My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Montessori Monday #2

I can't find my camera. Which means I can't find the pictures I took last week. But I'll explain a couple of the things we did:

1. We played with a button snake. Great. Idea. I pretty much have bookmarked in my crafts folder every thing that Counting Coconuts has made for her son! She's my Montessori craft mom hero. You can also use the colored felt for patterns, sorting, counting, you name it! I love felt!

2. Speaking of love, and felt, I made some felt hearts for Valentine's day and painted numbers on them with fabric puff paint. I didn't add embellishments, because I wanted her to count out for herself. DD1 wasn't as interested in the hearts as I hoped. I had her use some of the googly eyes we had (that I purchased a while ago for a project I haven't started yet) to count. She played with those for an hour, and has since practiced sorting them by size. It made a cute picture. Wish I could find my camera...

3. We also played play-doh. A mini-rolling pin and a variety of cookie cutters are on my wish list. :)

4. DD1 started showing interest in writing her letters. I can't get her to hold her pencil even remotely correctly, but she'll draw a few letters, and they aren't too bad. To help with her fine motor, I made some stencils out of old cottage cheese lids. I'll have to post a tutorial after I find my camera. Hmmm. Where is that?

I'm linking to:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quiet Book Swap

I am the queen of unfinished projects. I will gather materials for a big project, start full steam ahead, and fizzle out quickly. That is, unless I have motivation. Things like my baby being due any day, or making a gift for someone else, or working on a project with others are all great motivators for me! I started a quiet book a while ago. I finished (almost) about 3 pages. But I didn't use any interfacing to line the muslin, so the pages were so floppy.

Anyway, I'm working on a quiet book swap. This will be tons of fun, and we need at least 10-15 people! Details are here (A great blog you should follow, by the way!) Email me with any questions or if you'd like to participate. Depending on how long it takes to get a group together, the deadline will probably be sometime before August. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wish list

I have a huge wish list for Montessori-type games, puzzles, and materials. One activity set that looks especially fun is this Alphabet Soup Sorting game! FUN! I LOVE it. But I don't want to fork over $36 for it. Especially because I'm pretty sure I could make something like that.

I've been toying with trying to collect 26 10-oz baking powder containers. Maybe these containers would work? I don't want glass containers, but I think cardboard would be more in line with Montessori thinking than plastic (a big part of Montessori seems to be using quality, real materials.) Besides, having to buy containers would sort of defeat the purpose of not buying the toy in the first place.

Maybe it's time to hit up Freecycle? Anyone want to start collecting baking powder cans for me? :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Montessori Monday #1

I thought I'd keep track of every time I actually post something about Montessori, on a Monday. If you'd like to know more, there are tons of great blogs, or you can just google "Montessori." I've started reading a couple of books, and hope to compile some information myself, but hey, I'll be proud if I can actually keep up with posting about what we're doing.

First of all, I want to mention how cheap (or even FREE) utilizing Montessori concepts with your children can be. I was overwhelmed when I first began looking at blogs and all the cool gadgets people had. But all the things I use are free. Or at least, they were left over from other projects or things I had around the house. You'll see what I mean. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to have Montessori play time each day. You don't need to buy an expensive calendar to do circle time, or fancy beads for any activities. It's amazing how, the more you look at what people are doing, the more you see the potential for a Montessori activity in almost an object! (For example: buttons, beads, ice cube trays, rocks, leaves, pillows, straws, empty jars, cups, the list goes on and on!)

So, without further ado, here is our general morning rhythm, and what we did today during play time. *Rhythm is not the same as schedule. I like how flexible we are, and if something doesn't work out one day, I don't beat myself up. I'm working on consistency right now so my kids can know what to expect, but I like having a general outline, at least for our morning!

7-8 am: wake up and eat
8-9: shower, get dressed, etc (You can use Montessori Practical life here, your child can pick out their own clothes, practice buttoning and zipping, etc)
9-10: Clean a little (dishes, make beds and pray, etc)
10-10:30: Circle time (Calendar, numbers, shapes, songs, and stories, I'm trying to incorporate scripture stories here, but we're still working on getting through the days of the week and the weather, to be honest!) Here is a picture of my homemade calendar, my preschooler helped paint a cut up cardboard box and glue things on. Really easy, totally free! I also added a space for weather, and number, letter, and shape of the day. I'd like to start doing a scripture verse every day too!

10:30-11:00 Activity time. Many people do boxes or trays or other ideas where they have the activities all ready, and have trained their kids to know how to get them out, play, put them away, choose between multiple activities, etc. I'm not there yet. I'm just getting started, and I don't have a "space" for trays or boxes. Work In Progress! But here are some things the kiddos enjoyed today (DD1 just turned 3 and DD2 is 17 months. Yes, our 3rd is due in August. We're crazy. But we sure love them!)

We did play number memory, but DD2 kept trying to grab the cards, so I got the parmesan cheese jar and some straws for her to develop her fine motor skills. DD1 got jealous, ditched the memory game, and tried to take over DD2's activity. So I got out spaghetti noodles and an old garlic powder jar for her (a little small, a little more difficult.) Montessori moms with multiple kids: how do you get them to play together nicely!? ARGH!!

In the afternoon, we got out the pom-poms and some different colored plates to sort colors. That was a hit with DD1, and DD2 enjoyed the parmesan jar with straws again!

I'm linking to:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Montessori Curriculum

I have been meaning for weeks to post more about the Monterssori theory of education, and hopefully I will get a weekly post going about what I'm doing with my small fry, but until then, feel free to check out this site: Montessori Home-Schooling.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Women of Destiny

I have been wanting to blog about this collection of music for a while, but blogging has taken a back seat lately. DH is either out of town or working crazy hours until April, so I'm playing single mom for a while. And to be honest, I'm too tired to blog even when I do have time!

I received this CD in High School.

The words to many of these songs run through my head frequently, but one song in particularly is especially poignant right now. I thought I'd share the lyrics. Enjoy!

She is not a picture on a magazine,
She's the woman just behind you in the checkout line.
She may appear to be common but she mystifies
In all the ways that wisest men and children understand.
For she has eyes that sparkle with her love
And she has a smile that is gentle as a dove.
And no woman from the movies or an ad
Could ever hope to be
As beautiful as she.

She is not a highly honored diplomat
Held responsible to lead the world to peace.
But what she does is every bit as seriousAmidst the turmoil everywhere that will never cease.
For she has hands that wipe the tears away
And she has a voice that makes everything ok
And no woman from the papers or TV could ever hope to be
As indespensible as she.

And it breaks my heart every time I see her wonder
If she means anything in this world that pulls her under.
And she doesn't always see the way that Heaven smiles above her.
That's the reason I try to always tell her that I love her.

For she may not be known for giving millions
To the charities and auctions on the news.
But I believe she's given more than anyone
All the times she's ever had to choose
To give up sleep, to rock her children every night;
To give her heart to always hold their dreams so tight.
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she.