The following guest post is written by the amazing Aubrey of Montessori Mischief. If ever you wanted to know about Montessori education, do check her blog.It’s awesome. And beautiful.
- Phonemic Awareness and Classification with Zoo Magazine Pictures, by Aubrey Hargis
Making educational fun out of something free to us is not just part of our budget-friendly Montessori home school approach – it’s a challenge that the kids and I all embrace together.
Every day my three year old makes a jammie-clad dash for the mail out the front door. Our mail carrier is often caught in the act, and we wave madly until he gives us a thumbs up. Often it’s all bills (not fun), and sometimes advertisements (more fun), and if we’re very lucky, it’s letters written to us or glossy magazines from the zoo.
And a glossy magazine from the zoo it was that day. Out from the magazine came the staples and out from the cabinet came the scissors.
My six year old and three year old both chose favorite animals to cut out, and a stack quickly piled up on the kitchen table. What to do now?
We put our heads together. We thought hard. We stared at the animal cut-outs around on the table, and silently, like playing a Ouija board, our fingers began shifting them this way and that. Birds of a feather. Hooves together. Scales and claws. Furry paws. And by the time we finished clumping them all into groups, we were grinning.
“What are these?” I asked my three year old.
“Birds!” he shouted.
“And these?” I asked my six year old.
“Mammals!” he yelled, hands high in the air with excitement.
I grabbed a piece of paper and began writing down the names of our groups (classification): mammals, reptiles, birds, fish…
We discussed the characteristics we saw as we compared and contrasted our groups.
I believe it was my three year old who began naming the animals one by one and emphasizing the beginning sound (phonemic awareness): “O-O-Ostrich. B-B-Bear.” Quickly, I cut up some squares and added letters as we said the names together. You should have seen my three year old very solemnly placing each letter on each animal.
If the pieces hadn’t gotten scattered during their pretend play, it would have been nice to glue them to a big piece of posterboard, or even to back on cardstock, laminate, and adhere velcro for a felt board experience.
Suddenly, the world of junk mail has opened up a world of educational possibilities for us. No longer will I be simply tossing it all in the recycling bin. Who knows what will arrive next? We’ll be racing to the door to find out tomorrow!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your fun, on-the-fly learning with your kids, Aubrey! How inspiring!!
Aubrey homeschools her two kiddos and writes at Montessori Mischief, where she shares parenting tips and Montessori teaching tricks. You can find her hanging out with Montessori newbies in her Montessori 101 group. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google +.
Stop by and follow these great educational Pinterest boards:
- Montessori FUN for EVERYONE / Aubrey
- Babes in Montessori Land / Aubrey
- Montessori Mischief / Aubrey
- we teach: Montessori / teach mama
- literacy / teach mama
- cool & creative indoor fun | teachmama
This post is part of our new Rockstar Sunday posts. Each week, I will highlight one ‘rockstar’ in the parenting and education field. These posts? Seriously awesome.
other posts in the series:
Having been in the blogging space for 5+ years, we know for sure that our readers are always up for fresh and fun ideas on literacy, math, technology, parenting, and learning in the every day. They love crafts, hands-on teaching ideas, printables, cooking with kids, and anything that makes their job as parents easier, better, and more fun.
You don’t have to have a blog of your own–just cool ideas to share! We look forward to hearing from you!