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.

Core Montessori: Pin Punching


Montessori Pin Punching

It has been a long time since I last added to my running series on teaching techniques that I consider core to a Montessori learning approach.  To view previous posts, click here.

Today I am talking about pin punching.  This is one of my favorite activities because almost anyone can set up the activity at home with materials you already have.  It also works well for seasonal adaptations and as a supplement for various thematic units.   Neither thematic units or seasonal adaptations are particularly Montessori, but most homeschoolers use one or the other to some extent.  Thematic units is one way we have conquered the materials/space battle with our large age range and seasonal activities seem to refresh my children's interest in activities I want them to keep working on.   

Swimming With Faith Review


In honor of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics opening up today, I thought it would be perfect timing for my latest BookLook Blogger Review:  Swimming with Faith:  The Missy Franklin Story by Natalie Davis Miller.  The title is a part of the Zonderkidz biographies series.