Just Enough Info & The Zelie Group

IMG_1061 So a group of Catholic ladies started a blogging mini-network called the Zelie Group to support each other in their vocations as Catholic mamas.  They have a weekly blog link up to get to know each other better and I thought- hey, why not?  I think that as a long time blogger, sometimes I forget that readers come and go and maybe don't know much about me and my blogging personality.

Which *I think* is pretty close to the real thing...maybe some of my long time readers and friends can chime in on that..or maybe I'm super terrifying and they'd never want to admit I'm actually completely crazy.....

Anyway, moving on, I thought I would join their little introductions link up and share a little more about the *me* behind all the crazy adventures this family has.  The theme this week is books... which I'll be pretty clear I love and talk about a lot here.  Less so in person, but I'm working on that actually.

2016-2017 School Year Plans

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Is it just me or does putting 2017 in writing as this school year, just somehow seem wrong?  Believe it or not, it is back to school time around the country this month and our little homeschool is no different.   Actually, we started back in July as we have always done best with a year round schedule. We take lots of breaks for a week or two here and there, but it works better for us to just keep the momentum going.

Each year I try to do one big back to school post with my plans/goals for each child, along with curriculum specifics.  I do this for a couple reasons.  The first is to give myself a path.  I know that we will leave the path at some point, but if I have already thought through my big goals/themes for the year it is easier to make choices about where to go once we depart.  The second reason is because people always ask me so I figure I should probably at least have some idea what we are going to do, right?

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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I can't believe the Give Your Child the World Summer Book Club is almost finished!  Did you make it to the end?   I was worried for a bit there towards the end of July/early August that we might not, but we did!  All of the regions, more books requested from the library than I can count, and even more books that I wish we had gotten too.

The Rainbow Egg Review


The Rainbow Egg, by Linda K Hendricks, is an allegorical story about the beauty of adoption.  I'm a big fan of using stories to teach children about experiences that they themselves haven't been through OR to help them process something they have experiences.  Unfortunately, I have a confession to make.  I thought the illustrations and the story were good and the words were just off.  In fact, this is one of those titles that I've had in my to-do pile for a long time struggling with just what to do with it.  

Huge Announcement!

Home Based Montessori Quick Start Guide 

I am so excited about this project I can honestly barely contain myself!  I've been working on it in stolen moments all summer and have gotten far enough to make an announcement and to release the first phase of the project.

For many months, I have been wondering what to do with all the articles, activities, and lessons that are archived way back in the doldrums of this blog.  There is some great stuff in there, but it's somewhat futsy to get to, even for me... and I usually know exactly what I'm looking for.  I wasn't always great about tagging stuff way back when, not knowing quite how things would develop here.

Starting today there is a new way to find what you are looking for, the Home Based Montessori Quick Start Guide at Work and Play, Day by Day.  At its core this is a new by-age index of tips, tricks, activities, and more to use when implementing Montessori methods in your home.  As you dig deeper, however, it is so much more.  I believe it can help you find the right balance of Montessori for your family and give you activities that you can start today without any special training or equipment (although more training and equipment will be discussed along the way).  Mixed in with my archived posts is a ton of brand new content and tips and some links to other bloggers who have explained things in better detail.

The only links that are live today are the main index and the Infant/Toddler guide.  I will release the rest of the levels (all the way from birth through secondary in the end) as I finish them and I will continually update all of the indexes to include any new posts.

Do you know what this is costing you?  

Absolutely nothing.

Not even an email subscription (although that may come in the future...but like way in the future).

I'm so excited about this I'm just giving it to you.

As a small-time blogger, you might be surprised to hear just how many questions I answer about getting started with Montessori each week.  I've often directed people to one post or another in my archives, but it is always a little bit of a guessing game to know just what they need to hear, the quick start guide will allow me to let them decide where they want to start and direct them to what they think will be most useful.

I'll make an announcement when new indexes are ready, but you can always check in by clicking on the Quick Start Guide logo (shown above) in the right sidebar at any time.   Be sure to leave me a comment if you have any questions!


Favorite Books for Babies

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So we like to read at our house.  Are you surprised by this?

Probably, you shouldn't be.

Recently I've been working on re-expanding our collection of board books.  After 6 kids, I noticed it was starting to dwindle from excessive use (read: chewing and drooling) and loss.  I found a couple new titles and wanted to share some of our long time (but maybe lesser known) favorites.

Preparing for Fall: Mom

This post was originally published a few years back, but I wanted to bring it up to the front of the blog as I hear and see moms getting ready for the back to school rush!  I figured we all (including me) could use a little reminder.   On a side note, I wrote this just a few weeks before we set off on the many adventures of Siena's brief life and I'm grateful that I took the time to prepare myself for that school year more than any other.  For more posts worth revisiting, visit the #worthrevist link up at Reconciled to You!

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While this is the last of my series on preparing for fall, I happen to believe it is the most important. This post is important if you teach with Montessori, use an online school, or send your children to be educated by someone else during the day.   Moms, listen up, the new school year cannot succeed without you.  You can write all the best lesson plans, buy at the best materials, and load up on .15 crayons, but if you do not take time to prepare yourself the school year will not live up to its full potential.

I like to think of this process in terms of a body- mind- spirit of preparation.  Prepare the whole you so that you can be wholly prepared for what this school year has to throw your way.