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December 2011
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February 2012

This falls into the category of why didn't I think of it sooner. The idea came from April after the post about Little Colour Bottles. You know she's not only the gal behind goosedesigns she's also a Montessori teacher. Lucky kids. Anyway, I know this wouldn't work for everybody. Caspar doesn't have much hair. He had his first hair cut at three. It's also really fine. Hair washing has always been a drama. Then I questioned, why am I still washing his hair for him? I know as parents we want to look after our children, but why do something... Read more →

We don't have a schedule for rotating Caspar's books, toys or materials. He is old enough now that he will change things around on his own or ask for assistance. Christmas, birthday or any other time he receives something new is always a good time to rotate or shift things. Otis's materials are very different. I intentionally rotate these often, sometimes weekly. Our storage cupboard contains mostly Caspar's materials. Otis's things are generally stored in his room. This cupboard is never really tidy so lots of baskets work well for me. Caspar can reach and has access to the bottom... Read more →

I wanted to write a short post about toys. Caspar is no different to most children in the toys that he has. So this post isn't special in any regard. I really wanted to point out that he does have toys and we are not as constrained as it might have appeared from the post on his room. His favourite toys by far are his Bruder trucks and diggers. He has a few of these stored on the floor of his wardrobe as pictured above. We rotate these regularly or as requested with the rest of his collection stored on... Read more →

That was tough. Real tough. Thank you so much for your comments, thoughts and words of wisdom. I would love to reply to each one of you but at the moment I'm not able. I have read every comment and will follow up with every book suggestion. Thank you for those comments that made me think deeply and realise how differently children grieve. This information became so important to me over the last couple of days. We are now as a family celebrating the life of our beloved dog and finding ways to keep his memory alive. To lighten things... Read more →

The hardest day in my parenting life. I was up all night and morning comforting our dog. He didn't make it. We was old and had been with us for a very long time. He's family, like our first child. Caspar slept through it all. I didn't know how to tell him. How to talk about life, love and death with a four year old? I sat next to him with Otis playing in a different room. I was calm and clear. I used real words and told the truth. Caspar seems rather clinical about it. Perhaps he'll feel differently... Read more →

Happy Australia Day! Late in the afternoon while everyone else was resting Caspar and I entered the kitchen to make a Bird Seed Garland. He had a blast making this. We used this recipe I found by following a couple of links. It's a good recipe because it uses basic ingredients. We only used half the recipe because we didn't need to make so much. It looked so good Caspar wanted to eat it! We pressed the mixture into small muffin tins and to speed up the drying process placed them in a warm oven. We strung them onto embroidery... Read more →

Amy from Natural Aussie Families recently wrote an article Back to School BPA Free. Getting ready for the new school year was already on my mind. Caspar's old lunchbox was good in every way except for the BPA. I knew it had to be replaced. Many months ago I met with a friend who had a really great lunch box. She gave me the details of Little Green Table and the rest is history. Caspar's new lunch box is completely and confidently BPA free and still meets my other requirements. It's a must that he can use it independently and... Read more →

Caspar is four and the Montessori material he uses the most at home are the Sandpaper Letters. Sandpaper Letters are so practical as an at home material because there are so many ways in which you can use them. Sandpaper Letters are my number one material for preschoolers, they are absolutely worth the effort if you make them yourself or worth the cost if you purchase them. For Australian (and New Zealand) readers I purchased this set from Wood Puzzles but I think the Montessori Shop has a fantastic range. I have written previously about how we use Sandpaper Numbers... Read more →

I've been feeling disheartened this week. I took a step back to revisit the basics. I really wanted to share. Treat the child with the same respect as you would give an adult; Be consistent in your approach to the child; Provide encouragement and refrain from correction unless absolutely necessary; Provide an ordered and secure environment and routine; Allow the child to work at their own pace and without interference; Allow the child to be actively involved in decision making; Allow the child to have responsibility within their capabilities. Simple. Not easy. Fundamental. Read more →

Caspar has been asking about the plants, the flowers and their names. I was slightly embarrassed about my lack of horticultural knowledge. I looked them up. I thought it was important to know. So we would remember I took some photographs and made Scavenger Hunt Cards. All the leaves and flowers are right here in our garden. Scientific names too, great for language development. Read more →

This post will give you some insight into our day. Hopefully it will answer questions about how and what we do. It's school holidays and we have planned to spend the day at home. Keep in mind this is just a snapshot. When I wake my husband has left for work and Caspar is up and dressed. Otis is awake and we all have breakfast. I shower and get ready for the day. Otis stays near me playing with a basket of toys on the floor. Caspar sits on my bed and reads. Much like in this post. Half an... Read more →

Did you read Sara's last post over at Feeding the Soil? We have begun working on a project together. I'm so excited about it. Actually I have a couple of new projects underway that I think will be totally amazing but will require a bit of hard work and time away from the blog. So for the rest of this week I will be working solely on these new projects and I'll be back here again next week. A recent comment got me thinking. I have been a little absorbed in the world of babies and have been posting a... Read more →

Sitting, non-mobile babies are the best aren't they? I'm not ready to let him loose in the kitchen yet but he had a blast (and was oh so cute) making noise with these metal measuring cups and spoons. The gorgeous quilt he is sitting on was a gift from my cousin (Thanks Rach!). There are so many crafty/sewing projects that I would love to do. Quilting I believe takes time, skill, patience and accuracy. All of which I lack right now. I haven't given up though. Just acknowledging now isn't the right time. Anyone have experience quilting from a kit?... Read more →

My husband and I made the decision a couple of years ago that we would send our children to a Montessori school. It was a big decision. So many questions. Such a commitment. For my husband the main consideration was the financial commitment. Like so many we don't have access to public Montessori schooling and our private school is expensive. While my husband is also supportive of the Montessori principles at home there is the odd diversion. He is less consistent then me, offers the occasional chocolate bribe (to Caspar not Otis!) and is much more relaxed with the television.... Read more →