The Montessori Iceberg metaphor

The Iceberg Metaphor applied to Montessori!⁠

What we show or see about Montessori: the Montessori inspired toys, the Montessori materials, the shelves, the floor bed, the 3 parts cards, the activities on tray, the cooking/baking videos, the learning tower, ...⁠

All the above can be really useful. But it's only the tip of the iceberg. 

As parents, teachers, we work "behind the scenes". There are many important intangibles things. And there are also all those things that we don't want to show, our failures, our trials and errors, the things that don't seem that Montessori so we don't show them. 

What we don't show: ⁠

  • The hours of observation
  • the way we talk to the child
  • how we help our child to socialize⁠
  • the role-modeling⁠
  • the guilt when we feel we don't offer enough Pin-worthy activities⁠
  • when we lost it, and reconnect afterward
  • the parenting books we read and where all those tips we show come from
  • the aha moments that we cannot capture in a picture
  • the side of the house that is not "Montessori", not tidy, not IG worthy⁠
  • the activities that didn't work, the untouched expensive toys and materials⁠
  • the screen time⁠
  • the plastic, fantasy-based toys that we kept and that our child loves!⁠
  • all the time our children refused to do it themselves or we do it for them because it's faster



Montessori is much much more than what we show or what we see!⁠

So what is it that you cannot show? What makes the essence of Montessori for you? What are the behind-the-scenes that you don't show? What are your aha moments? What are your trial and errors? ⁠

What is under the surface? Reply in a comment!

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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.

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