Mastering Motherhood Podcast

Montessori Education in the Home

February 23, 2020 Season 1 Episode 13
Mastering Motherhood Podcast
Montessori Education in the Home
Chapters
Mastering Motherhood Podcast
Montessori Education in the Home
Feb 23, 2020 Season 1 Episode 13
Nicoll Novak

In this episode, Holly, creator of This Toddler Life, talks about Montessori education, what it is, and bringing it into your home.

Holly's website, ThisToddlierLife.com, is a great resource to get started with Montessori. She also has a membership group, which can be found here: members.thistoddlerlife.com/waitlist

For more on pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood, visit MasteringMotherhoodPodcast.com. Or follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Bossa Antigua" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Holly, creator of This Toddler Life, talks about Montessori education, what it is, and bringing it into your home.

Holly's website, ThisToddlierLife.com, is a great resource to get started with Montessori. She also has a membership group, which can be found here: members.thistoddlerlife.com/waitlist

For more on pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood, visit MasteringMotherhoodPodcast.com. Or follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Bossa Antigua" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/masteringmotherhoodpodcast)

spk_0:
00:12
Hi, everybody. This is the mastering motherhood podcast. And I'm your host, Nicole. This show is made by a mom. Me four moms covering pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood topics as we go through this motherhood journey together. Today we have a special guest on the show, Holly, to talk about what Montessori looks like for kids ages 0 to 3. Holly is the creator of this toddler life and also has a membership group calls the Montessori Learning Center. Welcome, Holly.
spk_1:
00:51
Ah, thank you so much for having me. This is so exciting to be here. With you guys talking about Montessori.
spk_0:
00:58
Can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself? Yes.
spk_1:
01:02
I am an education consultant who works with modern day parents of, um Children 0 to 3. So we work on bringing Montessori into the home, and, um, from there, you can kind of go into the classroom or day care or wherever that might be, but it all kind of starts at home, and that's what we focus on at this other life and in the membership as well.
spk_0:
01:28
Great. Holly, I have to say I personally I'm super excited about this. Um, this show today because I have a seven month old son and we've been looking at a whole lot of daycare options for him, and I hear a lot of good things about Montessori. But I just I have no idea. So this is going to be a learning experience for me, too.
spk_1:
01:49
Yeah, I'm so glad that you'll be able to learn a bit more about it. I know Montessori is kind of like a buzzword right now, and it's really picking up a lot of popularity. So it's good to get the word out there because obviously I love it. And so I know that other people out there will love it as well.
spk_0:
02:06
So tell me a little bit about what is Montessori?
spk_1:
02:10
Okay? So the formal answer to that is that it's a form of education, So there's actually Montessori schools all over the world, and they cater to Children age 0 to 18. So it goes all the way up through the full spectrum of school, but it's so much more than just a form of education. It it kind of turns into a way of life, so it really starts with us parents. So when our Children are young. We can start by showing them respect following their lead on giving them freedom of choice. And these are just a few of the wonderful principles that monastery teachers on when we teach these principles or bring them into our home Children gain independence and confidence that last a lifetime.
spk_0:
02:56
That sounds really good. I had no idea that Montessori goes all the way up to age 18 0 how does that start to look? As as Children get older.
spk_1:
03:07
So, um monastery, it's kind of Okay, So first of all, Maria Montessori is the lady who started this form of education. I believe it was back in the 19 fifties, 1960. She started doing her work and obviously has changed and grown all the way into 2020. We are now, but she's been able Thio kind of separate, um, the ages into different groups and what she calls plains of development. So the first plane of development is 0 to 6. So this is kind of a grouping, and you can even break that down to 03 and 3 to 6. And from there you would go from 6 to 12 and 12 to 18. So in those specific plains of development, there is different, um, work that can be done and obviously at an elementary or primary level in a high school level. There's different, um, subjects in things that would be worked on. But the main idea behind all of it through all of those ages as that you're following the child's lead and you're really letting them, um, kind of explore their own desires and their own interests.
spk_0:
04:16
So it's really child lead. Yes, Nice. Can you tell me How is Montessori different than other approaches to education, like Godard is one that I see a lot,
spk_1:
04:28
