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February 2011
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April 2011

Look what arrived at our doorstep this morning... the chair, not the bear! This is the closest I could reasonably find to the child's first chair/weaning chair. We are in Australia and unfortunately we do not have a Michael Olaf here. Which could be why I was excited, it takes research, thinking and a little time waiting for furniture like this. This is the Cube Chair and is hand crafted by Montessori Child. It is for the new baby however Caspar has already spent much time sitting and standing on it. He actually turned it over and stood on it... Read more →

There is always a magnifying glass activity on our shelves. We don't have a nature table, but if we did it would probably belong there. A magnifying glass is one of our more useful materials because it is constantly being used while the articles being observed change regularly. By regularly, I mean around every month or so. Currently the magnifying glass is on the shelves with these (pictured above) minerals. I think we will use gumnuts next as Caspar is currently accumulating a collection of gumnuts and cannot go for a walk without collecting a handful. Many objects such as... Read more →

It is believed the sensitive period for grace and courtesy is from two and a half to six years. Yes, two and a half to six years. I want to shout this from the rooftops so that everyone knows. This is the best time to instil good behaviour and manners. Grace and courtesy wasn't even on my radar until Caspar started school at three. Sure, we asked him to say please and thank you but that was it. We didn't expect anymore and our own manners were pretty poor. One day I was talking to Caspar's Dad and Caspar walked... Read more →

The baby is due any day now and this could be one of the last pictures of just us three together. Before three becomes four. I feel amazing. The morning sickness has finally stopped (yes, morning sickness right through to 39 weeks!!), I have this overwhelming feeling of confidence, wellbeing and contentment. The world is a positive place right now. I feel warm, comfortable and at home. I know that we are headed in the right direction. This has been the right decision for us. There is no turning back now! Any anxiety, apprehension is gone. I feel confident and... Read more →

Yesterday was a foodie kind of day. We picked a whole bunch of parsley, mint and basil (pictured above). We washed them, picked off the individual leaves and put into the food dehydrator. Well, we didn't - Caspar did. I just watched. Another way to involve children into the cooking/food preparation process. We frequently purchase dry herbs, so this is a practical way of demonstrating what goes into those jars. As it takes such a long time to pick all those leaves, this activity helps to build concentration... and patience. Caspar has just realised that the herbs take hours not... Read more →

It is SO important to me that my children learn the basics of cooking and baking. Mostly we buy bread from the supermarket, occasionally we use the bread machine, but sometimes and especially when we have guests we like to make our own - from scratch, by hand. I'm not sure there is a better way to learn how bread is made. If you have children I recommend you cook with them as soon as they show an interest. You cannot worry about the mess. Just assume you will get flour everywhere and enjoy the experience as much as you... Read more →

A couple of people have asked to see more of our outdoor art area from this post. Here are a few more photographs. I hope that you can see enough detail and get some more ideas. These supplies (below) are from the crafting basket. Brown paper bags, paper plates, foil pans, coloured matchsticks, stick on eyes, small pom-poms, circle stickers, paddle pop sticks and glue. We keep the masking tape on the top shelf. I found the plastic storage container in our garage but I think we originally purchased it from the hardware store. Although not pictured we keep a... Read more →

I try not to move around our furniture too often. I know that for a young child moving furniture around can be unsettling, especially when it is in their bedroom. So I gave this A LOT of thought. I spoke to almost every Montessori person I know. I emailed, I checked out blogs and read books. I absorbed every piece of advice I received, could our children share rooms or should they have a room of their own?? When we started preparing for the new baby, we put the floor bed in Caspar's room and kept the playroom for both... Read more →

Most children really enjoy observing nature. A couple of months ago we set up a simple bird bath in our backyard to attract more birds. We also live close to a park and are surrounded by lots of lovely walking paths from which we can observe many native bird species. To extend our bird watching activities and improve our bird knowledge I arranged this (pictured above) Australian bird matching activity. Caspar still really enjoys matching activities and will use them frequently. I ordered the birds from Mini Zoo and I made the cards using the SEN Teacher site. This is... Read more →

"I don't want to go to school today"

I don't want to go to school today. Does every parent hear those words at some time? Well, I guess not those who homeschool. Caspar has never said it before. I was caught by surprise. What would I do??? My son Caspar attends a Montessori school and is in Cycle One. He has been happily attending school since he turned three last year. He attends three hours a day five days a week. Today started normally - wake, breakfast, etc and he was doing it with his usual enthusiasm. Then two streets away from the school he begins to get... Read more →

My husband and I are currently working on plans for a grand, new cubby house. Caspar has almost outgrown this one and we would love something bigger with a bit more space inside. Perhaps in time for Christmas? Our current cubby house (pictured above) is the standard kit type you purchase cheaply from the hardware store. Caspar still happily plays with this one and we have made a few additions to make it a little more fun including: a blackboard inside with a hook nearby for a bag of chalk and cleaning cloth a standard letter box (playing postman is... Read more →

This week I am going to try harder to allow my son to put on his own shoes. Everyday I find myself too impatient to wait while he completes this task. I get frustrated too easily, I step in and complete the task I know he can do himself. Usually I am very patient and calm however there is something about being ready to leave the house, in a rush to get to nowhere important, that doesn't allow my son the five minutes he needs to get both socks and shoes on and done up. I have given him lessons... Read more →

I have written a couple of times recently about books and particularly about reality based books. These are my top three reality based books that I absolutely adore. Peepo is just wonderful. We have a paperback and board book copy. We received the paperback copy as a gift from a very special friend, however every second page has a peep hole in it - which children love to touch so I purchased the more durable board book copy. It is so very English. I love the insight into everyday life from going to the park to going to bed. It... Read more →

I have written before about our kitchen. Do you remember the drinking station and how we compost posts, they are the most popular on this site! The picture above is of inside our walk-in pantry. The bottom shelf contains Caspar's things (he is three years old); water dispenser glasses on a tray fresh stack of napkins food storage containers bowl of fruit preparation placemat glass juicer container of utensils apple slicer/corer We also hang his apron inside here on low hook on the wall as per the apron post. He is always supervised in this area however unless there is... Read more →