Today I want to introduce you to Emma from Montessori Enterprises (www.montessorienterprises.com.uk). Montessori Enterprises stock a wide range of Montessori language materials. You can order individual items including objects, picture cards, word strips, phrase strips and sentence strips or complete sets. Including the Pink, Blue and Green Series. This makes it super easy for teachers, homeschoolers or even parents at home to find what they are looking for. Let's find out a little more from Emma!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your Montessori journey?
Hello, I'm very pleased to meet you! My name is Emma and I run Montessori Enterprises - a Montessori language materials maker and supplier online store. My own Montessori journey started in 2006, whilst I was managing an independent educational children's store - when I got speaking to a Montessori directress who worked locally. I've always had an interest in education (and originally my dream was to be a reception teacher!) - particularly within the early years and was both inspired and intrigued by what I was hearing from her. I was invited to come and observe at her school, which I did a few days later and was absolutely blown away by what I saw! Small children completely independent in a beautiful environment, leading themselves towards their own learning with the adults acting as guides. It was unlike anything I'd been exposed to and being disillusioned previously with 'mainstream' education and the general approach of 'one size fits all', I felt like I had found my calling and for me this seemed like the most natural and logical way to educate children from birth. I begun my training a year later in 2007 with Montessori Centre International and since graduating - I have worked in a number of settings both in the UK and abroad (I have helped to set up schools in Russia as well as run a Montessori assistants course with a colleague). I run Montessori Enterprises from my home office in Walton on Thames in Surrey and currently I also work as a tutor for Montessori Centre International.
How and why did you open Montessori Enterprises? Can you share with us a little about your products and your focus on Language Materials?
Montessori Enterprises has existed for the past 20 years, previously run by my ex-tutor and fellow Montessorian Ann Jacobs, who retired last year and whom we took over from. It was important to me to keep the business going as it is so unique and for our customers and the Montessori community - it offers great (and hard to find) materials that are all in one place! I'm also very passionate about early years literacy and this particular area of the Montessori curriculum I believe, is one that teaches reading and writing in such a beautiful, hands on way that supports all types of learners.
Our range offers a wide selection of attractive and carefully sourced objects at pink and blue levels (3 letter phonetic objects to objects that include blend sounds, schwa vowels, compound words and more) as well as word cards, sentence strips, language boxes in a range of colours and later literacy materials for early grammar and more complex phonemes. Over the past year we have worked on getting the website running so that customers can buy directly from us - previously it was purely static. The website is still a work in progress and I'm always working on new ideas for literacy materials that support children's language journeys with a Montessori focus - aside from the regular range of materials that we stock and make. I continuously search for new and interesting objects to add to our offering and in the future, I hope to provide videos that support homeschoolers, parents and students as well as to add to our social media offering (currently we just have an Instagram page - you can follow us here). Very soon (watch this space!) we will be collaborating with another Montessori supplier to offer literacy products that complement our range superbly. We are very excited about the coming months! Recently, we have started to offer our printed materials in a joined up Sassoon font, which is a great indirect way to expose children to the relationships between the letters and supports preparation for their later writing practice.
This year we exhibited at both the MSA and the MEUK conferences and received very positive responses. We hope to do this again next year and meet more passionate Montessorians and educators. Having worked as a Montessori teacher for many years, I understand the lack of time educators face (when preparing literacy and language materials), as well as the issues that homeschoolers, students and settings have in sourcing phonics objects and literacy materials (we are a niche!).
My aim is to offer a unique, efficient and informed service, supplying high quality literacy materials internationally - and always with the child in mind. The objects we sell are aesthetically pleasing, child sized and realistic and our materials are durable, illustrated with hand painted pictures and printed using the child friendly 'Sassoon' font. We have our boxes specially made for us and I make all word cards and strips by hand - which I find a very therapeutic process!
Do you ship international?
Absolutely! We currently can ship everywhere, except for (regrettably) the USA and Canada.
Your products are used in Montessori schools and homeschools. Can you help parents with little ones at home starting out with Montessori language materials?
Yes, we sell to many different individuals! Our complete pink set is a great option for schools and homeschoolers who are starting out and for children who already have a knowledge of the phonic sounds of the alphabet. Through working with boxes 1-5 - the child will move from a concrete experience of reading and writing (using the moveable alphabet, which allows the child to 'write' without using a pen) to an abstract experience (by eventually reading the printed word cards) and will become exposed to new vocabulary and become a confident and able reader. I love to hear from our customers and can offer advice to both first time settings as well as to home schooling parents (and others of course!) who would like a more in depth run through or individualised advice that is focused on their child's developmental stage and current interests.
I'd love to! Because all the strips and word cards are made by hand, I'm able to offer customers the option of choosing specific words that are specific to their individual needs and the current stage that their child/ren are at. Settings that already have existing objects are able to order for example laminated work cards on the coloured paper of their choice, in whichever size and font they would prefer - perhaps to match existing materials. Our main range is listed on our website, so for those that would like to make a bespoke order, please do pop me an email - I'd be very happy to hear from you. Montessori students who would like to make their own materials have the option to buy our picture stamps and printed words to make themselves and all our objects, sets and cards can all be purchased separately, so that customers are able to 'pick and choose' whichever materials they require.
Thank you to Emma for sharing a little about herself and her store! This post is sponsored by Montessori Enterprises. I know language materials can be hard to source so I hope you find this post useful! You can stay in touch with Montessori Enterprises (and get a few language ideas) on their website and also on Instagram!