so I'm actually not familiar with daughter. But I know a few of the other alternative education options, such as Waldorf or Steiner, which are like Montessori. They have both been seeing a rise in popularity. But I think people are really looking for something different rather than the traditional ways of learning that we've actually come to accept as a as a whole. The difference between a traditional school and a Montessori school is that the Montessori school focuses on following the child and meeting them where they are, So No. Two Children are like instead of the teacher standing on the front of the class and lecturing everybody up. One topic. The child would actually choose the topic, and the teacher would help support back child by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to do so and following the child's leet, you can probably see a theme, man.
spk_0:
05:20
Yeah, definitely. So with that being said, does the like student to teacher ratio sometimes look a little smaller than maybe in a traditional school or educational approach?
spk_1:
05:33
I do think that when you go into the elementary, um, the more formal classrooms of Montessori, you would have a smaller classroom. Um, I'm not sure if that's driven by the private school, um, funds that go into having to pay for Montessori or if it's because of that. A lot of the times the teachers are really asked. You just sit on their hands and really just give the child the material and let them explore it. Obviously you would be guiding them, but it's called a freedom within limits, so you're really giving them the freedom to explore. But putting those boundaries around what they explore
spk_0:
06:16
that's amazing. That's so much different than how I grew up and and school as I've seen it, Sze asked me who? I love it, so I have a baby. He's seven months old, and as we've kind of been exploring different daycare centers and things like that, I feel like the baby rooms air always just kind of men, like there's no riel rhyme or rhythm. I see a lot of curriculum in the rooms for the older kids. But what does Montessori look like for babies? Can they even practice it? So
spk_1:
06:51
yes, Montessori, like I said earlier, it does start at home, and it starts. As soon as your child is born, you can start practicing Montessori and, um, when I talked about most principals earlier, a lot of the things that you can do are just these different mindsets, um, at home, bringing in that respect for the child on giving them that freedom. There's lots of different monastery materials that you can kind of jump into. There's Montessori Mobil's for the the age of 04 months, and then there's lots of different materials as they grow older as well. But the main idea is these principles. Andi, I remember when my 12 month old daughter she's now four years old? I remember she got to this stage where she just absolutely hated diaper changes. I mean, it was like a nightmare. So I remember we were just kind of getting started. Montessori and I had read that respect for your child, and I was just kind of getting a grip on what that meant and what that looked like for me with the 12 month old. And so I started asking my 12 months old to help me when I was changing her diaper. Well, you lift your legs up, will you help me do turn over things like that? And it was amazing to see that she actually started cooperating on Lee after a few days. And then diaper changes completely changed for us, which was amazing, because you know how difficult that time could be if you have a seven month old and there were, um, and it's funny now, even my 14 month old that I have right now just kind of started going through this phase as well. And, um, by following his lead, I'm now doing standup diaper changes because he will not lay down, he won't do it. And so I just thought, Well, I'll just do it standing up and and he doesn't mind that at all. So we just found you know what works for him and followed his interest in his lead.
spk_0:
08:53
You're right. That is a totally different mindset, because I'll be honest with you. My initial reaction was like, what? Stand up diaper changes. But then, as you explained it a little bit more, I'm thinking to myself like it doesn't matter. He doesn't need to be laying down for a diaper change if he doesn't want to. There's no harm to me or him, that's
spk_1:
09:13
it. And sometimes you just get into those rhythms of your routines, and you just want to keep things the same to keep moving forward, especially when you're not sleeping at all on dhe. So it can be hard to make these little mindset switches. But really is for the better. And once you do, you'll be like, Why didn't I do this sooner? Because I always feel that way.
spk_0:
09:34
I'm gonna take a quick second to pause here and say, if anything in this episode resonates with you, take a screenshot posted on social media and tag me so other mamas or moms to Beacon. Listen it. And if you like what you're hearing, head on over to Apple podcasts and leave a review. All right, now back to the show. You've mentioned some toys, like for younger babies, I guess for older ones, too. But you had mentioned like a Montessori mobile. How is that different? Or Howard? Those toys different than just
spk_1:
10:11
