Friday, May 27, 2011

Shopping trip :)

 Some of the deliciousness i bought today! Local food rocks. x

Montessori and Waldorf Steiner

I'm personally fascinated with the convergence, the differences, and the union between Montessori & Waldorf Steiner education & philosophies.

It's a rather controversial topic and I acknowledge the myriad of perspectives and I appreciate the pure form of both on many levels. But, for me, the very fact that I have been so strongly drawn to and inspired by both means that there has to be something there. Which for me is the seed, the intent of both. I have a lot more I could say (and have said) on this topic but that's for another post!

For now I just wanted to share an article I stumbled across which was published late last year here on New Learning Culture which looks at the "Yin & Yang of Montessori and Waldorf in Early Childhood Education" (click on the pages to enlarge):

How do you incorporate elements of Montessori & /or Waldorf Steiner into your home or classroom? Or do you follow a purist approach to either? What do you find difficult and what seems like a natural connection? Please leave your thoughts below in the comments box :) I'd love to further this discussion.

EDIT: Adding some resources:

"Steiner Compared To Montessori"
"A Look at Waldorf and Montessori Education in the Early Childhood Programs"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Most Beautiful Wool in The World (and how Lovely learnt to finger knit)

So let's start at the beginning & this picture. Take a moment & LOOK at this wool & tell me if it's not just the loveliest thing ?! Alright, I think we can start the post now ;)

I've been reading a bit about handcrafts & how helpful they are in settling children's energy in the wonderful Montessori book ('Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful' which I love despite the challenging title. I'll write more about it soon. The link is below) and in speaking to other mothers and teachers at my boy's Waldorf school.

Here is one definite union of the Montessori and Waldorf philoshopies: Children learn through their hands.
"Compelling handwork that satisfied the soul while it exercised the hands... It is mysterious how handwork can serve so many ends - social connectedness, concentration, respect for others, fine motor development. Like music, handwork soothes the savage beast..." p.42 'Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful', Donna Bryant Goertz.

Lovely (5)'s teacher had mentioned that he was hesitating to get involved in the craft they were doing and I talked to him about it, suggesting that Mama help him. And that maybe we could do some finger knitting! Genius! This would tie in with the reading I was doing! Even more genius! But then... our conversation went a little bit like this: 

Rainbow Mama (that's me ;) "Would you like to learn to finger knit?"
Lovely: "No"
RM: "Oh... Really?"
Lovely: "I never ever ever want to finger knit in my whole life"

Hmmmm, so, it was at that point that I realised that I needed to bring in the big guns >> and this is how we came to buy *The Most Beautiful Wool in The World* :)

We are very blessed to have a gorgeous craft shop onsite at Hug's school. We'd been walking past this wool for months (me, admiring it longingly - "imagine having something to use that for!") so we knew where we were headed.

I couldn't remember how to get started so, as we gathered together bringing L's attention to it's lovliness, the shop owner patiently showed us all how to do a "slip knot" & we were off. There is a 10 minute drive between the boys schools and in that 10 minutes Lovely learnt to finger knit! #magic

By the evening he had completed his ball of wool ( I split our one ball of BWITW three ways) & had this gorgeous Rainbow chain. And he was very proud of himself :) LOVE. You can see it in it's finished glory (below) which is how I laid it out for him while he slept that night.

It hasn't *fixed* his hesitancy to get involved in craft but I can see that we are opening the door & showing him the possibilities.

What type of handcrafts do you and your family enjoy?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Juice Of The Day: Apple, Carrot & Beetroot

With the help of my trusty assistant we had a delicious blood-red juice this morning. Apple, Carrot (organic) & Beetroot (organic). Yum. 

We use a Gear Juicer (ours is made by Samson) - which makes it so easy - and safe - for kids to juice.

There are lots of great lessons in this activity. They know how to build it, use it, pour the juice & dismantle it. All I do is cut the fruit & vegetables into small enough pieces - no peeling or coring required ;) & let them at it. I really probably don't need to do the cutting but I like to be helpful too!

 Lovely is my juice maestro but today Hug was home from school (he had to be collected after falling from a cubby house in the morning. Thank goodness after a check over by our doctor we know he's okay) and he took the reigns.

Thanks Hug :) It was so delicious. 

p.s. You can read more about the benefits of gear juicers here. x

Monday, May 23, 2011

A surprise!


I just noticed that sometime last week my visitor counter jumped over to 26,000 + visitors. I feel very blessed - and amazed! - especially as the counter wasn't there from the beginning & I was (mostly) awol for almost a year and a half.

Feeling the LOVE and all the appreciation that that brings.

So, a huge *Thank You* to all the lovely folks who do read my blog :)  I have big plans and some new ideas in the works - alongside the new redesign which is kinda still in the mix - which I look forward to sharing with you.

With Love, A. x

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A simple to way to keep track of our water glasses

If your house is anything like ours - you end up with a completely ridiculous amount of used glasses at the end of the day. 

And a lot of the time it's my fault ~ I don't know who's glass it is so i put in the dishwasher & then said glass's owner returns to their now-vanished glass so... 


So, our new system is going to be using some of the many silly-bands that are around the house (of course rubber bands in different colours would do the job just as well) as markers.

This is mama's water glass people! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rainbow Juice

I've been trying to make lots of fresh juices for my family at the moment. With the change of season it seems a great time to be making sure we are getting lots of extra nutrients to keep us as healthy as possible.

I've experimented with adding greens: baby spinach & cucumber are standard additions but today was the first day that I included raw broccoli.

I didn't mention it to them in advance, but there was enthusiasm all round so I will take it as a success. Yum!

What yummy juices do you & your family enjoy? x

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