Monday, November 2, 2009


Winston Grammar

Olders are working on their history lapbooks, youngest dd is doing the pattern blocks, and I just sat down and typed up a few extra practice sheets for grammar. The olders are at the point of showing what words the adverbs modify and got a little stuck. Personally, I find adverbs to be the hardest part of speech. After working through the Montessori R&D Manual we started the Winston Grammar Program, Basic Level. Both are excellent and compliment each other beautifully.

I can see Winston Grammar easily used in a classroom setting. DH is a special ed teacher and sees how useful it could be in a lot of different settings for a wide variety of children. I think it would fall under Best Universal Practices. It's an excellent yet incredibly simple to use program. The cards are a good manipulative transition between concrete and abstract. Grammar is so abtract, isn't it? The cards are color-coded by part of speech, have the label of the part of speech with the coding on one side, and clues on the other side. What a perfect tool for active participation in the classroom and guided/independent practice. Perfect for whole group, small group, and individual work. Those who still need the cards to do the workbook can use them at their desks while others can just do the page without.

At home we usually do a few practice sentences with the cards and then they do the workbook page without. However, they can use the cards to see the clues if necessary. I would recommend this program after they have at least a cursory knowledge of the parts of speech. Our dc got a good foundation of that with the R&D montessori Otherwise, you could supplement with some hands-on lessons between each part of speech as it progesses.

Do I sound like an advertisement, lol??? Here is their link:

To be fair I should do a post later on the virtues of the Montessori R & D Grammar manual :).

What's Cookin'?

- Almond crackers [As I was putting in the egg white this morning I accidentally popped the yolk and tried to scoop it out best I could!]. These should go well with the goat cheese we got the other day.

- Almonds are soaking for almond milk

- We made Apple Bread yesterday as part of our All Saints Day celebration and it was a success. I think it was called Bobbing for Apples Bread at Oldest dd was sad to see me cut the leftovers into smaller pieces and put them in the freezer. I told her that this way they could take them in their lunches :).

The Garden:

I am so jazzed.

Background: Last winter we solarized a small area for my (our) veggie garden. Well, the bed never happened and we gardened in the flower beds and in a temporary bed around 2 small trees. BTW, the reason that we solarized it is because, of all places, we chose part of the area where we had trained the dog to go. If you knew my experiences with parasites you'd understand why I'd want to kill any microbes, good or bad, before starting a garden there.

Why am I jazzed? Because I now have a new plan. One I can start NOW. I am very much a project person, NOT a routine person (much to my chagrine!). Instead of one big bed I now plan on making several smaller beds. The area is 5x12 feet. I'll start by making a bed 5x1-1/2 feet for the walking onions and allums. Since it is smaller I can fill it more economically and faster. That's important because I want to transplant the onion now and I'm waaaaay overdue in planting my garlic. I can plant straight in there. I'll keep the onions I planted in the container this summer where they are and hope they don't freeze too hard this winter and just transplant the one from the flower bed. It will finally be able to walk! So, that will be my allum box.

Then I'll have another box 5x1 feet. There I'll transplant the strawberries. Since Dh is digging up our mystery tree near them, I want to get the strawberries out of there quickly. I hope the mystery tree makes it because I suspect that it's a plum or some type of fruit tree. I'd rather move the scraggly oak (and not worry if it makes it) but I see his point that it's more likely to survive the transfer than the oak.

I'll put one row of bricks in between each bed so I don't have to work in the mud. It'll be a tight walking space but I think it will work between those 2 small beds. Including the bricks, those 2 beds equal 4 feet, so I still have 8 feet left for 2 other, bigger beds. If I can get a rain barrell for Christmas I may be ready by spring!

The timer went off for the almond crackers and my computer time! :)

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