reading The Story of Clocks and Calendars book, Adrian learned what is century: a hundred years. To make the concept more concrete, we are using Montessori Golden Bead Hundred Square to represent a century (buy here), while individual beads represent a year. 
DSC_0263We also read the Four Seasons Book Set (buy here), and talked about the twelve months, and a total number of days in one year - 365! That is how long it takes for our planet Earth to go all the way around the Sun once. We are using the Earth and the Sun from a hand-made wool/organic cotton Solar system Planet set from Etsy (see here).  Children had a lot of fun: Julia learned more details (I can wake her up in the middle of the night and she will tell me how many days are in one year:) while Adrian understood the cycle of seasons, and the concept of the Earth traveling around the Sun, to complete one year.

I hope you are having a wonderful first day of the year!

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW