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The Start Of Our Montessori Learning Journey


I know I am not the only mom out there wanting to give her baby the best start in life! Learning and reaching all those first milestones are so important for babies and for us parents too.


It lets us know that we are doing a good job sharing skills with our little darlings. I wanted to share a few snapshots from beginning of our learning journey with August.


I will start by saying I am far from an expert. In fact, I was actually a pretty awful student in school. I hated it with a passion and struggled to get "good grades" to keep my teachers and parents happy. The frustration of wanting to please everyone but being a slow learner was real. There were countless nights spent at the kitchen table of me trying to do homework I just didn't understand. The end result was usually tears and a deep burning hatred for the topic at hand.


The whole system made me feel like a total failure. Looking back, I realize that it wasn't me who was the failure....it was the education system. I didn't learn through sitting at a desk and listing to someone talk, I learned through doing. I enjoyed free thinking and was creative. I would beg my mom to let me buy dollar store crap, that I would bag up and sell for a higher price at school! This was far more interesting to me than learning about sentence structure. It wasn't that I didn't want to learn, it was that I had to learn at my own pace. The years of feeling belittled for my lack of success in the school system really took a toll on me. I always felt inadequate and like I would fail at life too.


When I found out I was pregnant, I vowed that my daughter would not have the same learning experienced that I did. I wanted to help her learn gently and from positive experiences....not crying sessions around the kitchen table. I started doing some research and realized that Montessori learning was very aligned to my views on education. The concept is to allow children, to learn at their own pace through practical activities. Light bulb moment! I knew that this would be the direction I wanted to take for parenting and educating my daughter.


The whole philosophy seemed very intuitive and similar to the basics of gentle parenting. The idea of helping my daughter learn at her pace on her terms just made sense to me.


That brings us to the start of August's learning journey! I should also mention she was lucky to have a great start in life. I had a peaceful water birth at home and she breastfeeds like a champ. She sleeps well and is overall a very happy little baby. Why does this matter? Well, even a baby's physical needs have to be met to help them learn.

Once those physical needs are met then comes the fun, of helping them develop skills! Our approach to learning has been very relaxed. We mostly follow August's lead by watching what excites her and helping her in whatever capacity we can.


The first few weeks of her life were simply focused on meeting physical and emotional needs along with giving her a commentary of everything we were doing. For example when I would put her in the carseat I would explain everything I was doing to her..."I am just going to sit you down, put some straps over your arms and buckle you in". It sounds so silly but babies love hearing you talk and giving them words to associate with actions is a great way to have "conversations " with them.


Once she started to interact more and was searching for more stimulation we started introducing simple toys for her. I think keeping the items you give babies simple is important! Thos little brains already have so much to process and adding flashing lights, noise and plastic gadgets can overload them.


We kept the items we gave August simple but engaging. We also let her explore any item in the house that catches her attention . One great example is the black and white ghostbusters poster in greg's room, she is obsessed with it so we stand and let her stare at it, as long as she likes.

This is where following your baby's lead is so important. Watch their body language and visual cues to help them explore the things they are naturally curious about.


When you do introduce toys , try and keep them simple!


We have this little play gym for August and she absolutely loves it! It is very simple and

calming to look at but still engages her. At first she would just watch the toys dangle but now she reaches up to batt at them!


Another awesome toy that is perfect for younger babies is a light ball with plenty of holes for grasping .... check out the picture


She loves this ball and it is still a favourite. The shape is easy to grab onto and holding it helps her learn cause and effect when she drops it. This one also happens to have a few rattle sections that make a fun noise when it is shaken. I would have preferred a wooden version of this but someone gave us this one . I am all for re-using and being resourceful when it comes to baby toys. Saving money is great and taking advantage of hand me downs helps the environment to!


We have a few other toys for her like a crinkle book, small rattle , soft plushie and some wooden fruit! The wooden fruit set is one of my favourites. She loves staring at the different colours and the shapes are fun to grab onto.


These two pictures were taken in our "play area" which I will be doing a post on soon! I think keeping play spaces uncluttered and simple really helps encourage focus.


The combination of the few toys she has, along with watching her natural interests has been how we have handled learning so far. She is thriving with this method and at three months has complete head control, strong arms for tummy time, great grip and good focus on images.


We don't push her into any new skills but simply follow her lead. For the longest time she really hated being on her tummy so we just skipped it until she started enjoying it. That's something I really love about Montessori style learning is how flexible it is!


As she gets older and learning becomes more complicated I really want support her interests.


Babies and kids are so naturally curious and have unique talents and skills just like us. Using a learning method that supports this view is so exciting to me.


I am not sure if we will be homeschooling to attempting to send her to a Montessori structured school but for right now we are just helping her explore the world around her!

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