Last year we moved from Canberra to Brisbane. We moved due to my husband's work however he grew up in Queensland (although he's not familiar with Brisbane) and would probably consider himself a Queenslander. At the start of this year (2015) Caspar (7yrs) and Otis (then 3yrs) started at their new school. We home schooled the last term of last year to ease the transition to a new location. Late last year we toured the new school. Caspar also had a trial day to get a feel for the school and his classroom. My first impressions of the Brisbane school... Read more →

There is nothing really like learning in place. Learning about birds under the trees. Learning about fruit and vegetables in the garden or at the market. About land forms at the beach! The boys have been learning in place a lot in the last couple of weeks. Above Caspar is giving a presentation on the attributes of this beak. Otis is playing, looking and also learning below. It's National Bird Week - every day we have focused on finding and observing the birds in our area. We've compiled a list of the species of birds we have seen in each... Read more →

Sunshine, water, sand, sticks. What a wonderful way to start the day. Our friends recently showed us this location and we love it. A corner of our home. We had to rearrange this corner, we removed the fish tank that was here. We can't take our fish on our move and Caspar's class is kindly looking after them. Otis is really interested in people, his block work always includes people and he keeps a person (a vet) in with his basket of animals, his play focuses (and has done for many months) on the role of people in our community.... Read more →

In one of my favourite and most useful posts Meghan writes about what we can do at home to support our children's learning at school. I often look back at this post and one of the activities listed came to mind over the weekend as Caspar collected native plant samples during one of our family hikes. We live near Bruce Ridge and it is a wonderful location. So, so beautiful. As Caspar started talking about Casuarinas, Acacias and Eucalyptus I knew we could take this further. Spring is a lovely time to take lots of nature walks and even a... Read more →

How to make an application for enrolment to a Montessori School

When I first called our school to enrol Caspar I was naive. I thought because we had made the decision on schools we would be welcomed with open arms. Recently talking to a couple of other mums in the school car park (as you do!) I discovered that even within the one school we all had different paths to enrolment. However now that we have enrolled Caspar and Otis at another Montessori School and the application process was similar I thought I would share our path. Get on the waiting list early. Firstly many Montessori schools and this applies to... Read more →

This and that.

I have a couple of real treats for you this week. Tomorrow we will be featuring a wonderful Canadian Montessori family. A family that you might already know! Later in the week I have an article that if you have a child at a Montessori school might be the most important article you will ever read. It has already changed the way I look at after school activities for Otis. Today though... some friendly and interesting links. If you are interested in infant Montessori you will love this Instagram feed. I have always been a fan of Kara over at... Read more →

Sometimes the smallest thing will strike an interest within a child. What can we do as parents? Always be prepared. Keep an open mind. Have lots (and I mean lots) of ideas and extension ideas in the back of our mind. Know our city and the resources within our community. We usually have a map or two around the house, sometimes a cultural basket and always lots of interesting books. Geography gets mentioned in all sorts of contexts. However recently we found out how valuable (and honestly quite amazing) maps can be at teaching history. History hasn't been a large... Read more →

Caspar started Little Athletics. It's the most organised, most inclusive and least competitive sport he has tried so far. And he gets to wear special athletics shoes! . . It's hard to pick Otis' interests. He's really interested in everything! I knew these large insect magnets would be a hit. . . We have one particular spot on our walk where Caspar likes to pick up rocks. He needs a bigger jar. . . On our nature table. Pinecones, rocks and feathers. . . Gardening teaches patience. Otis has grown these from seed. . . Children of the World. . Read more →

. Do you have a quiet place? . . Breathe, breathe deep. Touch. Feel. . . Fresh air and natural textures. . . We've recently found a new quiet place. The boys can run, sing and shout without breaking anything or disturbing anyone. . Our quiet place has water. And sand. And rocks, moss, stones, sticks and grass. Wet, dry, spiky, slippery, furry, soft and smooth. Whirly, windy, splashing, cold. . . Fresh. Refreshing. Beautiful. Surreal. Read more →

Floriade, our month long celebration of Spring has started and we couldn't be happier. Each year we visit Floriade frequently, entry is free during the day and there is so much for the children to do and see. Floriade - we love you! . . . My photograph on Instagram was taken from the top of this Ferris Wheel. I was trying really hard to stay calm, I'm not good with heights! . . So many ideas for the home garden! We stayed clear of the celebrities but we would like to go back to meet Costa. He is such... Read more →

Over the weekend we took a last minute, unplanned road trip. It was such fun. Often we fly when we travel and this was our first road trip with all four of us. My thoughts varied from 'this is the best day ever' to 'what were we thinking'. , What worked? Taking our own food for day one. I packed a box of fruit, snacks and sandwiches which kept us going for the entire day. Staying organised. A basket of books and toys in between Caspar and Otis' car seats, a bag for rubbish and a box of snacks in... Read more →

Photographs by Katie Kolenberg for Little ONE Baby. There is a little bit of Montessori in the latest edition of Little ONE Baby magazine due to hit the shelves later this week in Australia. It was a privilege to have Katie photograph our home and a privilege to be featured in Australia's premier baby magazine. Wow! Isn't it fantastic for a Montessori home to get such exposure and in Australia!! So proud. In this edition you will also find fellow Canberran Claire and her daughter Saskia's very beautiful bedroom. Read more →

. I'm told way too often that there aren't any photographs of me on the blog. There are a few if you look hard enough. Here we are braving the elements for food, really good food. . I have promised time and time again a post about our routine, about our schedule and how we fit Montessori (and housekeeping!) into our lives. I promise again that I will have a post on this soon. . Congratulations to Kelsey and her family on the birth of beautiful Dashiell, if you missed my share on Facebook here is her wonderful Montessori inspired... Read more →

There is no doubt that the best reference library you will find is your local public library. Caspar could spend all day at our library and he often borrows more books than he can carry. It's sometimes difficult to decide which books to buy and which to borrow. When it comes to reference books I carefully select which ones we bring into our home. For Caspar at five years I look for reference books that; have large, clear, beautiful, high quality images. Images must be captivating and inspiring. have slightly larger than usual (adult reference book) text. are indeed factual... Read more →

Today it was all about the birds. By observing birds you are by default also observing trees. We worked from one of our favourite locations. You can see Canberra city in the distance. I've shown photographs of this location before. It's inspiring. Caspar is loving photo-journaling (he's also been doing a bit of video-journaling). I love it too, to be honest. I'm not so creative with pencil and paper (or paint...) but give me a camera and I'm happy. I'm loving the instantness of this camera. I'm loving those clouds, it was a perfect Autumn day. My next post will... Read more →