The Montessori community over on Instagram is huge. Everyone is so supportive and inspires each other. One account you have to follow is Trina from DIY Corporate Mom, self-described as “Discovering hands-on parenting while climbing the corporate ladder. Making it all work with play, Montessori, and lessons from my job.”
I am so happy to be able to take a look around Trina’s home in The Philippines for the last of our Montessori home tours in our summer series. Not only is her home set up so her children can have success, she also has a beautiful blog here, a store for Montessori families in The Philippines here, and raises two lovely children, all while holding down a full time job. Hats off to you Trina. You even make it look easy!
Who lives here?
Trina works full time and uses what she calls “Montessori hacks” with her two daughters (8 years and 16 months) in her home in The Philippines.
How did you find out about Montessori?
Through panic! I was getting bored and restless with my then-2-year-old firstborn on weekends when we would be together the entire day. I did not know how to play with her. So I hit Google, and it brought me to blogs and Pinterest. I was hooked on a play-based approach until my readings eventually brought me to the real Montessori method when it was time to search for a preschool.
My boss’ kids went to a Montessori school and I was so impressed with how they were so self-assured and at ease conversing with adults at such a young age. I went for a class visit, started reading more formally, and found my passion for it.
What did you find resonates most with you about the Montessori approach?
That it just made so much simple sense. At first the respect and empowerment of children after you compare with your own memories of childhood. And then once I went deeper into the materials, the sequence, and the cosmic approach, I continue to be amazed at the brilliant mind that designed it.
What is currently your favourite thing to do with your daughters?
Messy sensory play has always been my favourite when my eldest was preschool age, but right now that’s an in-between period absent in my home today.
Now my 8 year old and I have the best times discussing the intangible way the world’s norms, etiquette and morals work (we are deeply in the second plane!). Also, the entire bookshelf you see in the photo is practically hers!
For my youngest who is 16 months, I started Montessori since birth so my current favourite to do with her is simple practical life: going for nature walks and finding our way through routines she can participate in such as eating, dressing and cleaning our way – we have our own rhythm of the household even though I outsource our cleaning and cooking.
Where do you hunt for Montessori style furniture and materials?
There’s not much around the Philippines, sadly. The good news is we have excellent woodworkers and craftsmen! So I’ve actually created a little local shop where moms can source Montessori materials that are hard-to-find favourites of mine. I’ve called it “A Little Montessori” because I truly believe that a little is better than nothing, and goes a long, long way towards a more intentional parenting solution for working parents in the Philippines.
What’s one tip you would give to other parents wanting to set up their home Montessori-style?
Hack it. You’re going to go from total intimidation…to thinking you need to do everything by-the-book and have whatever that lovely Montessori mom has on the internet (the mom who has Amazon and Ikea available to her)…to finding your own way and your own hacks. Be confident by knowing the principles through reading one good book about Montessori. Then hack it, bring your local culture into it, bring your own household norms into it, and stop comparing all the time. Make Montessori yours.
What a perfect way to close this summer series of home tours. It’s about finding your own way in your own home.
These tours are beautiful inspiration to come back to any time you are needing a little support. Take some ideas and make your home more accessible to your child, think about a way that you can slow down to set something up that will engage them, and have fewer things available that they can work to master.
If you are worried you have too much stuff around to even begin, just place a moving box in the corner of your living room and gradually place things in there that are no longer being used or too difficult. A little at a time.
I would love to know how you go so drop me an email anytime with some photos of your spaces.
And mark your calendars for my book launch for Saturday 9 September 2017 – my book, The Montessori Toddler, is on its way!
I’ll be back soon with more Montessori inspiration very soon.