Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Laughing Star Montessori Review, Part 1 (Beautiful Handwriting Series)

Recently, our family had the privilege to get to review some wonderful Montessori materials made by Laughing Star Montessori. The materials were sent as compressed files so it was super easy to download all of the files at once.Laughing Star Montessori sent us included three items from their Beautiful Handwriting Series, as well as three items from their World Classification Photo Cards Series.

In order to be able to share a comprehensive review about Laughing Star Montessori, am breaking the review down into two parts, Beautiful Handwriting Series and World Classification Cards Series...
In this post, will focus on telling you about the three items from their Beautiful Handwriting Series.

From their website:
"Beautiful Handwriting" was created in Montessori classrooms 20 years ago. It is based on a 3-period sequence~students trace, then copy, then compose. Use it to introduce the correct formation of cursive, D'Nealian or Print writing when children are drawn to it, usually ages 4 - 4.5 for girls and 4.5 - 5.5 for boys. 
This series includes recommendations for supplies, suggestions for lesson presentations, and ideas for extensions.

First, we sampled Letter Writing and then, Number Writing...
These two pdfs are designed to help a child learn letter and number formations, as well as how to trace or copy letters and numbers. If you have a child who is trying to learn the correct way to form either letters or numbers, these pdfs are very helpful. What makes them nice is that they are not overly cluttered, but instead, are very straightforward, with nice, clean, simple drawings for each concept. They effectively worked at helping both of my sons to work on their handwriting.  Little Bro used both the number and letter writing practice pages, while Big Bro just tried out the number writing. The best thing was that both boys really took pride in doing their writing and enjoyed their work. What is also nice is that the booklets contain blank templates for additional practice or for extensions...

Then, what ended up being just a huge hit with the boys is the  
Farm Story Masters...
First, a basic lesson for story writing is given to the child.
This pdf contains wonderful directions on how to do this in a Montessori inspired way.
Then, children trace and illustrate their own farm animal stories to practice writing on lines.
In addition to having a child trace and then illustrate their stories, they can  also copy stories onto lined paper for additional writing practice. An explanation is also given on how to have a child use the Farm Story Masters to find parts of speech and to use grammar symbols or stamps. There are many options for using the Farm Story Masters...

In our Montessori inspired homeschool, each day as we were reading realistic books about farm animals, Big Bro and Little Bro then added a page to their own Farm Animals book.
They each selected different animals and then, would share their work with each other.
 Big Bro did the suggested work of using his farm animal pages with our box of wooden grammar symbols. He seemed to really enjoy doing this work.
Little Bro did a different extension with this work.
He had a basket filled with farm animals and had to find the animal as he read the page about the animal in his book. He then did an additional extension using both the Farm Masters and the Number writing Masters. Little Bro sorted the basket of farm animals and then, counted and wrote the numbers of each group on a paper.
They also did a very fun extension together by making a little farm finger puppet show to go with what they had learned. 

The Farm Story Masters are excellent...very effective at getting the boys to enjoy their handwriting work. If you have a child who is generally a reluctant writer, as Big Bro can be at times, try this set of Farm Story Masters. What a difference! 
So much fun yet such good writing practice, as well as opportunities for multi-sensory learning extensions, too.

All in all, the pdfs that Laughing Star Montessori sent were high quality, very interesting, and well planned. We feel so blessed to have been able to review their products for them and to tell you about their products, as both boys really enjoyed these as Montessori inspired activities!

 Please be sure to check out Laughing Star Montessori to see these great products.
They would be nice additions to any Montessori inspired homeschool or classroom. They are also quite affordable. They offer a wide range of  materials that are very professionally made and already laminated for you, as well as their newest offer of excellent,  affordable pdfs, plus some
free downloads for you to try.

Full disclosure: 
 Our family was given six free pdfs to try in exchange for an honest, thorough review of their materials. 

The feedback is my honest perception as to how my sons enjoyed using these materials, how effective these materials were at presenting concepts, and the quality of the materials we were given.

1 comment:

Inspired Montessori said...

Thank you for the great link! Very useful. Kudos for you homeschooling your children! That is the best way.

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