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independence

Prepare to be Amazed

prep-bananaMany parents like to help feed or dress their children, even when the children become capable of doing it on their own, because they feel it’s a way of showing love. While parents who follow the Montessori philosophy understand that it’s important to support their child’s budding independence, they sometimes don’t know how to channel their affection in a way that’s helpful to their child’s development!

You’ll be happy to know that in the Montessori philosophy, you – the parent – play a very...

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Letter From Your Baby

Dear caregiver,

I know you have the best intentions. When you take me to the park and "walk" me by the arms, sit me on the teeter-totter, or send me down the slide, you're doing itbecause you want me to have fun.

But here's the thing:I am a baby. I am driven by developmental urges you can't see. The things I want to do may seem slow and boring to you, but they are exciting and challenging to me. When you push me to do what you think is fun, you rob me of the opportunity to do what I know is...

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Your Child Has a Secret

nut-boltIf you’ve been following the Voila Montessori video series, you’ve probably had the opportunity to give several presentations to your child by now. She might have shown interest in some activities, and completely ignored others. Do you feel frustrated when that happens? All that hard work to put together the material, and your child isn’t interested in it!

Find out why this happens and what you can do about it by clicking here!

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The Truth About Elimination Communication

Warning: This post uses the word "poop". A lot. It's a post about toddlers and Montessori and early toileting awareness. You've been warned.

There's been some press lately about elimination communication (aka, early toileting awareness): the practice of identifying your baby's signals for pooping and peeing and taking them to the potty to eliminate. The moms that are interviewed for these pieces (or at least the way the articles and videos are edited) make it sound like it's a walk in the...

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Weaning Chair and Table

tbl-chairz-tbl

Recently I've been getting requests from readers for pictures and measurements for the weaning chair and table my husband built for Zach. We got the measurements from a dear friend and Montessori consultant, Jeanne-Marie Paynel of Voila Montessori. She has graciously made these resources available to parents everywhere at this link. Please consider donating to support her efforts and help her continue to share her amazing knowledge. I hope this helps!!

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Playing Catch Up

There's one thing that sets children ages 0-3 apart from children in all other Montessori age groups, and it's been throwing me for a loop recently:

THEIR NEEDS AND ABILITIES CHANGE SO DARN FAST!!! AAARRGGGHHH!!!

I spent almost two hours observing through a one-way window in my son's Toddler Community. What I saw was amazing. And disconcerting.

Because the environment I worked so hard to set up for my one-year old just a few months back? Yeah, completely useless now.

My baby, the one who was...

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How to Montessori Your Home

Welcome! Come on in... I'm Zach and this is my home. I was born in my parents' bedroom upstairs and have spent my entire life - a whopping 16 months - living here. I love what my parents have done with the place and I want to share my favorite spots with you.

Let's begin in the kitchen. When I started being strong enough to open the drawers on my own, my mom had to do some re-arranging. She moved all the chemicals to the bathroom (the only cabinet in the house with a child-proof lock). She put...

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How to Get Your Toddler to Make Dinner

It was a grey and rainy afternoon. Zach had just woken up from his nap and my husband wouldn't be home for two more hours. I had a sinus infection and had no desire to move, but explain that to a toddler...

I had to make something for dinner, so while Zach trashed explored the kitchen cabinets I pulled out a bean curry I had made the night before. It needed some greens, so I quickly chopped up some kale. I was about to toss it into the pot (hello, automatic pilot) when I realized something:

...

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Show & Tell

It might seem like Montessori parents like to show off what their children can do: "Look, my baby can drink from a glass! My toddler can slice a cucumber!" But honestly, our excitement has nothing to do with bragging. At least for me, sharing my son's accomplishments is about telling other people: "Look what YOUR child is capable of, and imagine the sense of competence YOUR child can develop!"

Parents who are new to Montessori often observe a classroom and think: "My child would never fit in....

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