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Montessori Fall Round Up of Activities & Free PDFs Printables Downloads With Lisa & Carolyn of Montessori on a Budget

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Introduction to Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry Plus Planner PDF

My Introduction to Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry Plus Planner PDF is designed for parents who want to incorporate Montessori art, music, and poetry into their home environment with children age birth to nine. This 112-page PDF includes an organizer and a three-month planner, as well as:
simple lesson activitiestext only for easy printinglinks to my photo galleries at SmugMugall of my art, music, poetry blog posts at Confessions of a Montessori Momresources (like what and where to buy)suggested books to read, and more!

The Montessori Organizer

The Montessori Organizer is designed for moms who are beginning their journey into incorporating Montessori in their home environment! It is over 90 pages long, printer friendly, black and white text, easy to use, go at your own pace, and created by a trained Montessori teacher and mom! It includes a list of must-haves for two- and three-year olds, and a “how to” on giving a Three-Period lesson. It is ideal for preschool-age children, but can also work for toddlers age 24 months and up (they grow fast)! We will have a 6-9 homeschool organizer in the coming weeks.

Read and Write the Montessori Way

Read and Write the Montessori Way is designed for parents who want to incorporate Montessori language, reading, and writing into their home environment with children age two and one-half to five! This 135 page PDF includes: over 20 lesson activitiesa 45-page printer-friendly version (text only)links to password-protected photo galleriesall of the language blog posts at Confessions of a Montessori Momresources (like how to make or where to buy)books to read, and more

Montessori in the Home PDF for Birth to Age Nine

Montessori in the Home FAQs for Birth to Nine is a 130-page, text-only, printer-friendly ebook PDF that was created by Lisa Nolan, a 3 to 6 and 6 to 9 Montessori-trained teacher with over 25 years of experience. It addresses the many challenges that parents face when implementing the Montessori Method in a home (or homeschool) environment with children age birth to nine.
The book is divided into several sections:
Infant FAQsToddler FAQsShould You Montessori Homeschool? Questions and AnswersFAQs about Montessori HomeschoolingFAQs about Montessori Language, Reading, and WritingFAQs about Montessori SubjectsFAQs about Behavior-Related Issues when Trying to Montessori HomeschoolThe Child and the Montessori EnvironmentMontessori and non-Montessori resources

Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley: A Book in Review by Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

The Montessori on a Budget book club read Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley. We discussed it on the Facebook page. The full title is actually A Hands on Guide Tinkerlab for Little Inventors, 55 Playful Experiments that Engage Thinking, Curiosity & Creative Thinking. This book explains Tinkerlab for the young learner and is perfect for the home environment. Tinkerlab is for all ages, and the focus for this book is how to introduce and use the ideas with younger children. Materials can be free, DIY, inexpensive, and recycled -- and then reused in many cases! Science and engineering sound difficult to teach, but the author makes it easy and practical with specific ideas that can be replicated with the helpful and clear photos. Interested? Continue reading here . . . 


Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children: A Book in Review by Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children by Miriam Beloglovsky and Lisa Daly is an organized approach for helping children with constructive play ideas. The authors have dozens of "stages" set with materials as a place to begin each idea. However, any DIY, nature objects, small items collected,  and recycled materials may be used and reused in this approach.  Stages may be set similarly to what the authors used with different supplies. A questioning approach is used to help the children think and construct ideas. Continue reading here . . .

Greater Than, Less Than, Equals Activity Cards

Greater Than, Less Than, Equals Activity Cards: This post has a freegreater than, less than, and equals printable.  The first picture is the activity in use on a tray. Just the number cards, object cards, and/or the glass buttons could be used as desired.  The printable is in color and in black and white for printing options. Continue reading here . . . 

Project-Based Homeschooling: A Book in Review by Caroly Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners was written by Lori McWilliam Pickert. This book is very useful as it has many lists, suggestions, explanations, and information about what to do to teach with a project based method at home. Management of materials while maintaining living space is discussed, as well as financial considerations. There are pictures to visually help comprehend the information. Please continue reading at this link.

