TOP Summer Reads for Moms

TOP Summer Reads for Moms

What are your plans for the summer? If you're like me, you are making a list of books you'd like to read while the kids are out of school! What's that you say? Too busy driving them to and from camp, swim lessons, and birthday BBQs? Have no fear! I am here to save the day! Here are my TOP PICKS for moms to read this summer!

The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family For a Year (memoir) by Spring Warren. I gave this book five out of five starts! It's a great memoir filled with dedication, humor, and some yummy recipes!


Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness Book Review & DIY Bedtime Box

A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches, a mom lit parent humor anthology edited by Lisa Nolan with forty contributing mom bloggers. Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness is very funny and poignant while describing the experiences of the sleep deprived mothers who contributed the chapters. Any young parents needing some comedic relief about their situations would feel less alone and more understood by reading this book. I've already sent it to a young mom who I know will enjoy the writing. The writers are all very talented and many have written other books and/or blogs. They are introduced at the end of the book with links for future reading and enjoyment.

I smiled for days remembering some of the lines in the book such as, "I hear a doggy barking!" spoken by a child trying to delay bedtime. The teacher mom I could so relate with, as both jobs can be exhausting. There are poems and stories, and it is the perfect bed stand book to help parents fall asleep with a smile. Because it is written by many contributors, reading short sections at a time is fine. I won't say why, but you might like to read Lisa's chapter first. I'm sure you will want to share the funny stories with your friends and relatives.

So one thing sleep deprived mothers really need is for their children to actually sleep. This means some clever parenting needs to be employed to create situations where this happens. Routines are helpful, and it seems they need constant updating to the next level. Routine 1.0 has to be updated to 2.0 and so on as the children grow. This keeps parents on their toes, when they can stand up and aren't falling asleep.

I suggest before mentioning bedtime, first begin turning off some lights and dimming lights to give a nonverbal awareness it is nighttime. Then, a routine is required. 

Do You Need to Be Crafty to do Montessori?

Do You Need to Be Crafty to do Montessori? {Confessions of a Montessori Mom}

I am a mom with well intentions, but I struggle with organization, planning and as a pregnant woman, fatigue! I am also admittedly not that crafty. I will often opt to purchase an item if it will save me from the overwhelming feeling of crafting something. However, I really don't want my deficiencies to interfere with the type of quality environment I raise my children in.  After reading many different Montessori books, I know this is the approach that I want to adopt for raising both my children.

I asked other Montessori moms and educators what they thought! Here is what they had to say:
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Is there a general order that teachers use for giving Montessori lessons?

Is there a general order that teachers use for giving Montessori lessons? {Confessions of a Montessori Mom}

Is there a general order that teachers use for giving lessons? Montessori method follows the child and observes what is next for that child. Therefore, I have read in many places that there is no set curriculum to follow. But there are albums that Montessori teachers create. There may be no set time to teach something, but what I am thinking and wondering is, is there a general order or pattern which a teacher might use. I have noticed in the math materials that the pink tower comes before the brown stair and the red rods. I am thinking that I could have the "next" lessons or activities prepared, and tucked away, and taken out when the child is ready for it. But how do I know what lessons and activities to tuck away?--Laura S.

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What constitutes misuse of materials by an infant?

What constitutes misuse of materials by an infant? {Confessions of a Montessori Mom}

I've been doing a few Montessori activities with my son C. since he was born. He's now nine and a half months old. Here's a question I've been wondering about for a while.

When I present an activity, C. has very little interest in copying me and doing the intended activity. I know that sometimes it's appropriate for the child to use the materials in his own way, but other times it indicates that he is not ready for the activity and I should just put it away. But how do I tell the difference?

When I presented the "putting spoons in a bowl" activity, C. picked up the spoons and put them in his mouth, and tapped them together, both of which I thought were probably ok. But then he took a spoon in each hand and started crawling away (he loves to crawl while holding things). I decided that was not a good idea, because he wasn't using the materials in any investigative way, so I took the spoons away from him and he was really mad.

Do you have any tips on this for the infant stage?

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Photo credit: Scott SM / Foter / CC BY-NC