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May 2013
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July 2013

Maria Montessori, Mexico, Afghanistan, Thai/Burma border, Afghanistan, Haiti, Torres Strait, Australia, Kenya, Australia. . There are many projects around the world working with our poorest and most disadvantaged children. Further information can be found at Montessori Around the World and Educateurs Sans Frontieres. . What about in your neighbourhood? Is there a private school, a charter school, a public school? The school my children attend is private but it was founded by a small group of parents who recognised a need for a Montessori school in our area. Yes, it was founded by parents. In my city we also have... Read more →

There are definitely days that I feel overwhelmed by blogging (yesterday!) but mostly I'm in love with the process. I'm in love, excited and inspired by what I find in my in-box. Amazed by the enthusiasm for parenting and teaching that surrounds me. A big thank you to Open Colleges for sharing Parenting More Important Than School: The Effect of Parental Involvement In Academic Achievement. You can see an enlarged version of the graphic here. While I'm convinced that it doesn't tell you any thing new, I found it interesting. The influence of parental involvement on a student’s academic success... Read more →

Finally I have updated our what we are reading page. As usual I've only highlighted the best of what we are reading. I want to apologise to the many readers and even sponsors who have emailed me over the last few months. Personally and as a family we have been through a difficult time. My husband returned from a seven month deployment and we are adjusting to a different kind of normal. My screen time has been limited and I have been posting at a reduced rate (I'm sure you have noticed) in order to address the many requests and... Read more →

I love working with the boys and showing them how things are made. Often projects stem from Caspar's questions, often from something he has seen or read in a book. Always from his natural curiosity. Over the weekend we made our own recycled paper. It was fun, wet and pretty messy. It's a wonderful project because in the end Caspar has his own paper to use and share with others. Together we spent many hours tearing waste paper into little pieces. Then we soaked the paper for a couple of hours. We put the paper with water into the blender.... Read more →

Do your children have equal shelf space? Otis and his materials are slowly taking over the study. Otis had his first hair cut and tried sewing cards for the first time. I realised that Otis does 'get' colour matching after all. Open and close activities are great for this age group. Vanilla extract and food colouring containers, little pencil cases or purses with zips are perfect for this. Read more →

Before I had children I dreamt of days like this. I longed for the everyday moments. Sure I don't care much for the washing and cleaning but it's made so much easier with a little one happily playing nearby. I am blessed for the normalcy that is now back in our lives. I am grateful for uneventfulness, appreciative of the everyday. It's Friday night here, I hope you have a lovely weekend. Read more →

I thought I would show you this transferring water activity Otis used today. I've written before how Montessori teaches gentleness, this is another activity which brings out the best in Otis. He needs concentration, care and patience to transfer the (coloured) water. This is an easy activity to put together and when the child is older the dropper has so many more uses. When we have an activity like this on our shelves we don't keep the water in it. Just the bowls and dropper are kept on the tray. If Otis wants to do the activity he will come... Read more →

I know that I cannot really 'make' my children do anything. It's up to them to decide what they do and I just hope that I'm raising them well enough that they make the right decisions. Just as I cannot make them eat I cannot make them learn. It's why I feel it's so important we consider the materials we make available and the activities we present. It's why Montessori classrooms have so many shelves. It's why in Montessori each child is doing their own work. It's why Otis walks into the study, picks up a tray, takes it to... Read more →

With two children at home on a cold wintery day it was nice to be surrounded by colour and creativity. I surprised the boys with these colour pegs. It's an activity suitable for both age groups. Great for the pincer grip, fine motor skills and colour recognition. , Stamping with transport stamps. . . Threading to make paper straw necklaces. . . Nature printing which worked beautifully. . And Otis had fun painting with the rollers. . . I hope your Monday was as colourful and carefree as ours. . Read more →

These Sensory Bean Bags are based on the same idea as the Fabric Box. My thinking was that bean bags would be more versatile and with some weight to them be more appealing to my children. . I made them using fabric from around the house, scraps and old or torn clothing and linens. Unfortunately I couldn't find silk or wool but it would be nice to add them to this collection. Each fabric and therefore each bean bag has a distinctly different texture so the selection of fabrics here is important. . . Otis preferred to match them visually... Read more →

Why do we promote independence? I promote independence because I want my children to get 'that' feeling. That feeling of self accomplishment, that boost of ego, the sense that they are capable. I feel sometimes in my home I am a little tokenistic in promoting independence. Often I give my children tasks just to keep them busy or out of the way. No more so than in the kitchen. Often I find myself taking over their tasks just to get the work done, to get the cake in the oven or dinner on the table. Recently I have started preparing... Read more →

I wanted to show you the latest book written by my dear friend Eve. 100 activitès d'éveil Montessori (100 Montessori Early Learning Activities) from 18 months. It is in French and in Eve's beautiful style. Each activity is very doable using basic homemade or easy to find materials. I'm also slightly biased because you may also find one or two pictures of Otis in. Not only is Eve a Montessori teacher, she is also a parent of two gorgeous girls, and this I think makes her most qualified to write this book. Some of the photographs were taken in her... Read more →

The pictures in this post make me so happy I could pass out. If you are French or French speaking check back tomorrow as I have some beautiful materials to show you. . Lori has given Montessori MOMents a make-over and it looks amazing. Congratulations Lori! . Sara has written a post about Henry's Montessori activities. . Nicole gives us a tour of her Henry's Toddler Room. . If you liked Montessori Number Work and Letter Work then you might be interested in Montessori Shape Work by the fantastic and innovative team at Baan Dek Montessori. . I remember reading... Read more →

The best thing about learning at home is the flexibility. It's easy for us to go from looking to cutting, cooking and eating. Today we took a basket of root vegetables into the study to give us some time to sit, relax and comfortably explore. This is also a wonderful language lesson as I gave him, and he repeated, the name of each vegetable. Then into the kitchen to make vegetable chips. Tossed in olive oil with seasoning and baked until brown and crispy. A tasty and nutritious snack and a wonderful learning experience. Read more →

. At the beginning of the year Caspar stopped reading his school readers at home. I didn't think much of it at the time. We still sat down together it's just that I was the one reading and Caspar was listening. Nothing to worry about, right? . I always thought that because I was an attentive parent who loves reading and writing, that my children would love reading and writing too. I can't say that Caspar doesn't love it, he just doesn't want to do it in the way I expected. I know my expectations don't meet reality. Caspar won't... Read more →