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Can You Begin to Teach Geography Without Buying all the Montessori Materials

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Can you begin to teach 3 to 6 Geography without buying all the Montessori materials? Here's what the book Montessori on a Limited Budget has to say: "Geography activities should begin close to home so the child has a concept of the structure of his immediate environment before he tries to comprehend an abstract representation of a more remote area (e.g., maps and globes). The concept of a map can be learned through making a map of the child's yard, or neighborhood or town, or having treasure hunts utilizing maps. For Ithaca, N.Y. children [in the U.S.], terms like lake, gorge, woods, waterfall, creek, hill, inlet, etc., will be more valuable at first than ocean, bay, peninsula, etc., (which might come first for a Floridian)." From Montessori on a Limited Budget on page 181.
When I taught in Sausalito, on clear days I used to take the 5-year-olds and a walk up the hill by our school. When we reached the top we'd look down to see the bay and an island (Angel Islan…

Montessori and the Adolescent, Part 1 (Podcast episode)

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Given the shooting tragedies at American high schools, I decided to revisit my Montessori albums including Maria Montessori's "The Mind of the 12 to 18 Year Old" and her "Prepared Environment for 12 to 18 Year Olds: the Erdkinder (Earth Children)." It was so enlightening to read her words, her philosophy and methodology, and how potent and relevant they STILL are in the 21st Century. Listen here or download and listen later: Montessori and the Adolescent, Part 1

Want to listen to parts 2 and 3? Become a  member of my sister website, Montessori for the Earth!

Did you know I started a (public) podcast in 2018 called Confessions of a Montessori Mom?! Yup! But I got ahead of myself and stopped after about ten episodes... I decided, instead, to focus on my private Montessori podcast for my members and subscribers. However, I want to resume my podcast in January 2020! This is one of the episodes that went live! Enjoy! ~Lisa Nolan Top photo on Foter.com

Artful Scribbles Part 1: The Significance of Children's Drawings (Podcast episode)

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In this podcast episode, I'm sharing commentary about, and passages from, the book Artful Scribbles: The Significance of Children's Drawings by Howard Gardner: "an instructive and engaging book [in which] a noted psychologist explores the vital links between children's art and their emotional, social, and cognitive development." I also share my own experiences with Montessori and child development as it correlates to children's artwork--beginning at age two with scribbling. This is part one. Listen to Artful Scribbles Part 1 here or download to listen to later!

Want to listen to parts two, three, four, and five? Become a member of my sister website, Montessori for the Earth!
Did you know I started a (public) podcast in 2018 called Confessions of a Montessori Mom?! Yup! But I got ahead of myself and stopped after about ten episodes... I decided, instead, to focus on my private Montessori podcast for my members and subscribers. However, I want to resume my podca…

Two Montessori-Friendly Kid Books I Recommend: Earth, and Me Frida (Podcast episode)

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Today in podcast episode I share two Montessori-friendly kid books I want to recommend: 3-6 picture book Earth, and middle-grade reader Me Frida. Also, I explain what a "Montessori-friendly" kid book is! Listen here or download and listen later: Two Montessori-Friendly Kid Books I Recommend: Earth, and Me Frida

Learn more about Earthon Goodreads; learn more about Me, Frida on GoodreadsFollow me on Goodreads here!

Want MORE picture book and middle-grade reader podcast episodes with reviews and recommendations from me? Become a member of my sister website, Montessori for the Earth!

Did you know I started a (public) podcast in 2018 called Confessions of a Montessori Mom?! Yup! But I got ahead of myself and stopped after about ten episodes... I decided, instead, to focus on my private Montessori podcast for my members and subscribers. However, I want to resume my podcast in January 2020! This is one of the episodes that went live! Enjoy! ~Lisa Nolan

Photo on Foter.com

Are Montessori (Home) School Zones Appropriate for 0 to 3? (Podcast episode)

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Are Montessori (home) school zones appropriate for children under the age of three? Listen and find out! (Podcast episode)
Want to listen more of my Montessori podcast episodes? Become a member of my sister website, Montessori for the Earth!

