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April 2017
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In Montessori and in particular Montessori in the home, the focus is often on fostering independence. We know we should be supporting the child's independence but why, what is it all about? "The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind. Little he cares about the knowledge of others; he wants to acquire a knowledge of his own, to have experience of the world, and to perceive it by his own unaided efforts." - Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind. It's about following the child, removing barriers and allowing them to reach their full potential.... Read more →

Image: Child's Art Space at Mothers Aborad I hope you are having a good Monday! Here are some articles I'm loving this week: Supporting an Infant the Montessori Way at La Petite Turquoise. Olivia's Montessori Style Room at Dearest Days - this is a gorgeous toddler room complete with a comfy floor bed! Baby Led Weaning - High Chair versus Weaning Chair at Montessori-ish Mom - I support this approach, we used a weaning table and chair for breakfasts, snacks, and lunch but when the family had a meal together, mainly the evening meal, we used a high chair at... Read more →

Do I have an unhealthy obsession with Etsy? Perhaps so. Here is what I am loving (and possibly buying) on Etsy this week! Butterfly Mobile - Etsy is the best place to find Montessori mobiles and I am always drawn to the butterfly mobile. Montessori Grasping Beads - includes wooden and coloured rubber beads. Organic Plush Topponcino and Hyde Park Organic Cover - I have ordered this cover, I love neutrals but I love this design too. Wool Puddle Pad/Change Mat - a reminder that you don't need a plastic, non-compostable/recyclable baby change mat, there are better options! Butterfly and... Read more →

Have you seen or used the Montessori Roman Arch? It's simply beautiful but it's also really educational! The Roman Arch is a block set which allows the child to use and learn Roman engineering principles to build an arch that seemingly defies gravity. It provides a really good introduction to Roman history, ancient architecture, principles of the keystone and the form and function of the arch. This is a self-correcting, sensorial material that requires concentration and use of fine motor skills. Building the arch can be an individual or group activity and it's something that my children are instantly drawn... Read more →

We don't need a checklist to know what our children should and shouldn't be doing in the kitchen. Not only is every child different in their interests and skills, every family is different in what they eat and their expectations. However, it is nice to see what other families are doing and to get some fresh ideas. Here are some suggestions on what children five to seven years could be doing in the kitchen: Follow a simple recipe - there are lots of good kids cook books available or you can make/write your own! Know how to read and use... Read more →

Inspiring Montessori and Child Centred Spaces

I love getting ideas for our home spaces from other families. All of these spaces have Montessori or child centred elements and they are all so colourful with lots of unique touches. This account (above) has lots of lovely spaces that are relatable and doable. The materials are simple and age appropriate! This isn't specifically a Montessori space but it works, it is well designed for the child. Much of the materials are at the child's level and it has a warm and ordered feel. This family has some nice spaces, have a look at their bookshelves too! This space... Read more →

Last week one of my favourite crochet stores had a sale, and I just couldn't resist picking up a few more baskets. It reminded me how much I love crochet baskets (I love a good rope basket too)! We use them in almost every room of the house. They add warmth, softness, texture and often a pop of colour to a space! I love how they are handmade, and each one is unique! Perfect for the Montessori home! They make a nice alternative to wooden trays however they can't always be used in the same way, they are ideal for... Read more →

This week Otis showed me a literacy app he was using in his classroom. Besides being concerned - I don't believe there is a place for apps of this nature in a Montessori classroom, it reminded me of this article: Removing Supplementary Materials from Montessori Classrooms Changed Child Outcomes at the Journal of Montessori Research, it's an important read if you are a Montessori teacher. Here are some other articles I'm enjoying this week: The most divine baby space (pictured above), Jacob's Room at Eltern vom Mars. Reading corners in our Montessori home at Mothers Abroad. Montessori-inspired learning cards: Which... Read more →

Do you have a music basket or music shelves in your home? When Otis was an infant we had a plan toys drum on his low bedroom shelves. He would crawl over and loved sitting there banging on his drum. Over the years we've had lots of variations of a music basket including lots of rhythm instruments. Here are a few music baskets and shelves I really love, they are all very unique, enticing and beautiful! Music Basket How we Montessori / Music Basket at The Free Child Music Corner at Apartment Therapy / Music Shelves at Nduoma Music Shelves... Read more →

Choosing which cloth nappies to use was one of the first 'fun' decisions I've been able to make regarding our new baby. I have enjoyed researching the options, I have agonized in the decision-making process, and I am happy with the choices I have made so far. I wanted the most efficient nappy system; cost efficient, energy efficient and as natural as possible. For the newborn stage, I've decided to go with bamboo flats using wool covers. Once the child is moving and more active an all-in-one nappy might be more appropriate, but we will see. What we have for... Read more →

This morning we used the last of our Ebelskiver mixture and I couldn't part with the container, it's solid with a nice lid, easy enough for a toddler to get on and off. Like many Montessori parents (and teachers) I'm thinking how useful it would be for an open and close activity or to cut a hole in the lid for a posting or threading activity. So I've put the container aside with many other little interesting bottles and jars I've collected for a similar purpose for when our little one is ready (at or around 12-18 months). I thought... Read more →

Do you have a child at or around six years old? I've put together a list of topics and activities that a child of this age might be interested in, based on what they are learning at school and Montessori thoughts on this stage in development. Children of this age are often interested in topics that come from the great stories told at school and may include topics like the first humans, volcanoes, dinosaurs/prehistoric life but there are so many more areas of interest the child may take from this study. Children at this age are often becoming more social... Read more →

Image: Montessori Elementary Model Classroom. This week Otis (6 years) had a panic attack at school. He has recently transitioned from the Cycle One (3-6yrs) to the Cycle Two (6-9yrs) classroom and the change has been difficult for him. Sometimes the transition from one class to another is smooth and seamless, other times it can be a little bumpy. The physical layout of our school and their more formal processes have led to a less natural transition than I have previously experienced and would have liked. His panic attack is a reminder that children need support through this process, even... Read more →

Are you looking for some games to play that are fun and educational? Orchard games are fantastic for the home environment. If your child is learning their letters, colours or learning how to count there is a game for them! While I don't use these games to teach a concept they are a really good way to reinforce learning or to practice what the child may have learnt at school. Here are a few Orchard games we like: 1. Match and Spell (Australia) - Language, letter recognition, and visual discrimination. Suitable for 4 years +. 2. Shopping List Game (Australia)... Read more →

Image: Mothers Abroad How is your week going? Our week has been busy and slightly stressful but we have really enjoyed the weather cooling down and we've even had a couple of rainy days. If you are looking for some midweek reading here are some articles I am loving! I'm a confident mother because I follow my children at La Tela di Carlotta Some simple sewing and braiding at La Casa Nella Prateria - perfect for three to four-year-olds! A Montessori home garden at kukumag - so much greenery, I love it. Montessori: The Debrief - a good read at... Read more →