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Showing posts from 2015

Top 10 Posts from 2015

I can't believe another year has come and gone. This year has been a year of major transformation here on The Kavanaugh Report and in our personal lives. The growth this blog has seen over the last year really amazes me and I would like to personally thank all of my readers. I love hearing your stories and I'm so grateful that you follow along. 

At home, we have continued our Montessori journey and have deeply transformed our home. And it was one of the best years ever. My children are amazing, my husband is the best, and I literally couldn't ask for anything better. 
Before we look forward to 2016, I wanted to look back to my Top 10 posts from 2015! These are some of my absolute favorites and I hope you enjoy them too! 

10. Toddler Work -- Toddlers in the Montessori Classroom
9. Zoology Sensory Bottles for Montessori Babies
8. DIY Montessori Pull Up Bar
7. Montessori Work from 12 to 14 Months
6. Montessori Baby -- Baby Toys 6 to 10 months
5. Montessori Work Shelves at 6 …

5 Things Montessori Newbies Should Know

I'm I feel so lucky to have discovered Montessori, and even luckier that I've been able to incorporate it into our home while our children are still young. There's so much I've learned about Montessori and so much that I still have to learn. I'm not sure I'll ever feel like we have a perfect environment. I have, however, learned a thing or two over these years of study. And, I want to pass them on to anyone just discovering the joys of Montessori themselves. So, here are 5 things Montessori newbies should know.


Montessori is not about the "things."  One of the first things that attracted me to Montessori was all the beautiful little work trays. I was a bored mom with a bored kid looking for things to keep us busy and this seemed to fit the bill. The beauty of the materials and the quality of Montessori friendly toys really sucks you in, but it's not what is important. That is secondary to the shift in how you see children, how you treat children a…

DIY Art Cards for Montessori Learning

The world is a spectacularly beautiful place! And, I want to share that beauty with my children. Montessori living is all about introducing your children to real life experiences in the most concrete way possible. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say that again -- concrete reality comes first, and the abstract comes later.

When it comes to learning about fine art, I think the best way to do this is to immerse children in a world where they see fine art. We are fortunate enough to live in a major metropolitan area where we have access to a wide variety of museums, and we take advantage of those when we can. However, I still wanted something more concrete in our home. 

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So, I recently created these simple art cards to increase our exposure to a variety of popular famous artists. While nothing can replace actually seeing this wonderful art, these cards give us a glimpse at wonderful pieces of art. Plus, these cards we…

Montessori Christmas Trays for Toddlers

To get into the holiday spirit, I've made some themed work for Nora and Henry. They both seem to be getting excited for Christmas and these make it even greater. Most of these are simple twists on Montessori work that they may already have on their shelves. These simple trays are being used in addition to their other Montessori materials. By adding the theme, it sometimes draws them in where interest had been lacking.

So, here's what's on their shelves --
Jingle Bell Spooning -- a simple twist on spooning for toddlers


Christmas 1:1 -- an early introduction to counting and math


Ripping Wrapping Paper -- I've noticed that Nora loves to rip things lately, this will help her practice ripping paper to open presents too.


Stuffing a Stocking -- a fun twist on an open and close work


Christmas Sensory Bottle Matching


Object Permanence Tree -- Henry likes this too but for him it was about counting and color sorting. For Nora its about placing an object in each small box.


Window …

Montessori at Christmas -- Finding Joy and Wonder

I'm a sucker for Christmas. I love the lights and the colors and the fanfare. I love the candles, the food, the music. The tree! Oh man, our house was made to have a Christmas tree. The only thing I could possibly love more at Christmas is watching my children experience Christmas. 

As a Montessori parent, I've tried to really teach myself to watch and observe before reacting. Sometimes, that's really hard because it looks like your child is ready to do something dangerous or destructive. Or, they are just doing something in a different way than you.

But, it is so important. If you sit back and let it happen, they often completely surprise you. Its through this observation that you can really see your child. See the spark of interest in their eyes and see what pulls them in. 

And sometimes, through this observation you find your children in awe, wondering about everything around them. It can be easy to jump right in with all the right answers. But, have you ever tried ju…

Imperfect Montessori Morning

This morning has been one of those times when you start to lose it a little bit as a parent. I'm running on nearly no sleep, with children who have colds and who are excited for the upcoming holiday. As I look around, I see so much imperfection. There are so many things that just seem wrong today. Messy. Disorganized. Cluttered. All my Montessori parenting urges are on high alert. 

There's abandoned work mats. Stupid plastic lightsabers that keep making their way into our home. 
Materials pulled from the shelves. Poor little dolls face down on the carpet. 

A random chair.

Dumped bins. 

And amid these seemingly endless imperfections, there is silence. In the moment, I panic -- like any parent with young children. Silence is never a good thing. Silence likely means all the toys are in the toilet or the baby is eating buttons or something. 


I investigate. And instead of craziness, I find two Montessori siblings cuddling together in bed. Discussing a calculator. Laughing and cudd…

Timeline of our Family -- Intro to Montessori History

I don't know if I've ever shared this before, but I've had a few great loves in my academic life. But the greatest one, was and will always be history. I love history. If you ever want to have a long talk about Tudor-Stuart England or how Andrew Jackson influenced the modern presidency, you call me! 
To introduce history, my first love, to my first child is a pretty amazing feeling. Henry isn't quite ready for the history of Henry VIII, so I started a bit closer to home -- with our family.


Traditionally, Montessori takes a unique and interesting approach to teaching history. In many cases, a timeline is used to present a particular subject. The children take an integral part of creating the timeline. This can spark debate, discussion and critical thinking skills while providing the basic facts of a particular historical event.

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I wanted to re-create in a way a timeline for Henry. He has been very interested in writin…