Spring Saturday on Our Little Homestead


Just to be clear, I am aware that it is neither spring nor do we actually have any ability to truly homestead on our little piece of land.  That being said, when the weather turns to spring, even just for a day or weekend, we can't help but get out and make the most of it.   While we can never fully homestead, we try to do a little more each year and this year will be no different.  It was fun to walk the woods, take care of a few chores, plan a few projects, and generally enjoy our spring creek.

That time we said yes and God said epilepsy.


 I haven't written much about Lucie's epilepsy diagnosis here, partially because it somewhat feels like an unfinished story.  She has a diagnosis now and her initial treatment plan is working well.  That means we are finished with diagnosis, right?  Medically, yes, but there is another story intricately tied to hers that is still waiting to be written.

A story that is equally tied to both her story and to Tomas'.

You may see where this is going, but indulge me while I drag it out a little bit longer here.  I have a suppressed flair for the dramatic.   See, we are Catholic.  You are probably saying, Yeah Heidi, we get that.  We don't get it, but we've heard it all before now please stop talking about it so we can pretend we don't know that.

Early Musings on Planning for a Montessori High School Experience


So next year a really crazy thing is going to happen.

Aidan starts high school.

I remember way back when we started homeschooling and one of the first questions people would ask, "Are you really gonna go all the way through?"  Back then, I admit I wasn't sure.  Keeping my head straight for an entire school year seemed like enough at any given time.  Now, I really don't consider any other option.

For the past couple years I've been reading, quietly listening, and asking questions of friends who have homeschooled through high school and it didn't take me long to realize that this is going to look different in our house.  Not just different from other homeschool families, but also somewhat different than what we have done before and I needed to do even a little more prep work than I realized.

Book Review: ABCs of Montessori & Special Needs

"If someone told me 15 years ago, how my life would be today, I"m not quite sure how I would have responded.  Perhaps run the other way?  Cry?  Be angry?  Or just maybe I would have said okay, and spent as much time as possible studying and learning all I could, in hopes that it would prepare me for what I do now, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.      But then I wonder.  If I had known, would I be able to find the joy in the journey?  Would I consider my children to be the blessings they are?  It's then that I feel at peace knowing all has worked out the way it was intended."

I could have written those words, myself, but it turns out that I didn't.  It turns out that Renae Eddy has walked this crazy, crazy road of discovering how to make Montessori work while raising their offbeat kids too.  She has four children, all with a wide range of special needs.  She is an in-the trenches mom!   Renae and her husband, Jason, blog together at Every Star is Different.

What will you find in this book?  In addition to the author's story, you will find a section detailing a variety of special needs and possible classroom/learning implications.  This section is very useful for classroom teachers who may need a refresher on a particular issue a student in their classroom is facing.

You will also discover a set of tips for using Montessori learning techniques to support learning.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how thorough each item was discussed.  The "B" section on behaviors, for example discussed the ABCs of Behavior Analysis and gave a crash course in defining problems.  Then it discussed three common triggers (communication, transitions, and defiance) and some things to consider in addressing each aspect.  The final two parts covered what this might look like in a traditional Montessori classroom and tips/reminders for Montessori teachers looking to help their student succeed.

Overall, this book is written more for the classroom teacher than the homeschool mom, but there is so much information that I also highly recommend it for the homeschool mom looking to incorporate new techniques in working with her special needs child at home.  It doesn't contain lesson plans or activities, but it does provide many techniques and descriptions of Montessori procedures that would be highly valuable for the home environment.   It can also give parents tools to help bridge the gap between home and school and help their child thrive in a classroom Montessori setting.

Maria Montessori emphasized an individualized approach to education based on the observation of each child in the context of his/her environment.  She didn't want to change children to fit environments, she wanted to change environments to fit children.  Because of this, Montessori is an extremely appropriate educational approach for special needs children.  Who more needs an education and environment tailored to who they are?

You can purchase the book directly from the Every Star is different website or from Amazon by clicking on the book cover above.

In exchange for an honest review, I was provided with a free copy of this book by the author.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.


I am excited to announce that this year, on the 21st of each month, I will be joining together with other Montessori Teacher Pay Teacher sellers to offer special deals (see below for a sneak peak!).   This month, for January 21st only, we will be offering select items at 50% off of their regular list price.

I am offering our Hands on Electricity & Magnetism Unit, normally $5.00, for only $2.50.  This product was actually developed by Tim during his Master's Degree program many years ago and field tested in a Montessori 9-12 classroom.  I later adapted the lesson plans to be classroom and/or homeschool friendly.  In the only three months it has been in the store it has proven extremely popular, moving into my Top 5 for both total sales and conversion rate!  Considering the Top 3 items have all been on my site for over a year, this is a pretty incredible accomplishment.

Search Teachers Pay Teachers using #MontessoriLove and be sure to check out all of the other great products available!


Mixed Age Montessori Coral Reef Study


 It might surprise you to know that we almost never study cold places in the winter.  While everyone else is studying penguins, polar bears, and arctic places we like to do plant study and visit biomes such as the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef.  It's cold enough here in Minnesota, we might as well stay inside and dream of warm things!  After taking the fall to study exciting things such as American Government as our main group subject, we returned to our biome study from last year and moved to the ocean to study coral reefs.