Did you know I started a (public) podcast in 2018 called Confessions of a Montessori Mom?! Yup! But I got ahead of myself and stopped after about ten episodes... I decided, instead, to focus on my private Montessori podcast for my members and subscribers. However, I want to resume my podcast in January 2020! This is one of the episodes that went live! Enjoy! ~Lisa Nolan

Photo by angelina_koh on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Montessori Classroom Dropoff and Goodbye Tips (Podcast episode)

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"Montessori Classroom Dropoff and Goodbye Tips," a Confessions of a Montessori Mom podcast episode! Listen here or download to listen later: Best Montessori Classroom Dropoff and Goodbye Tips

Want to listen to my Montessori podcast at Montessori for the Earth? Become a member!
Did you know I started a (public) podcast in 2018 called Confessions of a Montessori Mom?! Yup! But I got ahead of myself and stopped after about ten episodes... I decided, instead, to focus on my private Montessori podcast for my members and subscribers. However, I want to resume my podcast in January 2020! This is one of the episodes that went live! Enjoy! ~Lisa Nolan
Photo by Nicolas Alejandro Street Photography on Foter.com / CC BY

The Montessori Elementary Child

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Which Montessori Lessons to Give a Tot?

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If a child at the age of 16 months comes to me, which Montessori lesson do I start with first? Shall I start with the sensorial, the language, the maths or practical life lesson first? How many types of lessons can be done in a day and how many hours for each lesson?
You need to observe the child in your Montessori home or daycare environment, to see what they choose to play (work with), then you will know what materials to add to the environment.
Maybe the child loves trucks, so have lots of trucks and give the language, count them, learn the colors of the truck, the noises it makes. When that same child is two or three, make a washing truck work (practical life); a sorting truck work (sensorial); draw a truck when they are 3 or 4; learn to sound out the work t-r-u-ck, and write it...
What I'm trying to say is you need to observe the child in your environment to see what he or she is interested in, and give them activities that are not too hard or too easy, and sometimes you won&…

Am I doing the best Montessori job for my infant?

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I've read several books so far about Montessori and I am slowly implementing it into my routine with my son (he is 13-months-old now)...I get a little nervous as I wonder if I'm missing those windows of opportunity...however I don't see him ever really getting absorbed and concentrating on any one item...And I'm having a hard time rotating items mostly because I don't know what to rotate with as he doesn't seem to like any thing...I also get worried that I should forgo safety and allow him to explore--instead I feel like I'm backtracking and saying no to things; but I try to remember that I'm a mom first and a teacher second.
Exploring is the key for your 13-month-old son, especially gross motor and oral (mouthing). So try to keep making the home safe for him to explore, as well as let him mouth safe objects that you can throw in the dishwasher!
If there are stairs in your home, he can begin to crawl up and down them...As for your kitchen,…

Montessori and Toddlers Sitting Through Meal Time

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This might bit a bit irrelevant but will like to know what is the Montessori way of teaching toddler to sit throughout meal time. He will play with his food after he is about half full and will either ask me to feed him the rest or he will just go running around.
Two things: when he begins walking around, and or plays with his food, mealtime is over! Period. Your toddler will cry, scream, throw a tantrum, say he isn't finished, but he is, he just doesn't realize it. It is actually a learned skill, their bodies know they are finished, but not their brains, so to speak.
To avoid this situation, give your toddler less food or smaller portions (we were always asking parents at our school to send less food!). Preschoolers eat like birds! They become more interested in being social!
But the Montessori aspect of mealtime is showing the toddler how to put his food away and clean up--and he is in the sensitive period for this!
Now this will take a lot of time! Be patient! And again, yo…

The Arctic: Montessori Activities

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In a Montessori environment, the study of a continent (for ages 3 to 6) entails introducing activities in Geography, Zoology, Botany, and Culture, to name a few. Today we are going to look at the continents of Arctica and Antarctica. When we think of these continents at both ends of the world, we think of ice and snow. So the very first day or week of activities to introduce to your home school or classroom environment are Sensorial activities and should include ice (and snow if you live near snow at winter time).
The following are Arctic animals, and ice cube and snowflake activities from around the Internet:
Polar Sensory TubSnowflake Matching CardsSnowflake Cut and Paste booklets"Iceberg" ActivityArctic Animals BooksMelt an Ice Cube GameDon't live near the snow? Try this "Make your own Fake sensory snow that feels real" activity.

