Over the past year, I have been learning more and more about Montessori and the more I learn, the more I see how well it aligns to my personal parenting philosophies. I love the focus on the child as an independent and capable learner. Sometimes I think we don’t give our Little Learners enough credit – they can understand and do a lot more than we think when given the right environment to do so!
I started reading more and more about Montessori on Pinterest and found some wonderful blogs that really inspired me.
- The Kavanagh Report – http://www.thekavanaughreport.com/
- An Everyday Story – http://www.aneverydaystory.com/
- The Imagination Tree – http://theimaginationtree.com/
- How We Montessori – http://www.howwemontessori.com/
These bloggers really made me question the way we were raising our daughter and whether we were providing her with the best environment for her to really flourish and be the best person she could be.
So here’s a little look at how our play spaces have slowly evolved as I’ve learnt more about Montessori.
We started with a living room full of Fisher and Price toys which Lilly loved but didn’t keep her very engaged for long. This is when I started reading about Montessori and added a little shelf to our home office. I added some sensory bottles and a discovery basket along with some beautiful wooden toys. The alphabet charts are in my TPT store.
Finally we added some shelves to our living room and packed away all of the toys. We started rotating toys and activities which was working really well but I still wasn’t happy. A few weeks ago we cleared out our spare room and transformed it into a play room. It’s not finished but here’s a little peek at how it’s looking at the moment. I just love it and so does Lilly! I will do a big blog reveal in a few weeks when it’s finally all finished.
I recently finished reading How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way* and it was such an eye opener for me! I had so many a-ha moments that really confirmed Montessori is perfect for our family.
Since finishing the book, we have been slowly transforming some of our spaces and providing Lilly with more practical life activities like helping to clean windows, sweeping the floor, watering the plants and putting things away where they belong. She loves to help and it’s promoting a feeling of independence when she completes a task without help. Here she is cleaning the mirror in her playroom and watering the garden.
We transitioned her from co-sleeping in bed with us to her very own floor bed in her bedroom which has been amazing! She will sleep quite happily in there for most of the night and can get up whenever she’s ready.
This is just an Ikea FJELLSE single bed with the legs cut down so that it is nice and low to the ground. When Lilly is a bit older, her little brother will use this bed and she will get another which is at a single bed height.
Not long after she turned one, we set up a weaning table where she sits and eat her breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day. She’s at the stage now where she will take her food straight to the table and sit down.
We have just set up a small kitchen station so that she can wash her plates and cups once she’s finished. I know a lot of the Montessori books suggest opening up a shelf in your kitchen for this but we have a baby gate across the entire kitchen so that I know she’s always safe in our living space. We also only use plastic rather than glass because Lilly loves to throw things and we have tiles. I’ve read a bit about how using glass teaches respect for property but we will introduce it when we feel she’s ready.
Montessori has taught me that Lilly is a capable little lady who can do a lot of things all by herself. It has taught me to value her as her own individual little person and it has taught me to take a step back and observe. By sitting and watching Lilly play/work, I can see the skills that she is wanting to develop further and provide her with experiences to further that skill. Montessori has changed the way I parent forever!
“The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.”