Smart Moves: A Book in Review (Part Three) by Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

Did you know Einstein was left handed? This fact is shared in chapter 13, along with the information that forcing right handedness can lead to stuttering. I remember more people stuttering when I was growing up than I see now, and I'm thinking they used to force right handedness so much more. The author explains dominance profiles -- about being right or left brained, right or left hearing dominant, right or left eye dominant and provides examples of how it affects a person.  She was right on the button for me! Scary! However, this is so important for us to know about ourselves and our students.
Heather Goodmanson is a third grade teacher in Hawaii. She had her students figure out their own dominance profiles.  The students organized themselves according to their easiest sensory access such as right eat dominants on the left side of the room. This helped all the learners in the class. They also did Brain Gym exercises five minutes a day. The class had their highest academic scores…

Smart Moves: A Book in Review (Part Two) by Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

Smart Moves: Learning is Not All in Your Head by Carla Hannaford PhD, regarding chapters 6-11: It is difficult to break this book into sections, and I really want to post the entire book as it is so enlightening. This book supports the Montessori method in so many ways. *Note: See also the review of chapters 1-5. Recently there has been a "Prince George" effect causing a surge of interest in Montessori education as Prince George is now attending The Maria Montessori Institute in London. I think there should be a surge of interest from reading Smart Moves, too! Continue reading here . . . 

Smart Moves: A Book in Review (Part One) by Carolyn Wilhelm of The Wise Owl Factory

Smart Moves, Why Learning is not all in Your Head by Carla Hannaford. This post has a few of my favorite quotes and thoughts from chapters 1-5. Smart Moves was actually first published in 1995, but has since been updated as new research has been made available. It is amazing how well this book fits with Montessori learning! Carla Hannaford has a PhD and has provided facts and details to help everyone understand why "locked ocular" learning (staring) is not actual learning, and why the body much be engaged. This one fact explains why electronics and traditional teaching methods do not provide much learning. Learning needs to be active and hands-on as in the Montessori method.  She recommends children not watch TV until age 8. Children should be active (not passive) participants in their learning. Learning does not happen only in the brain as many people assume.  Continue reading here...

Matching and Graphing Colors and Horses

This post has an activity using realistic plastic horses as manipulatives for graphing. It also has a free printable to use for tray activities. The color words like red, yellow, and blue are easier to teach as their use is common in the children's experiences. However, the words black, brown, white, gold, and gray are less frequently used and therefore require an intended effort for practice. I realized the Toobs horses by Safari Ltd have exactly the colors children need more time with. I've made a free printable for you to use.  I do think many other little plastic horses might work for this activity, as well. First, this is a "color corral" and a paper cube to use as a tray activity.  Either the horse body color, mane color, feet color, or tail colors could be designated as the one to match when the cube is rolled. Interested in free printable? Keep reading at this link.

Montessori at Home Affordable Online Course for Ages 0-24

Montessori at Home Affordable Online Course for Ages 0-24
As I am going to become a grandma this winter, I did some preparation by taking a course by Lisa Nolan about ages 0-24 months.  She has affordable Montessori at home online courses with a wealth of information. For the price of one single toy, you can learn dozens of ideas and how to up-cycle common household items to create a Montessori environment for your child or grandchild. Most of the items can be made at home, saving money and making this wonderful environment affordable and possible. Click here to continue reading this post . . .

Free Sorting Cards for Holiday Needs and Wants

This post has free sorting cards for needs and wants, perfect for the holiday seasons when wants multiply on a daily (or hourly) basis.  There is a description of the activity, picture sorting cards, as well as label cards for use near the end of the lesson.  For this activity, it is best not to explain exactly what is going on during the first portion. The above photo of the activity in use with a Montessori rug. Perfect for under the tree?  Maybe. If you would like the free printable,please continue reading here


Introduce Poetry to Your Children Using the Montessori Method

At the preschool age you can share your love of  language and literature by reading poetry out loud to your child/ren. You will enthuse their interest in poetry if you yourself are enthusiastic and interested in it. As it states in my Montessori training manual: "Assess yourself and your attitude. Remember, the child who is still in the absorbent state of mind [from birth to six] absorbs your attitudes.You are not just giving concrete experiences [by reading poetry], you are giving children exposure and a love for [poetry], which they will study, in depth, later on."

Then, when the child is reading comprehensively (by third grade or age eight) you can introduce the poetry basket. But first, let me review the several levels to reading (quoted from my Montessori training manual).

