Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sponsor News & Fabulous Montessori Candy!

I'll be taking a little time off from blogging during Holy Week and Easter to spend time with the family. Before things slow down around here, I'd like to share a few items of note from my sponsors.

My Works Montessori is offering a special deal to Montessori Candy readers during the month of April. Check it out!

Needing a special gift with the true meaning of Easter? Check out Catholic Child Catalog's great books, CD's, DVD's and more under their Lent and Easter Category!

I've been really interested in learning more about the Montessori method for ages 0-3 lately. Let me know if you've got any good suggestions for reading or blog posts! I noticed Montessori Education Supplies has a nice selection of toddler items. Do any of you use these items in the home?

Finally, have you seen what Jennifer has been doing with Montessori Print Shop lately? Three words describe it: Oh, my, goodness! Seriously, Jennifer has done an amazing job at sharing some wonderful resources and information for all of us! You have got to check out her blog post to see all the new stuff she's been so generous to share. My favorites are the "How to" and "Scope and Sequence" sections. I really just cannot say enough about how much great info she is providing. I just love it! Jennifer has got the Montessori Candy and she is handing it out like it's Halloween! You go girl! Go ahead and check it out!
Montessori Print Shop 3-Part Card Storage. Picture Copyright Montessori Print Shop.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Moments Journal

Susanne at Beautiful Sun Montessori shares a lovely idea for creating what she calls a "Happy Moments Journal". Check it out!

This is one of those simple things that could be extremely valuable to me on those days that just don't go according to plan. Having a new baby to care for this school year has definitely brought the family together to cooperate, practice patience and most of all having charity for one another. Some days have been absolute pleasure, and then there are days like the one where I found pasta in the laundry machine!

Yesterday was one of the more challenging days. My 3 and 4 year old decided it would be fun to use paintbrushes to apply diaper rash cream all over our new bathroom sink. Why? I'm not sure I'll ever know! ;) It seemed that everyone was spilling one thing or another, and I just couldn't seem to get things done. At one point when we were dealing with a spaghetti sauce mess, I was like "ay, ay, ay!", and then of course the baby proceeds to spit up all over the floor! My husband and I just looked at each other and had to laugh! If not, I think we'd have been in tears :)

So thank you Susanne for your sweet idea for a Happy Moments Journal, I think it could be one of those things that will help make my outlook on the day be a little brighter. I'll go ahead and start with 3 things for today.

Happy Moments for Today
1. My 3 year old offered to share her dinner with her baby sister. It's the thought that counts!
2. My 4 year old found a simple and yummy dessert idea that my husband will love
3.My husband and I took a few minutes out of the day to just talk and have a good laugh
What have been your happy moments for today?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Global Easter: Pysanky Eggs

Last year, my children and classmates from our Montessori co-op had the wonderful opportunity to make pysanky eggs. My friend Sandra is a wonderful and kind Montessori homeschool veteran, having homeschooled her two daughters in the Montessori method. It just so happened that she is also a very talented pysanky egg artist! We had been learning about Easter traditions from around the world, and I thought it would be a great idea if Sandra could show us how to make pysanky eggs. Being a Montessorian at heart, Sandra not only let us watch her in action, but she set things up so that the children could decorate their own psanky egg! It was an absolutely wonderful hands on experience for the children, one they'll never forget.
Story time and explaining the meanings behind the various symbols used in pysanky egg decorating

Observing step by step sample eggs
Step by step sample eggs for the children
Various colored dyes for the children to choose from
Drawing a design on the egg

Tracing over drawn design using beeswax from the kistka (stylus)

Patiently awaiting their turn to decorate eggs by coloring pictures of Pysanky eggs
Being oh so careful to decorate the fragile egg
Very concentrated to get it just right!
Needing a little help to keep the kistka (stylus) steady
Plastic eggs covered in shrinkable pysanky wraps as gifts for the children
Finished eggs

 You can find many resources on pysanky egg decorating by doing a quick search, but I'll go ahead and share a few links to get you started if you're interested.
Rechenka's Eggs (Paperstar)
Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco
This wonderful book tells a sweet story your children will be sure to love. Luckily one of my son's won a copy of the Reading Rainbow episode featuring Rechenka's Eggs, and we watch it in conjunction with the book. Reading Rainbow offers a study guide based on this episode and best of all it is a free resource!
Rechenka's Eggs Reading Rainbow guides

Homeschool Share is another great free resource full of tons of ideas based on the book, from lap books, to recipe's, to science and art! This is a great one for doing a unit study! is a great place to get you started on the beautiful art of pysanky egg decorating, and the Ukrainian Museum Gift Shop has some wonderful looking reference books and DVD.

Easter Eggs for Anya: A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in ChristI've wanted to purchase Easter Eggs for Anya for the longest time, but the price never seems to be just right. I just discovered that they now have it in a more affordable Kindle version, so I may just go for it. I really would rather have the physical book, but paying upwards of about $35 for a used copy is a bit out of my range!

I hope you've enjoyed this post!
There are so many beautiful Christian Easter traditions from around the world. Do you have any you'd like to share? Be sure to leave a link in the comments section. I'd love to check it out!

