Category Archives: resources

Language Arts Beginners Lesson Pack download

Birds lang arts

click picture to go to lesson pack

I have set up a 60 page language arts lesson pack for children aged around 6 to 7 or slightly older. It incorporates Arabella Buckley’s Bird’s of the Air as a listening and basic comprehension lesson. Listening is an important skill that children need to learn to be able to learn other things. Charlotte Mason used “living books” such as those written by Buckley to read to children and have them narrate back in their own words. In the lesson pack there is room for doing that but also simple question and answer format for early writing practice.

I’ve included an introduction to Montessori grammar with cut out sentence strips and cut out symbols at the back.

I’ve tested the pack on my youngest and she did well with it. She is very dyslexic so it does seem to suit children who may have


extra challenges in learning. I do have the proper grammar symbols and Heleyna loves using them, but you don’t absolutely need them.

The set only costs $2.75 so it won’t break even the most frugal budget.

It introduces nouns, proper nouns, articles and prepositions – which sounds like a lot for a 6 year old, but the visual and manipulative approach with the symbols seems to work remarkably well.

Click on the picture above to buy and the sig below to see everything.



Making the Montessori equipment do more than one job.

Looking at the Montessori online shops like Absorbent Minds it would be far too easy to spend an absolute fortune making sure every lesson on every album ever downloaded was covered as prescribed. So here’s what I’ve been trying to do.

P1010653I have not gone back to the online shops. What I don’t see can’t tempt me. I remember that I still owe Josh money for the Montessori stuff I did buy!

I did work out over a long time what we needed for the widest possible work using the least possible equipment.

So. I have a lot of bead stuff. They are good for all the math work the three children do, including the Life of Fred books. They are also useful for geometry.  Heleyna (and the others) can make triangles, and other straight sided shapes with the bead bars.  She can also make angles with them. This means I don’t need the rods and have used a free download of geometric sticks for extensions from Livable Learning.

I’ve laminated a lot of the sticks and added small magnets for work on the whiteboard. If you do this a tip if not to put the magnets too close to the end

P1000170of the sticks as you need to be able to overlap the sticks for making shapes and some angles.

A lot of the “flat” Montessori materials are available as downloads to be printed on card and/or laminated. The decisions I have made on this, have been with and eye to the sensorial aspects of Montessori. I have bought things that are important for how they feel as well as how they look so the children learn through their senses and learn to train their senses in things like texture and weight.

I haven’t bought a lot of sensorial materials so I want the children to use other things around the house for that. I bought a set of glue jars  which can be used in various ways; add different beans for different weights. Add hot and cold fluid for baric touch (it’s not quite the same but it works). Different smelly things can be put in them and by  filling them differently with orange lentils they make sound shakers.

We use the trays as work space. Heleyna, in particular is an “all-over-the-place” kind of person. The little rim of the tray gives a gentle boundary to her exuberant nature as she learns.

prismsThe box of prisms for the brown stair can be adapted as spindles and rods for measurement of angle. We’ve also use them to make a narrow line for Heleyna to walk along to practice balance.

They are 1 cm² by 10 cm so they make great little measuring rods too. Heleyna has also used them as building extensions with the cubes and brown stair.

I’m sure I’ll have more multi uses as time goes on.

As I have the hollow cubes instead of the pink tower we can use them not only for tower and stair models and extensions but for pythagorian rules and for measurement of volume. They are also good for listening skills as the children can make the tower with the hollow side outwards and then blow into each cube listening for the faint change in tone as they blow from small to large and back again. We also use them for listening by banging them with a stick for different tones. Heleyna like to play a hide and memory game with them too. Memory games are very useful, especially for children with dyslexia.

P1000172Finally there’s a great way to save money on Montessori models by making them yourself from play-doh. We’ve been studying the earth in geography. The layers of the earth model is £10 + at it’s cheapest. We made one out of play-doh.

‘Scuze my dd’s scary stare there!

There’s a lot more that can be made with play-doh; I have big plans 🙂

Home Education: Curriculum planning grade 3 (year 4)

I don’t think I need to make too many changes for Avila this coming year. We’ll have to see how it goes. I’m hoping the new workbooks will arrive next week now I’ve paid the import tax on them.

This is just a quick overview. I haven’t finished planning yet and probably won’t really finish until term has started and I see where adjustments need making.

English and Language Arts and Reading

Finishing reading Children of the New Forest

English 3 from Seton

Reading 3 Seton

Spelling from CHC and some online spelling practice.

Beginning Reasoning and Reading


Religion 3 Seton

Vision Books


Math U See Gamma and then Delta

Life of Fred

CTC Draw Math 3

Building Thinking Skills Level 1 (gr 2 to 3)


Behold and See Science 4

Languages: Latin, Greek and Spanish

Latin Primer A and then B

Song School Latin 2

Song School Spanish and Spanish Primer A

Greek Primer A and Hey Andrew Greek 3

Music and Art

Aventus Piano Suite I have this on the monthly payments and it covers all three children. I think it’s very good and so long as you ensure hand position they learn properly.

Draw Write Now bk 5

Reading and Lit

Charlotte’s Web (library)

Tales From Shakespeare (Lamb)

The Princess and the Curdie and The Princess and the Goblin MacDonald

English Fairy Tales and other Jacobs books

The Little Princess Hodgeson

Kensuke’s Kingdom Morpurgo

Classical Academic Press; review

UnbenanntI’ve bought curriculum from a few places over the years, but I think my favourite resources have come from Classical Academic Press. The children love the stuff and they are genuinely learning from it.  I think the prices are pretty reasonable. They have become shockingly expensive for us recently thanks to the obvious drive of our lovely Govt who want to rake in money so have started slapping huge VAT and handling fees on parcels from abroad. I wasn’t very impressed as it has doubled the price of the resources for us. I’ve recently learned that educational items are supposed to be exempt, but tax collectors are the same now as they have always been.

