Today I'm talking to Simone from The Montessori Notebook and Jacaranda Tree Montessori based in Amsterdam. I love following Simone as her toddler environments are always inspiring and she presents really useful information for parents on her website. However, today Simone is sharing with us details about her e-course Setting Up Your Home Montessori Style.
This is the first e-course I have endorsed. So why now, why this course? Firstly because I really like and trust Simone. She is an AMI trained teacher. Watch a couple of her videos (there is one below) and you will get a feel for her style and how she communicates. Also because this course is so practical, it is true to Montessori and this is important to me! Let's hear from Simone!
It feels like I have known you forever, for those who don't know you can you introduce yourself? I know you have two children but how did you come to Montessori, have you always lived in Amsterdam?
I first fell in love with Montessori when my son was still a baby, we were living in Sydney, and we were looking for a preschool for him. We attended an open day at a local Montessori preschool and I found the classroom so beautiful, put together with such care, and all the materials looked so inviting. The teachers spoke with such respect to the children and clearly loved working with them.
There was also a parent-toddler class at the same location and I started attending with my son from 18 months old. Oliver is now 15.
Before I had my son, I was working in various corporate roles. I realised soon after my son was born that I had such empathy for the youngest children and, from attending the parent-toddler class with my son, I decided to re-train as a Montessori teacher. It was certainly a juggle having two young kids whilst doing my Montessori training, but it was completely worth it.
We moved to Amsterdam 10 years ago to live closer to family in the UK. We only planned to stay one year. Each year we kept deciding to stay longer. The kids were at a Montessori primary school (Montessori is in the public system here!) and the novelty of cycling everywhere still hasn’t worn off. I love it here in Amsterdam.
I started my own Montessori parent-toddler classes here in Amsterdam at Jacaranda Tree Montessori. I run 8 classes a week, run regular parent workshops too, and work with the loveliest families.
My first real experience with Montessori, other than reading books and blogs, was attending a parent-toddler class. Caspar was eighteen months old at the time and it was life changing. What are the benefits you see of parent-toddler classes?
I love watching both the parents and the children develop alongside each other in a parent-toddler class. The children are so happy to explore in an environment that is engaging. While the parents can learn how to follow their child, how to respond to their child, and how to set up their homes in a Montessori way to give their child independence and to involve their child in their home life.
The parent education part is so important to me. When the parent also learns about the Montessori approach, they are able to bring Montessori into the home and daily life. And the child can benefit not just when they are at school, but 24/7.
Can you tell us a little about your e-course Setting Up Your Home Montessori-Style? What is the aim of the course and how can it help parents like me?
I speak to so many parents who love the idea of setting up their home with Montessori principles, but either don’t know where to start or just don’t get time to do it.
So the Setting Up Your Home Montessori-Style e-course is designed to help parents get rid of the clutter and to set up engaging and beautiful spaces at home. The e-course is a fun way to work your way room-by-room through your home, applying an easy 5-step process.
The course is 4 weeks. Every few days you receive a new lesson by email, the lessons can be viewed as a video or read as text. And at the end of the course, you will be able to see your home through your child’s eyes and restore calm to your home.
What advice can you give to parents wanting to know more about Montessori in the home but don't have the time for an e-course?
If you don’t have time for an e-course, you can find a lot of Montessori inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram. I have a 3 minute video you can watch (see below).
For me, Montessori is not just about the activities you have in your home, but how you live with your child. Learning to guide them. Accepting them for who they are. And exploring the world together.
Simone has a talent for setting up beautiful children's spaces! If you are wanting or needing help to set up your your home Montessori style, I recommend taking a look at the above video and the e-course. This is also a lovely video of a small space Montessori home.
You can find Simone at The Montessori Notebook, or at Jacaranda Tree Montessori (Amsterdam) or find out more about the e-course Setting Up Your Home Montessori-Style here (currently 25% off for three days only, finishing Sunday 19th June 2016 at midnight PST). The e-couse is currently US$59 (usually US$79). The e-course is self paced, includes access to a private Facebook group and has been enjoyed by parents all around the world.
Update 20th June; the Summer Sale has now finished. However, you can still join the e-course here at the regular price of US$79.00!