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April 2011
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June 2011

Last night I noticed Otis batting at his Octahedron Mobile. It reminded me that he has just turned eight weeks old and perhaps it was time to introduce the Gobbi. We have been encouraged to change the mobiles regularly around every two weeks as each mobile has it's own unique benefit and to prevent the child from getting bored. The Gobbi is a beautiful mobile comprised of spheres in graduated shades of one colour to stimulate the visual sense. The spheres are light so that they move in the breeze. We purchased our Gobbi from Goose Designs. I have seen... Read more →

I think nature tables are more of a Waldorf than a Montessori tradition. However I do like the idea of bringing in and observing some of nature. We don't usually have a nature table but as Canberra does Autumn so well we put together a nature tray. Caspar collects and brings home from school the little seed pods in the white dish. He is definitely in the sensitive period for small things. Our car and his pockets are full of them! Spring is my absolute favourite season but I do love to see the leaves change in Autumn. Read more →

I have mentioned the purpose of the wall mirror previously here but never before have I been so aware of the importance of children observing movement. Montessori believed (as do many) that children need to observe a movement (absorb it visually) before they can execute the movement themselves. Then the child can repeat the movement to master it. This is as important for a three year old as it is for a 2 month old. For Caspar (3yrs) this means him observing me as I grip the pencil, as I hold a fork or a spoon. It is not enough... Read more →

This is a topic that always interests me. I love to see how other people do it! Managing artwork hasn't been a problem for us until recently. These days Caspar brings home one or even two pieces of artwork from school everyday. That is on top of the artwork that he creates at home. Usually it goes straight here. But this area is now looking tired. The hooks and string look not so tidy and there is so much artwork up there it is all about to fall down. Inspired by Jessie's post Displaying Children's Art I knew frames were... Read more →

Caspar is at the very beginning of his writing journey and I wanted him to have a dedicated writing space. Here is his little writing centre. After being incredibly inspired by the likes of Playful Learning, The Write Start and of course the philosophy of Maria Montessori, it is was difficult to know where to begin. I decided I wanted this space to be inviting, attractive and fun be developmentally appropriate have a sense of order be engaging strike a balance between support and challenge Considering that Caspar is mainly scribbling but showing an interest in writing, his centre contains... Read more →

Yesterday Caspar gave me these flowers... Yup, weeds in a jar. While I love the gesture I thought it was time for some flower arranging. Montessori wanted all children to know, love and treasure nature. I am inspired every time I walk into a Montessori classroom and see so many little vases of pretty flowers. I wasn't able to find any beautiful little vases so instead I purchased some of these expresso glasses, they are much more our style anyway. We collected the flowers from our garden. Caspar trimmed the stems. He uses our garden shears, I wish I could... Read more →

Caspar frequently scribbles and draws lines saying that he is writing. He is now three and a half and I am thinking he is entering the sensitive period for writing. Yes, I am excited. At our last parent teacher interviews I spoke to Caspar's teacher (he is in Cycle One at a Montessori School) about activities we could do at home. She suggested playing I Spy games to teach him the letters and sounds. Naturally I have taken her advice and we have been playing lots of I Spy. Recently he has been asking me to write letters and his... Read more →

I frequently hear the Montessori line "follow the child" or "teach me to do it myself". I think the best line to summarise Montessori is... believe in the child. Today my husband took Caspar to the park near our home. I looked out our window and saw Caspar flying his kite, all by himself. I couldn't believe it. I didn't think he (or any other three year old) was able to fly a kite themselves. My husband obviously believed in Caspar when I didn't. He showed him how and gave him the opportunity, when I wouldn't have. Don't limit your... Read more →

A note to say that I have inserted a video of Otis using the Octahedron mobile to the post The Octahedron Mobile. It shows him happily focusing on the octahedrons, he will often play like this for 10-15 minutes. We have actually found this mobile to be quite effective in putting him to sleep! Read more →

It's a great moment when they can reach the taps. It's a celebratory moment, like when they can reach the doorknobs or light switches. It makes them just that much more independent. Caspar has been able to reach the taps for a while but not enough to fully turn them on and off, meaning he always needed assistance. But now he can use them completely independently. With our cold weather we have also turned up the temperature on our hot water system. So right now it is really important that he knows which is the hot and which is the... Read more →

This is how Caspar set the table for breakfast this morning. Yes, we eat breakfast on his little table. My best linen tablecloth, candles and decorations (he chose the sun, moon and a flower). This morning we ate breakfast early and it was still dark outside, I guess that called for candles. Read more →

There is something new in Otis's room. At six weeks it was time to introduce the Octahedron mobile. "The octahedrons are designed to lay the foundations for future understandings of geometric proportion, relationships and patterns. They are named for the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato" At Home with Montessori. I hope that you are interested in mobiles, because I intend on showing you each one that we use. Yes, I may indeed have a liking for these Montessori mobiles! Edited 21 May. A new video (taken on iPhone) showing the Octahedron in action. Read more →

Today at school Caspar painted this painting. It is very special to me. It really marks a time in his development. I don't know what it is called or when it usually happens. This is the first painting by Caspar that has ever been identifiable. I asked him what this painting is called. He replied "Two Flowers". Yes, it actually looks like two flowers! Read more →

Using the carpet sweeper. Caspar doesn't like the noise of the vacuum cleaner (and it is a bit hard for a three year old to use) but he loves the carpet sweeper. I purchased this one from the supermarket, it is small - perfect size for him. Cutting flowers. Flowers are an essential component of a Montessori classroom. We love them in our house too - everywhere. I wish we had more flowering at this time of year. Washing potatoes. Caspar wants to help (contribute) nearly every time I am in the kitchen. This is an easy activity to set... Read more →

Thank you for your suggestions to add some black and white images to Otis's room. I thought it was a great idea. We went to work straight away. Caspar and I experimented with lots of different images and materials. Then we tested the images on Otis. He liked them all! We decided on some cut out shapes. We finished off the look with black and white frames. What do you think? He has responded to them really well and we like them a lot. Read more →