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November 2014
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January 2015

When we moved into this house we had a lot of little areas that needed work to support Otis' independence. The children's wardrobe is smaller than in our last house however it is large enough for all of their clothes (Bruder trucks out of rotation are stored at the very top). Behind the doors to the left are three shelves. Caspar has the top two. The top one for his personal items. Each child has a shelf for their folded clothes, a large rectangular basket for their shorts and pyjamas, sports clothes and a little basket on the side for... Read more →

The new year is a great time to think about strategies to promote peace in our home and classrooms. Perhaps a time to start preparing peace lessons, peace education activities or organising peace books. The Peace Stick is a wonderful peace book inspired by the Native American legend of the talking stick. It is a fantastic choice for reading out-loud perhaps at group time to promote peace at home or in the classroom. One of the reasons I really like this book is because it tells the story of squabbling siblings - something most parents can relate to. It also... Read more →

Looking for the very last chocolates in the advent calender. They are either on the swing or... on the water slide (or at the swimming pool). You have to love an Australian summer Christmas. Our favourite Christmas reading. From our family to yours - we wish you a very Merry Christmas. Read more →

This week has been particularly tough for Australians. Can I say it has been especially difficult for mothers? I don't know, everyone grieves differently however I know that I grieve more now that I am a parent. When a tragedy happens involving a mother of young children or children it touches me it ways it didn't previously. The most important part of my life is my family. Keeping healthy and safe. Nothing else comes close. Tragedy puts everything else in perspective. I'm still going to run with this post though because we are still giving gifts and there is still... Read more →

When I look at materials for my children I ask the same basic questions as everyone else, what is it made of, is it good quality? But my focus isn't on the materials. It's never really about the materials. It is about what the child can do with the materials. Yes, our brooms are wooden, high quality. But what can a child do with it? The child can participate. They can clean up a breakage. They can tidy a space or a room or a house. They can feel empowered, trusted. What about a lovely Butterfly mobile. They are designed... Read more →

Our days have been hot, sticky and often stormy. Our art shelves were one of the last areas that we organised. The study doesn't have any built in storage so we have utilised some open shelving. The boys can reach almost anything. The hot glue gun and aerosols (fixative and adhesive) are on the top shelf where Otis can't easily reach. They have access to lots of paint, pots and brushes. Ready for when they feel inclined. Some days are definitely theme related, the boys will start on something and work on it all day. Caspar loves anything space related... Read more →

What we are reading in December, please note this post contains affiliate links. I've been reading DO/ PURPOSE/ Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more by David Hieatt. From the DO/ series of books this is a simple, motivational business/start up book. Short, sharp and to the point! Otis has been reading Museum Shapes by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). A beautiful way to learn and identify shapes. This book introduces children to shapes through the Metropolitan Museum's extensive and varied art collection. We also have Museum ABC which is just as lovely. Do your... Read more →

How are you? We are ok, struggling at times. This whole homeschooling thing has it's challenges. We have toured and Caspar has spent some time at their new school. It's a lovely place, a Montessori school right on the river. Children can attend up to 15 years, which I think is equal to grade 9 or 10. Observing the older classrooms has made me feel really excited for the future, to know that a Montessori schooling doesn't have to finish at the primary level. It's really opened my eyes. I know many people consider Montessori for younger children or even... Read more →

One day Otis spilt some milk on the kitchen floor. 'I'll just go get my mop' he said to me and off he went. He cleaned up the milk and put his mop away. He was two. I totally credit his school (and teachers) for this as he had recently started in a formal Montessori classroom. I guarantee you cleaning up after accidentally making a spill or breakage happens naturally, automatically to children (including toddlers) in Montessori environments all around the world - everyday. Often in Montessori schools using a mop or wet mopping is actually presented as a lesson.... Read more →

1. HWM Shop, 2. Tiny Me, 3. TAG Toys, 4. JandPWoodProducts on Etsy and 5. TAG Toys Traceable. If you are starting to think of gifts for a child around the two to three year range (perhaps even younger) you might consider puzzles and possibly alphabet puzzles. A Montessori child of this age would be learning lower case letters and their sounds before upper case. Which is why for this age I absolutely prefer lower case to upper case letter work. I also believe that an alphabet puzzle is a great material to have in the home to support the... Read more →