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Friday, April 29, 2022

Hands Hands, Baby

Penelope has made a very important discovery this week. One that will change her life forever. Her hands! Over the years, as a Montessori parent, I've learned that some of the most important work I can do is observe my children's hands. From their first movements and reflective grasps to nimble little fingers sewing, the hands can give us so many clues about the kinds of work that our children need and want....
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Scavenger and Find It Games

My children could play board games all day, every day. There are very few days that go by where we aren't playing something. But lately, Gus has been getting into another type of game - I Spy. He's very family with the format of looking games after his experience with sound games at home and at school. But lately, he's really upped his game. ...
Monday, April 25, 2022

Supporting the Montessori Fifth Great Lesson

Growing up I had a love/hate relationship with maths. In elementary school, I remember resenting the topic, being bored and uninterested. I can still remember the tears that came along with long sessions of drilling multiplication facts in preparation for a math test. Why was this important? How was this relevant to the world? Why should I care? None of these questions were ever answered for me. As I grew, I came to realize I liked the order and rules that math was structured around. That didn't make me any good at the subject, but at least it made sense. ...
Saturday, April 23, 2022

Montessori Babies: Growth Is Slow

For my last three Montessori babies, I've been writing these weekly Montessori baby updates. I share a bit about what's on my mind, and give a little picture of what it looks like to use Montessori from birth at home in real life. I love being able to share our story and what Montessori feels like for me. But, in writing these updates, I also feel like I need to clarify something - growth is slow. ...
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Four for Spring: Favorites to Wear, Play, Read, and Learn

The calendar says that it's finally spring. But, here in Minnesota, the snow is still flying more than I would like. But, we are solidly dreaming of spring, and thinking about all the warmer weather that is to come. But, I know for lots of you spring is here and in full force. And, with the season change comes new and different opportunities for us and for our children. I thought I would share some of what I'm looking forward to this spring in four categories: wear, read, play, and learn. ...
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Montessori Activities: Current Art Trays

As my bigger kids have gotten older, we have done less and less "art trays" in our Montessori home. Older children, especially those in the second plane of development, just don't need small directed trays. They are able to gather supplies and create more openly than younger children. But, my toddler Teddy still needs these trays in order to most effectively be able to create. He isn't able to gather supplies on his own and focus on learning new skills. ...
Friday, April 15, 2022

Montessori Parenting: Self Care with a Newborn

Taking care of a newborn is hard work no matter what parenting method is grounding your decisions. Whether you are using Montessori, or taking a more traditional route, adjusting to a new baby is physically and mentally draining. During this time it can be easy to ignore your own needs in favor of the baby's. And while newborn babies do need prompt attention to all their needs, we also need to make time to take care of ourselves. As the old saying goes, we cannot pour from an empty cup. ...
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Montessori Kids: One Favorite at 5 Stages

With five kids, I think we are finally in the category of "big family." With so many kids, it's really cool to experience all these different stages of a Montessori childhood all at once. It's challenging and beautiful all at the same time. They all have different interests, different needs, and different abilities. And, they all have different favorite Montessori friendly toys and materials. These change all the time, especially with our younger kids, but I wanted to share a little snapshot of some favorites right now in the Kavanaugh family household! ...
Saturday, April 9, 2022

Pause with Your Baby

At 9-weeks-old Penelope has suddenly woken up and started interacting with the world around her. It's been really fun to see her start to interact with us and with her siblings. Compared with Gus and Teddy, Penelope seems to be much more interested in social interactions. She loves "chatting" with us, staring into our eyes, or just watching us. She's started smiling and cooing, all really fun things! ...
Thursday, April 7, 2022

Potty Learning and Fear

Imagine you had been doing something one way your whole entire life multiple times per day. You were happy in that routine, or at least you weren't unhappy with it. But, then someone comes along and asks you to change that thing. Guess what? You can't do it anymore, or you have to change the way you were doing that thing significantly. Some people, because of their personality or temperament, might have an easy time with this change. Others might experience worry, fear, or anxiety. Some of us might adjust quickly to a change like this, while others might take awhile. ...
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Second Plane: What is a Going Out?

Looking back on my Montessori journey there were definitely times where I assumed that the older my kids got, the less we would "Montessori" here at home. But, the opposite has just been true time and time again. Montessori remains just this amazing framework for structuring our house, and our children's experiences well into elementary school. ...
Monday, April 4, 2022

Introducing Playthings with Your Baby

At around 7.5-weeks-old I was carrying Penelope around the house when I noticed something - she had grabbed on to my shirt.  The next day, she was laying on the floor in our bathroom and grabbed our shower curtain. While these seem like little moments, it's actually a really big deal to me! Through this observation, I can see that Penelope is getting ready for more active work for her hands. ...