Finally, I'll leave you with this You Tube video featuring women in Romania showing us the step by step process of making their beautifully decorated eggs:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Practical Life & Culture: Kids Cooking Dumplings

Today we'll be attending the Peking Acrobats show! It is an amazing show with live music, acrobats and performers. The acrobats are fantastic and the color and use of Chinese cultural symbols such as the dragon are real treat for the children to see.

A while back my friend Josephine, who is a Catholic convert from China, invited me over tea and steamed dumplings. She taught me how to make the dumplings and since then it has become a favorite dish in our home! The kids thought it would be great to learn how to make the steamed dumplings themselves and brought up the fact that it would be perfect since we had been studying 3 part cards of Asian food and would be attending the Peking Acrobats show soon. Sure enough, it turned out to be a great dish for them to cook, along with instant white rice and stir fry consisting of mainly broccoli slaw, carrots and noodles. Check out the photos below!

Won ton Wraps
Mixing the ground pork and scallions
Seasoning the mixture with salt and pepper

Placing the filling on the won ton wraps

Folding the wraps to form the dumplings

Here's the wrapped dumpling!

My 7 year old perched on a chair stirring the stir fry.
The dumplings all steamed and ready to eat!

One happy 8 year old cook ready to eat!
I love sharing these photos of my children cooking, and hope they inspire you to help your children explore the art and joy of cooking too! Have blog pictures of your children cooking in the kitchen? I'd love to see them! Feel free to share the link to your blog post in the comments section below.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Superwoman Was Already Here

Montessori dad Daniel Petter-Lipstein, writes an insightful article on why he loves Montessori:
Superwoman Was Already Here

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome Catholic Child Catalog!

I am happy to announce a new sponsor at Montessori Candy! Catholic Child Catalog is celebrating their 15th year in business, providing quality books, cd's, movies and toys for children, with the convenience of one stop shopping! As we've seen with many great companies, Catholic Child Catalog also has connections in Montessori! Leanne's children have grown up attending Montessori school, so she is a seasoned Montessori parent who is very aware of the importance of providing children with well thought out and beautiful items.

One of the things I love about the website is how everything is categorized. With categories like Celebrating the Sacraments, Heroes with Halos, and Glad Tidings: Christmas and Easter, it is super easy to find what you are looking for.

First Holy Communion season is coming up! My 7 year old son will be making his First Holy Communion this May (God willing he passes his tests!), so I thought I'd share just a few of my favorite Catholic Child Catalog resources we use for preparation:

This very helpful book explains and gives examples on how to live out the 10 commandments

Absolutely beautiful allegory for children to learn about having a personal relationship with Jesus. This cd has brought tears to my eyes by making me reflect on my on relationship with Christ. This story is truly a gem to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Sweet little book encouraging children to do small things that are pleasing to God in a big way!
This wonderful book is another allegory with beautiful illustrations that my children love to inspect closely. Each time we read it there is an "aha!" moment where the children understand more and more of the allegory. I just love it!
Beautiful audio story about the patron Saint of First Communicants! This one will also bring a tear to your eye with the story of a young girls faith of love for Jesus.

There are so many wonderful items that Catholic Child Catalog carries, I could be here all day! I am so happy to recommend them to you. Check them out and discover a treasure for the child in your life!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Free Montessori Candy Planning Template!

Copyright Susana L. Click on picture to view larger.

Sometimes I come across a book I think will be great for the upcoming season, theme, etc. As a Montessori inspired homeschooler, I love to display books that have to do with the various themes and topics the children are working with. I created this template to use for my library book/media planning purposes.You can see how I use it in the example above, and I've also gone ahead and made a FREE one for you to print out and use too! The categories I list are:

For Fun
Geography (can include both cultural and physical)

What's great about this template is that you can use it for planning no matter what style of schooling or child care you use! Montessori, Charlotte Mason, preschool, daycare, etc. You can even print one out to plan for each grade if you like! Another thing you can include on this template is pdf's you'd like to purchase for your upcoming topics like this one from Montessori Print Shop:  Easter Cards and Booklet

I hope using this sheet will help you in your planning endeavors. Please feel free to print it out for your personal use only, and be sure to let your friends know about it as well!
Montessori Candy Planning Template

Did you enjoy this post? Are you using my free template to plan what books you check out? I love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment and let me know you've stopped by!

You can now follow me using Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Facebook, or by the various subscription options in the right hand sidebar.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NAMC Friendship Flower Freebie!

Copyright NAMC 3-6 Homeschool Program
NAMC (North American Montessori Center), is offering a wonderful cross curricular, character development activity as a FREE download! Check it out here: Friendship Flower Activity

Looking for the winners of the My Works Montessori giveaway? Find them HERE

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Works Montessori Giveaway Winners Announced!

Today, I am happy to announce the winners of the My Works Montessori Giveaway! has chosen... Drum roll please:
1. Kelly
2. M.D. Blessing
3. Leisure Treasure
4. dijlovers

Winners must contact me within 48 hours at montessoricandy at to claim their FREE 1 month membership to My Works Montessori, otherwise another winner will be selected via

Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone for entering. I hope to be hosting another awesome giveaway soon, so stay tuned!