regular toys. I'm so glad you asked that because I was going to talk about it and just a minute. But I will talk about it now. It's, um, something called a passive toy and an active toys. So I don't know if you've heard these terms before. It's not just a monetary thing, but Monastery definitely follows it. A passive toys, actually, a toy that your child needs to engage with. That your child needs Thio be an active participant in to have It work. So, for instance, if your child puts a ball down a hole and they have to open the door to retrieve the ball and do it again, that is kind of ah, little bit of work going on there for your child to play or work with the toy. Andi for an active toi. Um, this This would be like a toy that you push a button and lights go off for a noise is made. The child doesn't really have to use much brainpower, toe work or play with the active toi. It's likely that we're going to buy our Children toys at one where enough there. So it's always good to have that kind of information in your mind to kind of think. Okay, is this toy going? Teoh do anything for my child other than, you know, make noise? And then normally those toys are the ones that don't really last that long. They kind of play with for a couple days, and then they're done because there's nothing to engage them with. Hopefully, that makes sense. Yeah,
spk_0:
11:35
absolutely. So now you've got my mind working. What does Montessori look like when you have a newborn?
spk_1:
11:45
So for a newborn, as I mentioned, they have the monastery multiples. There's four different Mobil's. They start with the black and white mobile on you put it not where the child can reach with their hands. The ideas at that age zero months. I believe the 1st 1 goes for the first month force for weeks. It's just to give them something engage with because that's so much work for your child at our age to be concentrating on that black and white mobile, that is their work. That is their play for the day. That's that's pretty much the extent of what they're gonna be able to do then and they kind of move up. Then they go to a colored mobile, and then they go up thio a different shades of color of the same color. That's the Gobi Mobile. And then there's the dancers, which was our personal favorites, kind of like a glittery dancer. All of these, none of the child is not touching their just concentrating on using their eyes because they're their development off their eyes from 03 months is is the most important thing at that age. Um, a CE faras senses go so you'll have that one and then you'll start with the kickball, and that would be something they can kick with their feet. And then you start moving into grass, putting toys, um, toe toys with bells, things that kind of have to work with, Like I mentioned earlier, more passive toy, Um, and working on the skills with their fine motor skills. Um, there's just so much and in, honestly, monastery these air. This is all of these things you can make at home. These Mobil's I have wonderful, um, patterns that you can do at home. You could make it very cheap because I know Montessori has a bad rap for being very expensive, but there's lots of d I worries out there, so don't let that stop you.
spk_0:
13:37
Oh, that's good to know, because that's exactly what I was thinking. I'm like, Oh, my goodness, how much is it gonna cost if I have to buy my baby a new mobile all the time? And but if they're things that I could make it home, that definitely makes it a lot more manageable.
spk_1:
13:51
Yes, exactly. And I know when you're buying, um, some of these materials, they retain their value very well. So you can always resell them is loam.
spk_0:
14:02
What else should parents know about bringing Montessori into the home?
spk_1:
14:08
So, yeah, as I mentioned earlier, Yes, definitely. Bring it into your home. Um, I also mentioned earlier that I didn't actually start monastery with my, um, first born until she was about 12 months old. So if you have it, an older child, even I have heard wonderful success stories with Children who started monastery at the age of six or seven, Um, or even later. So don't ever think that it's too late to bring Monastery into your home because, as we already talked about, it's a lot about the mindsets and just kind of your whole family's way of thinking about things a little bit differently. So without kind of going back into the passive and active toys thing, I just wanted to say I know there's a lot of talk about a monastery materials, like I said, being expensive, oftentimes their wooden toys. But if you can get rid of those noisy flash plastic toys, this is probably the hardest thing for people to start doing, especially if they already have a toddler, a child who's going through a few birthdays and Christmases. Those noisy flash a plastic twice can start to stack up, And if you feel like you can't get rid of that, I really urge you to just kind of put them away. And Montessori we do something called rotating. We put toys away in a closet or wherever you have space on. We only leave out 6 to 12 toys for the child the fully engaged with. So they're not overstimulated, and they're able to really work on those materials. Any. You as a parent are able to observe them and see what they're interested in so that you could bring more of those materials or more challenging materials like that into your home.
spk_0:
15:53
That's so interesting. And I'm glad that you say that, actually, because I know that me is apparent. We just had Christmas, for example, and it seems so counter intuitive to me to leave out 6 to 12 toys for my baby and then put the rest away and rotate him out. Because my instinct is like, Oh, look at all these Christmas toys you got. Let's put them all in front of
spk_1:
16:14
you. Yes, exactly. I I I totally understand that. Like he said, um, we grew up a different way, so it's not our natural instinct to do these things, but, um, the longer you practice it, them where you will see that your child really actually does engage with the materials and the toys. Ah, lot more. If there's a lot less out
spk_0:
16:37
that's so great, I want to talk a little bit about this. Toddler life dot com It has some really great resource is an information on their what all can listeners find on your website.
