1. Pouring with a small funnel and a small bottle, 2. Pouring with a funnel and large bottle, 3. Transferring with a pipette (using colour mixing bottles), 4. Transferring ping pong balls with wire skimmer, 5. Pouring from pitcher to pitcher, 6. Transferring with pipette into ice tray, 7. Transferring sponge with mini metal tongs, 8. Transferring with large baster. It happens the same time every year. Christmas is over and our guests have left. The excitement and over- stimulation have finished and Otis is acting out-of-sorts. The boys have been spending lots of time on the water slide, at... Read more →

1. Fraction Circles, 2. Fraction Skittles, 3. Fractions 3-part Card Set, 4. Fraction Formula Game, 5. Wooden Fraction Puzzle 6. Grimm's Wooden Fraction Circles, 7. Plastic Fraction Circles, 8. Magnetic Fraction Tiles. There is no doubt, I think the best way to introduce fractions in the home is through practical life. Cutting a sandwich or apple in half, or in quarters. Baking and measuring ingredients. Using folding cloths. However puzzles like the Grimm's Wooden Fraction Circles are a delightful way for the very young to work with fractions. One of the reasons I wanted to write this post is to... Read more →

"Work is the key to the child's self-formation." - Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen. Montessori from the Start. "When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work, they appeared rested and deeply pleased. It almost seemed as if a road had opened up within their souls that led to all their latent powers, revealing the better part of themselves." - Maria Montessori "An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery." - Maria Montessori. The Absorbent... Read more →

When we moved into this house we had a lot of little areas that needed work to support Otis' independence. The children's wardrobe is smaller than in our last house however it is large enough for all of their clothes (Bruder trucks out of rotation are stored at the very top). Behind the doors to the left are three shelves. Caspar has the top two. The top one for his personal items. Each child has a shelf for their folded clothes, a large rectangular basket for their shorts and pyjamas, sports clothes and a little basket on the side for... Read more →

One day Otis spilt some milk on the kitchen floor. 'I'll just go get my mop' he said to me and off he went. He cleaned up the milk and put his mop away. He was two. I totally credit his school (and teachers) for this as he had recently started in a formal Montessori classroom. I guarantee you cleaning up after accidentally making a spill or breakage happens naturally, automatically to children (including toddlers) in Montessori environments all around the world - everyday. Often in Montessori schools using a mop or wet mopping is actually presented as a lesson.... Read more →

In my last order from Karla I asked her to pop in a set of folding cloths for Otis. I didn't use them with Caspar (although he would have had access to them at school) and I really wish I did. I think I've mentioned previously that Otis has a tendency to rush his work, while enjoying the task he is quick to finish and move onto the next thing. I'm hoping the folding cloths can be just one of many activities where I can show him how slowing down and being accurate/precise is important. Folding cloths like this would... Read more →

When Caspar was around three I started looking for good Montessori first/early readers. The Bob Books were the series most recommended. While he was learning to read at school (he was at a Montessori school) I wanted to complement this learning by having good readers at home. As a Montessori parent what do I look for in a first/early reader? Books that start with the Pink Series and progress in a logical way. The first books as with the Pink Series have a focus on phonetic, CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Has an interesting (non-offensive), engaging story line. Is not in any... Read more →

Living in Brisbane our lifestyle has totally changed. Although the warm weather is everywhere in Australia right now, never before have my children spent so much time outdoors. Practically all day, everyday. Dirty feet - every night. The boys have been using the Nature Play Passport which has given us a few new ideas. The boys love chocolate and I knew I could come up with a healthy chocolate snack. They don't look so pretty but they taste fantastic and only took a couple of minutes to make. Today we walked to our local library to find a beautiful organic... Read more →

I've mentioned before about Montessori not being something we do during a specific hour, at a designated time, about it being more of a parenting and educational philosophy. Once you get the hang of it, it's easy to make Montessori a part of every day. And to those who are skeptical of Montessori I think the way we live makes sense. Gosh Otis loves to sweep and he loves these stairs. I get that cleaning is really satisfying - and that the stairs needed sweeping. Sometimes he makes a rushed effort but today he paid attention to detail. Today he... Read more →

Yay! We made it to Brisbane. We are far from feeling settled (Caspar is feeling very unsettled) however we are comfortable and loving everything Brisbane has to offer. Even the scorching weather - no complaints here. Queenslanders are the most down to earth - laid back and all round chatty people. We have been made to feel so very welcome. A big part of our life right now is finding our rhythm and most importantly enjoying the same things we did in Canberra, enjoying the familiar. On moving in day the house was full of boxes and strangers (removalists!). A... 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 →

The ability to read and write is not, in itself a sufficient ambition. What is of supreme importance is bringing about, in a child, a desire to read and write: this is the Holy Grail. - Montessori Read and Write, Lynne Lawrence. I recently wrote that I was not correcting Caspar's spelling. At his stage in development I want him to be able to write - just write without the focus on spelling, grammar or other corrections. Just to enjoy it! The more he writes the better. I want him to write freely, with abandon, uncorrected, unjudged. There are lots... Read more →

Today was our first day not back to school. It felt really strange not to be sending the boys off to school on what would have been the first day back from school holidays. Instead with stormy weather we stayed home and made the most of the day. If you haven't read my previous post - we are moving mid term and are keeping the boys out of school until we are settled in our new location. They will be attending another Montessori school. I have been advised by their teachers to expect some regression with their school work -... Read more →

While compiling a list of our favourite nature books I noticed one book stood out - I realised it's not a children's book! The text is small, the language is descriptive and complex. The images and the message it conveys are strikingly beautiful. Books tell us of stories far beyond our lands. Often beyond our imagination. How inspiring for a child. Create a language rich home environment. Surround yourself in beauty. Although Otis can now be trusted with good books, Montessori from the Start recommends; In addition to the books freely accessible to your child, keep a supply of books... Read more →

Recently while hiking Caspar and I started discussing how amazing bark is and how different it is tree to tree. So amazing that next time I took my camera to capture the unique beauty of the native trees that surround us. I printed the cards and made a booklet (there are ten images in total) as a little provocation for our nature table. A provocation - just like a beautiful nature book or art cards. The images are just of bark (the trunk of the tree) - this isolates the feature of the tree. It allows the child to further... Read more →