Friday, January 28, 2011

Scoops & Cereal: "It's a Good Thing!"

In the spirit of Martha Stewart's, "Good Things", I say that scoops/measuring cups are a good thing when it comes to cereal. This morning my kiddos happily served their own cereal out of the box virtually mess free using a small scoop type measuring cup. Why in the world had I not done this sooner? Even my soon to be 3 year old could do it. I am a happy mama today :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laminating Montessori Printed Materials

How do you laminate your Montessori Printables?

I used to go to a local store and pay 90 cents per foot, and then someone told me about the local public school system's teacher supply store. I was surprised to find that they allowed home educators to shop there and benefit from the great low prices. Instead of paying 90 cents per foot, I now only have to pay 25 cents per foot! They have a lot of other goodies really cheap there too, like printing paper, card stock, free use of their dies and die cut machines, and on and on.

If you haven't already, save yourself some money and call your local public school system to ask if they have something like this that you can take advantage of too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Interview: My Works Montessori Online Videos!

I am so excited and happy to share an interview with the creators of My Works Montessori, a great new online video resource for Montessori parents and educators! As a busy mother who has often struggled to find the time to educate myself in all things Montessori, I absolutely love the idea of having professionally done videos to help guide me in my journey! It is no secret in my house that I've actually dozed off while trying to read through certain Montessori training materials, but these videos and I can definitely do no problem! 

A few of my favorite things about My Works Montessori are:
  • The videos are all conveniently located in one place, (no having to search for random videos for hours online, which I've done in the past).
  • The videos are so well produced. They really are very enjoyable to watch and you learn something effortlessly! 
  •  To top it all off, the My Works Montessori is a great value with no long term obligations. If only this had been around when I first started, I think I could have saved myself a lot of trouble!
Check out the interview and be sure to take advantage of the coupon for 50% off below!

What is your background in Montessori?
Kelley and Lisa are both fully certified in early childhood education through the American Montessori Society (AMS). Dawn, the founding partner of My Works Montessori, is a former Montessori parent and office manager of a Montessori preschool for many years. The three of us met while our children attended the same wonderful Montessori preschool.

We are also busy Moms. Dawn has three boys ranging in age from 6 – 12 years, Lisa has a daughter and two sons 11 – 17 and Kelley has a 13 year-old son (but includes her husband among her kids!).

What is My Works Montessori and what led you to create this Web site?
We created My Works Montessori because while teaching at a Montessori preschool, we began to see a real need for accessible parent education on how to easily and affordably incorporate Montessori activities at home. We also wanted to create a way for parents to learn about this method in a manner easily understood by a non-Montessorian with the convenience online video's provide.

My Works provides parent education by creating easy to understand video presentations of Montessori lessons that can be easily replicated and implemented by parents at home.

My Works is also an advocate for Montessori schools by promoting and marketing accredited Montessori schools around the world with our My Works Partner School Program.

Incorporating the five key areas of the Montessori classroom, My Works organizes its' video lessons into the following sections; Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language and Cultural & Science. The importance of each lesson and the skills gained are explained by AMS certified teachers using common sense language. A step-by-step presentation on how to create and introduce children to these materials is clearly explained and easy to follow. Most videos show how to create the materials using affordable household items and fun extension activities for additional exploration between parent and child.

What is your favorite thing about My Works Montessori?
Every day in Montessori classrooms we have watched children become problem solvers who are excited about learning and discovery. Montessori students are independent, curious and creative in their approach to learning.

With access to the internet we have the ability to reach many families on why these schools are so successful and how parents can promote and encourage this type of learning at home on a daily basis.

Learning should be fun and encourage curiosity and exploration. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered this over 100 years ago and at My Works Montessori we are attempting to spread the word!

What are some of the things you have coming up at My Works Montessori?
We recently introduced a blog on Montessori articles, questions and issues relating to the never ending sometimes brutal job of parenting.

My Works Montessori produces parent education webinars on a wide range of topics including parenting, early childhood education, developmental issues and of course, Montessori.

We provide an e-brary offering quality education articles for parents and suggested reading for children as well as a Montessori glossary that will define Montessori terms with easy to understand explanations.

Our store soon will feature printable downloadable materials, easy access to some fundamental and traditional Montessori materials, hand picked educational toys and a variety of materials that will allow parents to create a Montessori-like environment at home.

Our dream was and is to create an interactive on-line Montessori community to share ideas and promote early childhood education. Each of us has a different set of life experiences, so the ultimate goal for My Works Montessori is to create a truly comprehensive interactive website.

Every day children in Montessori classrooms all over the world are learning from each other. My Works hopes to create that same collaborative environment for parents and caregivers all over the world.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
- William Butler Yeats


Monday, January 3, 2011

Organizing Montessori Materials: Montessori Printables

Have a some of Montessori Print Shop's Three Part Cards and other materials to print out? Evelyn, of 2 Pequenos Traviesos, has been so kind as to allow me to re-post her idea for organizing Montessori printable materials. She posted this article on her blog and has many more ideas to share regarding Montessori in the home over at her blog. Evelyn describes her blog as:

"A blog about 2 Little Rascals, 4 and 8 years old brothers, and Homeschooling, Bilingual Education (Spanish/English), Montessori, Arts and Crafts, Nature, Family Life, Catholic faith, Catechism of Good Shepherd and some CRAZINESS in between. We make our best effort in having an abundant life in HIM with a not so abundant budget."

Organizando Material.../ Organizing Material...
By Evelyn of 2 Pequenos Traviesos

Un lugar para cada cosa y cada cosa en su lugar...
Cómo me gustaría hacer honor a esta frase!
Pero mi historia es diferente aunque hago mi mejor esfuerzo por estar organizada.
A place for everything and everything in its place
How nice would it be to honor this phrase!
But I got a whole different story, although I make my best in being organized.

Así lucía la repisa de mi casa hasta hace unos días...
Just a couple of days ago, my buffet looked like this...
Afortunadamente, se me ocurrió darle uso a unas bandejas para organizar papeleo que tenía en la casa. Éstas estaban ocupando espacio y llenándose de polvo pero ahora tienen un gran propósito: organizar mi material Montessori impreso!
Fortunately, I thought of a couple of trays I had sitting around the house doing nothing, taking up space and picking up a huge amount of dust. Now, suddenly, these trays have a purpose in life: to organize all my Montessori printables!
TO CUT- Esta bandeja es para el material que necesito recortar antes de laminarse.

This tray is for the material that needs to be cut before getting laminated.

TO PASTE- Esta bandeja es para material que necesita pegarse sobre cartulina, o que necesita pega, antes de laminarse.

This tray is for the material that needs to be pasted on cardstock, or needs glue in some other way, before getting laminated.

TO LAMINATE- Esta es mi bandeja favorita! Aquí tengo el material completamente listo para laminarse.

This is my favorite tray! Here I keep the material that’s completely ready to get laminated.

TO CUT AGAIN- Todo aquél que ha laminado sabe que después de laminar hay que recortar. Para eso es esta bandeja.

Everyone who has laminated before knows that after laminating comes the cutting again.
This is what this tray is for.

Gracias Evelyn! Go ahead and stop by Evelyn's original blog post to say hello!