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April 2020
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June 2020

I love this flow chart by Daniel Willingham Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia and Author - "Guy I know was complaining about making his 8th grader's lunch. I didn't have presence of mind to say anything so 3 days later I made this." Found via Free-Range Kids. I appreciate the comments that for many people Acts of Service is a Love Language, I've found this especially true with Grandparents. When my Mum visited a couple of years ago she started making the boys' school lunches for them, she wanted to help out and it was very kind... Read more →

Weekend Montessori Links and Things - From Twitter!

Today I joined Twitter (you can find me here @HowWeMontessori), so what could be more apt than sharing some of my favourite Montessori related tweets? I hope you enjoy! "Eleanor is loving her weaning table from Sprout Kids. She enjoys eating her meals and snacks independently and seeing her rotating plants and wall pictures!" -Jennifer#sprout #montessoritoddler #earlychildhood #learningathome #montessorichild #woodendecor #woodenfurniture— Sprout (@GrowSprout) January 8, 2020 So cute. We know children learn through observation and imitation. "Our little Jacqueline loves her kitchen stool! It was very easy to assemble and has made her cooking game increase tenfold! She is... Read more →

Otto (2.5 yrs) has finally mastered self dressing! It helps that our weather is mild and he usually only wears a loose t-shirt and pants. Dressing has been a huge point of frustration for us so I want to share how we have got to this point. Why do we want a toddler to dress themselves? Out of respect for the child. To support the child's independence and developing autonomy. To help develop the child's sense of self and to develop self esteem. To teach practical life skills including fine motor skills. Because they can, they are capable if we... Read more →

Does your child ask a lot of questions? Often at inconvenient times? Questions that you may not know the answers to? We've found it useful to record the questions that Otis (9 years) asks and go back to them when we can, often with Otis taking the lead on finding an answer. If we are out I will record the questions on my phone, at home we will use large sticky notes and more recently a white board. It's been beyond useful to have the questions on the wall in a large/poster size. These questions often form the basis for... Read more →

I am often asked about how we store all of our toys and materials. When we moved from the UK to Australia I knew I had to find a way to store our puzzles so that they stayed together and we didn't lose any of the tiny pieces (especially in transit). I wish we had one system for storing puzzles but I strongly believe in using what you have. My priority is keeping the puzzles safe, protected and clean, keeping all of the pieces together and making sure they are still easy to identify and find. Before I put away... Read more →

I love a good sensory tub but I know there are more authentic sensory experiences for toddlers. Cooking can be a wonderful authentic sensory experience. Is there another activity where the child can use all of their senses? Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch? The thing about cooking is the child can experience heat - the sound, smell and feel of the food cooking. They can contribute to a family snack or meal. You know that toddlers can cook safely? Toddlers have been doing it for years in Montessori schools and communities. It is the Montessori approach that has inspired... Read more →

I don't want to sound pushy, but I want to check-in to see if you are providing a creative outlet for your children. Are you providing time and space for self expression? It doesn't have to be grand or expensive. It can be as simple as some pencil, paper and a few minutes of uninterrupted time. Perhaps your children aren't interested? Perhaps your children are already doing lots of crazy exciting creative things! One area of creativity and self expression that I'm particularly interested in is mark making, or drawing. "For youngsters aged two to twelve, expressing themselves through art... Read more →

At the start of the year I made a wish list of the materials that I wanted to try. Mirrors were at the top of the list. I have been interested in mirrors and their role in children's play, driven by questions about the Reggio approach. For the last couple of months we've been using mirrors in open-ended play mainly with loose parts and in explorations but also with art. "Pay attention to how your children currently interact with mirrors in your home and encourage them to use them in different ways. By placing a few in the play area,... Read more →