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September 2014
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November 2014

There is nothing really like learning in place. Learning about birds under the trees. Learning about fruit and vegetables in the garden or at the market. About land forms at the beach! The boys have been learning in place a lot in the last couple of weeks. Above Caspar is giving a presentation on the attributes of this beak. Otis is playing, looking and also learning below. It's National Bird Week - every day we have focused on finding and observing the birds in our area. We've compiled a list of the species of birds we have seen in each... Read more →

What I have been enjoying online this week... Raising a Child of Possibility, Hugh - I think you are all kinds of fantastic! Sources of Unit Blocks by Irene at Montessori Life as We Know It. Montessori Moms have introduced Foto Friday - What a wonderful idea when you don't have time for a full post - I might consider this for the future. Renee from Sapling House has opened a little Etsy store, I have ordered these. You must check out Renee's learning materials, they really are so beautiful. I don't have to tell you how awesome this is.... Read more →

The ability to read and write is not, in itself a sufficient ambition. What is of supreme importance is bringing about, in a child, a desire to read and write: this is the Holy Grail. - Montessori Read and Write, Lynne Lawrence. I recently wrote that I was not correcting Caspar's spelling. At his stage in development I want him to be able to write - just write without the focus on spelling, grammar or other corrections. Just to enjoy it! The more he writes the better. I want him to write freely, with abandon, uncorrected, unjudged. There are lots... Read more →

Today was our first day not back to school. It felt really strange not to be sending the boys off to school on what would have been the first day back from school holidays. Instead with stormy weather we stayed home and made the most of the day. If you haven't read my previous post - we are moving mid term and are keeping the boys out of school until we are settled in our new location. They will be attending another Montessori school. I have been advised by their teachers to expect some regression with their school work -... Read more →

Animalium (above and below) was published only this month and is so gorgeous, you will not disagree. It is a large book with lovely thick pages (it also smells really good in a bookish way!). It is based on a virtual museum as it takes the reader through exhibits from the tree of animal life - each chapter representing a branch of the tree. This museum is unlike any other you've visited before. Open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, its collection boasts an unrivalled catalogue of the world's finest and most extraordinary creatures, with each exhibit in... Read more →

While compiling a list of our favourite nature books I noticed one book stood out - I realised it's not a children's book! The text is small, the language is descriptive and complex. The images and the message it conveys are strikingly beautiful. Books tell us of stories far beyond our lands. Often beyond our imagination. How inspiring for a child. Create a language rich home environment. Surround yourself in beauty. Although Otis can now be trusted with good books, Montessori from the Start recommends; In addition to the books freely accessible to your child, keep a supply of books... Read more →

I recently purchased some audio books for Caspar on a disc (The Famous Five!). My husband called me out on cluttering up the place. While a few discs aren't going to clutter up our house, he had a point. It's likely the kids will go through stacks of audio books and my purpose was to see if they liked them in order to take them travelling. We have a long road trip coming up and I really like the thought of having a few audio books as an option when the kids are struggling. We aren't taking or downloading any... Read more →

With the boys at home I'm spending a lot of time observing them, seeing how they work and learn. I'm also getting some insight to how they work at school. I understand the Montessori concept of respecting the child's work and right to self correct however there are times when it's hard to explain to others. Cylinder blocks are self correcting, spelling is not. In creating a rhythm where Caspar is encouraged to write he is using a journal daily. It's not necessary for me to read the journal although often he wants to show me what he has written... Read more →

Recently while hiking Caspar and I started discussing how amazing bark is and how different it is tree to tree. So amazing that next time I took my camera to capture the unique beauty of the native trees that surround us. I printed the cards and made a booklet (there are ten images in total) as a little provocation for our nature table. A provocation - just like a beautiful nature book or art cards. The images are just of bark (the trunk of the tree) - this isolates the feature of the tree. It allows the child to further... Read more →

We love this warmer weather and we've had two consecutive long weekends. The boys have taken their blocks outside - blocks supplemented by some trucks, cranes and later a train track. Caspar builds the highest structure he could. The boys are using the blocks for pretend/role play. Caspar calls Otis (on his pretend walkie talkie) and asks for some blocks to be delivered. Otis delivers the blocks (as requested in piles of four) and Caspar pays him (with a pretend card). For both of them they are counting for a purpose, using quantities in a meaningful way. They are organising,... Read more →

(Caddies are from: Three Oaks, Achieving Creative Order, Montessori Services and Modern Parents Messy Kids) In our home a cleaning caddy works really well. We have previously put our window washing tools in a basket and had a neat pile of cleaning cloths on the shelf. But this is nice, we can keep some of the child's essential cleaning items together, it's completely transportable and really easy to use. We have a dusting brush, cleaning cloths (blue), cleaning mitt (yellow), a small spray bottle and our window washing set (all of these materials are from our little shop however our... Read more →

How can you tell if your child is finding internal satisfaction? I look for signs of contentment, happy, alert, periods of calm and the ability to concentrate. Generally I feel children innately look for activities that bring them satisfaction. Doing purposeful work, bringing pleasure to others, beautifying the environment. There is also the need of a child to exercise - achieve a level of metal and physical exertion during the day. The need for fresh air, outdoors, the longing to connect with nature and the world around them. The desire to connect with other beings, perhaps animals and other people.... Read more →

Sunshine, water, sand, sticks. What a wonderful way to start the day. Our friends recently showed us this location and we love it. A corner of our home. We had to rearrange this corner, we removed the fish tank that was here. We can't take our fish on our move and Caspar's class is kindly looking after them. Otis is really interested in people, his block work always includes people and he keeps a person (a vet) in with his basket of animals, his play focuses (and has done for many months) on the role of people in our community.... Read more →