Monday, April 30, 2012

1000 book challenge

Hello readers,

Month 4 is downand I am 20 books ahead of where I need to be. I have been reading to the girls sometimes up to six books a day. I actually needed to be ahead as I knew we were going away this month and I didn't want to end up playing catchup at the end of the month in case we did not read while we were away. (Much harder to read to your kids while they are court up in what the other children are doing)

This is a good spot to be in, even though hardly any reading got done while we were away I still managed to end up in front for the month. I just need to keep up the momentum, (which is alot harder than it seems somedays I just don't want to read to them) I can hear you all gasp!!! :) but I understand the importance of it so I keep doing it and I also have some impending surgery coming up and I may not be able to read to them for a week or two so I need to be ahead.

It is alot of fun and my local library is being more than supportive. I borrow approximately 120 books a month a get through most of them.

I hope this inspires you to read more to your kids. I just needed a challenge to keep me motivated. I was reading to my kids but not consistently this has helped me to read to them daily and share some quiet time with them. I don't expect them to sit on my lap but just to listen while they play. Sometimes they come over and sometimes they don't but as long as they listen that's all that matters.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Modern Parenting: Tricks Tips and Traps by Steve Hughes.

Hi Readers,

This talk was sent to me by a friend of mine and it is very good. When you have a spare hour and half (Yes it is long) but well worth the listen. It really challenges our modern day parenting of praise and looks at some 'old school parenting' techniques and argues why some of these are better for our children's mental health and well being. It is Steve Hughes (bio from his website)

Steven J. Hughes, PhD, LP, ABPdN is a board-certified pediatric neuropsychologist who specializes in assessment and treatment planning for persons who have problems with attention, concentration, organization, planning, and related executive functions. He also consults with organizations about educational program evaluation, and speaks to groups around the world about developmental education, neurocognitive disorders, parenting, and other topics of interest to parents and educators.
Dr. Hughes serves as Chair of the Association Montessori Internationale Global Research Committee. You can see more of his talks at

So here is the link to the talk enjoy and let it challenge some of the ways we think about parenting

Happy Teaching


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cultural immersion

Hello Readers,

Today my husband and I took our children to the rotary art show which was held at one of the local school. I love taking my eldest to these things as now she is starting to have opinions of her own about what she likes and what she does not like.

As we walked through the show she would point to paintings and say "I like this painting" What do you like about it? "I like the purple colours Mummy" That's nice what else do you like? "I like the painting that looks like water."

It is so nice to be able to do things with her now where she is forming opinions of her own and what she likes and does not like. She even sat down and took in all the paintings. I wish I could have taken some photos but it was not allowed.

It was a great trip out for us to do and a way of showing Miss S some art and culture in her day. Miss A well.... She whinged the whole time because my husband wouldn't let her walk.... because walking means running with Miss A.

Happy Teaching

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LanguageMom my review

Hello Readers,

Its been awhile since I have done a review of any kind so i thought I would do a review on Language Mom My girls and I have been doing this for 5 weeks now and really enjoying ourselves my youngest who is 16months will hold out two fingers and say deux while my eldest 3.5 is trying really hard to say all the french words with perfect accent.

Language Mom is a french program aimed at 3-5 year old and I would also say 30 year old parents to who also want to learn french. It is a weekly curriculum sent to your inbox which has instructions to follow and videos to watch. You then practice each video and print out the worksheets that go with it.

I print out the worksheets and laminate them and stick them up around the bath tub where I can practice my french with the girls while they are getting clean.

It is early days yet but so far both the girls are really enjoying it and getting a huge amount out of the curriculum, they are not bored and the eldest asks for her lessons. this is a 6 month curriculum and well worth the price tag as it is so affordable for so many parents.

Happy  Teaching


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fostering Independence: Montessori around the house part 2

Hello Readers,

About 18 months ago my Husband and I had the interior fit out of our wardrobes updated. At the time we did them so we could help our then just 2 year old foster her own independence but at the time it was just too early and a few times I came into her bedroom with all the clothes strewn all over the floor and many fashion parades later and too many times I had to refold the clothes again and again. I just ended up putting the clothes up high where she could not reach them.

I know I'm a baaad Montessori mother, when I had the opportunity to teach her but in my defence I was about 34 weeks pregnant at the time and too huge and tired to repeat myself.

So now that my youngest is 16 months and my eldest is 3.5 years old it is time to help the eldest take a little more responsibility and to help her grow as a person. As I keep making the changes I can't believe how much she has rised to the occasion and surprised me at how happy she is to be a responsible young girl.

So here is what I have done....

I have taken photographs of the clothes in each draw and stuck them (with blue tack) to each picture so she knows where each article of clothing belongs to put it away and where to get it out when she wants to get dressed. I have also put the clothes she access the most on the bottom two draws and clothes she accesses the least at the top. This is because of her height and I want to make the process of getting dressed  and putting clothes away as easy as possible.