The second day or week the set of activities to introduce would be Practical Life, like feeding and caring for a pet. But we don'…

Montessori and Composting With Kids

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When I was a Montessori teacher for 20 years I learned how to compost with the children at our Montessori school. Now that I am a work-at-home mom, and my son is older, I started composting with him this summer: I combined what I learned as a Montessori teacher with what I had around the house.


 First I grabbed an old styrofoam ice chest that was taking up room in our garage. I poked holes in all the sides, including the bottom, with a large screw driver. Then I layered a little soil and manure on the bottom and watered it just a tad.

Next, I got a basket with handles for my son to gather "brown waste" from our yard: leaves and dried grasses and small sticks.

We then retrieved our kitchen-counter compost and poured some "green waste" on the compost. FYI: No dairy or meat go in the compost.


So now we have both brown and green waste together. That's important for a healthy compost!

 Next we added a few cups of soil. It is not necessary to add soil. I use it to h…

7 Fun Fall Montessori Leaf Activities

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Who doesn't love fall! The seasons are changing from warm summer days to cool Autumn nights, pumpkins are getting fatter on the vine, and leaves are falling in colors of brown, red, orange, and yellow. There are endless seasonal and holiday projects, recipes, and activities... What's a parent to do? Join us in the Autumn Blog Hop at the bottom of this post. So here are my 7 fun Montessori-inspired activities.
In Montessori Practical Life Care of the Environment, raking leaves is a favorite Fall activity, suitable for three-year-olds and up. The child can use a child-size rake (we bought this one at Montessori Services), and if you have child-size gloves, they can be difficult to put on. We don't use gloves at the moment.

After raking a big pile of leaves (these are leaves from our huge plum tree) you can place them in a basket with handles for carrying, or a paint bucket. What's even more ideal is a child-size wheelbarrow, great for large motor-movement. (We hope to a…

Are You a Montessori Junkie?

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Do you spend more than one hour a day surfing the Internet for you next Montessori fix? Have you bought several Montessori-related book this month on Amazon? Perhaps you wander around the dozens and dozens of Montessori blogs reading posts, downloading activities, or making comments.

Maybe you've even downloaded a Montessori 3 to 6 album, or two, or three. (Tip: you only need one!)
And don't tell me you haven't downloaded a Montessori app to your iPad or iPhone! OK, maybe that's going too far... even I haven't done that (mainly because I have an old-fashioned cell-phone that isn't capable of taking a picture much less checking my email or what-ever-it-is smart phones do these days). Keep reading here!

You know you have a Montessori child when . . .

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You know you have a Montessori child when...I posted this question on my Montessori Facebook page, and I received a lot of responses! Here are a few of my favorites:
"My son was taking a REALLY long time in the children's library bathroom so I peeked in the door and he was wiping the sink and mirror dry with paper towels!" OK, that one was mine!

"When your two-year-old says excuse me when she needs to interrupt your conversation!"
"My daughter, 18 months, went to get a bib before a meal. When all the bibs fell on the floor she began to sing 'Clean up, clean up . . . ' while picking them up and putting them back."

"Caught my son using his spoon, meant for his cereal, moving milk from his cup to his bowl."

"A few months ago I realized I had a Montessori child in the making when after looking at a book she got up and put in back in the box where it had come from, without prompting!"


And from our Facebook group members:
"When…

Best Montessori Books I Own

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Welcome to my Best Montessori Books I Own Series: I highlight four Montessori books including Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic; How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin; The Essential Montessori Updated Edition: an Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement  by Elizabeth Hainstock; and Awakening Your Toddler's Love of Learning by Jan Katzen-Luchenta. Some of these books are available at your local library, as an ebook on Kindle, and or used and new on Amazon.com where you can add them to your wish list or purchase them on the spot. 

Teach Me to do it Myself, Montessori activities for you and your child  by Maja Pitamic
The Introduction includes: a Preface; "Who was Montessori"; "How to use this book"; and "Frequently asked questions" (seven in all).
There are five chapters with activities you can do at home or in a classroom setting: "Life skil…

DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting: A Guest Post by Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory

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I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches, Lisa Nolan's mom lit parent humor anthology 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 paren…

Welcome, I'm Lisa Nolan!

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