The Work Plan

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Art Labs For Little Kids

Some time in the near future I will be offering art classes to children 3-6 years old. At first I was going to outsource and hire a teacher that had more experience and talent to lead the classes.

After browsing through the library and bookstore I found exactly what I was looking for. Art Lab For Little Kids written by Susan Schwake makes teaching and exploring art with children easy peasy. The book is broken down by units.

Unit 1- Dedicated to setting the stage for art. It details how to organize art space, what materials are essential, and the positive attitude you need to possess to explore art with little ones.
Unit 2-  Drawing
Unit 3- Painting
Unit 4- Printmaking
Unit 5- Sculpture
Unit 6- Mixed Media

There are 52 lessons that are beautifully detailed along with stunning photos of the lesson unfolding. There are suggestions to extensions to the lessons that allow older children to be involved in the lesson as well. Each lesson highlights an artist too. I feel so confident in giving lessons to art classes to young children since reading this book. I highly recommend it! 

I'll be sure to share the fun when our classes begin.

Another note, this is just my opinion not intended to serve as a review of the book as we haven't completed any lessons. Just something I wanted to share just in case there is anybody else that feels that they can't teach art because of lack of experience or talent.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just One of the Many Reasons I Love Implementing the Montessori Philosophy

In a environment where the Montessori philosophy is being implemented, a child isn't forced to learn your way of teaching things for the entire group, but the prepared environment sets the individual child up for success with self correcting materials (not necessarily authentic Montessori Materials). The materials are chosen carefully and are often created by the child's teacher who observes them closely.

 So if a child isn't interested in using these materials for beginning language skills.

There is an activity still available to meet the needs of the individual.

Watch out Ya'll Maddux is falling in love with writing.

I don't think you can find such a wide range of materials in traditional settings to meet the same goals as you can in a Montessori Prepared Environment.

 Just Sayin:)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


My little friend Maddux who is 4.5 is getting his work on this summer and loving every minute! Many of the things that he wasn't interested in at all in the Fall he is gravitating too. One of them is our land forms.


His favorite landform is the Island. Maddux could play with the Island landform all day and night if he could.

I bet you can imagine his delight when he was shown how to make his very own to take home.

This has led to so much playful learning which is developing his sense of the world.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Where Did All Of The Leaves Go?

If you haven't witnessed the life cycle of the butterfly first hand I strongly suggest that you do. It is so much fun and the learning that the kids get from observing this miracle is unbeatable to any book on the subject.

When the first child witnessed all of the leaves were gone from the milkweed plant he was upset and thought someone had destroyed the plant. It took an older child to calm him down by explaining that the caterpillars ate the leaves. At first he didn't accept the explanation, but after I suggested to the older child to read the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle to him, Maddux the younger child gleamed with excitement. 

Now Maddux is interested in learning how to grow a milkweed plant, luckily we have some seeds. I love how learning about insects, specifically butterflies is leading Maddux to make connections in the Botany area.  Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It Is That Time Again...

When we go a little deeper into our study of Butterflies!

This year we will be comparing the Painted Lady Butterfly to the Monarch Butterfly. Also following the interest of the children we have been and will continue to learn more about host plants. 

    Revisiting the life cycle of the butterfly.  


This year the children are asking questions without prompts and recording their observations all by themselves!


This book has been very popular among the children to grab and find some quick answers to their questions.

I learn something new every.single.time. we raise caterpillars!

We are in summer session in a new location, click here for a little tour of our new learning space.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beginning Woodwork

Lots of things have changed with the program that I offered in my home. If you have been following along with me on my other blog then you are up to date on what has changed as far as the program is unfolding. I am opening up a Project Based Learning Studio. This program is strongly influenced by the Montessori Method and inspired by Reggio Emilia as well. I have four children who will be continuing their learning with me and I hope that time will allow me to share their activities with you here. To learn more about the Project Learning Studio you can visit the website at

One of the activities that has been a big hit with the kids is this Melissa & Doug woodworking set.

It is a car that comes in a wooden box, with a screwdriver ready to be assembled. It is a great work for children to really get use to using a screwdriver.


One of the children who isn't reading yet was able to give it a go using the pictures. What a great skill it is to be able to follow the directions without being able to read a word. What I like most about this kit  is that it is something that can be done over and over. Most importantly it builds confidence within the child to want to complete the task and still want to enjoy learning more about woodworking.

I found this kit at JoAnn Fabrics and with a coupon this well put together kit cost me $12.00. As soon as it is assembled I'll share a picture of the car completed, and yes my first grader who is a girl can't wait to get her hands on it too.