Category Archives: Books

Review and Giveaway: A Merry Montessori Christmas

A Merry Montessori Christmas by Aubrey Hargis: Review by Vibrant WanderingsHave all of the ideas shared in the Montessori Holiday Hop gotten you inspired? There’s still a bit more time in this holiday season, and I have the ultimate source of holiday-themed, or specifically Christmas-themed Montessori goodness for you! If you haven’t heard, the wonderful Aubrey of Montessori Mischief has created an ebook, A Merry Montessori Christmas. I cannot say enough good things about this beautiful resource. Here’s the testimonial I shared with Aubrey for her site: Continue reading

Back to [Home]School Giveaway: Honoring the Light of the Child

Review; Honoring the Light of the ChildFor the very last in my back to school series of giveaways, I’d like to share a unique and incredibly useful book for anyone interested in education for peace: AMS Living Legend Sonnie McFarland’s Honoring the Light of the Child: Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young ChildrenA little over a year ago, I wrote about McFarland’s most recent book, Montessori Parenting, but this title is even more special to me, as I have had the honor of sitting in on a workshop where she presented some of the activities included in the book, and it was so beautiful that it has stuck with me for many years since. I have seen many of the activities from McFarland’s book brought to life in the classroom as well, and given a special place on the shelf where they were loved by the children. This is truly a special book, and would benefit teachers outside the Montessori system as well as in — and parents, too.

About the Book Continue reading

Quick Last Day of School Idea

Mark the last day of school with a special book with an interview from each childToday was the last day of school for our Montessori program. To mark the occasion, I interviewed and photographed each child and put their answers and photos together, along with a couple of my favorite group shots. I finished the project just in time for today, so that we could read it together during our last group time. I sent a digital copy to each family so that they could print and enjoy the book over the summer, or just read it on their computers. I can’t post the whole thing, of course, but I thought I’d share Annabelle’s page.

This idea is especially good for our bunch, since the majority of us will be back together for fall classes. Next year, we can create a similar keepsake, and we’ll be able to compare each child’s pictures and thoughts from this first year. It will be neat to watch them grow in this way.

Do you have any favorite ideas for marking the end of a school year or another special milestone? I’d love to hear them!

Extraordinary Children’s Books

Extraordinary Children's Books at Vibrant Wanderings

Sharing the love of books with newborn Elliot, by reading Everywhere Babies.

It has taken me an embarrassingly long time, but I have finally finished putting together a list of our favorite books. I would normally be posting my weekly family update, but a stomach bug for Elliot has meant gobs of lost sleep and extra laundry, so I’m a bit behind there. I also managed to give my phone/blog-reading-while-nursing-babies-to-sleep-device a bath this week, which means I’m way behind on reading all of your posts.

In any case, this post comes by request, as a follow-up to my recent post on choosing books for the absorbent mind. This list includes all of the books that I, and Annabelle, love most. It’s really a list of all of the favorites from our personal library of children’s books, plus a few gems we’ve borrowed during public library visits. I’ll add a separate post later on with a list of my favorite board books for infants and young toddlers, but today’s post will cover books that work well for the two-and-a-half to six age group. If you’re in the market for new books, and you don’t have a convenient local seller, I’d be thrilled to have you shop through the affiliate links within this post (much of the list can be found in its own category in my still-in-the-works astore: here, and I hope to get the rest added today), as this allows amazon to share some of their profits with me. These funds help me to cover the costs of keeping this site up and running, and if I suddenly find I’m rolling in the dough, any excess will end up going straight into our Montessori community program. But enough about that – on to the books! Continue reading

Beloved children’s books and the Absorbent Mind

Beloved Children's Books and The Absorbent Mind - Vibrant WanderingsMy brain is scattered of late, which has a lot to do with how little I’m blogging. This topic has been on my mind for weeks, but I just can’t pare it down, so I keep starting and stopping. Tonight, I’ll give myself a few minutes to get what I can down, because I really want to hear what you all think about choosing books for the young child. I’ll do my best to keep from following too many bunny trails here.

My oldest, Annabelle, is now three. She has what Maria Montessori referred to as an “absorbent mind,” and my goodness does that girl absorb things! In my early years of teaching, before Annabelle came around, I saw the tremendous capacity that children have for absorbing and recalling information and experiences, but it wasn’t until I spent all of my time with the same child that I truly got a sense of what this means. Annabelle absolutely takes everything in, not just experiencing and processing it, but actually making it a part of herself. I see the way experiences shape her, the way they come out in her play, in her interactions with others, in her overall behavior. I’ve really been shocked by the extent of this reality. Continue reading