Thursday, September 23, 2010

Montessori Dreams

This evening I went into my kids school for an annual parents night, this is where the teachers explain what is going on around the class room for new and returning parents of Montessori kids. Can I just say how much I love being in my kids classroom...All of the natural wood, colors and I love the minimalist look in a room that is so organized. I strive for my house to look like this after the great de-clutter project.

Every time I enter their classroom I leave praying that Perry will win the lottery so that I can have all of these awesome learning materials. Looking around, I do not understand why mainstream classrooms aren't using some of these tools as well. I think that I might have done so much better in math if maybe I had been given the opportunity to have a hands on experience of like this. Maybe I would have a better grasp of measurements if I had had a Cuisenaire Rods set.

Oh well, I do what I can. I search yard sales and every birthday and every other gift giving holiday I am asking the Grandparents for Montessori learning tools and soon I am even going to attempt to make my own. I found this great link for making my own sandpaper alphabet here and I can't wait to get started on this for Taj's 3rd birthday present. For Christmas I decided that the kids get one thing bought and one item that I made. Zola has already asked for a ring sling for her American Girl doll, but I am thinking that Ajay will be receiving a moveable alphabet that I am going to attempt to make. Luckily I have my moms husband that can make the box with all of the squares to put the letters in.

Actually, I am very excited about the changes I am making around our home. We are gathering small amounts of Montessori tools and I am also trying to incorporate more Waldorf concepts as well. This weekend the kids and I will be decorating gnomes for Peylyn's birthday doll house. I can't wait to show you how these turn out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Little Reminder...

I love sitting and watching a spider in action, especially one that is working so hard to clear the Box Elder bugs off of my house (we get hundreds swarming the front of our home on warm days). Sitting and enjoying the beauty of a spiders existence is what keeps me from squishing them when they come into my home. OK, well at least the non-poisonous ones...sorry, if I came face to face with a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse in my home that sucker is fair game!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So I had this insane idea the other day that I was going to go through the entire house and either donate or toss every item that we do not need. I have been going through every closet, drawer, cabinet and any other place that items have been shoved for the past 2 years that we have been in this house. Some how this plan has left my house in more of a mess than when I began. I am feeling like there is no end in sight and about ready to throw in the towel.

I have to keep telling myself how much better a clutter free home is going to be for the family. I think that with 6 people there really is no choice but to live in a clutter free and very organized home. I am so tired of digging for things that the kids can't find, searching for hours for a particular paper that has to go to school the next morning and trying to find that stupid other shoe.

In the great "Clutter Free Meinnert House" project, my biggest thing was to go through our mountain of toys. For the last year I have been really trying to make our toys more about quality rather than quantity. So this time around I have really been clearing out the plastic and battery operated toys and only leaving behind the quiet and natural ones. Over the last few days I have really been seeing my kids play more kindly with each other! I love it they are coming up with awesome games and really using their imaginations to create fun from the toys that have been allowed to stay. This was made even more clear when I opened a bin of toys last night and I found their V-Smile. They asked if they could play it so I hooked it up, even with 2 controllers and 2 kids they immediately started arguing over the game. After 3 times of trying to work it out between them and nothing was helping I walked over to the tv and disconnected the video game. I think this is another toy that will find itself on CraigsList.

Since they were so agreeable about purging the toys they had a great treat today. We went to the library and they were allowed to each check out a toy from the "toy library" that I just discovered. How awesome is that, now we can rotate toys around but I don't have to worry about storing them because they just go back to the library in 4 weeks! This toy library is awesome, it is full of wooden trucks, cars, puzzles, ride on toys and so much more!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Cleaning

Now that I have a few frozen tundra winters under my belt, once the weather turns cool I realize how very shortly we are going to be cooped up for a LONG Wisconsin winter. Once this sets in I open my eyes to the disaster that my basement has become from just shutting the door and putting off cleaning it because we had a sunny day to enjoy.

Today I just couldn't take the mess any longer so I sat Taj and Peylyn down with a shape sorting game and got to work. I have pretty much cleaned out the last of the few lingering battery operated toys. Not only was I tired of going broke from replacing the batteries, but as I look at these things you realize just how they rob a child of using their imagination. What fun is it to shake a car and watch it go around a plastic track when you can make your own track from blocks or something else and push a car where ever it is you want it to go. I always feel so proud when my kids get some fancy, shiny and loud toy and all they want to do is play with the box.

I am no where near done, I still need to set up an art table for Zola and Ajay, pick through last years art work to hang on the walls cheer the place up and try to figure out the best way to sort the stuff we still have so that it always gets put back in its place. Hopefully now with the older two in Montessori this year they will both really carry the rules of organization in the classroom back home as well. A girl can dream right?

Awesome folding plant stand I bought at a rummage sale. I felt it was too great to sit around all winter waiting for plants and my kitchen is too small to use it indoors for my soon to be herb garden.

Cabinet filled with crocheted food and dishes, I plan to add burners and a sink some time this winter.

Talk about an awesome rummage sale find, how about the Haba pram that my dad picked up for $30! The kids play non stop with the pram, grocery cart and cradle that was made for me when I was little. No plastic toy would hold up this well outside of the landfill!