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February 2012
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April 2012

I promised I would share our calendar system as soon as I found something that worked for us. I was desperate. Caspar needed a concrete way of learning the days of the week, especially distinguishing between week days and the weekend and counting down to special events, visitors, holidays and birthdays. We've tried a traditional calendar but it wasn't at all engaging and not large enough to record all we wanted. I've had this calendar bookmarked. I knew it wasn't exactly what we needed but I found it inspirational. I also love this concept from the Wallsticker Company but knew... Read more →

The Pre-Linguistic Period

The last couple of videos have shown Otis babbling. He is really vocal which seems to be a characteristic of his stage in development. He is 11 months old and within a week of turning one. This makes it the perfect time to talk about the pre-linguistic period of language development. Dr Montanaro writes (in Understanding the Human Being) the pre-linguistic period lasts from birth (or even before) to 10-12 months. My main interest is how can I best assist my child in this period. Dr Montanaro writes "In this stage all the work children perform is hidden within them,... Read more →

We have parent teacher interviews tomorrow. Last year I left the interview feeling like I hadn't learnt anything new. We know the school well and we know the teacher well. We communicate regularly with the teacher and address concerns as they happen. This time I want to be more prepared and take in some questions. Here are my top questions for parent teacher interviews. 1. What are my child's strengths? 2. What are my child's weaknesses? 3. How does he interact with other children in the classroom? 4. Are there materials that he resists or is hesitant to use? 5.... Read more →

A pre-walker using a walker wagon

I've recently written how Otis likes to use his walker wagon. He has graduated to using it on tiles and hard surfaces. He has enough control to start and stop but usually ends up running into the furniture. He cannot at this stage turn the cart around. So we spend all day helping him turn around and navigate corners. Without the walker he can stand up independently but hasn't taken any steps. This walker wagon is currently available at Montessori Child here. Read more →

We've made a modest start on Easter preparations. Easter tree decorated - check. You can see our tree from last year here. This year we wanted to keep the tree off the floor and out of the reach of Otis. The bare branches suit our season, we are coming into Autumn and our cooler months. My favourite egg is the red one pictured above. It looks like a mama bird affectionately tending to it's baby. My baby has some eggs of his own. A mixture of wooden and crochet eggs. The crochet eggs are from Etsy here and are delightful... Read more →

Caspar asked for a clock in his room. He asked for a watch too. When I didn't arrange for the clock he took my bedside clock (which is digital) and put it in his room. He said he needed to know what time it was. He knows at 8.00am we leave for school. He has been using the kitchen timer for a while now and knows it takes twenty minutes for his muffins to cook. He's starting to learn about time. But what about a clock? A real clock. I purchased the most simple clock I could find. I was... Read more →

Otis packing up, putting away

I recently mentioned in the comments section that as soon as Otis could sit up we engaged him in packing up and putting away. It simply starts as telling him we are going to pack up as we slowly and deliberately put his things away with him watching. Then over time he helps. I rarely clean or tidy either of my children's rooms without them being present. I want them to have ownership over their own space. At the same time I don't expect an 11 month old or a four year old to totally keep their rooms clean and... Read more →

We purchase so few book these days. The library is a great resource and for many books or topics it is totally unnecessary to have them in our home permanently. We put more thought into a book before we purchase it. Is it a book that we want or need permanently? We recently found a couple of books to which we answered - yes. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. I loved this book when Caspar was young, I regret not purchasing our own copy then. It's rare that Otis as the second child gets a... Read more →

Sometimes it helps to get some outside advice. Meg from At Home with Montessori has become my go-to person for so many things. Not only is she Montessori trained she has some real life experience. I asked Meg to answer my most frequently asked questions about sleep. 1. We currently co-sleep with our 4-6 month old. Any suggestions on how to transition them in their own room and onto the floor bed? Co-sleeping works for some families and not for others. Our family is a bit of a mix. My oldest child never slept well in our bed and we... Read more →

I receive many questions about sleep. However I've never felt comfortable writing about it. I'm not sure my answers will help other than to reassure you that all children and all parents are different. Here are my answers to my top six most asked questions about sleep. 1. We currently co-sleep with our 4-6 month old. Any suggestions on how to transition them in their own room and onto the floor bed? I suggest start with daytime sleeps. I frequently co-sleep with Otis during the night but during the day he sleeps on his floorbed. I have found that Otis... Read more →

There are no surprises in my favourite things for Otis over at Mini Piccolini today. The things I didn't mention but are also favourites; the Ergo (yes, I love it now we don't need the infant insert), the Tripp Trapp high chair, floor bed, small chair and table, his new Puka Puka mobile, yes I could go on. One thing I am struggling with for both of my children is a suitable night light. If you have a good one please let me know. Currently we leave our passage light on all night! Love infant Montessori? Have a look at... Read more →

Of course you can introduce it any way you like but this is how we did it. We simply left the walker in Otis's room from around nine months. He started investigating. Reaching. Climbing. Then pushing it around on his knees. Then one day wow. Up he goes. He's not walking, he's running. As fast as he can until he crashes into the wall or furniture. The walker is the same one mentioned here. The wagon isn't weighed down it contains these handmade soft blocks. We sometimes move the walker into other rooms but generally only those that have carpet.... Read more →

I am making some changes to Otis's room. Trying (yes, trying!) to incorporate a care of self area. You know, a small table with a mirror. I tried this mirror. It's actually a bit too heavy to attach securely for this purpose. While it was sitting on the floor Otis discovered it. It entertained both of them! What is it about children and their reflection? They just can't get enough. Read more →

This lock and key activity is self explanatory. Four locks, four keys. Caspar is now at that age/stage/sensitive period where he doesn't sit still for long. Unless he is of course highly engaged. He has over the last few months enjoyed using our locks at home so I thought this would hold his attention. And it did. There is something about the mechanics of the lock that appeal to him. This is an activity that would appeal to many ages and most likely to children much younger than Caspar. It does require a little patience to work out which key... Read more →