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February 2013
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April 2013

We are celebrating Easter this weekend. We have family visiting which means everything to us. Caspar and Otis are spending their days playing and laughing hard. On a personal note I am feeling so much better and will be blogging again regularly. It appears that I have some food intolerances which for now are being managed by not consuming dairy. I have started experimenting with alternative types of milk but I am feeling cautious and taking it easy. Thank you to those who have given me support and a big thank you for the tips I've received on Facebook. I... Read more →

Thank you to everyone who entered the give away for this gorgeous set of Alphabet Wallet Cards. The give away has now closed. However the Kickstarter campaign for the Numbers, Color & Shape, GO! and my wallet cards still has THREE DAYS to go. If you are interested in supporting this campaign please head over to Kickstarter. On another note I am feeling unusually unwell (and tired!) and have decided to take it easy this week. I'll be logging off from the computer for a couple of days and hope to see you soon. P.S. This arrived today and it's... Read more →

There is no doubt that the best reference library you will find is your local public library. Caspar could spend all day at our library and he often borrows more books than he can carry. It's sometimes difficult to decide which books to buy and which to borrow. When it comes to reference books I carefully select which ones we bring into our home. For Caspar at five years I look for reference books that; have large, clear, beautiful, high quality images. Images must be captivating and inspiring. have slightly larger than usual (adult reference book) text. are indeed factual... Read more →

I apologise. I was planning to write about our reference library but I have something more serious on my mind. I'll write about our reference library next. I've been thinking quite seriously about the affects of high drop-out rates. Does your school have high drop out rates? I feel that it's accepted that many families wish for their children to attend a Montessori pre-school but never intend to pursue Montessori primary. This makes it tough for a Cycle One (3-6 years) class. Children attend at three but leave once the child is five or compulsory school age. Do you think... Read more →

Today it was all about the birds. By observing birds you are by default also observing trees. We worked from one of our favourite locations. You can see Canberra city in the distance. I've shown photographs of this location before. It's inspiring. Caspar is loving photo-journaling (he's also been doing a bit of video-journaling). I love it too, to be honest. I'm not so creative with pencil and paper (or paint...) but give me a camera and I'm happy. I'm loving the instantness of this camera. I'm loving those clouds, it was a perfect Autumn day. My next post will... Read more →

Do you remember Marie-Claire? She's a mom to twins, a go-getter and now a business owner! She was also a Montessori child! I know I'm biased but I believe parenthood can bring out the very best in people. I love it when someone can overcome the busyness of parenthood and design a product not only for their own children but for all of our children. Even more admirable when the product is innovative, smart, biodegradable and non-toxic! Marie-Claire's first project was a beautiful set of Children's Alphabet Wallet Cards designed by Australian artist Marc Martin. You can see how Owen... Read more →

Here is another activity that is quick and easy to prepare. It's totally free using recycled food containers. . We love open and close activities. Otis learnt to use a screw top really early and now can open just about anything. Closing is a little more complicated but he can now do that with most containers. These little 'fish' containers are just perfect for this purpose. . FYI when observing Otis I notice that he usually does this activity twice, open and closes each container twice and it takes about two minutes before he moves onto another activity. I think... Read more →

Happy birthday to anyone turning three!! Most of these gift ideas come from my own experience - you wouldn't expect anything less would you? However this means they are orientated towards my own children's likes and interests. Practical life and exploring nature are huge at this age. I hope you like some of these ideas. I've had fun compiling this list! Child Sized Clothes Line. Do I need to explain how excellent this is? Washing and pegging are fun at three. Some tools for exploring nature; Wood Butterfly Net (this is the right link - it currently has an incorrect... Read more →

I have been working really hard with Otis to help him to dress himself. So often I take over. He can get his pants on. Once his head is through his shirt he can put his arms through. It's a process! On our block shelves I attached a photograph to help guide Caspar when packing up the blocks. He likes to put the blocks back in the same place but as his building work often uses all the blocks he has trouble remembering where they came from. This helps his sense of order. (We are using a playstand for shelving... Read more →

. What do your children collect during nature walks? Mine collect rocks. Lots of rocks. They collect a few feathers and leaves too. Some bark? I've been studying nature journaling and think that although we collect a lot of items we're not recording our nature experience, we're not taking note of our observations. We're not journaling! . I want to find a way that we can begin journaling in a way that suits us and fits in with our nature walks. Often during our walks we wander but don't always (with a busy toddler) stop. How can we collect our... Read more →

. Since Julia recommended Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy with Blocks my attitude towards these unit blocks has completely changed. This book is a complete block guide. There are so many things you can do, so many ways you can use blocks that I had never considered. Mindset changed! . As soon as I read about it I knew Otis would like this. I traced around twelve different sized blocks in pencil on A4 paper. Then I copied over the pencil with a black marker and laminated the sheet. Then I presented them to Otis with the corresponding blocks on... Read more →

With Otis turning two next month I thought it was time to refresh my memory about sensitive periods. I know at two years he is in or nearing the sensitive period for so many things. But what is a sensitive period and what should we expect at two years? What is a 'Sensitive Period'? Through observation Maria Montessori discovered the stages of development that all children follow. She found that children go through very specific and well defined periods of interest in certain areas of their development. Maria Montessori believed that the human brain is specially predisposed for learning during... Read more →

I was talking to a friend yesterday and she mentioned some of the fun food preparation activities she is planning to do with her Montessori school children. I am totally envious that this is what she gets to do for her work! I know many of these activities are suitable for home but it's much easier to justify a grain mill when it can be enjoyed so many. Here are some fun food finds for your Montessori classroom. Apple Slicer - We have one of these at home. It is great for building strength and it cuts the apple into... Read more →