Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Every year we make a birthday cake for Jesus and use the fancy candles

We got the live Christmas tree inside and decorated!

Advent Home Stretch

Monday, December 21, 2015

 Well, we're in the home stretch. And dare I say, I think Advent has actually gone pretty well this year? 

We're on a break from "school" right now - we were taking it pretty easy and doing a storybook Advent (inspired by Elizabeth Foss) which I loved - this one was John Paul building a block replica of a story we read. Then he was allowed to take a picture and post it on instagram himself which was VERY exciting and basically what he's always, always wanted to do.

Making Montessori Your Own: Montessori in the Home {Part 4}

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sarah's back with her final post in this Montessori series, but there's so much information out there that I'm hoping to continue this series with practical life examples from families incorporating the Montessori method in their own home - I've got some guest posts lined up and would love to hear from you! Shoot me an email at rosiehill425 at gmail dot com if you're willing to share a little bit of how you're incorporating Montessori methods into your home!

If you missed them, Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the series are linked here.

Often, I've received questions regarding what the hardest part of my job is, wanting more information on the academic side of Montessori, trying to wrap one's mind around the potentials that a child is capable of accomplishing, and how discipline is done in a Montessori environment. Honestly, these questions are all a bit overwhelming to me because I never know exactly where to start. The work is hard, but what's the hardest part? Many people do want to bring the Montessori Method into their homes, but where to start? I'd like to propose the three most important things of the method that you can do at home with your child.

December 2015 Stitch Fix

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I received a note from Stitch Fix a while back waiving my styling fee as a "holiday gift" - fine by me! After several fixes I felt like they finally "got" me, but I didn't want to shell out for the styling fee so I figured I'd wait to see if there was a promotion. 

You can read my other Stitch Fix review posts here - 1, 2, 3 (FAIL!), and 4.

The package arrived and I really liked the look of everything, plus my stylist Krista really seemed to have though things through, and I greatly appreciated the fact that she actually put together outfits for everything including skirts, not just skinny jeans.

I was still annoyed by how high the prices were, though... I'm used to shopping sales and secondhand, so new retail prices always shock me! I was hoping to find at least one item to keep, though.

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Up first? Market & Spruce Patsy Dress ($58)

Nerdy Kids Gift Guide

Friday, December 11, 2015

I have one child who is into all things science and technology. He has always been such a blast to shop for when it comes to birthdays and Christmas because he adores everything and would be happy with nothing but an encyclopedia! Over the years, we've had some pretty serious hits with him that I thought I'd share with you in case you've got a little nerd to shop for as well - these gifts are guaranteed to provide you with HOURS of quiet play time!

Making Montessori Your Own: Development of the Will {Part 3}

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sarah's back for Part 3 of what may develop into a much longer series on Montessori! She'll finish things up next week, and then I'm hoping to continue the series by giving you a look at some real-life Montessori setups in other homes - if you're interested in guest posting please let me know!

If you missed them, Part I is here and Part II is here. Now read on!

I'm so excited to be back for round three of this Montessori series, despite the slight delay! Since a paragraph is hardly enough space to expand on any of the four planes of development, I'm going to do so now with the first plane because I'm guessing that many of Rosie's blog readers have children primarily in that first plane of development. And what a joy that is, spending your days soaking up the sweet innocence of angelic children... right? *winks*

Young families at my parents' parish still sometimes affirm my family for how well behaved we -- the children -- are during Mass compared to their clan of rascals (their words, not mine), then they ask how my parents do it. My honest answer is that I'm in my twenties and their children are still in the preschool age range -- they must be taught how to behave during Mass and the best, most effective way to teach is by example. I presently have twenty-five students all in the first plane of development; of course I get to send them to their respective homes in the evening, but I can well relate with the angst of ensuring each child receives the utmost care, attention, and protection that they need -- not to mention their behavior when we take them to Mass (which we do, once a week), or simply sitting quietly in the school hallway (because the 'quietly' part happens... never). It's important to understand that children aren't simply going to "know" proper behavior or even respond positively to your corrections. In fact, you can't expect a young child to sit still the entire way through Mass because they just aren't capable of doing so. A child must respond to the force of their own nature; our job as educators (including parents as the primary educators) is to guide them slowly in the development of the will, including the three levels of obedience.