In light of this I emailed CAP asking if there was any hope that in future there could be downloadable pdf or some other  way of circumventing the tax man. They emailed me back straight away and were really helpful showing great willingness to do something along these lines.

They have started Thinker’s Cap Academy which is embryonic at the moment but if they are planning to add lots more courses then this is definitely going to be of great use to us.

They offer a lot of good free resources as well which means you are getting even better value for money. I’ve listened to some of the audio seminars which have been useful to get an insight into the philosophical underpinning of their approach to Classical Education. There are a couple of things Dr Perrin says that make me trust I am getting a good product; first of all he quotes dear ol’ G.K. Chesterton so that puts him in my good books and secondly he stocks a CD of Dorothy Sayers The Lost Tools of Learning

UnbenanntThere’s also HEADVENTURE LAND which the children love. This is a great free resource with videos and games to help revise or are simply a break from the usual course books.

They have also launched Plum Tree Books with a plan to make them bilingual English-Spanish and English-Latin. Hopefully they plan some English-Greek as well.

So far I have bought Latin, Spanish and Greek resources. They were well written with DVD lessons aimed at the children so we can watch them together and learn together. There are games and just a generally fun approach that doesn’t talk down at the children, but isn’t all stiff and dry or “beige”. I have to say that having children who are enjoying what they are learning makes a home ed mother’s life much, much easier.

In Latin there is the choice of Classical or Ecclesiastical pronunciation. We’ve chosen to go with the Ecclesiastical because it fits with Church stuff.

This Classical Educator site has more resources to help remind us why we are doing this.

I haven’t bought the God Great Covenant books (yet). We have enough resources for Scripture, Catechism, Sacraments and Saints study. Avila is having a go with the free pdf first chapters and then I might consider it again.

One other note, while I’m considering God’s Great Cov. The illustrations are pretty good. There’s not a whole lot of them, which I personally prefer and they aren’t all sugary-sloppy. I just can’t stand cutsie-wootsie pictures in religious ed. When I worked with autistic children they always went for the realistic illustrations or the Eastern Rite iconographical approach over the cutsie-cartoon and I think those kind of pictures are much better especially for visual learners. (Seton homeschool materials are very good for this sticking to fine art and well done stained glass windows). If you have children on the spectrum or who are visual learners this might be worth knowing about the CAP resources.

I’d really like a good child friendly early Church Fathers resource…but I digress.

One other thing to note for anyone out there who is a chronically ill parent home educating. As all these resources come with DVD and CD support you can sit there in crash, voiceless, breathless and blue and it won’t matter a bit because Dr. Perrin and his team will teach them. Just get yourself a cuppa and wheeze quietly in the corner. All will be well.

I have written this review simply because I think Classical Academic Press are very good at what they do and because my children (aged 10, 8 and 6) enjoy learning with their stuff.

Seeking Montessori Albums and Great Lessons.

Having read some background into Dr. Montessori’s Method I have started using some of these sites for albums and great lessons.

Good overview list of Montessori Albums free and to buy.

Karen Tyler’s albums get good reviews. Unfortunately I need the Great Lessons and albums aimed at the next level 6 to 9 and 9 to 12.

I do like Moteaco for albums and great lessons.

Cultivating Dharma is great for albums (free ones) and if you check out the site there’s other freebies and good links to help greenhorn Montessori mums like me 🙂

The Great Lessons overview here lead to a link to Miss Barbara’s Great Lesson pages.

There’s a beautiful Great Lesson here, told originally by Mario Montessori, Dr Montessori’s son. It’s called God Who Has No Hands and I love it.

Montessori Materials

Livable Learning has some great free prinables and if you become a member -$50 for a lifetimes access- there’s even more stuff. I haven’t signed up as yet, but I would consider it for her material as they are very good.

I have bought the stuff I have bought from Absorbent Minds in the UK. I haven’t found anywhere cheaper than this Beware of the postage costs and the VAT, but even with these added AM is generally cheaper than elsewhere.

You will have to decide what you can afford to buy and what you can afford to make or substitute.  I am learning that I should try not to substitute too differently as Dr Montessori worked long and hard to make her design choices.  They were not just random as they are designed for all the senses of the child to be used.

I think I am about ready to roll properly now. My ambition is to have the children become independent learners as soon as possible. If I follow the method Dr. Montessori laid out, then theoretically this should happen and the children will have the ability to make their own discoveries and the self-discipline to work together learn, no matter what I’m capable of.

Free Montessori printables from around the net


Montessori For Everyone

Montessori Materials Items in purple are free. Items in blue are for sale.

Montessori Printshop has a page of freebies

lesson ideas at Montessori Album

The Helpful Garden

Easter reading lesson packs reminder

Just a quickie to remind y’all I have a load of freebies to cover Easter.

The VIA DOLOROSA takes you through to the end of the Passion. Then there’s THE SEVEN LAST WORDS. To cover the Resurrection through to Pentecost there is the VIA GUADE and my most recent pack ST. PETER WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION.

Please keep the work of Kalei and those of us who contribute in your prayers.