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June 2013
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August 2013

If I were to choose another school for my children top on my list of questions would be 'how are my children going to be educated'. It's important don't you think? I'm surprised by the amount of people that don't know how their children are being taught. I spent the evening at our school speaking to Cycle Two teachers and having a look through a Cycle Two classroom. To say I understand Montessori isn't enough. To say I understand the next plane of development isn't enough. There is a big difference between each cycle and to be honest I'm still... Read more →

. I was recently asked about early numeracy activities. While I don't feel that we do or that I put out a lot of numeracy activities it was quite easy to put together a list of five. These five really encompass the numeracy activities that we do at 27 months as part of our everyday living. These activities are as hands on as possible keeping in mind that workbook, worksheet activities don't form a part of the Montessori approach at this age. . Counting Everyday Items . Counting oranges as we put them into the bowl. Counting apples at the... Read more →

I have made a lot of book recommendations over the years but these two books (both released this year) have changed everything. You can see my favourite Montessori books listed on the bottom of this page. We don't home-school, I believe we live Montessori rather than it being something we teach. These two books are similar in that they are not homeschooling books, or teaching albums. They are about living, having children in the home the Montessori way. Creating environments that support children to reach their full potential. Meeting the developmental needs of the child. However if you home-school or... Read more →

To brighten things up a little we decided to print on some of our plain napkins. A bit like our Inside Outside Fruit prints! . We've had these fabric paints for years and they are worth the initial investment. It's not that they are terribly expensive but if you want them in lots of colours it adds up. With our Inside Outside Fruit we used paint stamps because it's important to get an even(ish) thin layer of paint on the fruit. This time Otis did lots of simple sploshing but Caspar used the roller to get even coverage. . .... Read more →

I'm going to keep this little space in the study for themed baskets. I'm planning on leaving the basket there for as long as the children are interested in it. I don't have any expectations, perhaps a week, a month, six months? It will be a good way of using some of the materials not on our shelves and it might lead to some focused learning. We are starting with a cultural basket. There are so many options to extend this. Lets see where it goes. It's the first time we have kept a globe where Otis can reach it.... Read more →

I want to share with you some notes that I have made as I have been reading about Montessori, toddlers and books. All families I know treasure books. Every parent I know reads to their child/ren. So what's so different about the Montessori approach? Have the child hold and handle books from an early age. If the child is sitting in your lap have them hold the book or turn the pages. Ensure the child knows and understands where books are kept and is able to put them back after use. Demonstrate how to turn the pages carefully from the... Read more →

Otis uses a knife every single day. Without fail. Many times a day. He's definitely at the "me do it" stage. He has access to all of his knives now. To begin with I kept most of them out of his reach but over time as his skill level increased and he has acted responsibly we have kept his knives in his kitchen cupboard. Now he chooses which knife he would like to use or it's likely he picks up the first one he sees. But of course, it wasn't always like that. . Otis was introduced to a knife... Read more →

1. Transferring peas with a spoon, 2. Transferring beans with fish bone tweezers, 3. Transferring beans with jugs, 4. Transferring water with a sponge, 5. Transferring water with a dropper, 6. Transferring water with a baster. Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment. - Maria Montessori Pitchers, spoons, tongs, tweezers, chop sticks, sponges, basters, droppers, water, beans, peas - all easy to find materials. I love transferring activities because the level of engagement is high. Otis may only do the activity or... Read more →

I have never taken Otis to a Child and Maternal Health Nurse. He came home from hospital the same day he was born. A nurse visited two days later to check on and weigh him. That was the last time he was weighed. If I were concerned about an area of his development obviously I would seek professional advice, but so far so good. After being a huge worrier with Caspar (my first child) looking at percentiles and reading where he 'should be' I know it doesn't help at all. I think the only time I started to feel concerned... Read more →

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to two Australian Montessori suppliers and see some of their new infant/toddler materials. All of these materials except the bells are by Gonzagarredi. While these materials are made specifically for a school/community environment I think there is plenty of DIY inspiration. The bells however were in my price range (and I have them on backorder). I love the adaption of the bells for toddlers. The Screw/Unscrew is really clever and the fabric box is genius. Beautiful. Imbucare Box with Different Cylinders, Montessori Toddler Bells, Coloured Cylinders on a Tray - Set 1, Screw/Unscrew,... Read more →

A short post about an activity I introduced to Otis (and Caspar) today. For an older child (such as Caspar) I would take the batteries out completely but I know Otis will get there eventually. I think they like it because the result is the light, that they can make the torch work. It's a nice reward. It's also a nice introduction to how things work, that the energy source is the battery, without the battery the torch won't work. A great hands on approach to learning. I first saw this activity in The Making of Great Little People. In... Read more →