Author Archives: M

Cloth Washing, under our permanent clothesline

Backyard Montessori: Our Outdoor Classroom

I’m nearly 39 weeks pregnant, with an energy level on the low side and the knowledge that every day could be our last day of school. While most of the children in our little school are pretty resilient, I wanted to make sure we had an official end to the school year for those who are especially sensitive to routine and might be really thrown to wake up and hear, “Miss Melissa had her baby, so there’s no school today. You’ll see your friends in September!” What I decided to do was to continue as usual until I reached 38 weeks, and then to have an official last work time together and a simple picnic to mark the end of the school year. Then, those who wanted to keep coming would be more than welcome to do so until baby-time, but I wanted to change it up a bit – both to make things obviously different from the school year routine, and to give myself a bit less cleaning work in the evenings during this busy time, I decided the solution was to have outdoor school.

For many weeks now, I’ve been pinning ideas, gathering supplies, and making plans for our “outdoor classroom,” and today was our first official day of it (well, Friday was supposed to be, but it was pouring rain!). It was awesome. Everyone seemed to enjoy it so much that I’m seriously considering making it a regular thing in the late Spring (and perhaps early fall, too), when there is so much to discover outdoors and the weather is so delightful. I thought I’d share some photos of our set-up with you. It took me about 15 minutes to get everything outside and ready this morning, and about the same to put it back in for the day, so it’s really not any more time intensive than prepping the indoor classroom in the morning, and there is no vacuuming, mopping, or dusting waiting for me – a beautiful thing! Continue reading

Annabelle poses next to her completed timeline

Montessori Birthday Traditions (and Annabelle’s 4th!)

Most lovers of Montessori are familiar with the popular Montessori birthday celebration, or “Celebration of Life,” as it’s often called. We marked my now four year old, Annabelle’s birthday with a celebration of life at school this year, but we also enjoyed two other, slightly less popular Montessori birthday traditions. I wanted to share these with you all, in case you should be unfamiliar with them, as I think they’re fantastic activities that not only make birthdays that much more special, but also help deepen the child’s sense of their place in history and in their family.

“…for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.  This idea helps the mind of the child to become fixed, to stop wandering in an aimless quest for knowledge.  He is satisfied, having found the universal centre of himself with all things.”

Maria Montessori

Timeline of a Child’s Life

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[Virtual Baby Shower!] Supporting a Family During the Postpartum Period

I know it has been quiet around here for awhile! The kids and I are on Spring Break now, so I’m hoping to get a few things scheduled, as much is bouncing around in my head following Annabelle’s birthday (a month ago now!), an amazing time at the American Montessori Society’s annual conference, my first night (four nights!) away from the kids, and the everyday awesomeness of the classroom. We’ll see how much I can get in writing before the final weeks of the school year and the arrival of our littlest family member. Speaking of new arrivals, the incredible Multicultural Kid Blogs bloggers are hosting a virtual baby shower and many bloggers are writing baby or baby shower related posts as part of the celebration, including me! Read on for more:
Multicultural Kid Blogs - Virtual Baby Shower Continue reading

Montessori Services' Flower Arranging Activity: Freshly Unpacked

Flower Arranging + Win $50 to spend at Montessori Services

Shop Montessori ServicesThe materials shown in this post were sent to me by Montessori Services (a company I love, trust, and have personally spent more than I care to admit with this year alone), for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all  information and opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your chance to win $50 to spend on anything you’d like from Montessori Services. If you visit Montessori Services by following one of the links within this post, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you, and those funds will go to support the work of this blog and of our little Montessori school (thank you!). This is the perfect time to shop, because they’re offering free shipping until the end of March on orders over $50.

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How did you spend the first day of Spring? In the classroom, Annabelle and a few other preschoolers spent a portion of it doing a recent favorite work: flower arranging. A popular Montessori Practical Life exercise, flower arranging can be done outdoors or in, by cutting flowers directly from the garden or by choosing from a selection prepared for inside. It can even be done with silk flowers if fresh aren’t available or practical. The work fits into the category of Care of the Environment, as it inspires children to take part in the creation of a more beautiful classroom or home. Continue reading

Pre-Language: Sequencing Cards

It’s a teacher work day today, and I’m making sequencing cards for our pre-language area. I took some photos at our snack table and thought I’d share in case you’d like to download and print them for your own use. Sequencing is a great pre-language activity, and can be tons of fun. You could use these as two separate sets with a young child, or put them together for more of a challenge.

Serving a Snack: Sequencing Cards

Serving a Snack: Sequencing Cards

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