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November 2016
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January 2017

Did 2016 go fast for you? In case you missed a post or would like some weekend reading, here are the How we Montessori - Top Five Posts of 2016! 1. Montessori Classrooms - Around the World. You can see all the Montessori Schools posts here. 2. Comparison of Reggio Emilia, Waldorf (Steiner) and Montessori Preschool Classrooms. 3. Why Shelves Work Better Than a Toy Box. I'm loving all posts on organisation! 4. Montessori International College - Montessori Schooling for Students 3-18 Years. 5. A Peek Inside a Montessori Daycare. And some more weekend reading for you! How we Montessori... Read more →

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 Yesterday I wrote about decluttering and minimalism with kids. One area that a lot of parents struggle with is Lego. How does one store it so it is accessible and easy to clean up? We have used a couple of storage options over the years, changing as the boys' needs have changed and as we've accumulated more Lego. The Swoop bag (#1) was perfect when the boys were little and we had less Lego. It was really easy to use on the floor and clean up was fast. We've... Read more →

This the perfect time to start thinking about cleaning up a little and decluttering, ready to start the new year afresh. Christmas also causes an influx of new toys and often surprise gifts that we need to find places for. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was life changing for many of us. However, it left us with lots of questions about how to do it with children. I'm looking for ideas on how other parents declutter with kids, how far do you go, how far is too far. I want to know what minimalism looks like with children. I've... Read more →

How has your week been? Otis and I have been baking lots of gingerbread and doing jigsaw puzzles. Caspar has spent a lot of time working on Lego Technic. The boys have also been enjoying swimming and lots of hiking. If you are looking for some weekend reading, I can recommend: Our Montessori Indoor Garden - A post that combines my two loves, Montessori and indoor plants! Gorgeous pictures. Cleaning House and The Hands-Off Mom Method both at Design for Mankind. Love the hands-off approach. 10 Tips for Nurturing Attachment During the Holidays at Attachment Parenting. The Best Gift You... Read more →

During the school holidays we've been doing the usual things like visiting the museum and art gallery. My kids love the museum shop and always like to look at the posters. Caspar already had the Insects of Australia - Guide to the Orders, hanging on his bedroom wall. On our last visit, he picked up the Australia's Insect Giants - Life Size (the insects are all life size!). These posters are under three dollars each are they really beautiful, educational and scientifically accurate. Caspar has also asked for a poster of the periodic table. I've been looking around as I... Read more →

It's almost Christmas and it's the school holidays, are your children fighting yet? For the first time I'm feeling frustrated at my boys fighting. Worst of all they have started to 'bait' or intentionally bother each other. What do you do? What do you step in? Here are some notes I have made on siblings fighting, when to step in and how to do my best at preventing the fights from starting. Hands off, wait and see. Do not rush in and 'problem solve'. Stand back and observe for as long as possible. Make notes if possible (or mental notes)... Read more →

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 For children in the first stage in development (0-6yrs) practical life is a fundamental component of a Montessori education. For Montessori in the home, it doesn't get easier than to introduce some practical life activities! Practical life includes life skills to help develop independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, confidence and include: Care of Self (food preparation, dressing, washing), Care of Environment (cleaning, gardening, care of pets, environmentalism),... Read more →

We've all seen the Grimm's Stacking Rainbow in Montessori, Waldorf and other homes around the world. I Iove the Stacking Rainbow, I love to see how my children use it. It's bright and colourful and ours is often found on our nature table or simply on our work shelves. It is so popular and I understand why but I didn't know it's history until recently. The boys and I recently discovered this life size Steiner Rainbow (pictured above). It was beautiful. I loved listening to the artist and her interpretation of children's or kindergarten toys. This is a little about... Read more →

This is a topic that has been on my mind for a while. Caspar (9 years) will sometimes say something or make a comment and I wonder where it has come from. Often I feel like he is repeating something he has heard and has not thought it through. It is amplified at election time or around the US election, which received a lot of coverage here. Critical thinking is an intrinsic part of Montessori education. Children from a young age are seen as scientists, problem solvers, children are empowered to independently analyse, test and make conclusions. However as parents... Read more →

Yesterday I wrote about one of our activity trays with scales (balance bucket) and some coloured glass beads, shells and wood pieces. Here are some other Montessori and Inquiry-Based learning ideas that I love. These activities are also really easy to put together. Our scales were around $15, or you could use kitchen scales, and we simply use materials we already have at home! So many of these examples use natural materials but I also like the idea of using standard size blocks (#8) where the blocks are of equal weight. I adore the sensory table for younger children (#6).... Read more →

Our long school holidays have started and we are all feeling relaxed and calm. Not only has school finished but we also have a long break from extracurricular activities and speech pathology!! I've started paying a little more attention to our home spaces. Along with rotating materials to create our Writing Station, we have also rotated the materials on the boys' shelves. Caspar (9yrs) is having trouble with fractions so I have reintroduced some fractions materials (he has also been using the fractions circle). We have lots of materials for the light table (our Magnetic Tiles are c/o, We... Read more →

1. A Christmas playdough tray. Otis uses this every day. 2. Nostalgic Christmas puzzles! 3. The cutest little cake tins. And delicious, child made cakes! 4. Kids who like to play the Ukulele. 5. Maze and labyrinth toys. This one is c/o Some things I have been reading this week. On Instagram I am loving teachpreschool. I adore this post for Clutter-Free Holiday Decorations. This post What color was your day, has me thinking about our writing rituals. If you are looking for Christmas ideas you can find my previous gift guides here. Gift Ideas for a One Year... Read more →

There are some activities which force me to slow down. Cooking with my children is a great example, it just can't be rushed. Making gifts with my children has the same effect. Recently we made homemade bath crayons for Otis to give to his school friends for Christmas. Making bath crayons requires heating so it's something that requires us to work together. We always make lots of crayons so we have extra gifts at home and lots of bath crayons for the boys' bathtime! Bath crayons you may ask, how do you make them? It's incredibly easy because we use... Read more →

Tomorrow is the last day of the school year and my children will be on their long summer break. I really want to maintain Otis' writing skills and noticed that some materials in his art area weren't being used. It's really important that we observe our children, take out materials that are not being used and bring in materials that spark an interest and are developmentally appropriate. Otis had two art shelves so I moved all the materials he was using onto one shelf (mainly paints and wood work) and removed the materials he wasn't using. I cleared the other... Read more →

Here are some of the most gorgeous and Montessori family friendly Christmas puzzles! It's all about stacking, sorting, sequencing, patterns, and finding order! All of these puzzles would work beautifully in a tray or on a child's work shelves. I really love the natural timber puzzles. Don't forget about nesting dolls, they make wonderful decorations and children love to stack, sort and put them away. The age ranges are a guide only. For Children 2 to 3 Years 1. Wooden Christmas Tree Puzzle. The beauty of this puzzle is in it's simplicity. 2. Chunky Wooden Christmas Puzzle. 3. Christmas Blocks.... Read more →