Monday, March 28, 2011

Montessori Education Supplies Review

Montessori Education Supplies is a new company offering  quality Montessori supplies for toddlers and up!  My family has been purchasing Montessori materials since about 2005, so I was very intrigued to find out there was a new supplier on the market. Recently, MES loaned me a few of their items to review. Since it is a new company, I wasn't familiar with their quality, but was quite pleased when the items they sent arrived. I received a set of knobless cylinders, a moveable alphabet, and constructive triangles to check out and test with the children. I was impressed with the beautiful quality of the items and the children wanted to use them right away!

 The knobless cylinders came in lovely strong boxes, and the colors on the cylinders themselves were attractive and glossy. I also really liked how the cylinders had a nice weight to them.


The constructive triangles were nice and consistent in quality. As you can see, my little one was really enjoying putting them together and even making some configurations of his own!

The moveable alphabet was also very nice and sturdy. I've had a couple of sets of moveable alphabets in the past and had problems with some of the letters coming apart. Montessori Education Supplies moveable alphabet seemed tough enough to be handled by the eager hands of little one's! Montessori Education Supplies carries various sizes and styles of letters. From cursive to print and small to large, you can even choose from a few different colors for the alphabet that best suites your needs. I personally prefer the traditional red consonants and blue vowels to the black ones they sent me.
Montessori Education Supplies is offering Montessori Candy Readers a FREE gift with your first order, plus 10% off your first order as well by entering code FIRST2011

Want  to find out more about Montessori Education Services? Check out their story below!


"The famous Montessori learning environments require carefully designed and scientifically developed teaching materials. Montessori educational supplies must be engaging and attractive to children, encouraging them to explore concepts deeply and comprehensively at their own pace.

When my Aunt Nilu was a Montessori teacher in Canada, she periodically brought home educational products that needed repair or needed to be enhanced. Because he had an engineering background, Uncle Andy was able to fix many of the damaged items and enhance them to be more functional. Before long, Uncle Andy started the business of supplying Montessori school products, making sure to source exceptional-quality products.

Several years ago, Uncle Andy wanted to expand his business supplying high-quality, durable Montessori teaching materials in the US. It’s not often that you find a business opportunity that is both rewarding and fun so we began our business, Montessori Education Supplies.

Since that time, we’ve made it our mission to offer US Montessori educators smart, engaging, durable products that my uncle would approve of. We look forward to forming long-lasting relationships with schools, individual teachers, home schools, and parents dedicated to helping children grow and learn with the Montessori philosophy.

We supply products in all the key Montessori categories: Toddlers, Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Geography, Botany, Zoology, and even include Real Life Cycles!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Icing on my Catholic Cake: Another Giveaway!

Happy feast of the Annunciation! Lacy of Catholic Icing is hosting a Facebook giveaway for Elizabeth Papandrea's Catholic Montessori Manual! Go to her Facebook page to enter this great giveaway!
Want to purchase the manual? Click on the Paypal button on the right sidebar. Manuals will be sent via email within 24 hours of purchase. Thanks!

(Looking for the My Works Montessori giveaway? Click HERE)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Practical Life: Making Fruit Skewers

(Looking for the Giveaway? Click HERE)

Making fruit skewers is a fun and easy practical life activity that can be done in the home without any special Montessori materials.All my children (minus the baby!), were able to participate in this activity and their ages range from 8 to almost 3 years old. My toddler daughter enjoyed matching the pattern of fruits I laid out as an example and the older children loved being able to say they had made a healthy snack for us to eat and share with friends. Weather preschool or elementary age, your kids will love making these!

Such concentration!
To set this up, all you need is a few bowls, some fruit, and the skewers! You can lay out a pattern of fruits on a skewer for the children to copy, or if you like they can just experiment and try making fruit patterns of their own. Some of the fruits may need to be cut before placing on the skewer . If they are easy enough to cut with a small knife, the children can also help to prepare the fruit ahead of time. One example would be strawberries.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you haven't already, please feel free to choose any or all of the options for entering the My Works Montessori Spring Giveaway! Want to know when Montessori Candy is updated? Consider subscribing or follow the blog with an option from my side bar! :)

Link Parties

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giveaway by My Works Montessori!

Spring is here! Are you as happy as I am? This is my absolute favorite time of the year (minus the allergies!). It is a time for new beginnings in the plant and animal kingdoms, and this year, for Montessori Candy as well! I am happy to announce that today I am launching a Montessori Candy Facebook page! To help celebrate and kick it off, My Works Montessori has generously offered an amazing giveaway to my readers! My Works is giving away, not 1, not 2, but FOUR FREE 1 month memberships to their website!

Want a chance to win one of the FOUR free 1 month memberships? Just leave a comment at the end of this blog post! Winners will be chosen at random using next week!

