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Showing posts from 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016

I still can't believe that 2016 is coming to an end. It's been an amazing and difficult year in so many ways. Here on The Kavanaugh Report, this year has brought so many changes and so many amazing contacts! Thank you all for reading, whether for the first time or you haven't missed a post, thank you! I value all of the comments, questions, and connections I've made in this amazing community. 
And, here's what you've been reading the most this year!

1. Toddlers & Dumping -- Why do Toddlers Dump Everything?
2. Let's Stop Rushing Toddlers
3. Montessori Work from 12 to 14 Months

4. Montessori Toddler Trays -- How Do You Set Up Toddler Toys in a Montessori Way?
5. The Daily Rhythm in Our Montessori Home
6. The Montessori Coat Flip

7. A Peek at Our Montessori Playroom
8. Montessori Morning -- My Montessori Favorites at IKEA
9. Montessori Baby Week 1
10. Benefits of the Montessori Weaning Table

Thank you again! And, I wish you all the best in 2017!

Montessori Baby Week 4 -- The Movement Area

The freedom of movement is an important tenant in Montessori. This principal even applies to babies. By giving babies freedom of movement, they can eventually develop the confidence to problem solve and become independent. This freedom of movement is also extremely important in developing the senses as babies begin to explore their environment. 

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This week we've really started to see a change in Augustus. He has started to wake up a bunch more during the day. He's starting to follow sounds he hears with his eyes. He's starting to make much more purposeful movements with his hands. His legs are always kicking. And, with these changes we are spending more and more time in our movement area.

We have used the movement area since birth. But, our time in the area has increased as Gus gets older and naturally spends more time awake and observing his environment. This is one area of our home that I really made sure was ready for…

Blessed in 2016

Oh 2016. What a year. There are strong feelings about this year. From everyone. From me, even. Because, look at these kids. Seriously. There was a time when we were so far beaten down in our infertility struggle that I never could have pictured the life we have now. It was hard to imagine life with a second baby, let alone a beautiful perfect third. But, in 2016 it's all a reality. 

A wonderful, messy, loud, beautiful reality. We are so blessed. Blessed with Henry. Blessed with Nora. Blessed with Augustus. 

We started the year in a much rockier spot. We had recently learned that Henry needed some intervention for some special needs that he struggles with. And, we had been trying for a baby for nearly a year. It was a difficult time. And, not to say those struggles have disappeared overnight. 

In many ways this has been a difficult year. It was a hard pregnancy. Having a 2-year-old can be trying. Henry received a diagnosis that needs to be managed on a day-to-day basis. But, not o…

Montessori Baby Week 3 -- Protecting Concentration

Recognizing, respecting and fostering concentration is an important tenant in the Montessori pedagogy. In fact, it is one of the most basic tenants. We recognize the young children can concentrate and that through this concentration they are able to reach their full potential. But not only this, children actually enjoy these periods of intense concentration. It is at these moments that they are most fulfilled. In the words of Dr. Montessori, “The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”
Does this, however, apply to newborns? The answer is an unequivocal yes. From birth newborns have an immense ability to concentrate -- when we let them. As Dr. Silvna Quattrocchi Montanaro {a famous Montessorian and author} said, "The newborn is very attentive and capable of concentration. He needs to be able to practice focusing the eyes on objects in the room..."

Augustus is now 3 weeks old and time is flying by. Our sweet…

14 Montessori Friendly Books for Winter

Recently, I pulled out our collection of winter and winter-holiday books. I quickly realized we are lacking on our collection of winter books. Which is kind of funny, since we have the longest, grossest winters here. So, I set out to hunt for some winter {non-holiday} themed, Montessori friendly books. And, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of great books out there! 
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1. The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice -- very detailed book with lots of history for older children

2. The Snowy Day -- this one is going into Augustus' stocking

3. Before Morning -- I love the illustrated style of this, looks great for an older child

4. Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter

5. Snowflake Bentley -- A true story!

6. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder

7. Snow

8. Over and Under the Snow

9. Winter Board Book -- A picture book from one of my favorite children's authors

10. Winter Bees & Other Poems…

Montessori Baby Week 2 -- A Place in the Family

It has been two wonderful weeks with Augustus at home. Every day we all settle more and more into our routine as a new family of five. This isn't to say that it has been totally easy, because that's not true. Everyone is adjusting to our new normal and with that comes some big emotions. 
But, I wanted to talk some about what our new normal really looks like. Because for a Montessori family, it may look a little bit different than some. As a Montessori family, we recognize Augustus as a full human being deserving all the love and respect that any other human should get. We know that he is already absorbing everything around him and trying hard to adjust to the big world around him. 

As Maria Montessori said, "In the first days of life, it is clear that something of the utmost importance is taking place….he has ‘potentialities’ able to bring about his development, and they do so by making use of the outer world." It is through their interaction with the world around t…

Shared Montessori Bedroom

Some of you may remember this post about Henry's Montessori toddler bedroom. We made it back when Henry was around 2-years-old. It remained largely unchanged all these years later. But, when I got pregnant with Augustus we knew that we would have to double-up on bedrooms. For us, it made the most sense to keep Nora's old room as the nursery and move the bigger kids together.

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A shared Montessori bedroom space posed a few challenges for us, especially since Henry and Nora are more than three-years apart. But, I'm very happy with how the space came together and I'm happy that the transition to shared bedroom has been easy and welcomed by all! 
Sleeping Area

To keep as much floor space as possible, we knew that we wanted a bunk bed for the kids. But, we still wanted one that would be as low to the floor as possible. The hope is that Augustus will move in with Henry when he is a young toddler. Plus, Nora still needs somet…

Montessori Baby Week 1 -- 5 Ways to Incorporate Montessori from Birth

It's hard to believe that Augustus has already been home for a whole week. It feels like he was just born and that he has been here forever. Most of our time has been spent settling into a new routine. Lots of sleeping, diapers and nursing. A couple doctor appointments mixed in for good measure.

In the two years since Nora was born, I feel like we have learned so much about Montessori and have incorporated these principals into our home. We are again incorporating Montessori right away. But, it does look a bit different this time. And, its been so lovely. 
But, what does Montessori mean for a brand new baby? Here are 5 ways to incorporate Montessori from birth!

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A topponcino is a small mat that provides a transition between the womb and the world. It's not fluffy but instead a sturdy, but soft little mat -- kind of like a thick quilt bundled up but easier to use. Babies can use them whenever they are awake to hang…