Friday, November 19, 2010

Loving Love & Logic

I've been reading this book

Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition)

and reminiscing about a favorite old tv sitcom: The Cosby Show. I loved it as a kid, but I seriously LOVE it as a parent! And now I know why! The Love & Logic philosophy really appeals to me. The idea that we are not here to swoop in and rescue our children from their poor decisions. We are here to support them and love them right through their not-so-great choices and the consequences that follow. Can't you just see that wise, knowing smile on Mrs. Huxtable's face as she discussed with her children the choices they had made or were making? Remember the humor that never failed to shine through? I want to be like that as a mom!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paper Punching Push Pins...Perfect!

An old mousepad gives them a soft surface for pin punching

I found these really cool maple and oak leaf outlines over at under their "Montessori Materials" category and decided to let our little homeschoolers try their hands at pin punching. I learned somewhere that wooden puzzles with pegs are great for pre-writing development. I'm thinking the push pin gives them the same grasp, but requires even better hand/eye coordination as they punch their way around the shape.

Both kids, ages 4 and nearly 7, thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. They were both so proud of their beautiful leaves as I held them up to the sun to see them sparkle!

We will be using pin punching with KID 1 as he creates a map of the world with the seven continents, then he can go back and punch out each country as we study it. He loves to do very careful work, so I'm betting cartography will be right up his alley.

Have preschoolers at home?
You might be interested in this book:
Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-School Years: The Pre-School Years

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bunnies and Eggs...Spring is Springing Up on Me!

Found this robin's egg soap at Pottery Barn this weekend and thought it would go perfectly with this little bunny soap dish. Reminds me of The Golden Egg Book!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Write On!: Our New Writing Center

I just love finding ways to facilitate creativity in my kids. This weekend I reorganized our art and craft supplies and repurposed an old tv stand to hold everything the kids like to have free access to. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, since I didn't spend a penny on it and I think I have eliminated one of our clutter culprits. Tons of junk always landed on the top of this table. I had to sift through stacks of school papers, artwork, old mail, and random objects thoughtlessly laid atop this tv table, but it was worth it! I hate clutter!

Here are a bunch of pics of our new writing/creativity center:

I used the baskets we already had, so they don't all match, but they work for now!

The top view: I used an old serving tray to define the mail center. The cake stand is for new mail.

We now have a "Cards and Envelopes" basket, "Sticky Notes and Small Note Paper," and an old utensil caddy that holds freshly sharpened pencils, hole punchers, scissors, tape, pens, and a variety of paper pads. A pretty clipboard holds a stack of kindergarten lined paper.

The middle section (where the dvd player used to be) holds Ikea boxes of markers, crayons, and other essentials for writing and drawing. The lime green basket is for stickers. I put a sheet of "make your own" blank stickers in there in addition to tons of little chart stickers and round tag sale stickers.

The picture labels make it easy for our 3-year-old to find what she needs, but also has the words for our 6-year-old to practice reading. These little boxes are from Ikea and are the perfect size for our art supplies.

The bottom drawers hold stencils, colored construction paper, and a basket of sight words.

The kids know exactly where to put the mail when they bring it in. When they need a stamp on their envelope, it goes in the green pot for me to stamp it. I gave them some return address labels that we got for free in the mail...they love these! The basket in the back is our "Bird Watching" basket with binoculars, sketch pad, bird book, and colored pencils, ready to be carried outside on an expedition.

So far, this writing center has inspired lots of writing and creativity! Hopefully it continues to be a good clutter-buster, too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Felt Story Fun

Caps for Sale Board Book: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business (Reading Rainbow Books)This is one I grew up with, so when I had to decide which books I wanted to make into felt story sets for our 3-year-old, Caps for Sale was a definite choice.

 A peddler, who carries his wares on his head, goes for a walk in the country and naps under a nice, big tree. When he wakes up, his caps are missing - all but his own checked cap! He soon discovers the culprits: a tree full of monkeys, all wearing his caps! How will he get his caps back?

Another favorite:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Book & CD set

These felt sets, along with the gilt-framed felt board, were our little bookworm's big Christmas gift from Mommy and Daddy. A rainbow stack of felt from Michael's, some wiggly-jiggly eyes, and a hot glue gun were all I needed to create these pieces.
KID 2 loves her storyboard! I'm working on adding more stories and poems for her to play with. Do you use a felt board at home?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The January Banner is Done!

I made our "Banner of the Month" for the mantle this week using snowflakes from the dollar store (packs of 6/$1) and felt. January is snow themed in our house, since this month lacks any great holiday decor. As soon as the Christmas aisle is cleared out, they bring out Valentine's Day decorations! We're not ready for that yet!

We brought the snowmen down out of the attic when we put away our Christmas decorations and I got a can of spray snow at Walgreen's 50% off after Christmas (paid $.99). Our windows are nice and frosty now here in Central Florida!

I'm beginning to lose touch with how hokey my "theme months" are, which is just fine with the kids...they love it!

Note: The quilted piece behind the banner is up on my mantle. It was created by my sweet friend, Kay, over at I love it!