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The Study of Aesop's Fables for Your Montessori Environment

The Study of Aesop's Fables is a wonderful addition to your Montessori curriculum. And the best part is that you can find them free online and in the library!

Why Is Exposure to Aesop's Fables Important to Children's Character Development?

Here some activities you can do/make:

1. Tell stories/fables at circle time
2. Read fable story books at story time
3. Put on fable puppet shows
4. Make fable characters and puppets. Recommended: Hand Puppets: How to Make and Use Them by Laura Ross; Look What You Can Make With Paper Plates.
5. Draw the fable characters (younger children can use the metal insets or stencils)
6. Write the names of the characters, make labels, flash cards (younger children can copy them)
7. Write a fable or write about a fable (younger children can tell a fable or do a puppet show)
8. Put on a play. Recommended: The Tortoise and the Hare: Fables (Building Fluency Through Reader's Theater); The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse: Fables (Building Fluency T…

Free DIY Montessori Inspired Textured Letters a guest post by Carolyn of The Wise Owl Factory

This post has a free printable which will help make free DIY Montessori inspired textured letter cards. The PDF printout along with some instructions for making the cards will help create a set of textured alphabet letters.  To make these, first the printable alphabet is required.  This link will open a free PDF (here) and pages desired may be printed.  A D'Nealian alphabet as well as a Century Gothic alphabet is included, with both lower and upper case letters.  Select only the pages needed for your teaching situation.  It would be good to print the letters on cardstock for durability.

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DIY Bedtime Box With Day and Night Matching and Sorting, a guest post by Carolyn of The Wise Owl Factory

I recently purchased Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from theTrenches, 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.
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Top 10 Toddler Pinterest Boards

Pinterest! The place you can go to check out literally everything these days. From healthy family recipes, to fabulous kids activities, to the best vacation spots, pinterest has it. You can probably tell already that I am a HUGE fan. It makes a busy moms life so much easier. Hopefully being able to Follow these totally terrific toddler boards will make your Pinterest experience even better. Let's go see what is Pinteresting today.

Montessori and Potty Training Boys

My son E. is 26 months and has been wearing underwear for about a week during the day (cloth diaper at night). For the first day or two, he'd make it to the potty about half the time.... But after those first few days any suggestion of the potty upset him very much. So, I stopped mentioning the potty, thinking he is still learning about his body.... The past few days he has not attempted to go to the potty at all, just has accidents all day.

Should I be doing something else? If so, what? Should I try to get him to help clean up? If so, how? Have I missed his window of opportunity?


Oh! The joys of potty training! Boys? Oh boy!

Boys (when they potty train or potty learn) act just as you described! They are fickle! What to do?

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Photo credit: desertrice / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Montessori Continent Resources

The study of the continents starts in the 3-6 Montessori classroom. As a homeschool mom, I try my best to mimic those patterns. We are working on compiling all our information for our continent studies and thought I would share with you the amazing resources I found!


Can you give a toddler a Montessori lesson?

Want to know the truth? Most toddlers don't really like Montessori three-period lessons: they are still learning how to control their bodies (and bodily functions!). They rebel against help and interference from adults, like diaper changes, getting dressed, sitting at the dinner table, and taking a nap...

And they insist on doing everything themselves! The trouble is they (still) need a lot of help! So you are always trying to help while letting them do it themselves!


So how does giving a three period lesson work in a Montessori environment for this age group?

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The Best Beginning Reading Pintetest Boards

So much of what I write about is dictated by my life with my kids. At Child Led Life, I follow their lead all the way. Today, I want to share with you The Best Beginning Reading Pinterest Boards. My son is EXTREMELY interested in reading and I have engulfed myself with beginning reading ideas!

Teaching Toddlers Seasons

I love Etsy. That's right if you haven't heard of it, you need to go see all the great handmade items there. Thankfully I happened upon Free Spirit Kids about six months ago, and it's been love ever since. I should also mention I love the Montessori philosophy and beautiful Montessori materials. What better to teach toddlers seasons with than a few handmade items and a lovely set up.
Since Winter is right around the corner, I choose to start Baby Bell's week out with learning about things that go along with Winter. Free Spirit Kids Winter Montessori Cards were perfect.