Are you Montessori enough?

 I have noticed a recurrent topic in the Montessori Facebook group. Many of you shared about "not being 100% Montessori" or start a post with an apology "I know it's not Montessori but...". 

I'm here to dispel myths and misconceptions about Montessori. I'm here to help you to cut through the overwhelm and to simplify your Montessori journey. So let's get clear and brutally honest here. 

Montessori is not about the toys, the materials, the perfect minimalist house. Montessori is not only for schools or for homeschoolers.

Montessori is not about learning to count, read and write at 3 years old.

Montessori is not all or nothing.

Montessori is not about making your baby sleeps independently from day one.

Montessori is not only for the AMI trained teachers.

Montessori is not only for the wealthy.

Montessori is not about letting your child do what he wants whenever he wants. 

Montessori is a way of life. Maria Montessori herself said that she just observed the children and she uncovered the natural laws of development, that were already there within each child.

She said "We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being"

I understand that you may have discovered Montessori through blogs, through Instagram, through Pinterest. 

I guess that you may have first purchased a few wooden toys and maybe you have been disappointed by the lack of interest from your child.

Or you feel at odd with your child who loves his duplos and that big battery operated toy that drives you mad.

Or maybe you don't have the time, the energy, the budget to make any big changes and you feel that you cannot do Montessori.

I am here to tell you that you can. I know this because I started 11 years ago. Without Pinterest, without Instagram, without support groups. 

I started with what I had: our own bookshelf, a few items from my kitchen cupboard in a small basket for my baby to explore, a few plastic vegetable trays recycled to hold my toddler's toys. I started to observe and to remove toys after toys. I started to smile and not saying "good girl" anymore. I slowed down on our walk and stopped to look at the ants for hours with my daughter.

I stopped feeding er with puree, gave her spoon and small cup instead...

At first, I only read "How to raise an amazing child" by Tim Seldin. That book is still my favourite. And yes, I trained as a Montessori teacher because I loved the Montessori education so much that I wanted to teach that way and made it my full time job!  

I had a second child, I had a bit more money, I bough a few more wooden toys. I didn't bother with a cot this time, we had a floor bed from the start. I managed to make two of the Montessori mobiles and a friend made us a puzzle ball. 

I had a few more Montessori materials to teach my children at home between 2 to 5 but not the whole set, only what I believed they needed. I DIY some three parts cards and some  maths materials. 

But at the core of our life were the Montessori principles. We aim to support our children's independence. We aim to support their personal interest. We help them to develop self-discipline. 

A Montessori life is a life when you follow your child's lead, when you learn about your child's development in order to understand how he learns, how he grows. 

For me it's about "the child", not the "material", not the "house".

Maria Montessori said

 "The greatest honor and the deepest gratitude you can pay me is to turn your attention from me in the direction of which I am pointing - the child"

It's about observing your child. 

It's about promoting independence through daily activities.

It's about including your child in your daily activities as a way to connect with you, as a way to feel important in your family, as a way to develop self-discipline and self-confidence.

If you struggle with what is Montessori exactly and you are confused, please check the following ressources:

- How to start with Montessori - 5 tips

- 10 Montessori principles for parents video

5 Montessori roadblocks and how to overcome them

How to choose a Montessori Friendly toy

 Join the conversation in our Facebook group

CLICK HERE to join our community of 20 000 like minded parents.

 - is the Grimm Rainbow Montessori and do you need it?

when you believe Montessori is not for your child (it is for every child unless what you think its' not Montessori )

Or Join the conversation on Instagram, check the hashtag #minimalistmontessori

View this post on Instagram

Are you mindful of what you buy? I came from a low-income family. My parents had to be very mindful of their spending. I grew up on second-hand clothes & toys & food from the cheap supermarket. There is nothing wrong with that. Nowadays, it's even trendy to shop second hand & to go to Aldi. But in my time, it was a sign that I was not as wealthy as most of the children around me. Having said that, I had a beautiful childhood. But as soon as I started to earn an income, I purchased stuff to make up for those years of second hand & hands me down. When I had my children, I turned my spending energy on them. I was not buying for me, I was buying for them. Of course, I am aware that I was in a position where spending that money was ok as we had a comfortable income. But I quickly realise that it was far from mindful and it was, at time, meaningless and for sure it was not making us happier. On the contrary, it makes us stressed. I admit that I used to be a bit of a hoarder. So you see, I'm far from being a minimalist, I have a collection of educational toys, puzzles, craft materials. I accumulate books and we even have a library in our garage. But each of our current possessions is now purchased mindfully and I did a huge decluttering 3 years ago. Now I think twice before buying something. I search for a second-hand alternative before purchasing new and sometimes I say yes to a useless item just because. This hashtag #minimalistmontessori is a prompt for self-reflection and not shared with the intention to make you feel guilty for not being minimalist. So tell me. What is your relationship with stuff and possession? Thanks to @racheous for sharing this quote with me! check the other accounts I have teamed up with⠀ @3mm.montessori @fredtedandcompany @victorias.way @the_prepared_envirionment @o_e_and_me @budding.and.blossoming @everythingmontessori @kindlingkids_montessori @our_montessori_journey @thisfrenchmom ⠀ #minimalists #minimalisthome #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #minimalistmom #minimalistfamily #minimalistmama #becomingminimalist #minimalistkids #minimalistquotes #declutterlikeamother #simplicityparenting #montessorimom #mindfulleaving

A post shared by Montessori for parents (@montessorifamilyuk) on

I collaborated with a few accounts and we had so many interesting discussions about what Montessori is for us. 

Tell me, what is Montessori for you? What do you need to start?

Leave a comment and I will guide you!

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About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.