We had such a spectacular time with our Montessori community program last year, but the set-up in our old house meant we had no dining room, and materials had taken over our kitchen, too. It was well worth it, but it was hard to separate family life from the rest, and we wanted something a bit different, both for our own comfort, and for the protection of a special prepared environment. There’s something truly magical about an environment designed specifically for and dedicated to the children. Continue reading
For 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 Children. A 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
I’ve been pretty lousy about the update posts as of late and, while I know you all don’t mind, I’m always bummed when I fall behind on documenting the latest with the littles. I think I’m going to stop adding the What’s New linky. Link-ups can be wonderful if you put in the time and energy required to promote them, but it’s not enough of a priority for me, so I may as well drop the paid subscription to linky tools. Of course I’ll still read the updates on your wonderful families.
I’ve been dying to tell you all about my top priority (next to the family, of course) right now, and the reason behind my belated updates, and I can finally spill the beans. Continue reading
Regular readers already know how much I love Montessori Services and why. I’ve been purchasing materials from them since long before I started this blog, and will continue to for as long as I work with children. I’m always happy to support them, not only because they have so many items that are useful for me as a teacher and a parent, but also because they’re a mom-owned company based right here in the US.
Montessori Services specializes in tools for the Practical Life area of the Montessori primary classroom, with many things that are useful for the home (and for other ages) as well. While Practical Life is their specialty, they also offer ready made activities and individual components for Sensorial, Math, Language, Science, and Art activities. I don’t go anywhere else for things like trays, rugs, or mats. They truly are an incredible resource for preparing the child’s environment.
Recently, Montessori Services was kind enough to send along an activity I’ve had on my wishlist for quite some time: Assembling a Flashlight. I’ve had it on our Practical Life shelf for the past couple of weeks and Annabelle absolutely loves it. I can’t wait until her classmates start so they can enjoy it, too. The activity comes with a medium-sized flashlight, which is a perfect size for a preschooler’s hands, and two AA batteries. Of course flashlights of various sizes can be bought at many stores, but what’s so special about this activity is the gorgeous, wooden tray with compartments that are perfectly sized for the individual parts of the flashlight, including the batteries, and are oriented from left to right. The tray’s tapered edges make it easy for the child to pick up, carry, and work with. Continue reading
I’m celebrating the arrival of a new school year by offering a handful of giveaways for items you can use in your homeschool, Montessori classroom, or most anywhere you like to spend time with the young children in your world. Last week, I shared a bit about the Bissell Natural Sweep: a carpet sweeper that can be tailored for use by children and adults alike, and is a wonderful addition to a Montessori Practical Life area or home.
Today, I’d like to talk with you a bit about Montessori Print Shop, a fantastic company that provides printable Montessori materials designed by an AMI Certified Montessori teacher who has 20 years of experience. As a Montessori teacher and parent myself, I find that I’m always making something to support my children as they dig deeper into the things they’re most interested in. I’m no graphic designer, however, and most of the materials I make myself are not only far from perfect (which is totally okay!), but also take a very long time. Finding the right images for something I want to create, finding a way to make things uniform or to scale, and otherwise figuring out the details of a set of cards or a cutting activity can be really frustrating. Continue reading