House of Night Interview

Today I had the opportunity to interview a Mother-Daughter writing duo over at Raincoast Books. PC and Kristin Cast have worked together to create the impressively prolific House of Night series, and I was really interested in how they were able to work out that mother-daughter dynamic to become creative partners.

I’ll be doing a flash give-away for a signed copy of their book on Facebook this weekend, but if you don’t follow me on Facebook please comment on this post and I’ll make sure that you get entered!

Click on the picture to be taken to the interview!

houseofnight interview

 


Is There a “Potty Learning Window”?

I’ve had this conversation often with friends, acquaintances, and online with other Montessori and Gentle Parenting advocates: Is there a toilet learning window? One Montessori-inspired book in particular says that the window is 14-20 months of age, which can really set Montessori parents into a tailspin!

I’ve written before on Montessori-inspired Potty Learning, but today I wanted to specifically discuss the concept of Potty Learning Windows.

Toilet Learning Continue reading


I am a Soldier’s Daughter

I had a big announcement planned for Friday which will be postponed to the near future, but as a Canadian, I just didn’t feel it was right to carry on Friday as if everything was going according to plan. For those who don’t know, an attack was made on Parliament Hill where the Canadian government sits and an unarmed soldier, ceremoniously guarding the grave of the Unknown Soldier, was shot and killed.

When any act of violence or terror happens, there are always strong and mixed reactions. Overall, I am proud of how my country responded in the aftermath of the shootings.

soldier's daughter Continue reading


300 posts!

OK, so this is kind of a cheater 300th post, because it’s a post celebrating being at 300 posts… rather than an actual post… But, you guys: I’m at 300 posts!

300th

This little blog of mine started off as a way to share ideas with my friends who were always Facebook messaging me for activity ideas for their little ones, using cell phone pictures and posting anywhere from one to three times a week. With time, I realized how much I loved blogging and connecting with other parents, educators, and bloggers through my little corner on the web.

This blog kept me accountable in keeping up a home learning schedule for Miss G and expanding my own knowledge about Montessori, while also getting me actively writing after a six-year hiatus since my little book of poetry was published (and permanent writer’s blog set in).

Today, Study at Home Mama has transformed a bit as our family and our life has transformed. Miss G’s determination to be a chef when she’s grown up (we’ll see) has inspired our Kids’ Kitchen series, and most of our activity or unit study posts now feature the children that join our home as part of Child’s Garden Montessori. We’ve started incorporating more Reggio ideas and left Waldorf behind.

I’ve gone from being a mom who worked part-time while going to school full-time and trying to balance being an attachment parent with home-based learning, to well, still being in school full-time but now working from home as a Montessori educator (as well as Sundays as a children’s ministry director). Although our days are sometimes a bit more chaotic and I have significantly less time with just Miss G (let alone to myself — I’m still trying to figure out balance), I love how everything has worked out so far and am excited to see where this journey continues to take us.

And, Miss G, well, she’s transformed from an eighteen-month old with a spunky attitude, to a three year old with a spunky attitude! She’s flourished with Montessori, is halfway through the Math curriculum and is reading simple books independently, but I think the most important achievements have been the ones in the Practical Life curriculum, such as being able to gather ingredients, make a snack, and clean-up independently. After her one stint with vlogging, she has been begging me to set up a Youtube channel for her, which I might do soon… if she doesn’t take any more selfies like this on my phone:

Miss G selfieI hope that Study at Home Mama has been useful or inspiring for you, too, and I thank you so much for your kind comments or even when you check in silently. I hope this website continues to evolve and meet your needs, please let me know if there is ever something you’d like me to cover more!

And, on that note, I have an exciting announcement to share with you tomorrow based on Miss G and your requests — but for now, I’m signing off to start a crazy day with my Montessori children, before having my first ladies night in months to celebrate this little milestone.

jennifer-sig


Kids’ Kitchen: Green Eggs

Miss G has loved having the freedom and trust to cook scrambled eggs on the stove since she was 2.5 years old (when our kitchen formerly became a kids’ kitchen). It’s been a source of controversy, but I have never once doubted that my daughter was ready for the responsibility, and it always gets our day started off well when she gets to enjoy the pride of a job well done, and of sharing with her friends, first thing in the morning!

Kids' Kitchen_(2) Continue reading


Postive Parenting: Throwing Rocks

I want to start a new series of small posts here on Study at Home Mama offering postive parenting scripts for common behaviour issues in children. I really try to phrase myself positively for the children, but it can be hard in the moment to figure out what to say.

I don’t want my suggestions to be the only ones on offer — if you have alternative suggestions for ways to positively support children, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Positive Parenting(2)image background credit Continue reading


Mama Musing: In a Good Place

After several months of upheaval and taking chances, our family is finally in a good place. We have a great group of children joining us everyday, my health is the best it has been in several months, and we’re in a home that actually has enough room for us and our things! (I’m still dealing with the “things” part of that equation.) Miss G has experienced some anxiety, but we seem to have rounded a corner, and now I’m just trying to catch up on school and enjoy the season with my little girl.

In a Good Place Continue reading



Top Ten Bird Books for Montessori Preschoolers

Montessori tends to prefer nonfiction books over fiction books, which makes finding interesting and themed books for Montessori preschoolers a bit of a challenge. I try to strike a balance with some realistic fiction but I’m always happy when I find nonfiction that carries the same appeal as a children’s fiction book. We lucked out during our Montessori Bird Unit, and many of these books would also be appropriate for an elementary setting, as well!

Bird Books Preschool to Elementary mostly nonfiction  Continue reading


Kids Kitchen: Olive Pitting

Pasta Puttanesca is one of our favourite go-to dishes in the Kids’ Kitchen, and one of the easiest ways to get kids helping with cooking is to set up a Montessori Practical Life Invitation that helps isolate a skill and build fine motor strength and dexterity.

Miss G loved pitting olives for the pasta sauce and this is such a simple skill to master (with the right tool) that I wanted to share it with you for your own kids’ kitchen adventure!

Kids' Kitchen: Olive Pitting #montessori Continue reading