Today, I'm delighted to introduce you to Tiffany from @inspire.learn.teach on Instagram. She is a full time working teacher and her husband is full-time daddy at home. They are 100% committed to educate their daughter in the best way they can. And it shows through their observation, reflection and full of information posts they share online.
Hi, my name is Tiffany. I am teacher, a traveller and a avid Netflix binge watcher!
I met my hubby when we were both in school and I have been inseparable ever since. In 2018 we become the proud parents to a little girl, Little Ninja, who is full of life, determined and oh so cheeky.
We currently live in Queensland, Australia and love living in our sunny corner of the world. Yet can not wait to continue our travels further afield, since birth Little Ninja has already explored parts of Europe and next on her list is Germany and Scotland … and Yorkshire!
Day to day, I am a teacher and working full time while hubby is a full-time university student and the most amazing a stay at home dad and Insta dad taking most pictures for me!
It was really a stumble into a different world, one day my husband and I sat down, as new parents discussing our goals for our child and for us our key goals were, independence, strength and happiness. A quick search through Instagram and I found some amazing accounts that truly opened my eyes to what my daughter could be capable of, and I remember sitting showing the videos to my husband and his first response what that intense!
This wasn’t able comparison but rather, for the first time I truly shifted my thinking to seeing my daughter as truly capable and an individual from birth rather than an individual that needed me for everything. As I dug deeper, into the principles, I was drawn to the level of respect and trust given to the child, as an equal voice within the family. I want for my daughter, to feel accepted as she is, to have autonomy and for her to grow up knowing I trust her and that I believe in her capabilities.
So many, but slowly and we are still working on it. Our first change was realising the importance of the prepared environment, we donated and removed so many toys from the play space. We cut down the toys to only ones with a single focus and now limit what is on our shelves.
The other biggest change is our interactions. We have altered the language we use, removing a lot of praise and we have learnt to sit on our hands more, allowing her to discover rather than us ‘teach’ everything.
No there isn’t but I have been very selective since cleaning out the play space. We DIY what we can and if there is a real life substitute we use that. The biggest pitfall here is that there are now so many items branded ‘Montessori’ that don’t fit within the philosophy nor were created my Maria Montessori, so just because they use the term, it doesn’t mean it suits the philosophy and just because it suits the philosophy doesn’t make it right for your child. With materials, I always remind myself that Montessori was attempting to recreate the home within a school environment, therefore if our days are filled with daily, practical life there is not ‘set’ materials that we need.
For me the MUST haves are anything that allow your child to access daily life and meet their self care needs. For use that has been the myriad of stools all around the house, allowing for access to the kitchen, the bathroom sinks and most importantly the fridge!
Other things that have been amazing for this include our wavy knife and small bookcase. Adapting items for access and independence is, for use the key aspect of Montessori.
As parents, the principles that define us as a Montessori family are that we value each family members voice equally, we follow our child’s lead and we build our child’s independence. If you come from a place of respecting your child, you will automatically give them choice, allow them to learn themselves, listen to their decisions and provide space for them to direct their learning. For us this is the centre for us as parents and guides all our decision making.
Being completely frank, we are still working this out. Prior to formal schooling she will either be home-schooled or attend a Montessori school, beyond that I am needing a crystal ball! We are still ironing out this but all schooling options need to respect her, build her independence and follow her lead.
Regardless of what we decide, we will continue Montessori within the home. To do this we will do three key things
If you haven’t yet read The Montessori Toddler, it is a must read! I also love Instagram and learn so much from some amazing mums there, my top accounts on Instagram to go and follow
Focus on the intent, the principles rather than the materials. Follow your child, they know what they need.
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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.
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