I don't read a lot of parenting books however there was something that Meg said to me recently (about how to teach children empathy) that drew me to Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values. I read the Kindle version over the weekend and I couldn't wait to tell you about it. It really made me think about my parenting, how my husband and I address, speak to and approach our children and so much more. I have put a link to it in the side bar and I will be recommending it to all the parents I know.
Have you read Kelly Johnson's (a former Montessori elementary teacher) Wings, Worms and Wonder blog? This site and Kelly's book by the same name are a Montessori nature lover's dream. These are both really wonderful resources, this post includes a really cute idea (growing seeds for observation in an empty CD case). I have bookmarked a few ideas for the school holidays but I love this site/book for teachers - can there be too much nature in the class room? A huge thank you to Kelly for going to the effort of shipping her book to Australia for me - I know international shipping is a hassle for many small businesses and I appreciate her efforts.
I was looking for some specific materials recently and stumbled upon this store Sticks and Stones Education. It is adorable and has many natural materials and play scenes that are so hard to find. I will be keeping this site bookmarked!
We recently received our school report (for Caspar age 7, who is in a Montessori school). Each school report I have read (from two different schools) have been different and I never know how to interpret them. I'm happy there is no pass/fail or grading systems but I always have questions about the reporting process itself. It helped a lot once I realised (thanks again Meg!) that the schools we have attended use the Montessori National Curriculum. Montessori along with Steiner and the International Baccalaureate have approved/registered alternative curriculum frameworks. Wow what a difference it makes now I know that. And it makes so much sense - these 'alternative' schooling systems operate in really different ways so of course the curriculum and reporting processes are different. The Montessori National Curriculum is also a really useful document for parents. It's a large document but it really helped me process what and why my children are learning/being presented at school. If you are in Australia I recommending finding out if your Montessori school uses the Montessori National Curriculum (if they don't ask why not!) and if you want to know more about the Curriculum your school may be able to help.
I have a really great give away happening on Thursday (again for nature lovers), if you are an infrequent reader please drop back in then!
Top Otis is using a hammering set. Above Otis is using a variety of sea animals (the whales/sharks/rays are Schleich) in a large tub. More pictures here.