spk_1:
16:50
So if you are just getting started with Montessori or you're just trying to decide if it's right for you, there are a lot of great resources on this town of life. My personal favorites are the monastery by age. Resource is so this Siri's is a series of posts that folks it's on Montessori and specific age groups that go from 0 to 12 months, 12 to 18 months, 18 to 24 months, 24 to 30 30 months on 30 to 36 months. And you can use these Montessori bright age articles to help you get started right away. Um, if you go to this other life dot com, you can find all those links for all those age groups. Right in the side are easy to click on and get to and really get started for your specific age child.
spk_0:
17:36
That sounds like a really good resource. I'm also just curious. Are there any obstacles that parents frequently talk to you about? That they run into in trying to practice Montessori and and how do you advise them to overcome those obstacles?
spk_1:
17:52
I think a lot of people get overwhelmed with Montessori. As I mentioned earlier, it is a form of education, so learning an entire new for education is very daunting on I want to just remind you that the most important things are the principles observing your child and following their lead. If you do, those two things are. Preserve your child and follow their lead. You are practicing Montessori. Do not let anyone tell you that you're not. And don't get caught up and hung up on all the materials and needing. You know all the fancy, expensive things because you don't need all of those statements. If you focus on the material on them principles
spk_0:
18:35
that's so powerful. I'm just thinking of all the major milestones that even in our house that we've hit and my son his name is Gus, and it's just so interesting to me how much personality they have even at so young. And so you really like the idea of really, like you said, observing him and and noticing what I see and just taking that and letting him run with it?
spk_1:
19:01
Absolutely. Exactly. That's That's exactly where I was when I started with monetary. It's such a beautiful philosophy you really can give your child, um, you know, we all want to have a healthy, happy child, and I feel that Montessori really supports the child in this 06 age group
spk_0:
19:22
and empowers them. It sounds like Yes, absolutely. So tell me a little bit more about the membership group that you have the Montessori Learning Center.
spk_1:
19:33
Yes, the Monastery Learning Center is our membership site that I run for parents who are ready to dive into Montessori at home with their 0 to 3 year olds. The Divorce for Monetary Learning Center will actually be opening soon, but if you want to learn more right now, you can grab the monastery age appropriate activity lists while you wait. Um, I'm sure you can add the link here, but I'll just let you know its members dot this other life dot com forward slash wait list um there is five age appropriates activity list there, so you can actually pick which one suits you and your child or your Children right now and hanging up on your fridge and just have a look at what activities you can put out and see if your child is really interested in those and kind of go through the line and put out more of those type of things for him to engage with.
spk_0:
20:28
Is there a cost to join?
spk_1:
20:31
There is a cost. A Dorian It is 26 99 a month or there is an annual membership is well, we only open the doors to times a year. So hopefully, if you grab that and get on the wait list, you will be notified by email if you're interested when the doors do open.
spk_0:
20:51
Yeah, I think that price sounds totally reasonable. And you're right. If there's if the doors only open up twice a year, please jump on it. You've got two. If you're interested in Montessori education, it just sounds like a really nice community for parents that want to take that
spk_1:
21:06
approach. It is. There's lots of little courses and workshops, and we have a Facebook community that is absolutely wonderful. We, um, do giveaways and contests. We have guests. Expert interviews. Um, it all happens in the Facebook group. So it's It's a really fun place to be and be ableto, um, connect with other monastery parents.
spk_0:
21:29
Yeah, that sounds really great. And I will include links to everything in the show notes for anybody that's interested. It has been just so great to talk to you today. I feel very informed and educated, and I am ready to just jump in and practice Montessori in my home. I'm so glad to have learned about it.
spk_1:
21:53
I'm so happy that you are able to learn a bit more amounted to I know it's so easy to fall in love with Montessori. So I'm sure that you will probably jump on the Internet and learn everything you can now. Yeah,
spk_0:
22:05
absolutely. I'm really excited, and I'm definitely gonna do a deep dive into this toddler life dot com as well.
spk_1:
22:12
Wonderful. You'll have to let me know if you have any questions.
spk_0:
22:16
I definitely will. Well, thank you so much, Holly.
spk_1:
22:20
Thank you so much for having me.
spk_0:
22:24
Thanks for listening today for more on pregnancy postpartum in parenthood. Visit mastering motherhood podcast dot com and subscribe to this show wherever you get your podcasts. If you have a topic that you'd like to hear, shoot me an email at Mastering Motherhood podcast at gmail dot com. Thanks.
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