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Showing posts from October, 2016

A Weekend at Labor and Delivery

Despite the fact that I have done a great job avoiding the fact that I'm starting to get heavily pregnant here on the blog, the reality is that I'm starting to get pretty darn pregnant. 34 weeks, 2 days to be exact. I'm not sure how I've gone most of this pregnancy without updating, but what can I say? Baby 3. 

Baby K 3.0 is officially a boy, Augustus Frederick! It's been a fairly uneventful pregnancy so far and I've pushed all baby preparations to the very last second. And, let's not even pretend that I've taken a real bump shot. Oops.
Well, Gus -- as we mainly call him -- decided to make himself known this weekend. Saturday, at exactly 34 weeks, I woke up with some strong but sporadic contractions. By noon, they were coming every 5 minutes or so and by 3:30 I was on my way to Labor and Delivery. Some of you may remember we had a similar scare when I was pregnant with Nora, and it turned out to just be some consistent nuisance contractions. I was prett…

4 Montessori Art Trays at 2-years-old

All of a sudden Nora is looking for any excuse to create something. She really is different than Henry in that way. She loves art work and can sit for long periods of time to create her vision. I personally love this and want to cultivate it as much as possible. Doing art combines so many of skills at once. Language, fine motor, gross motor, practical life -- they all go into completing this type of work. 

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And, just look at that concentration! GAH! Love. But, because of her age, Nora isn't quite ready for a free range of art supplies. Instead, having prepared work for her where things are contained in a tray work much better. 

So, here are four Montessori inspired art trays we have out for Nora right now, and how to create them in your own environment! 
Cutting work

What you'll need:
ScissorsSmall DishThick paper -- we used paint strips but only because I had some around. The thickness makes it a bit easier to cut at first si…

Supporting Your Child through Montessori Kindergarten

For the past several weeks, Henry has been adjusting to life as a member of a Children's House in a public elementary school. He's gone from the relaxed pace of our quiet homeschool classroom to a bustling Montessori community. With this has come some changes at home, some changes in him, and some changes for our family. 

{Below: Henry reads Maps}
As I have mentioned before, we no longer have traditional Montessori materials available to him at home. We reserve those for school only. We also no longer have a classroom or specific work time at home. But, this doesn't mean that we have stopped supporting his growth or development.
There are many things we do -- and you can do -- to support your Montessori child who attends school outside the home. One, we still prepare our environment for Henry's interests and needs. We still follow the basic tenants of creating an orderly, prepared environment for Henry that encourages his interests and independence. 

{Above: Henry reads…

Shape Sorting: Early Math for Toddlers

As I have said many times, we are not rushing into academics with Nora. While I have mentioned several times that this includes teaching Nora early reading concepts, like the alphabet, it also extends to other academic areas -- like math. We do not teach Nora to recognize or regurgitate numbers. We have not introduced counting work and have no plans to do so anytime soon. 
But, this does not mean that we haven't explored any mathematical concepts. Much like language, however, we just do this in a slow, natural way. We count all the time. Except we don't count for the sake of counting, we count naturally as the opportunity arises. So, if I'm making dinner and we need 2 carrots, we count them. Or if we are picking up toys, we count them. It's not forced, its not based on the abstract.

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One math concept that Nora has had a lot of interest in lately has been shapes. Identifying shapes, sorting by shape, and matching shap…

Flower Arranging at Home with a Toddler

Summer is quickly coming to an end here in Minnesota. The flowers are fading, our garden has died and the leaves are changing and falling. But, every afternoon the sun heats up just enough to help me pretend that winter isn't right around the corner. Despite my dreams, dreaded winter really is coming.
Before summer was completely gone, I made this simple flower arranging work for Nora and the children in my co-op. This simple practical life tray can easily be created with any left over flowers found around your yard and some old glass jars. 

To create this work, I placed some fresh flowers from my garden in a jar of water. I included some small glass jars and vases, a small pitcher of water, and scissors on a large plastic tray. This work could be done anywhere, but I placed on our work table so Nora wouldn't have to move it anywhere to complete the work. Also on the table was a cloth to wipe spills, a metal garbage bucket, and a small wooden bowl with some cut felt to act as…