So many parents are drawn to the beautiful simplicity of the Montessori method but don’t know where — or when — or how — to start incorporating the principles of Montessori into their own homes.
Enter Theresa of Montessori in Real Life.
The mom of two small children, Theresa pressed pause on her career as a certified Montessori early childhood educator to focus on raising her kids. Instead of teaching in person, she now reaches countless families through Instagram and her blog, where she shares tips, ideas, activities and recommendations for Montessori-inspired parenting.
One thing we love about Theresa’s approach is that she emphasizes the Montessori philosophy itself rather than the beautiful wooden toys and learning tools that we all love to look at.
“Montessori materials don't have to be fancy. So much can be created from what we already have at home if we just look around and get creative,” Theresa tells her Instagram followers.
For example, in a recent blog post about learning to count, she offers a variety of ideas for free or low-cost counting activities. She also makes a variety of free printables available on her website in addition to selling The Montessori Guide, her series of month-by-month digital guides to budget-friendly Montessori activities for little ones from birth to age 3.
Theresa recently created a play space for her children in a section of her family’s main living area. Along with open shelving, books and an art cart, Theresa chose a Ruggish play rug for the central play area.
Cleanup is an important part of the Montessori play philosophy, which also emphasizes an environment in which children can learn how to do things independently. A Ruggish play rug is a great place to start because it’s so easy to clean. Once toys are picked up and put away, a simple spray with a non-toxic cleaner or wipe with a wet rag is enough to take care of any spots or messes — a task that even very young children can be encouraged to take on.
Cleanup, playtime, self-care tasks and other daily activities are all part of the rhythm of life in Theresa’s Montessori home.
“I call it rhythm rather than a schedule, because it's fluid rather than rigid,” Theresa writes on Instagram. “Rather than follow the clock minute by minute, we pay more attention to the order of events. Every day looks a little different, but there are patterns and constants. Our rhythm also changes with the seasons.”
With many of us still trying to balance work, home life and virtual school, Theresa’s tips for patient, respectful parenting are more valuable than ever!
“Though we all have different struggles and make different choices, we are all in this together,” Theresa says. “And our kids will all be fine. Let's keep sharing and spreading the love.”