Twincesses Break the Internet

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

You'd never guess, looking at these faces, just how much mischief these little golden-haired beauties get into.

Stripping naked and running around in my heels because they're pretending to be Barbie?

Not them.

But now you know how they play with my mom's antique Barbies...

What We Wore St. Nicholas Day

Monday, December 7, 2015

St. Nicholas Day was a big hit this year! The kids all got Shining Light Dolls in their shoes and LOVE them (and they would make a great stocking stuffer if you're looking!), and new books for everybody but Peter. Sorry kid, we've got enough Christmas board books... Also two chocolate coins, no more. 

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We read our favorite St. Nicholas books (The Legend and The Miracle) and called it good :)

Still obsessed with the dolls.

Lately our Mass routine has been... Interesting. In our parish, there's a chapel separate from the church, and that kind of functions as the "cry room" with Mass streaming on a television. Me from 5 years ago would have been HORRIFIED and never ever would have done something like that for Mass.

Me now?

Advent Week 1: Make Your House Fair (as you are able...)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Twist my arm and get me to write a post about Advent, eh?

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We're reading books from this list and listening to this CD on repeat (kid-friendly AND adult-friendly advent music? Sign me up! Thanks for the tip, Erica!), as well as Advent at Ephesus. I do NOT have all our presents bought, but I think I have ideas for everyone. I think. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, though... I always forget somebody!

We're three days into this calendar and really enjoying it, as the kids do every year. I still haven't figured out what to do with the books because our mini-tree ends up getting dragged all over the house, and the twins are FREAKING OUT if I don't put the books back every time I read them so... For now it's just sitting on top of the stack of books for Advent.

Nobody has noticed that the stack of books is just hidden under that towel right there. Sneaky mom, right here. Also, get yourself this candle snuffer and eliminate the issue of over-zealous candle blowers who spray wax on the walls! 

What, are mine the only kids who do that? Well, in any case, the snuffer is working great!

Making Montessori Your Own: Montessori's Greatest Discovery {Part 2}

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'm glad to have Sarah back this week for the second part of her Montessori series - the introduction and a brief history of Montessori is here if you missed it!

Our method has been based on the fact that we have been guided by the manifestations of children at different phases of growth. Each of these may be considered a level or a plane. On each different level of life there are different needs and there are different manifestations... With regard to the child, education should correspond to them, so that instead of dividing the schools into nursery, primary, secondary, and university, we should divide education in planes and each of these should correspond to the phase of developing individuality goes through. -- Dr. Maria Montessori, The Four Planes of Education 

Of all the posts in this series, this one is the hardest to write. Because there is so much information I want to share on each plane of development (but am restricted to only one blog post), I am going to do my best to condense the most essential information into four paragraphs (reflective of the four planes). Unfortunately, there isn't much further reading available. Other than the handout that is pictured, several Montessorians have said that they've learned the most about each plane of development simply by observing children.

The first plane of development (approx 0-6 years of age) can be summarized in two sentences, the first actually said by a child to his teacher: "Help me to do it myself." The second is from Montessori: "Every useless aid arrests development." To the child at this stage, movement is as important as food. The child is a pure adventurer, wonderer, and seeker. He is a being who needs love and protection. This is so important from both father and mother because -- at this age -- the child cannot differentiate between parental love and Divine Love. If we take that literally, it means that YOU are the face of Christ to your child. This does not mean that you are to say 'yes' to your child's every demand; in fact, the child needs to hear the word 'no'. In part 3 of this series, I'll expand further about this first plane of development and the Absorbent Mind; meanwhile, remember that characteristics of this first plane include the need for repetition and movement.

Which probably explains why they want to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear over and over again but can't actually sit still for it...

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