Saturday, December 17, 2011

These sweet days...

are for surprises.

being with the people (and dogs ;) you love.

spoiling good friends.

small delights.

making memories.


afternoon naps.

starting new adventures.

& building lots of cubby-houses!

What are your favourites moments of december thus far...? x

Friday, December 2, 2011


Feeling grateful for the sweet friends in our lives.
I love watching our children grow up together... it's so beautiful.

Little Advent Surprises

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some of what I'm reading & watching on-line this week


"Why I Don't Worry About My Kids' Screen Time". Part 1 and Part 2.

The Parent's Project Journal

Cookie Baking Party (I know you wanna have one ;)

This broke my heart. Every single parent in the world should read it... There are no words.

The Classical Education. 

Counting Coconuts' New Routine. Love seeing how other people get organised!


Blue Jay / 12 Year old Music Prodigy

The Elements of Art (for kids)

Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting

Image credit: A friend posted this great pic on FB. Wish I knew who to credit it to. Sharing the love. 

Press PLAY

Mr L is doing really well at "school". He's got a Logical-Mathamatical kinda mind (We're loving our Life of Fred books, thanks for the inspiration Hungry Heads! ;) but he's also really imaginative which I love. His reading is improving every day and his retention seems good too.

Our days run quite smoothly *most of the time* Lol. But when I stumbled across this blog challenge I thought it sounded like the type of fun-injection we would enjoy!

Don't get me wrong - there's a lot of PLAY in this house. In fact, I type this one-fingered into my iphone at the kitchen table sipping my tea and listening to the mad ramblings of Mr.L ensconced in a world of suitcases, locks, keys and burgulars in his room. This is a tea-break from our morning of Chess and book reading on the trampoline.

But, sometimes I find they're/we're stuck in familiar play patterns.

The Play challenge gives you 30 days of Play prompts and is aimed at the younger child. Which is where I think the fun will lie for us - revisiting some of the old-skool gems that we have "grown out of". Yesterday (our first day, but day 8 of the challenge) was Water Play and I made up bottles of coloured water for bath-time play.

Today it's Sensory Tubs! I'm actually not even sure we did Sensory Tubs at all when they were little even though they were all over the web. But I took the lead and have thrown this collection together.

Are you tempted to PLAY too...?

L takes a sneak peek. Immediate response ~ peg on nose. Boys!?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lego inspired painting

I had both boys home with me today & they were having such a wonderful time playing Lego that I knew it would take something fun to get them into our daily routine.

So, we got painting Lego-stylee.

We used a ruler to block out a grid on our paper with pencil before we began. Mixed up the colors. And dived in.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

i heart my Tricky Treaters

Yesterday i posted about Reverse Trick or Treat - our families Halloween tradition. Here are some pics from the road :)

I hope you all had a happy & safe Halloween! x

Monday, October 31, 2011

Reverse Trick or Treating : Our Family Halloween Tradition

Living in Australia Halloween is a slightly odd holiday. Mostly because we don't officially celebrate it! 

I, however, loved Halloween when I was a kid and I was keen to enjoy it with my own children too. But, there were a few problems... The first being #1 that seeing as it's not officially celebrated in Australia the chance of anyone expecting to be Trick-or-Treated is pretty low (ie. not many people with sweets ready to hand out), plus, #2 I didn't really want my children to be eating many sweets anyway!

So we came up with our own family tradition. One based on the concept of GIVING rather than receiving. It's sweet. It's fun. It strengthens our community spirit and it makes us all feel good. 


We bake.
We make.
We dress up.
And we Treat!

We go door to door in our own neighbourhood giving out treats. Costumes can be any of our favourite dress-ups. Ghouls need not apply (but are becoming more popular as they get older ;)

This year it's cookies. We made 3 sorts (that's a batch of Walnut Golden Syrup cookies above).

But some years we make muffins too. You could make any easily handed-out baked good.
These Rainbow cookies (above) are a little extreme! But a concession to the occasion.

Chocolate chip and Nut-butter.

So we're ready to go. I'm just waiting for the boys to get back with T so we can head out soon... I'm sure they will end up with some of their own treats too :) They usually do. A lollipop from the corner house or some peaches from Fred down the road. They love that. But I like that it's not the only thing that we look forward to at Halloween. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kids who...

When your kids use a dysfunctional strategy to meet their needs, notice the deeper need they're trying to fill:
Kids who compete with siblings often need to feel more valued for who they are.

Kids who keep pushing for limits usually need to know the parent is in charge and will keep them safe.

Kids who "don't listen" often don't feel heard.

Kids who are always rebelling usually need to feel more powerful and competent.

Kids who are always cranky usually need more sleep. 

Kids who disrespect you are always showing you they don't feel connected enough to you.

I recently signed up to receive e*newsletters from Aha! Parenting and am appreciating the wisdom-fix. This is a post from their site that I particularly needed to read today. X

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ken Robinson on the Education Paradigm & the importance of Divergent Thinking

Friday, October 7, 2011

Here's to the Crazy One(s)...

Made me cry.

"The ones 
who are 
crazy enough 
to think they can change the world 
are the ones 
who do"

You can see Steve Jobs speaking about this campaign here. What passion. What integrity. What a life. Thanks for being yourself Steve - your legacy is a shining light for all of us. X

Monday, October 3, 2011

Parts of a Flower

I am loving this post from Satori Smiles. I've never seen a Microfleur Flower Press before! What a cool thing. Okay - I don't actually own a microwave but I know people who do. Lol. And this has now been officially added to my Amazon wishlist ;)

And as if that and the subsequently laminated + labelled lily aren't cool enough ~ the Celebration Plant Salad is brilliant. A salad where you can eat all parts of a plant:  flower + stem + leaves + seeds + fruit + roots.  Smart. And damn gorgeous too.

p.s. I'm pretty fond on their learning spaces too :) Like the Learning Loft and the Atelier Creative Room. I think I need to start naming some of our favourite spots too!

