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November 2012
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January 2013

Dear Readers, I hope you enjoyed my interview with Malcolm. That was my last post for this year. Thank you so much for joining me this year. I have appreciated each an every word of support, each an every suggestion and idea. It's been a comfort to know I'm not alone in this parenting/Montessori journey. I wish you the very best for the holiday season. I will be back in the first week of January. - Kylie Read more →

Malcolm is a well known and respected member of our Montessori community. But unlike many of us he is at the end of his Montessori journey. His youngest daughter Leah has recently graduated from our local Montessori school and will next year commence her first year at Canberra Girls' Grammar School. I thought I would ask Malcolm a few questions and find what is at the heart of his dedication to Montessori education. Can you tell us about how you were first introduced to Montessori and what your thoughts were at the time? As a youngish father, I was 35... Read more →

Ok, you know it's not snowing here. But true to European tradition snow reminds us of Christmas. Today while being rushed by last minute packing, wrapping and craziness, Otis and I made some Christmas Snow Cakes. The recipe was sent to me by Renata; - grated/shredded coconut - sugar - 2 egg whites Whip the egg whites to snow then lightly pour in the sugar and grated coconut. Make the cakes in a small paper basket and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Knowing my children hadn't eaten fresh coconut before I chose to grate it myself, but... Read more →

A Girl & her world is a small Australian based organisation that supports the education of girls in Fiji. It was established by Jane Kennedy after a friend in Fiji reached out to her for help, you can read their story here. It often feels as though we are not well off. Often it feels like we don't have enough money to be able to do all the things we want to do. Then I was reading through the archives of the a Girl & her world blog and I came across this from Jane... Kym and I were talking... Read more →

After writing about how Caspar was using Montessori number work to practice his numbers, I received a copy of Montessori letter work to review also. Having these books together is really useful. You can see our letter work book is looking worn, it's certainly getting used. I would suggest these books are best suited for a child around three years - when the child first expresses an intersest in writing. Although Otis at 20 months loves counting books and Caspar at five years uses these for practicing some of the more difficult numbers and letters. The books could be used... Read more →

Today was the first day of our summer school holidays. It was nice to have both children at home with me. It was nice to have Caspar cook lunch. If I were to write another kids cook book it would definitely include Fried Rice. It's easy for kids to cook. Caspar has it very easy, most of the time I prepare the ingredients while he gets started. Eggs (cooking above), Rice, Capsicum, Corn, Peas (including some from our garden), Carrots and a splash of Worcestershire Sauce. For the children we prefer Worcestershire Sauce to Soy, we only use a little... Read more →

A Tribute to Teachers in the Aftermath of a Tragedy

What heavy hearts we have. It's difficult to explain the pain one feels, the pain that so many must be feeling right now. Families, friends, a community and a nation in mourning. I am so very sorry for your loss. I live across the globe and haven't caught a lot of coverage. I've seen snippets of the news. It's difficult to comprehend. We send our children to school each day with the presumption that they will be safe. While acknowledging the grief surrounding the events on Friday I would like to pay tribute to the very special teachers at Sandy... Read more →

I've realised that the Geometric Soilds would make excellent first blocks. What other block set has such a range of shapes? What other block set has a sphere, a cone, a cylinder? These Geometric Solids are Caspar's and we've been using them as a sensorial material with his mystery box or bag. It wasn't until I introduced them to Otis that I discovered what great blocks they make, for building, for stacking, for feeling. These are now on my must have list of Montessori materials. Otis can use them as a toddler at the same time Caspar is using them... Read more →

If you have been following me on Pinterest it would come as no surprise that we tried this idea. We made enough for Caspar to give to some of his friends. You can see we put glitter into the yellow as Caspar wanted to add some sparkle for one sparkle loving friend. Thank you to Meryl for what I think is a fantastic and original idea. You can see the instructions on My Bit of Earth here. . Caspar tested all three colours. None of them stained or coloured his hands or the bath. The bath water ended up slightly... Read more →

There is a wonderful feeling you get when your child does the right thing at the right time. It makes you feel proud, makes you feel like a great parent. Then there are times when your child repeatedly makes mistakes, messes or does the wrong thing and you feel like a failure. Toilet learning can be tough like that. Otis often makes messes or has accidents but some days it's worse or more public than others. This morning it was on my bed, last week it was three puddles at our parent-toddler class. Mostly I just get on with things,... Read more →

Do you have a toddler that likes to take all the baubles off the tree? Then likes to throw them? . Otis is fantastic at throwing our shatter proof very bouncy baubles. I had to put them up high. Our precious baubles never made it out of the box. . How about some baubles made from cardboard? They won't break, they won't bounce. Sure he might still take them off the tree but he cannot do any damage. . They don't have to be neon, it's just the coloured card we had. Red, green and white would be nice but... Read more →

At this age there are so many skills to learn. Often I don't know if Otis is ready or able to do something until I give him the opportunity to try. Take spreading. He can do it well enough to make a snack, you can see he really needs to use his support hand. Come to think of it it's not unlike pasting. Although spreading requires a rotation of the wrist that it quite unique. You can see how important activities like pasting and spreading are in the preparation of the hand/arm/body for writing. Strength, coordination, rotation, the use of... Read more →

Making things is Caspar's art. It's his creative outlet. His making materials have expanded so much over the last few months that his 'making box' exploded. His making materials were stored in a large black box you can see in the first photograph in the post where he makes a robot. While we have a lot of materials stored in our Art Centre, the most commonly used items are kept within his reach. The wooden caddy you can see is his making caddy. It's essential for making. Scissors, twine, tape. On the bottom of the art centre there are three... Read more →

Because Otis wanted to do this activity while I was taking photos of Caspar's making materials I thought why not take a few photos of Otis too. Actually Otis walked right in front of my camera, took the pasting tray and set it up on his table. . We've had pasting on the shelves for couple of months. The other activities on this shelf have been out since Otis first had access to the art centre; crayons with a drawing book to the left and playdough to the right. Otis's easel was kept in this space but now in our... Read more →

Honestly, I know you were thinking the room really needed a rug. Somewhere nice and comfy for the boys to sit while reading a book. A circular one would work well (just like in Jackie's room). I had been looking for the perfect rug for a long time. So much to consider; are there any out-gases (always a concern of mine with rugs), is it ethically made and of course the cost (oh the cost of rugs these days, this one is on my wish list). Friday night while at the Eco-Elves Night Market we found the most beautiful colourful... Read more →