This week, I am so excited to share a Home Tour and interview with Tanja from Slovenia!
This is one of the many amazing things about social media...How else would I have connected with her from all the way in Canada? From our email and message exchanges, Tanja's love and respect of Montessori comes through every time. I especially appreciate her honesty about the struggles about parenting and how learning about Montessori has positively changed her life. To take something that was difficult and use it as motivation to help others really speaks volumes about her.
Hope you enjoy the interview!
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Tanja. I live with my family in the small but beautiful country of Slovenia.
I love children, books and Montessori.
I am a stay-at-home mom, but I also finished the AMI Assistants 0-3 Course and am now in process of acquiring a diploma for a Montessori 0-3 Teacher in my country.
How old are your children?
My sons are 5 and 3 years old.
When did you first learn about Montessori?
I learned about Montessori from my neighbour, Marija, six years ago, but I did not really go into details. Two years later, after giving birth for the second time, I realized that motherhood became a burden, I felt helpless and unhappy, especially because my partner was absent a lot due to nature of his work. I spent days and nights alone, without any help, with a new born and a toddler. This was a key moment for me. I bought and read The Absorbent Mind and The Secret of Childhood, and an ongoing research began. And I am so grateful for this because the Montessori really changed all our lives. I would lie if I say that is simple and easy, it’s not, but it’s worth every effort!
DIY Color Box
How have you created a Prepared Environment in your home?
I first set up the bathroom area and a dressing corner. Then, I adapted the foyer, the kitchen, reading corner and, finally, a small playroom with assorted toys and materials. The latter caused a mini-revolution, as I had sold or given away most of the toys we had (due to them not being useful any more) and began designing our own Montessori materials. However, our environment is constantly changing, depending on the needs of the children.
What are your top activities to do with your children?
Long walks in the woods and hills, preparing food, reading and art.
How do you deal with material storage and rotation?
All the materials, which are mostly home-made, are stored in cardboard boxes in a closet, according to their field of usage. The closet is only used by the children. All the art and crafts materials are always available to them, while the rest of the materials are changed according to their interest. Since we are surrounded by beautiful nature, we spend most of the time outside, where we can find countless opportunities for exploration and learning.
What is your favourite part of your kids play/work space?
I love the children’s reading area, because most of the time they find calmness there, which I adore. Also, seeing them so independent and happy when they do it by themselves is so priceless.
What benefits have you found in implementing the Montessori philosophy in your home?
What I find the most important is that the Montessori philosophy makes me strive to become the best version of a human being I could possibly be. I see a great advantage in the fact that we follow the children and allow them to develop in their own way, at their own pace. I must not disregard the education of peace, the means which Maria Montessori, used to promote living in coexistence. The inner peace of every individual is of vital importance, but it can only be achieved when one is in tune with themselves.
DIY Sound Cylinders
How do you help foster independence in your children?
With a prepared environment, their integration and participation in everyday activities and a slower pace.
Anything else you’d like to add?
You are inspiration! Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about Montessori in our home. ☺