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Showing posts from September, 2015

A Montessori Moment

Sometimes it's in the smallest moments that I remember why I love Montessori so much. Through all the challenges that parenting presents, its really these remarkable moments that make you take pause about how awesome these little beings truly are. 

This morning was like any other, I was working in my office before Morgan left for work. He had gotten the children fed and dressed before we switched roles -- him off to work and me off to parenting. Henry and Nora were playing happily when I returned from my office. 

Shortly after I came up, Nora started getting a bit crabby. Sometimes my presence reminds her that she would like to nurse. Except she wasn't signing to nurse. She was making large sweeping motions with her arms, similar to signing all done. I asked her "all done with what?" but that just made her crankier. 


She just kept looking to me and sweeping her arms. Finally, I said "show me Nora." She stopped suddenly walked over to Henry and pointed at hi…

Peace Day 2015

Today is International Day of Peace! One of the most beautiful parts of Montessori education is it's focus on peace.

Teaching peace and conflict resolution from the youngest age -- sitting together and working out a solution, is in important part of every Montessori classroom. At home, even the youngest children are respected, listened to and loved. Teaching these qualities to children can help make the world a better place.

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Over on Montessori 101 we are discussing peace and Montessori education all day long! Come join us for lovely conversations and peace resources! 
One thing I would really love to incorporate in my home is a peace table. It's a small table where children can sit to contemplate peace or to work out conflicts. I need to start gathering some supplies! A small table with a book or zen garden, or earth puzzle, just lovely! Zen Garden, Earth Puzzle, Peaceful Pieces Book, Lots of Feelings Book, Candle
What are y…

When Your Montessori Child Won't Do Math

I've been wracking my brain for the past several weeks trying to come up with a math related activity to share for the 12 Months of Montessori series this month. I've truly been stressing about it! But, it finally occurred to me, that I just can't share an "activity" with you, but that I need to be honest. 

Henry is not interested in math right now. And, that's O.K.! I mean, he knows how to count from 1 to 20ish. He can skip count by 10 up to 100 -- sometimes. He knows how to tell time, and basic shapes. And, that's O.K.!

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I think a lot of people think about Montessori and assume excellence in math. I mean, have you seen the beautiful math materials?! I'm drooling over here. 

Number Rods; Numbers and Counters; Sandpaper Numbers; Hundred Board; Spindle Box; Addition Strip; Beads; Golden Beads
The young children are adding, subtracting, counting to 10,000, doing division, understanding fractions. It&#…

Favorite Rainbow Inspired Toys

Nora is going through a major sleep regression right now. She's never been a great sleeper and has yet to consistently sleep through the night, but over the past week or so, we've been lucky if we get two hours of sleep in a row. She's up constantly wanting to nurse, or sometimes wanting to play. Throw a dirty diaper and some screeching in for fun. 
This morning, Nora was up well before the sun, despite having been awake from 2:30 to 3:30 and several other times through the night. As she toddles around, it' easy for me to forget about what a miracle she is -- how lucky we are to have her here. Sleep or no sleep, she is truly our amazing rainbow baby! Instead of getting cranky or frustrated, I'm going to choose to celebrate her today, to remember just how lucky we are to not be getting any sleep.

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So in honor of my rainbow baby, here are some of my favorite Montessori-friendly rainbow themed toys! 

Babies:Sensory …

DIY Wooden Balance Beam

Nora is a mover. Like most young toddlers, she's just on the move. Busy, busy, busy. A DIY Wooden Balance Beam is the answer I've been needing! 



Finding ways to keep her satisfied can be difficult and expensive. She constantly needs to reach maximum effort right now. So, when I came across the idea of a DIY balance beam from one of my favorite bloggers Amy from Midwest Montessori, I knew we had to make one of our own! 

This project is so simple! It's just some 2x4s and some screws. We bought two small boards. We cut into two 12 inches long and one 47 inch long pieces. After sanding down all the pieces to avoid splinters, the supports were screwed into place. And, that's it! 

It's the perfect way to provide a cheap, gross motor challenge to Nora {and even Henry.} 
Nora was a bit apprehensive at first, but she's coming around to it! Henry loved it right away and spent the whole morning testing it out. 

Do you have any great gross motor DIYs in your home? 

DIY Montessori I-Spy Game

Henry is very interested in learning to read. So, we're slowly making progress in that direction. The first step is knowing what sound each letter makes. In a Montessori environment, this is actually how letters are first introduced-- not by name, but by sound.
Over the last couple years, Henry has spent lots of time learning about each letter and it's sound. He's fairly fluent if just asked. But, it's a bit harder to put that skill into practice. To do that, we've been playing the I-Spy game! 

This gives Henry the chance to match a letter's sound with an object. Which is harder then just naming the sound.

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To play you'll need:  A MatLanguage objects Sandpaper Letters First, start by placing all the language objects out on the mat. We just randomly scatter them about. 

We get our language objects from a variety of places. Some are these mini animals, some are meant for fairy gardens and dollhouses, others…

Our {Makeshift} Block Area

I love building blocks! I think they are such a great material for children of all ages. They are open ended, natural, and often down right beautiful. I could build with them all day. Last year, our basement got some water and we lost our larger play area until the renovations are complete. Since then, we've been making smaller spaces work for us. 

The block area is one that we've had to make do. Right now, it consists of a shelf in our front entry. We have several different types of blocks out right now. I like to give lots of different choices because it leads to much more wonderful play! I love watching how Henry combines things to make his creations.

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Top Shelf -- Sound Blocks; Mini Unit Blocks; Castle Blocks; thrifted red blocks; peg people

Although, right now, he pretty much sticks to building churches and cities. His imagination is just amazing. Nora is starting to stack a bit, but really she is all about the destruct…

Montessori Resources

When I was first discovering Montessori, I spent hours reading anything and everything I could about the method. And, honestly that's never stopped. I crave all things Montessori and read as much as I can. If I could take the training to become a guide, I would in a heartbeat. But, for home use, there are so many great resources available for parents, grandparents and anyone interested in the Montessori way of life. 
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Books

How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way; The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three; The Secret of Childhood; Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child; The Absorbent MindMontessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three
I have read several of these books, and I think I've learned something each time! The Joyful Child in particular is amazing if you have a baby and are just starting out. 
Blogs and Websites 
There are so many gr…