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I am a home schooling mom to three amazing kiddos.  We primarily use the Montessori pedagogy to guide our journey.  We also enjoy aspects of classical education and are part of Classical Conversations community. 

I write a Montessori column for Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

I am still a geek at heart and at times miss my former career as an Information Architect/SharePoint Specialist.  I don't have much free time but if I do, it is spent on comic books and video games.
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Gifts for the School Room

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In our household, the end of the year not only brings Christmas, it brings a slew of birthdays.  I am so appreciative that my family is willing to give gifts we can use for school.  I also must admit that I tend to use some of the Christmas money I receive to add a work or two.  Here are the new items I am slowly incorporating. 

This is the singing marble tree from Discount School Supply.  It is captivating.  The wood marbles are different sizes and produced different tones as they cascade down.  All three kids adore it.

This is a 3D Spatial Relations set from Discount School Supply.  It comes with a set of cards that the child can recreate.  It's excellent for teaching object relations such as in, behind or on top of.  I intended this for William but Elora likes it as well.

We will NEVER have enough toobs.  We got musical instruments, space and arctic for upcoming nomenclature cards.  The dinosaur skulls will be used with sand in the sensory bin for a "dig".  We also got the "In the Air", "On the Road" and "In the Water" sets.  I am making a felt sorting mat for these.

This is the Handel and Gretel Story Box by Guidecraft.  This set includes all the pieces necessary for retelling the story.  The pieces are beautiful.  I haven't given Elora much time with it yet so I'm curious to see how she takes to it.

Learning Resources always has a number of amazing products.  The new Magnet and Mix & Measure Sets are wonderful.  Yes, we've already tried them out.  They include activity cards.  We also got the Froggy Feeding Frenzy game which requires you to use the correct pencil grip to operate the frog.  I can't say anyone was too excited about the equivalency cubes but I think they are going to be wonderful to teaching fractions this year.

We got a wonderful game from Haba called "Who Lives Where".  It teaches which continents each animal lives on.  We also got animal tracks rubber stamps and a star finder.

I have had my eye on the Snap Blocks from Lakeshore Learning for a long time.  These are wonderful for fine motor skills and hold both Elora and William's interest.

This is a clothes drying rack from Montessori N Such.  It's intended to be used with clothes pins.  This is one of the orders I placed with my Christmas money.

Here are a few more items from Montessori N Such.  I purchased some small, open pitchers, an animal based Yoga Kit, a flour sifting activity and a lovely cat/mouse exchange game.  The exchange game is already a big hit with both children.  They can play it alone or together.  We haven't tried the other items yet.

This is the Aven digital microscope.  It is amazing!  It displays both pictures and videos on a PC.  You can put the scope on nearly any surface.  We have already looked at so many things.  I must admit that even I'm obsessed with it.  This is a great option for the younger crowd that may not do as well looking through the eye pieces of a traditional microscope.  Plus, you can save your pictures and videos and view/compare them later. 

And books, books, books!  We all love books.  The kids got so many good ones.  I can't wait to read through them all together.

There are a few of my early favorites.  "I Am a Bunny" is an absolute joy.  Lockelan marvels at the artwork.

So that's our latest school room additions.  Did you receive any school based gifts for the holidays?
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