Ever wish you could have the mentor-ship of a trained Montessori teacher at your side? Let me tell you, I was very blessed to have had this experience in real life, however I believe that My Works Montessori is the next best thing to having a real live teacher guide you in Montessori lessons and activities! I'll be honest, cost is definitely an issue for me when determining the resources and materials I will purchase for homeschooling. The preparation of the teacher/parent is very important in Montessori, but as a mother of 6 children ages 8 and under, time and money are key factors. This is one of the reason's I love My Works. Not only is it affordable, but with My Works Montessori, it is so quick and easy to get started learning how to do Montessori inspired activities!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mambo Italiano! How We Celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph

March 19th is cause for great joy and celebration in our home. It's the feast of St. Joseph, and we like to honor him and thank him for his intercessory prayers for our family. Every year we like to celebrate what I call a Catholic, Italian-American version of a fiesta! Why Italian? Growing up in Chicago, St. Joseph's feast day was a big day for the Italian-American community because St. Joseph prayers are attributed stopping a famine in Sicily. On this day people wear red, and bake Italian pastries and breads, in honor of the good St. Joseph. Being the foster father of Jesus, St. Joseph is also the patron of fathers. On this day we therefore, also like to honor this handsome guy:
My dear hubby, also known as Papi (pronounced Pop- E, this means daddy in Spanish)! He's a wonderful husband and father, and we  love him with our whole hearts! Even the baby get's swept away by Papi's charm whenever he picks up his guitar to serenade her. My father,God rest his soul, really approved of my hubby when I first met him. He knew he was a winner, and that really meant a lot to me. I'll never forget how my dad lent my hubby his vintage Cadillac so we could go on a date to see the Joffrey ballet performing the Nutcracker in Downtown Chicago. Not even my brother had permission to take out the caddy! After that, I knew he was in!

So what's in store for us this March 19th?
  • 7:30 AM Traditional Latin High Mass in honor of St. Joseph
  • Breakfast Burritos with lot's of chile, just like my hubby loves (We're in the Southwest & it's his fave!)
  • Holy Heroes St. Joseph coloring book mentioned by Lacy at Catholic Icing while listening to St. Joseph's Glory Story CD
  • Find Italy on the globe and in the Atlas
  • Read about the traditions of the feast of St. Joseph: Viva St. Joseph!
  • Italian-American Dinner extravaganza including a Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta w/ Chicken  
  • Interview Papi with questions about his vocation in life, lessons he's learned, what he was like as a child and more (Interview ideas can be found by scrolling down to the middle of the page at Domestic Church)
  • Lot's of Dean Martin & lot's of dancing! Mambo Italiano, That's Amore, and some fun, fun, fun Funiculi Funicula
Here are some more fun and informative links for this special day:

This post dedicated to my daddy, Jose Garcia. I love you and miss you daddy. On this, your patron Saint's day, I pray that you are in the company of God and that I may see you smiling some day again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Montessori Kids Love to Cook!

It is amazing to see how my kids have blossomed over the years. My 8 1/2 year old has been helping in the kitchen since he was about 3 years old. Now he's growing up and making this  Hearty Meatball Spinach Soup recipe for dinner without my help! I keep telling my kiddos that pretty soon I'll be out of a job! His version of the soup was so much more delicious than mine too. He said his secret was adding a dash of lemon pepper to add some zing ;)

Since he's been doing so well at cooking, my husband and I decided he could choose a recipe and buy the ingredients he needs for making his choice of dinner once a week. He is so happy because of this and has even been giving cooking lessons to his younger brothers!

For fun, yesterday  he decided to make his own version the "Weenie Dogs" from the Spatulatta Cookbook
Here's a picture of the one he made for me:

Here's the proud cook

A happy younger brother excited  to try this fun food
Do your kids love to cook? The Spatulatta website has free online videos for teaching kids the basics of cooking and some how to's from the Spatulatta cookbook! Check it out!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Montessori: Teaching a Child to Listen

Thank you to those of you who took the time to email me privately regarding your own little "hummers"! I found a great article to help me with Mr. C and I wanted to share it with all of you. I believe the suggestions for listening games can help to raise Mr. C's awareness of his own voice and noise levels. Check out the article by Jocelyn Scotty over at the Chicago Examiner: Montessori: Teaching a child to listen

Do you already implement listening games in your home or classroom? After reading the article, what activities would you try?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whistle While You Work: My Happy Little Hummer

Video of Mr. C humming during school today.

Did you hear the "Nutcracker March" (in the form of "bloops"!), evolve into "On the Good Ship Lollipop"? Bet Tchaikovsky, never imagined that!

This my darling little 4 year old. We'll call him Mr. C for the blog. Good gracious, he is a sweetie and loves to help his Mami. He has the cutest dimple and little eyes... but boy can he be loud! He's a very happy little guy, and in fact most of my children usually hum or sing while they do housework and even school work.  Even my husband who works from home during most days definitely sings a lot around the house (he's a full time musician!). We are definitely a musical home and I love it! So what to do when  little Mr. C becomes too loud when the older children are trying to concentrate on their work?

We have this Zenergy Chime from Montessori Services to help us remember to keep low voices while working, or sometimes just to help when the children want to create silence. It can really help and it is nice when the children proactively seek to create silence, but with Mr. C we'd probably be ringing it about every 5 minutes!:)

What tips could you share for those times when that happy little hum turns into that BIG LOUD overture? I would love to hear from both Montessori school teachers and Montessori homeschoolers alike. What do you think? Do you have a "happy little hummer" in your home or classroom?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Loving Land and Water Right Now!

March might just be your lucky month! Montessori Print Shop is offering 15% off of everything in the store! The offer is valid from March 1st-March 14th, using coupon code EEM5664. Jennifer at Montessori Print Shop has been pretty busy and coming out with new products all the time. I'm eying her Land and Water forms books pictured above, along with her Montessori land and water 3-Part photo cards!