My husband added a door handle at her height so she can open and close the wardrobe by her self

More pictures so she knows where her coats/jackets and shoes belong

A low hanger has been added so she can reach to hang up her jackets and dresses by herself as  well as put them away.
Do I still have issues with her putting things away? Yes I do she still is 3 and will still throw things in the wardrobe,but now I just bring her back and make her do it. She is getting to a stage where you can talk to her about doing the right thing and taking care of her possessions and more importantly she wants to be a big girl as when she was two while she wanted to do things for herself the ability to reason with her was just not there.

Happy teaching.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Geography Part 2 Africa

Hi Readers,

I have now had Africa blown up to A0 size and tonight finished cutting out ALLLL of the countries. There are sooo many.

My eldest daughter is looking forward to starting Africa. We will focus on Algeria tomorrow as a start. This is going to take a loong time to complete but never mind the fun is in the journey.

Happy teaching.


Fostering Independance, Montessori around the house.

Hi Readers,

We have recently been away and while I was away I got to curl up with a few Montessori books I had been waiting to read. It was a good reminder as to what Montessori Philosophy is all about and it was the kick in the butt that I needed to put my Daughter and my relationship back on track.

Montessori advocates to 'Follow the Child' and watch and observe and then act on those observations. My Daughter has been wanting more independence for a very long time and I have been fighting it. Insisting that I should still be doing 'Everything' making her lunch. helping her to get dressed, picking everything she wears, not allowing her to get involved because there would be mess etc etc. You get the idea and we have been fighting ever since until the other day when I finally had the 'AHA' Moment when I watched her do something for her self and proudly turn to me and say 'Mummy I can do it all by myself'.  I had to let go of the baby I had so desperately wanted to hold on to and welcome a little person who needed to do things on her own to grow her own self esteem and self confidence in herself.

So to help foster this independence I have been slowly 'Montessoring' up each room of the house to 'Help her help herself"

So I have begun with the kitchen as this is where she probably needs to be independent the most.

In the pantry I have given her a shelf for her to prepare her breakfast and I have bought containers in which she can manage to pour breakfast herself.

Two breakfast cereals to choose from.(Rice Bubbles and Weetbix) The biggest container has a cup in it to help her pour her cereal. For Christmas I purchased her a child's scale, sifter and apple peeler.
I also have an old urn I found from around the house for water so she can pour her own drinks. I also have plates, bowls and cups. While they are plastic they will do for now as I slowly replace everything with real cutlery and crockery. They are still helping her become independent.   

I have also given her a a shelf in the fridge with already prepared fruit and vegetable that she can help herself to whenever she feels like it.

 Making an afternoon snack

Preparing her plate
Packing up her food and putting it away.

So as you can see you don't have to do much to allow your child to be independent. I am focusing on one room at a time and buying things bit by bit so it is not a huge financial hit to me and using what I already have around the house to help her become independent.

Just implementing these changes has allowed her to become a much happier girl in the last couple of days. By allowing her to be independent I have noticed that she is more responsible, more willing to help me do 'chores' and has taken on her new responsibilities with enjoyment and happiness and she is calmer.

I hope this inspires you to do more around your house. I have been so afraid to let go for so long and now that I finally have she has surprised me in so many ways.

Happy teaching


Monday, April 2, 2012

Bath tub language fun

Hi readers,

I just thought I would share something with you who are a little time poor and are wanting to find more ways to fit some early learning activities in. I have started using bath time as a way to add some language learning in.

I have joined up to language mom ( to teach my kids french. Each week you get a french lesson to practice with your children and each lesson comes with a study sheet. I have printed each one off, laminated it and stuck it to the wall that the bathtub is on. When we are in the bath I ask the girls in french to touche la girafe or touch le lion. We watch the videos also while they are in the tub and make games up to play with them.

I find this a great way to have a lot of fun with them and we are all learning a language together and it is fun. You don't have to teach your kids a language but you could use that time any way you want. Maybe you would like to teach addition or subtraction or colours. Whatever takes your fancy but there is some extra time there in the bathtub to spend with your kids teaching them.

Happy Teaching


Sunday, April 1, 2012

1000 book challenge update

Hi readers

My 1000 book challenge is going well. I have been reading to the girls like a Trojan for the month of March. We are going away this month and since we will be away I was worried I may not hit my daily goal of 3 books. So last month I doubled what I needed to read to to them and now I am way ahead for April and have a little bit of le-way for the week we are away.

I am thoroughly enjoying this challenge. I am reading so many different things to them. Articles, books that are for older children, anything I can get my hands on. I tend to read to them while they play and are in the bath. I find bath time the best they are really relaxed and enjoy hearing the stories while they splash about.

Happy reading,