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February 2016
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April 2016

I am interested in all forms of education. While we are a Montessori family I love components of and deeply appreciate alternative educational philosophies. I also love looking at classroom design which influences our home spaces. Here are three preschools from the Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and Montessori philosophies. All of the classroom environments change as the children get older, these are only examples for the preschool years. I have also tried to show really beautiful and authentic spaces. Above is a Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at KLA Schools of North Bay Village (United States). I get so much inspiration from... Read more →

1. Oh Happy Day - featuring this wall paper wall map, 2. Wallpaper Mural Ideas, 3. HGTV, 4. Geosafari Wonder World Wall Map Set, 5. Children's Illustrated World Map and 6. Decowall World Map Wall Stickers. Caspar's previous Cycle Two classroom in Canberra has a huge world wall map. I love it and think it is such a good idea in the Cycle Two Classroom (6-9 years). Since seeing this bedroom in Oh Happy Day I've really wanted a world wall map for our home too. I found a lovely map on sale and put it up in the boys'... Read more →

I am on the hunt for really good lunch box ideas. Things like our favourite carrot and zucchini slice (that we also made today), something we can bake and use for snacks and for school lunch boxes throughout the week. I am loving the lunch box ideas at Weelicious so I trawled through the website and found some Vegetarian Baked Samosas. Even though Otis made ours they still turned out just like the pictures. We used sweet potato in place of the russet potato and garlic paste replaced the garlic powder. They have a little turmeric and cumin in them... Read more →

Some amazing images from Montessori schools around France! These schools all really beautiful I also love how different they are. These first two images are just so good. I'd love to visit this school! Most of the schools have more images of their classrooms if you follow the link. Ecole Montessori Internationale Jardin Du Luxembourg. Ecole Montessori Internationale Jardin Du Luxembourg. Ecole Montessori Rive Gauche in Caen. Ecole Montessori Rive Gauche in Caen. Ecole Montessori Rive Gauche in Paris. Ecole Montessori Mont-Blanc (these photographs were taken for an open day which explains the materials on the table). Ecole Montessori du... Read more →

During the school holidays I always have a couple of act activities planned. I put away the materials until just the right moment - when there is a rainy day or a rest day or just when the boys are getting bored or restless. I like to ensure that the boys are challenged, that they are learning and are exposed to new experiences. Foam Printing is a really good activity, it can get messy but it's safe, easy, interesting and suitable for young children. I think the results are pretty fabulous too! This is the easiest form of printing we... Read more →

A treasure hunt - we look around the house to find items that match the phonogram in this case 'ch'. Chocolate milk, cheese, chair (from Otis' dollhouse), chalk, chicks, chicken, cheetah and chimpanzee. 'I Spy' is a good game to play also. We have a basket of items that match the phonograms Otis is currently learning. He can pull the items out of the basket and form the words. Otis is using the Movable Alphabet and Phonogram Alphabet side by side. Montessori three part cards have been a big part of Otis' language work at home (three part 'sh' cards... Read more →

Image credit: Trinity Montessori School. What are the educational options for your children? We are fortunate to have lived in two capital cities which have many educational options. Montessori, Reggio, Steiner, it's all available. It's available at a cost and this is key. Most families I know make sacrifices to pay school fees, some are single income families, however they are overwhelmingly well educated and well employed parents. Our previous school Canberra Montessori located in the Australian Capital Territory has 69% of the students in the top quarter of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA), 71% of students have... Read more →

Freesoul International Kindergarten (Shanghai, China). LePort School (Emeryville, CA, USA). Yass Montessori (Yass, NSW, Australia). Otrada International Montessori Centre (Russia). Seametrey Children's Village (Phnom Penh, Cambodia). Images from KidsRfuture. Ambiente Montessori Modelo Fundación Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Montessori Nursery School (Poissy, France). Montessori International School Genova (Genova, Italy). I hope you enjoy a peek into some of these classrooms. Have a lovely weekend! Read more →

Image Source Who is Maria Montessori you may ask? She was the person who made the Montessori schools why? She was feeling sad about the children left at home while the parents worked at factories. Her first school was called Casa dei Bambini in Rome. She cared about children she thought that young children could do things for themselves with no help. She made small brooms for them and small chairs for them to move freely when at school. She loved children and she gave them more freedom in the class. She saw that children could choose their own work.... Read more →

It's been on my mind for a while. I had been making Otis' school lunches for him and I felt really bad about it. I honestly just wasn't organised enough. I often made his lunch late at night, baking at the last minute to fill the lunch box. Argh not ideal. It's not really about being organised it's about priorities, knowing what is important and just finding the time to make it happen. So why is it important they do it themselves? I recently read this article by Dr Angeline Lillard (Professor of Psychology and author of this book). Dr... Read more →

1. Primary Shapes Template Set, 2. Geometric Stencils, 3. Montessori Shapes (a plastic version of the Montessori Metal Insets), 4. Child's First Stencil Set, 5. Animal Shapes Puzzles, 6. Kindergarten Stencils. Using stencils is a really good way to help the child's developing hand control. Otis started by using simple shape stencils (circle, square, triangle) and he moved on to more complex stencils of animals, vehicles and other shapes. Otis currently uses the Geometric Stencils and the Kindergarten Stencils. In the Montessori classroom children of this age are often using metal insets for developing hand control and for learning the... Read more →

Around here this week, some pictures from Otis' desk. Above making polygons (both of my children have been enjoying this). Good on so many levels. Some fresh play dough. We use essential oils throughout our home and in the children's spaces. I've put some essentials oils c/o ECO.Modern Essentials in the play dough (we only use pure and always Australian made, ECO.Modern Essentials is a fantastic Queensland company). The boys and I often make our own room or pillow spray with a few drops of essential oil in some distilled water in a small mist bottle. We use this vaporiser... Read more →

We have so many friends with toddlers and I'm always thinking of really easy and practical activities they can do around the home. Bananas! Most children love bananas and as they are soft they are so good for a young child to cut and use for some practical life activities! Peeling banana slices from 12 months. Also see this post about Peeling a Banana the Montessori way which shows a couple of different ways to help a young child peel a banana. Slicing a banana with a crinkle cutter at around 18 months (using this crinkle cutter). Slicing a banana... Read more →

Otis has always enjoyed puzzles and working with his hands. When he turned four we started using Ravensburger Puzzles. They have such a wide selection of puzzles that are life like and many of them are really beautiful. recently asked if we would like to try some of their Ravensburger Puzzles and of course we jumped at the chance. All of these puzzles are suggested for 4+ years and I have found their age recommendations spot on. Above is the Tropical Friends Puzzle (60 pieces) which I love for the colour, the child's attraction to the natural environment including... Read more →

A Day in Montessori - Five of the Best Videos

I loving observing Montessori classrooms. I love to see the method in action, how the children interact with the environment and with each other. Here are five of the best videos of a day in Montessori. Above is A Montessori Morning which follows four years old Jackson in his Montessori classroom. I believe this was filmed at Dundas Valley Montessori School. My Day from Montessori Guide. This video is a bit longer but it is really worth seeing it through to the end. Montessori Guide also have many other videos on their site worth watching. A Day in the Life... Read more →