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July 2011
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September 2011

When choosing materials for our new baby the interlocking dics were high on my list. Why? Well they are so uniquely Montessori, I wanted to give them a try. I had not seen them used before and didn't know anyone who had used them. This certainly isn't the kind of material you find in your local baby shop. I presented the interlocking to discs to Otis when he was around three months old. He was grasping lots of things but stuggled with the discs. The things he liked to grasp were items he could get his fingers all the way... Read more →

I didn't see it coming so I found myself a little underprepared. Although he was chewing on everything, everything! His favourite things to chew included fingers (his and mine), clothes (usually mine) and the strap on his Ergo carrier. Unfortunately some of the items I had purchased which said they were good for teething, those made of wood, have been an unattractive chewing option for Otis. So as you might know I have been asking around. What do you give your baby to chew on? I couldn't find a lot of Montessori information but I wanted to stick to natural... Read more →

These flowers look how I feel. For me personally it's been a difficult week. I have been out of sorts, feeling down, insecure, unsupported, and totally irrational. This isn't a Montessori topic but it is a parenting topic. For me, all of these feelings link back to one thing - lack of sleep. Lack of sleep = lack of perspective. So I have sought the support of other parents. I have sought the support of friends and my husband. But in reality it is something only I can deal with. Toughen up, I say. But when you are in the... Read more →

Yesterday we also did some juicing. But you have seen us juice before. I really just wanted to show you Karla's oilcloth aprons. You know I love little vases, little napkins, well I love little aprons too. Juicing can be hard work for those little hands! And juice is always good right? I need to think about how we use aprons. Try to be more deliberate in their use. To help define the activity. He already has an apron for food preparation but this one is just for juicing! Do your children use different aprons for different activities? I mean... Read more →

Last night I had only two hours sleep. Yes, two. I am sure many mothers do this each day. Otis has recovered from whatever it was that bothered him last night but Caspar isn't so good. He really isn't happy at school. I am trying to keep the dialogue open between us and the school until we get it worked out. So when things aren't working out - we garden. Today we planted some Lillies and enjoyed the sunshine. This lifted our spirits. We don't garden in any specific Montessori kind of way, except it is child led. Caspar assembles... Read more →

For our visual mobiles we used a small screw hook directly into the ceiling surface. As the mobiles were light, as Montessori described so they could move in the breeze, this wasn't a problem. However when we begun to use tactile mobiles like the Bell on a Ribbon, Primary Colours Mobile and the Ring on a Ribbon which Otis can grasp, we needed something much stronger. There are a couple of good videos on the internet on how to install a plant hook and we nearly went with this. However my husband located a stud or ceiling beam above the... Read more →

I know I have just posted an update on Otis's room but to help visualise the few changes we have made and to link with Neptune's lastest post Evolution of a room here are two pictures side by side. Otis and his room at around 1 month. Otis's room currently at 4 months. I think I might do this every few months as it is good to look back as the room evolves. I looked back trying to find a photo of Caspar's room when he was little. I took very few photos back then. One reason why I started... Read more →

I love to see bedrooms and nurseries especially those of the Montessori kind. But most of all I like to see them after a little use and to see how the have grown. Here are some recent pictures of Otis's Room lived in at four months. He is currently using the ring on the ribbon. There is some new artwork on the wall. These are watercolour paintings that I always envisaged for this space but have only recently ordered. I have removed the glass (actually it was perspex) from the frame so Otis will be able to see and feel... Read more →

The Ring on a Ribbon gives him something to look up at. He can reach for it and will eventually pull it into his mouth. It also gives him an incentive to move. He isn't very mobile he just kicks a lot and slowly pulls himself forward with his arms. He can move a couple of inches and that's a start. He is strengthening the muscles in his arms, legs, back and neck and gaining coordination as he reaches for that ring. He will need to push himself up further before he will be able to grasp it. This is... Read more →

For a couple of reasons we had to move some furniture around. This space was left empty when we moved a couch. Of course I wanted to replace it with something more child friendly. This area is in a living area and a space where Caspar often plays with friends. He also eats some meals and snacks at this table. Giving him a new area to spend time is also part of my no T.V strategy. We have had this rug out for a while, such a fun place for him to play with his trucks and cars (and garbage... Read more →

The sun came out today. Tomorrow it will be gone again, back behind some storm clouds. We made the most of it and had an impromptu picnic. Although it was still a little fresh, I took Otis's jumper off. Just so that he could enjoy some sunlight on those little arms. Otis has started to chew on everything. I need something that will satisfy this new, emerging need. These cloth rattles and teething ring arrived today from April (from goosedesigns). He is looking for some sort of texture, I hope these work for him. Thank you Elizabeth (from quiltmakers cottage)... Read more →

If so this is the Montessori book for you. It is quite a large book (404 pages in total) so I had put off reading it for a while. There is a DVD version too. Please let me know if you have seen it and if it is worth watching in addition to the book. Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius is unique as the author thoroughly explains Montessori's theory and then compares it with modern real life research. She puts some facts and science up against Montessori's arguements. Overwhelmingly the research supports Montessori but there is some good discussion... Read more →

There is a lot to admire. There is also a lot that parents like myself can learn from teachers. Here are the things I admire most about Montessori teachers. 1. Patience Do I need to say anymore? Oh the patience that must be required to work with so many little children. To deal with their parents too! I am not a patient person but I am working on it. 2. Ability to observe Caspar had only been at his school for two weeks when his teacher made a comment to me about him. It made me think, I was surprised.... Read more →

We didn't remove it in the middle of the night. Caspar knew it was going. It's just that he forgot. "Where's the T.V Mum?" Television wasn't a big issue for us. We had three televisions in the house. My husband and I watch very little television and Caspar would watch it occasionally. In the last month or so Caspar has been unwell, increasing his television time. He would feel sick (tired and grumpy) and I would get his blanket, pillow, some food and cozy him up on the couch - in front of the television. Then it started to get... Read more →

I love them in theory, hate them in practice. Well at least I did. It may shock many Montessorians to know that my first son Caspar was raised using disposable nappies. I tried cloth and failed miserably. Looking back now I see that I set myself up for that failure. Where I went wrong I tried too early. I tried cloth on Caspar as a newborn. The nappies leaked as they didn't fit properly. Being a first time parent is hard enough. With a newborn there is so much going on, lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, not necessarily a... Read more →