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December 2016
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February 2017

You can identify Montessori spaces immediately because they are designed for the child first, not for the parent or adult. All of these spaces are heavy with Montessori features, I hope you find some fresh ideas or inspiration! Nalii Space - the room in the style of Montessori (above) at Kuku Mag, this site is wonderful with so many really beautiful room tours. How to keep order in the child's room? at Kuku Mag. I believe Katarzyna at Kuku Mag also does some Montessori consulting and offers an online course (in Polish). The natural timber in these two rooms is... Read more →

Frogs along with butterflies are so interesting to study, their lifecycle and metamorphosis make them a favourite with children. We started studying frogs when my children were preschoolers (think model frogs with lifecycle cards) but even at an elementary level (see the dissection kits) they are fascinating. I've compiled a list of some of our most loved and coveted frog materials! 1. Hand Cut Frog Puzzle - Ooh Looks It's A Rabbit. A simple four piece wood puzzle, more for hand-eye coordination than for learning about frogs, but still lovely! For a slightly older child I also love this handmade... Read more →

I didn't really get or understand the importance of teaching natural consequences until my eldest son was around four or five. Until then I was protecting him from natural consequences! I was making sure he had his coat on so he didn't get cold, hurrying him so he was never late, carrying his dishes so nothing would break. But there came a time when I realised that the lesson is often best learnt through natural consequences. Natural consequences teach children consequences for their actions - positive and negative! No punishment and often no explaining is needed, the consequences are there... Read more →

It was a public holiday here today (Australia Day), so I have just a short post to share. Above Otis is taking a closer look at a beetle he found (we still don't know what kind of beetle it is). Language work and nature study. Movable Alphabet here. Working with three part cards, not something we do a lot but 'ch' is also his current speech pathology sound. He also used the 'or' cards. Using building challenge cards with our Flockmen. The cards are a lovely extension idea I couldn't wait for the boys to try! Read more →

The Charlotte Mason approach is very different to the Montessori approach. However, I love the Charlotte Mason focus on nature study and the significance of the 'atmosphere'. Miss Mason wrote “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.". Here are a few really lovely Charlotte Mason inspired learning spaces. Above the homeschooling room at Wildflowers and Marbles. Pyjama School Learning Space. These are good examples of setting up a home schooling space in a home, Charlotte Mason or otherwise. Farmhouse Schoolhouse - which has an amazing range of environments and materials, including some Montessori influences. You know I love this... Read more →

To celebrate Australia Day later in the week I am featuring some lovely Montesori finds on Etsy all by Australian makers! I hope you enjoy! 1. Natural Playdough Tool Kit by Playful By Nature. They also sell the natural rolling pins separately. Did you see my Instagram post yesterday? This was my inspiration. 2. Child's Montessori Apron 3-5 Years by Monkey and Pumpkin. Or in a smaller size, 18 months to 3 years here. 3. Child's Cube Chair Natural by Child Sized Play. I also love the same chair in black! 4. Set of Six Jumbo Nesting Bowls by Chuckleberrys... Read more →

My children go back to school on Monday. Much of my focus this week has been on baking and getting together lots of easy lunchbox ideas. While my children are generally happy to eat the same foods every day I like to ensure they have lots of variety. I grew up with vegemite sandwiches (and chips for recess) every day. I can't say I ever remember taking any vegetables to school. School standards have improved since then, the boys' previous school was very strict, and their current school is pretty good at promoting healthy eating. I am not sure that... Read more →

"The first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behaviour. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon. This shows the importance of his surroundings." - Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind. Maria Montessori writes that the essential thing is for a task to arouse such an interest that it engages the child's whole personality, that we must provide "motives for activity" so well adapted to the child's interests that they provoke his deep attention. The school holidays can be difficult for some... Read more →

A lot of resources in our local community are underutilised. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, a wealth of resources that can be hard to find but well, it's worth looking. Today I'm sharing where to find low to no cost Montessori materials. I'm not talking about Montessori school materials, but real life, practical, materials for a Montessori home. Because I believe a child size knife, feathers, paint, beautiful books are as just as important as the Pink Tower. Local Library. The local library can be wonderful for books but think, or look, outside of the box. Today... Read more →

Do your children subscribe to any podcasts? We find this audio media so valuable, for education and entertainment. There are so many occasions where podcasts fit seamlessly into our lives, we often listen to podcasts: on car trips, road trips or even on the way to school. while baking together, making Friday night pizza or Saturday morning pancakes! during art sessions. on rainy days (or heat waves) when we spend longer than usual inside. when the children need down time but don't to want to read. when the children are unwell and lack energy, or when I am unwell (or... Read more →

It's a week until my kids go back to school - it's time to get organised!! Organisation is my strength and I love this time of year! Our school provides all the children's stationary so our back-to-school supplies only includes personal items, lunch boxes and the like. So I've taken everything out, given it a good wash and completed a thorough stocktake. My procedure is: Wash everything - school bag, spare clothes in school bag, water bottles, eskies, school shoes. Stocktake. Order new supplies where needed. Label everything! Pack ready for the start of school. Our school supplies include; Lunchboxes... Read more →

I love reading book recommendations so today I thought I would share a few of my own. These are four books that we are loving this month! illuminature (worldwide) - This book is magical! It is a beautiful large format book with nice thick pages. It is fully illustrated and comes with a three colour viewing lens. illuminature takes readers on a tour through ten destinations, including the Simpson Desert (Australia). Each destination has three sections, the Destination page which details facts on the habitat, The Observation Deck in which you can spot animals and The Species Guide in which... Read more →

Puzzles are one of our staple materials, they are so well suited to the Montessori home environment. Today the boys and I looked through some of our old puzzles and pulled out a few favourites. It gave me the idea to compile a list of the puzzles we've used through the years! It's interesting to look back on as there are some clear themes. Two Years 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 Although I've provided links to the puzzles I think it's more interesting to see what the child is working... Read more →

The boys received a new microscope for Christmas. The problem we are facing is not a new one. The boys want it accessible at every moment and leave it out surrounded by several dead bugs and an assortment of coins, stamps, slides and other things. Over Christmas our nature table was put away. Perhaps we could put our microscope on a refreshed nature table? For weeks I've been admiring the microscope area at this home, it's pretty amazing. Here are a few other microscope areas that I'm loving. 1. Our 'New' Nature Area at All Things Delightful. Love the combination... Read more →

"Among the first toys we buy for our girls, dolls can help young Latinas negotiate racial identity, develop a healthy self-image, and form a well-rounded worldview, says family therapist Maria Pilar Bratko, clinical director of the Women's Therapy Center in Berkeley, California. In a society that often devalues darker skin colors and natural hair textures, dolls that mirror our children "affirm that they exist," Bratko says. "When parents give a child a doll that looks like her, they're saying: 'There are people like you in the world. You matter just as much as anyone else....But don't let dolls be just... Read more →