My cool cats...

Yummy + Healthy Bliss Balls!

+ Dried dates { pre-soak in filtered water for 30 mins and drain}
+ Almond meal 
+ LSA { Linseed / Sunflower seed / Almond mix - optional }
+ Raw Cacao 
+ Coconut Oil 
+ Coconut. 

So easy:
1. Guesstimate your quantities ;) You can adjust to taste.
2. Add the first 4 ingredients to a food processor; process until the dates are completely pulverised.  
3. Add enough Coconut Oil to get the mix sticky.
4. Roll into balls. 
5. Roll balls in coconut. 
6. Voila!


These are a huge hit here at the moment. Plus they're gluten-free, free of refined sugar, dairy-free & full of goodness. I've always wanted to make them & threw this very simple recipe together based on my own pantry but I'm sure there are a multitude of variations out there. 

What yummy { and healthy } treats are your family enjoying at the moment? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Listening / Reading / Dreaming

I am...

Listening to this inspired talk by John Taylor Gatto.

Reading about Charlotte Mason.

Dreaming of ordering Montessori Math manipulatives.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wow. Love this! The retro charm teamed with a seriously great idea. Oooozes cool in my books.

Originally posted by Unschooling Conversations.

Now I wonder if we have a family member who can make a set of these for the boys for Christmas?! ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We are finding our true centres. Mama included.

i just made the commitment


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Natural v Man-Made



Provide a collection of items (these are our "phonetic objects")
Make "Natural" and "Man-Made" labels.
Lay out 2 mats & sort the items as per their origin.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Silkworms | Week 1

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Margaret Homfray: The Montessori *Reading* Curriculum Lectures

Here are links to the Margaret Homfray Reading Curriculum Lectures Videos: 

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 1 Preparing Children to Read

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 2, The Insets for Design

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 3. Sandpaper Letters

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 4. (no link)

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 5 Phonetic Reading

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 6. Phonetic Grammar

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 7. Phonograms

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Getty Museum: Art Cards and Resources

When I was in LA about a year and a half ago I visited the J. Paul Getty Museum. It's an amazing building in a spectacular location with some really great art... and a brilliant store! Lol. I looooove museum and gallery stores ;)

I bought a set of Getty Museum Art Cards for Lovely & Hug but put them away on my return and got them out for the first time recently - only to discover that the cards are SO beautiful. I also bought the book Going to the Getty among other things.

Each card is well titled (with the name of the artwork, the artist and the year it was produced) and a "matching" card which is a very small detail of the original painting. 

As you can see from the image above it's quite a sophisticated matching game but something that I think would be universally appealing for kids with their amazing eye for detail.

There are also many opportunities for extension work - creating a timeline of the artworks or grouping the works into artistic genres are a few that come to mind. 

Here are links to some cool art resources on the Getty website:

Getty Games (interactive art puzzles)
Art Scoops (for parents and kids to explore together)
A Timeline: Four Centuries of Perspective
Make a Bookmark (pdf)
Visit the Getty Museum on Whyville (interactive)
Making Art (videos)

What are your favourite ways to learn about art?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Montessori Grammar Materials - Free downloads

I am making some Montessori Grammar materials for my boys at the moment.

I am happy to share them for your personal and classroom use. If you are interested just click on the image to link to the full size file at and please leave a comment to let me know who you are :) Thank you!

The Parts of Speech poem is an amended version of this poem. Please let me know if you are aware of the original source :)

Enjoy! x

Margaret Homfray & the Montessori Grammar Lecture

Margaret Homfray was a student in Maria Montessori's Teacher Training course in London in 1929. She subsequently continued to work with Maria Montessori for more than 20 years. While she was alive Ms. Homfray gave permission for a number of her lectures to be recorded and the Montessori community is blessed to have these direct-source references to Maria Montessori's work.

Margaret Homfray
The video below is relevant to our current study of grammar and I will follow with a post listing all of the lectures in the READING series with more links to come in the future.

Montessori Reading Curriculum, Lecture 6. Phonetic Grammar

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paper Cutting as Practical Life

Print out a page with a grid on it (or find something in the recycled paper as we did) for practice with the paper cutter. 

Show the child how to use the cutter in steps. 

A cutter like this will keep their fingers safe while providing a challenge which can be altered depending on the complexity of the paper grid provided. 

Much concentration is required to line up the paper, position it straight to the blade and then to keep it in place. There is also a built-in control of error  as the paper will not be cut to the grid if all of the steps are not carefully followed.

L loved this work!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Winter blossoms make my heart sing

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fiction + Non-Fiction

Yesterday while we were in the car - on our way to go rollerskating baby!! - L & I stumbled into a conversation about the difference between 'Fiction' and 'Non-Fiction'.

That fed into a game where I said the name of a book in the boys library collection & he told me if it was Fiction or Non-Fiction. To my surprise he got it right every time! We played it so many times that I couldn't think of any more books. Phew!

So, today, he made Fiction & Non-Fiction labels.

Showed his Montessori credentials by insisting that he check that the widths of his labels matched ;)

Laid out 2 mats...

Collected a pile of books from his room..

& got sorting :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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