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Showing posts from May, 2015

5 Things to Consider when Montessori Isn't Independent

The other day, Henry asked me for an orange. I took one from our fruit bowl, cut it in half and gave it to him. Then, Nora started fussing to eat. So, I nursed her. 
As I nursed, Henry proceeded to go to his kitchen area, and get his juicer and cup. He juiced the orange slices and poured himself a glass of juice. After drinking the juice, he threw away the orange slices, put the cup and juicer in the dishwasher, and was on his way. 
I wasn't involved in any of it. None.
It was the perfect example of independence, combining practical life skills, responsibility, and caring for his environment.  But this isn't always our normal. We struggle a lot with independence.

Henry likes when we do things for him. He likes when I put on his shoes. When I pour his cup. When I put on his jacket or zip it up -- when I get something for him, when I read, count, the list goes on. Despite the fact that he can do many of these things by himself his default is still to ask me.

To be perfectly hone…

Montessori Familiar Faces Basket

I recently shared on Instagram that I had made Nora a familiar faces basket. It's similar to the familiar places treasure basket I made her a couple months ago. I choose to introduce this basket, because Nora has been very interested in looking at pictures of real life people and animals, so what could be better than looking at her people and animals! 

When I posted, I got a lot of questions on how to make these baby-friendly cards. So I wanted to post a tutorial! 


The first step -- take pictures! I used head shots specifically taken for the purpose of these cards. I wanted the cards to really focus on our faces, so I choose a clean and simple background {just a wall in our homeschool classroom.} I also did some basic edits for white balance/exposure/noise but that's not a necessity. At this point the pictures look like this -- 


Next, you need to crop and add the labels. I did this using PicMonkey. In order to make sure the pictures were all uniform, I choose to crop them to …

Zones of the Ocean Sensory Bottles

We are currently in the middle of an Ocean-themed unit study in our Montessori co-op. There are so many great things to learn about in the Ocean, but one thing we have focused on is the layers or zones of the oceans. These zones of the ocean sensory bottles have been wonderful for doing just that! 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

To help make the zones as concrete as possible, we're using these small sensory bottles and printables. These are an easy DIY and the kids have loved them.  To Make, You'll Need: WaterBlue Food Coloring5 Small bottles{ours are from a craft store but any bottle will work}Printable

You'll need 5 shades from no color to very dark (not see through). I just experimented based on the size of my bottles with how much color I would need. The bottle with no color {only different for me because those are the bottles I had on hand} represents the top Sunlight zone. And the darker the bottle, the deeper the zone. 

The bottles can then be…

DIY Montessori Weighted Cylinders

Part of why I love the Montessori method is its development of the whole child. It's not just about teaching a child to read or write, it's about helping a child discover everything about the world around them. An important part of this process is teaching children to use their sense to classify and discover the world around them. DIY Montessori Weighted Cylinders are just one way to add to that exploration and discovery.


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Sensorial materials are developed to help children isolate and develop different sensory skills. One such skill is being able to classify objects by weight. Baric cylinders are one way to help children learn this skill. The baric -- or weighted cylinders -- are a set of cylinders that look the same but feel very different. Each pair is slightly different weight from the next. The goal is for children to identify and match the cylinders by weight. 

While weighted cylinders and other sensorial materials can …

These Days

These days are long and hard.


These days are short and sweet.


These days are fleeting and never-ending.


These days are busy.


These days are the best days of my life.


This week I entered a new decade in my life. And, I can't be more excited about the things to come.