Articles from September 2019

September 30, 2019

A Few New Books on Our Shelves

A Few New Books on Our Shelves
I feel like I say this every time I write about children's books, but I love children's books. Like LOVE them. So, finding a few new titles to add to our collection is always fun for me and for my kids. Recently, I added a few new books to our home.  With welcoming a new baby, I knew that I would be spending a lot of time nursing and therefore a lot of time reading to my kids. Having a few new Montessori friendly books keeps us all a little more engaged in the process. So, here's what we recently added:  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Toddler  Little Humans  - This is such a great book! The children represented are diverse, and the photography is beautiful. The text is simple but engaging. Every Autumn Comes the Bear  - Really simple look at a bear in autumn. The illustrations are beautiful, and this instantly has become a Gus favorite. Autumn  - This is a wordless picture book. The illustrations are gorgeous. My kids love these a
September 27, 2019

Respectful Communication with Your Newborn - Montessori Baby Week 2

Respectful Communication with Your Newborn - Montessori Baby Week 2
Somehow another week with precious Teddy has flown by. My tiny, floppy newborn is changing and growing daily. It’s one of the most bittersweet things for me as a parent- watching my children grow. I love newborns, and this time is so fleeting. With a newborn it can be so easy to just think of them as this empty vessel that needs to be filled. But in reality babies are born fully human, and we as parents get the privilege of watching them unfold and discovering who they are. And this process starts with respectful communication. Just like you would speak respectfully to any other child, a newborn child also needs this type of communication. In fact, a newborn may even need more - since they are completely new to your environment, your routine.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Maria Montessori observed how important it was for babies to be around adults (especially their parents) listening to them speak in order to fully develop their mother tongue
September 25, 2019

Developing the Senses - Hearing

Developing the Senses - Hearing
Learning by and through the senses is such an important part of Montessori. Everything a child learns in a Montessori environment (including a Montessori home) should in some way be taught through the senses - children are learning by touching, feeling, listening, and moving. But, we don't just throw a child into an environment and expect them to use their senses to figure it out. "To have educated senses is to perceive the beauty of the environment. It is to perceive the subtle differences. When you are aware of these delicate differences, the whole world is more fascinating." Maria Montessori, 1946 London Lectures A Montessori environment also helps to cultivate each sense. We want to give a child the opportunity to develop each sense individually. Maria Montessori stressed time and time again the importance of isolating and engaging a child through his/her senses. For example, she said, "if one sense is isolated, it seems to be enhanced in its power of percep
September 19, 2019

The Magic of the Topponcino - Montessori Baby Week 1

The Magic of the Topponcino - Montessori Baby Week 1
Now that Theodore is here I want to share his Montessori baby journey in the same way that I did with Gus - through a weekly series. So my hope is to share some aspect of Teddy's Montessori journey at least once per week. { Check here to see Augustus' weekly posts. }  One of my Montessori baby must haves is a topponcino. A topponcino is this beautiful Montessori baby material that allows for a smoother transition for the baby from the womb to the world. During this first week of life, the topponcino has, hands down, been the most used Montessori material in our home. It is Montessori magic at it's finest.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  The  topponcino  is a small oval pad, that a baby uses when being moved from one area to another. The topponcino becomes your baby’s first environment (outside of your own arms) after birth.  They can be  purchased online  or if you can sew, they can also be  DIYed . In Montessori we recognize th
September 16, 2019

Theodore Ignatius

Theodore Ignatius
He's here! Our beautiful baby number 4 - Theodore Ignatius! I'm still pretty much in shock that Morgan and I have four beautiful, healthy children. And, over the last few days, Teddy has just slipped right into our family life.  If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I had been having consistent contractions since about 32 weeks with Teddy. These contractions would come and go and get down to about 3 minutes apart. It made for a miserable last few weeks of pregnancy. Plus, makes it really hard to decide if you are really in labor or not.  Well, on the evening of September 11, I started having some of these same contractions in the later afternoon. I ignored them and went about the routine of a school night. They weren't really that painful or consistent so I figured it was another round of false labor. At around 9:00 p.m., I crawled into bed hoping for some rest. By 9:30 the contractions seemed to have changed, they were much more intense and would ev
September 10, 2019

Toddler Snipping Work

Toddler Snipping Work
Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that Gus is obsessed with snipping with scissors. We introduced scissors to him around the time he turned 2 with small strips of paper. And, he really has taken off. But, lately, he's been looking for anything and everything to cut up into small bits. So, I was finding whole sheets of paper just cut into tiny pieces. I figured I should make him some work that will support this interest and help move him toward a skill he will need for future sewing work. So, I brought out our snipping work. This is something I used around the same age with Nora and it was a huge hit.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  The tray is super simple. It's a tiny mason jar with a hole punched into the lid. (I made the hole by hammering a small nail into the top.) Then it's filled with super cheap embroidery floss that is strung through the top. The tray then includes scissors and a bucket for the scraps.  In
September 06, 2019

Preparing for a New Baby: An Easy Montessori Toddler Project

Preparing for a New Baby: An Easy Montessori Toddler Project
There are tons of ways that you can involve your toddler in your preparations for a new baby. I've found that involving your toddler helps to make the whole transition a little more real for them! That isn't to say it will be easy once the baby actually gets here but it can be really helpful to just give them some experiences before the baby is born. These simple ideas can really help to make the process seem more real.  Help Your Toddler adjust to a New Baby Some ways to involve your toddler in your new baby preparations include:  bringing your toddler to doctor appointments  involving your toddler in creating baby spaces looking at old pictures of your toddler as a baby folding/picking out baby clothes together  making something special just for the baby  explore old baby toys and books together  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  With Augustus we've been trying to do as many of these things as we can as we are reaching the final day
September 05, 2019

Why Isn't Gus Heading To School? And, What We are Doing Instead

Why Isn't Gus Heading To School? And, What We are Doing Instead
It's that time of year again around here again - the school year has begun! Nora and Henry are both off to their respective Montessori schools. Nora is beginning her kindergarten year of Children's House. She is at a smaller AMI school that she has been attending since she was 3. Henry is starting his third year of lower elementary at a public Montessori school in our area. It's so exciting to see them both at the culmination of their "grade" levels and really get to experience that three year Montessori cycle.  Then, there is Gus. I've been getting a lot of questions about what he's up to this year and whether we are sending him to school or not. In many Montessori schools (especially private ones), Children's House begins, depending on a child's readiness, between 33 and 36 months old. Since Gus was born at the end of November, he just makes that age range. But, we still aren't sending him to school this year.  In our state, the
September 04, 2019

The Sensitive Period for Motherhood

The Sensitive Period for Motherhood
At a little over 37 weeks pregnant, I'm starting to feel that constant pull between enjoying the last few days of our current life situation and eagerly anticipating meeting our new baby. I've read my Montessori baby books before, but I've been pulling them out again to glance over during the course of this pregnancy and just read randomly parts that spoke to me. Last night I chose Understanding the Human Being to read over in the bath. And, I came across this phrase that really struck me. "the sensitive period for motherhood."  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Dr. Montanaro uses the phrase while talking about the special relationship that develops between a newborn and its caretakers - particularly its mother. A child's caretakers are the ones most effected by a child's cries, needs, and helplessness. By being in tune with the child, a preferential relationship develops - one that benefits both the mother and the child.