Getting Started with Montessori Fractions

Age: 6
Presentations: Putting Fractiosn in order from 1 to tenth, Matching Fractions From Whole to a Tenth

Note: Here are my other posts on our Fraction presentations.

Traditionally, Montessori fractions start in first grade.  Now that Astroboy is officially in elementary, it is time to visit the subject.

I showed Astroboy a bit of it along side Thumper our first year homeschooling.  I spent a lot of time making materials and we zoomed through nomenclature,  The AMI style albums were a bit thin on follow up and the children weren’t too interested in making booklets.  Following the presentations, I tried having Thumper look for equivalence, she disliked the repetitive work.

Because of all this, we kind of gave up on fractions altogether our second year.  This year, with Thumper starting state testing, it is time to go back and cover all the subjects we were supposed to be teaching but never get around to.

In my Montessori albums, you start Fractions with nomenclature.  In Montessori primary, this is done with the skittles.  Astroboy did this once or twice.  He wasn’t too interested.  In elementary, you start with the fraction insets, which I did not bring to Taiwan.


Homeschool Summary Oct ’16

Been awhile since I’ve posted a summary of what we’ve been up to homeschooling wise.  After a month of minimal homeschooling in Japan and Korea, and a summer of play, we’ve been making some progress so it’s time to document.

Rather than detailed listing of what we’re doing, this time around I’m going to try and summarize.


After a summer of working on her English, we jumped from Guided Reading level K to about M/N.  I don’t know why I continue to be surprised that when you have the comprehension you don’t have to worry about learning to read late.  Because I keep worrying!

We’ve been working with Explode the Code to get the basics of phonics down more.  Right now, she can slough through The Odyssey by Mary Osbourne, which is about Level S.  I’m breathing a sigh of relief that she’s now close to 3rd grade English reading level and almost caught up.

In Chinese, she started with zhuyin version of Harry Potter, then went ahead and just read the other two without zhuyin.  I’ve having her wait a year till she reads Harry Potter #4, as content-wise she’s not mature enough for it.   This is the biggest thing occupying her life right now.  Everything is about Harry Potter.  She dreams about it, she does her Chinese sentence composition about Harry Potter, her first country in our flag study is England.


Month 1 Chinese Immersion in Taipei

This Friday will mark the 6th week we’ve been in Taipei.

By about the 4th week I was starting to worry about the children’s Chinese.  They were, especially Thumper, still speaking Chinglish.  When we visited my cousin a few weeks ago and she was chatting with my aunt, she was slipping in English left and right.  Frankly, I was surprised by the sheer amount of words she seemed to have forgotten in Chinese.

In contrast with our last visit, we have not been watching a lot of cartoons.  The cartoon landscape has changed in the last three years.  Many of the higher quality show shown on Momo TV is no longer available.  The kids end up watching tons of Disney, which is not my favorite channel, and often the songs are in English.  I don’t allow them to watch 蠟筆小新 or similar cartoons, so there really aren’t a lot of choices.

Basically we stopped watching TV for a few weeks.


Book Review: My First Larousse History 我的世界史小百科

One of the things I’ve been looking for during our trip back to Taiwan are non-fiction books.  We’ve been finding our non-fiction books lacking whenever we do any history or science studies.  The picture books seem way too easy, but the other non-fiction books I bought too hard for Astroboy.

I finally happened upon the Larousse set of encyclopedia at Mollie.  This is a set of 6 encyclopedias, translated from French.  Sadly there are no English versions.  They are:history

  • 我的世界史小百科 My First Larousse World History
  • 我的地理小百科 My First Larousse Geography
  • 我的生活小百科 My First Larousse Encyclopedia
  • 我的科學小百科 My First Larousse Science
  • 我的台灣小百科 My First Taiwan Encyclopedia
  • 我的動物小百科 My first Larousse Animals

The Taiwan Encyclopedia was actually written by 小天下 Publishing, not Larousse.   So far I’ve only used the History one.  I’m not sure if all 6 books are all written in the sequential format I need for homeschooling.  But the animal and geography ones looked promising when I flipped through them.


GYA16: Hiking Up Elephant Mountain 象山步道

Itinerary: Elephant Mountain 象山, Coco Curry, Ice Monster, Shin Kong Mitsubishi

The weather is turning warmer once again after a few days of rain last week.  It was so sunny this morning when I went out to buy some hash browns for my weekly pancake breakfast, I decided we ought to go hiking!  I’d been wanting to go to 象山 for 3 years ever since I saw my cousin’s post about hiking up there to get a free view of Taipei and Taipei 101.

We took MRT to the end of red line and followed the directions to 象山.  Thankfully, we chose the 20 minute hike instead of 40 minute one.  Because, wow, it’s basically a series of steep stairs!


