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August 2015
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October 2015

I go a little crazy for beautiful wooden toys. There is always that discussion in my mind about cost versus quality. This year we received the Grimm's wooden rainbow which I had always admired and I instantly regretted not getting it earlier. We have quite a few Grimm's wooden toys which we love but they are mostly infant and toddler toys. I'm now looking at potential Christmas presents for Otis who is four and there are quite a few Grimm's puzzles on my wish list. While Grimm's isn't a Montessori brand they have a great aesthetic that make so many... Read more →

I've been looking into ways to teach Otis ordinal numbers. When using the calendar it's clear he needs help in this area. Although we have tried lots of incidental use I felt that he really needed a formal lesson where I can lay it all in front of him. We started using these duck cards. They go all the way up to twelfth but today we started with first to third, then up to tenth. This was really just an introductory lesson. To start to become familiar with the use of these terms. I really wanted him to grasp the... Read more →

I don't take up offers for give-aways or promotions very often and not unless it's product we use or need. In this case - this is a product we very much needed. Otis has started full days at school which means he needs to take snack, lunch, a water bottle and sunscreen plus as usual a hat and suitable clothing (coat/jumper). He has so many different lunch boxes he loves to mix it up and take a different combination almost every day. I have been using permanent marker to write names on some items however sunscreen bottles and Otis' latest... Read more →

Today we tried some taste testing and it was so much fun I thought I would share it with you here. This is almost a five minute Montessori activity, it's really easy to set up with just a few pieces of fruit and a blindfold. With this blindfold taste test we only used foods the boys like. Otis had no idea what he was about to eat. He uses his sense of taste to determine which food he had been given. Here we used raspberry, strawberry, watermelon and banana. The boys then swapped around except Caspar already knew which foods... Read more →

This week I have rotated in a few of our favourite puzzles. The butterfly lifecycle puzzle is perfect to celebrate spring. Our garden is now full of bees and butterflies. This butterfly puzzle takes on a new meaning now that Otis is in the early stages of reading and he begins to identify the parts of the butterfly. We've also rotated in our lovely apple puzzle. I love Otis' initiative as he does the puzzle directly on the table. We've been using the new So Awesome Emotions Cards and below have used the extension activity of drawing the emotion. Really... Read more →

When a school or educational system claims to 'educate the whole child', what exactly does this mean? It sounds like a good thing right? It's quite a well used term that is being used increasingly but many would say it's something Montessori schools have been doing for over a century. Sadly it doesn't seem to be a mainstream approach. "It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive. Dr Montessori studied not only the physical development of children, but also their intellectual and social development. She conceived and evolved the... Read more →

One of my friends recently commented that she would like to do more Montessori in the home but doesn't know how. She has a good understanding of Montessori but it isn't coming together for her. She prepares activities her child isn't interested in and now he's in preschool she wonders if it's worth the effort. My advice? At least for the time being quit preparing activities. If he is in preschool he may not be as interested in formal work as he was in the past. But observe, keep your eyes open. Think intentionally about toys in the home and... Read more →

I love having Montessori quotes on my office wall. I often make up little quote cards like this to put in parcels for the shop. I thought I would share this one! You can download it below in two versions. I print these on 4x6 inch photo card in high quality. If you have any problems downloading these files try right click to Download Linked File and then print. I hope you enjoy! Download Education is a Natural Process Montessori Quote.jpg (747.9K) Download Education is a Natural Process Montessori Quote #2.jpg (619.1K) Read more →

Examples of Phonetic Three Part Cards: 1. Phonetic Word 3-Part Cards Montessori Beginning Reader - Nomenclature Cards - Quality Montessori (download), 2. CVC Phonetic Reading Cards - Trillium Montessori (via TPT download), 3. Phonetic Picture Cards Level 1 - Montessori Print Shop (download) and 4. Level 1: Simplest Phonetic Words - Maitri Learning. Following yesterday's post it is worth discussing our phonetic three part cards. I'd love to hear your view. I haven't had them recommended to me and as far as I'm aware the boys have never used them at school. I have been sceptical as I've always preferred... Read more →

Sometimes we might think alphabet books and cards like these are just for toddlers. While toddlers might love them my pre/early reader is enjoying going through them meticulously and pointing out every single item. Today I made these little pouches for Otis' early readers. I think it's a really cute way to present, store and carry them around. Oh my goodness, I can't wait to share this! When Caspar was little I purchased these phonetic three part cards. Caspar never took to them or I just didn't present them at the right time. As Otis is enjoying so much letter... Read more →

With our wet weather approaching and in an effort to keep our home and floors cleaner - I am wanting to create a Montessori style entryway for our home. I want to create a place where our children can independently hang up coats, umbrellas and possibly school bags and hats. A place for the children to sit and take off or change their shoes. A place that is easy for the children to look after and to help maintain their sense of order! Our entryway needs to be streamlined, I don't want to clutter up our home. I'm thinking a... Read more →

Otis' class director sent me this picture this afternoon. It's definitely one of those moments when I think 'this is why we chose Montessori'. This is why. In the cities we have lived there have many varied educational options and we have always gone back to Montessori. While I believe play is important and there is a place for play based programs, children must be given the opportunity to work. Would a four year old in a typical kindergarten or preschool be given the opportunity to form sentences, to learn about the role and purpose of full stops, to be... Read more →

I had this idea of creating an environment where my children can run through the solar system. Running around the sun and weaving in and out of the planets, pretending they were spaceships and zooming around. I thought I could create planets out of paper mache but some of the planets would be too heavy to suspend from our ceiling. Balloons would work ok but not perfect unless I could get different sized balloons. Anyway, this is how we came to find these inflatable planets (c/o The boys share a bedroom which is where we have hung the planets.... Read more →

My children are four and seven years old. Otis who is four does a lot more food preparation and cooking than Caspar my seven year old. Otis is still in the sensitive period for practical life and still really likes spending a lot of time with me during the day and so often I am in the kitchen. Otis is doing much more preparation for dinner, our evening meal and the boys are also cooking breakfast together. So while many of our current favourite kitchen tools are the same as in the past, we have a few new ones here.... Read more →

In Montessori we do not use flash cards in a flash card kind of way. Although I have seen a parent use cards as flash cards in a Montessori environment, flash cards are not Montessori at all. Quickly showing a child a card and expecting them to memorise it, then recall it - isn't really learning. However my children are both currently using flash cards and I thought it would be interesting to show how. Otis (4yrs) is currently using the Flash of Brilliance Dinosaur Flashcards and Caspar (7yrs) and Otis have been using the Flash of Brilliance Space Flashcards... Read more →