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During our early homeschool attempts, we made a lot of use of educational diagrams from a shop called “Parts of Wonder.” “Parts of Wonder” was an Etsy offering, that sold adorable fabric folio folders containing re-printable, laminated masters of educational diagrams. For instance, diagrams would depict discrete parts of leaves, mushrooms, and various animals. The master could be printed out for the purpose of coloring and general re-use. The folder also contained a number of laminated and non-laminated labels such as “cap”, “stalk”, “gills” for a mushroom or “head,” “beak” and talons for a bird. Children could either match up the laminated labels with the actual part on the illustrated diagram or glue a non-laminated label to the diagram.

My son got a lot of use out of the Parts of Wonder kits, but the shop is sadly defunct. but it is sadly defunct. We have looked around for similar resources, but we have not found anything quite so impressive. Fortunately, I did manage to find one, useful bird diagram that I made use of during our migration block.

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We just put the finishing touches on our September Focus Table. The theme is leaves and trees, so we’ve been working hard to find things that fit the category. We started off with some leaf print paintings that my son had done while visiting a children’s art class that was focused around a general nature theme. My son produced a large volume of drawings, paintings, and sculptural objects from the three hour class, and we put them aside just for this month. The rest of the work is displayed proudly on our fridge. Next, we added in a Montessori activity from Parts of Wonder on etsy, and some wooden toys from woodmouse and Rjabinnik. These two vendors also sell to the Waldor community from their respective stores on the etsy site. We’re displaying a large number of leaf and tree themed books primarily relating to changes observable throughout the fall season. We also have our own, handmade leaf identification cards. Throughout the month, we will be adding more of our own handmade crafts to the Focus area. We will be using Look What I Did with a Leaf to create a variety of animal art out of leaves. We will be also working on various crafts that we find detailed on various blog and websites.

Focus Table: Leaves & Trees

Focus Table: Leaves & Trees

Parts of Wonder produces wonderful activities designed for the Montessori community. This particular activity here consists of a laminated drawing of a leaf with labeled parts. This master can be used for a variety of activities. Children can look at the master and try and pair another set of laminated labels with an unlabeled master. This teaches word identification/matching along with familiarity of the parts that make up a leaf. There is also an unlaminated, uncolored picture of a leaf and sheet of labels. Those can be copied so that children can cut up the labels and glue them to pictures of the leaf. Descriptions of the various functions of individual parts of the leaf are also included.

Since the leaf activity is a little more advanced that the mushroom activity that we purchased from the same vendor, I brought in actual leaves so that we could compare real leaves with the drawing.

Montessori Leaf Activity from Parts of Wonder

Montessori Leaf Activity from Parts of Wonder