GYA16: Making Tofu at Yilan

Itinerary: Goat Farm 宜農牧羊場, Making Tofu Pudding and Tofu at 羅東農會

The weather has turned rainy and cold (60s!) again and after a weekend of activities, I took it easy Monday and Tuesday.  On Monday I took a friend, Rain, who is visiting from the US to a bookstore.  By now, I think it’s a bad idea to go book shopping with me.  People always leave with tons of books.  Though thank goodness Rain already knew the books she wanted so it wasn’t all me suggesting books.

We stayed home all day Tuesday.  I had some trouble buying the Puyuma train tickets and learned that you can’t buy more than 5 tickets at a time via the train app.  And also that even if it says it’s out of tickets, they actually release more the day of.

Wednesday morning, we rushed out the door at 8:15am to make it to the train station on time because we had to buy 7 tickets in person.  Thankfully there were seats that were mostly together.

Rain took us to visit her friend in 羅東 Luodon, which is 1 train stop south of 宜蘭 Yilan.  We had such a fantastic time today.  The best part is that all the locations are super close to the train station.  I love to travel with locals.  They never take me to the super touristy places and it’s always way interesting.


GYA16: Chun Shui Tang and Asian Pacific Cultural Day 春水堂和亞太文化節

Itinerary: looking for tutors, Chun Shui Tang, 中山地下街, Asian Pacific Cultural Day, sushi boat

The children and I had a wonderful mindful day together.  Well, at least the first half.  Then they got distracted by the cultural day events.  Still, it was really nice that we actually paid attention to each other.

I had a little talk with Thumper the other day about how she needs to let me know if she doesn’t agree with whatever is on her work plan and not passive aggressively choose not to do them.  She’s been great about learning herself the last two days.  I spent the time talking to Chinese tutors.  Astroboy, on the other hand, spent the morning eating breakfast and snacks while I was on the phone.



GYA16: Theater Show and Marukame Udon 影子牆 和 丸龜製麵

Itinerary: Children’s theater @ 文山劇場, 景美生煎包, Marukame Udon, Browsing for home electronics

Finally!  A day I’ve been looking forward to!   I highly recommend everyone to take their kids to a local theater show when they are in Taiwan.  My dream is the Ciao Hu stage production one they have yearly in the summer and fall.  But those are pricey and sell out quickly.

We got tickets to see 影子牆 at the Wan Shan Theater.  I took all 4 kids with me.  There were some issues with our tickets so we had to wait till 5 minutes before our show to go in.  To pass time, I bribed them with some baked goods from 85 Degrees Cafe, which is across the street, while I relieved the stress of being responsible for other people’s children by having some delicious Grapefruit Honey Tea.


GYA16: Herbal Doc and LoveReadBook 中醫和愛閱書坊

Itinerary: Herbal Doc, LoveReadBook, Socks, Sesame Paste

Did you know that pigs get fed moldy cake in Taiwan?

We went to toss our trash tonight and I was all ready to dump the moldy birthday cake in the compost bin.  But the guy sitting in the back of the trash truck saw the cake, picked it out, and tossed it into the “For pigs” bin.

I’m assuming it’s for pigs, that’s what the recycle poster tells you, that there’s a compost bin (堆肥) and one for pigs (養豬廚餘).  All I can say is, I hope the pigs from HUCC 主婦聯盟 don’t eat those cake.

Astroboy has been sick the last few days and it’s now progressed to his chest.  So time to go to the herbal doc my aunt goes to and get some 百合膏.  It’s like that 川貝枇杷膏 Chinese medicine thing you buy when you’re coughing, but made of Lily?

Fleur took Thumper to EP bookstore while Astroboy and I looked for the herbal doc, who opens at 2pm.  I still find it very strange that docs open in the afternoon and work till 9 or 10pm.  In any case, EP bookstore is this free “library”, with a $100 entry fee, which includes unlimited drinks.  You can’t buy books, you can’t borrow books, you can read books there.  The draw is the nice space with new books to read.


GYA16: Afternoon Bubble Tea

Itinerary: 翰林茶館 Hanlin Tea,大安運動中心 Daan Sports Center

The temperature dropped 10 degrees and it’s the low 70s today.  I even pulled out my long sleeves.  Yay!  Finally some cool weather!

After a morning where I buzzed around doing a bit of this and a bit of that and then felt like I got nothing accomplished, we headed out for some Afternoon English Tea at Cutty Sark.  We had wanted to go yesterday but decided last minute that with antsy children it may not be the best choice.

Basically, my tummy has been tempting me to go out every day.

We took the MRT to Taipei 101 to go to Att 4 Fun mall.  However, the darn Cutty Sark was closed!  That’s the English afternoon tea place I tried 3 years ago.  The one we tried to go to yesterday was closed too.  Since it was already 2pm, we decided to go to Hanlin Tea instead.  This is one of the 2 stores that claim to be the one who invented the bubbles in bubble tea.

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