Updated: Apr 7, 2022
Today's tour and interview is with Amorette of Instagram account @french.family.montessori
What I love most about Amorette is her honesty and that she is constantly sharing insightful information in an approachable way. I've personally been curious about her set up with twins and if there is anything twin families need to do differently. She is also homeschooling, which I know many of you are interested in learning more about.
On top of all of that, she is Autistic, an Autism advocate and has written a book: Hello, I Have Autism (an Autistic Children's Guide-And for Those Who Care-from an Autistic).
main shelf that is rotated as needed
Tell me about yourself...
I'm Amorette, an Autistic mother to 2.5-year-old twins, E and V. I've been practicing Montessori for over 10 years.
When did you first learn about Montessori?
When helping to raise my nephew, T. A friend of my sister's was interested in Montessori. Hearing her talk about it, I thought it would be great for him, as well as for me as an Autistic with sensory sensitivities. The more I read about it, the more I realized it was ideal.
gardening materials, this area was once used for food prep
How have you created a Prepared Environment in your home?
Creating yes-areas and making it so that E and V have as much independence as possible in areas of the home as well as providing appropriate materials that they are able to operate.
What are your favorite activities to do with your children or to watch your children do?
Right now, dressing. Their desire to dress themselves and that ability to do so has evolved so much in just the last month alone. In the homeschool room watching them make connections and how they see differences with the knobbed cylinders and pink tower. I really enjoy our weekly homeschool themes and learning along with them, like on Music Monday.
independent dressing area
How do you deal with toy/activity/material storage and rotation?
I have three separate storage areas: homeschool materials, general materials, and books. Books are in the basement storage area, homeschool materials are stored in the homeschool room closets, and general materials are currently stored in the garage which is just off the homeschool room. While traditional Montessori materials stay in the homeschool room, inspired materials may be found in the homeschool room or living areas. We rotate shelf materials in our general living area a lot more than the homeschool room, so they are more readily available. I observe and try to honour the schemas they are currently into best provide materials that call to them. If items are ignored I first try to relocate them, seeing if it just didn't catch their attention before replacing it completely.
What is your favourite part of your children’s play/work space?
It's calming and inviting.
What benefits have you found in implementing the Montessori philosophy in your home?
Since we've been doing Montessori since birth, I don't have a before Montessori to compare it to. But I regularly hear from others about how Montessori must impact the girls. We get so many comments about their ability to focus and concentrate, and I know this is a result of following Maria Montessori's philosophy.
kitchen and dining materials
How do you help foster independence in your children?
Appropriate child-size materials, items on their level, or aids to assist in them reaching areas with ease; like the toilet, sinks, counters, light switch extenders, and storing foods where they can access them. Providing options whenever possible.
bathroom...these stools double as chairs
Any tips for families with twins or children very close in age? Have there been any difficulties that you’ve had to deal with in terms of activities that you provide?
There is always a misunderstanding that twins, especially identical twins, develop their skills at the same time and this simply isn't true. One tends to focus on language while the other is expanding their motor skills. Also, skills when it comes to activities aren't always the same. Finding ways to value where they each are at and supply appropriate materials for each without frustrating the other or not providing enough challenging materials for the other. Learning to work with each other, not needing to provide two of everything.
home school room
On Instagram, you share ways that you have adapted your environment, strategies you use and how to have a support system as an Autistic adult. I have learned a lot through your posts. What tips do you have for parents of Autistic children when setting up a supportive home environment?
Follow and trust your child while respecting them. Allow them to show you what they need as they have their own path which likely won't mimic their peers--and that's okay. Maria Montessori designed materials with a lot of thought and research. Use them, especially the sensorial times, to better understand your child.
home school room
How is home schooling going? Any hurdles you’ve had to overcome? Any advice for a parent who is nervous to home school?
The Montessori method was created for school, so it just made sense. I was homeschooled, or rather unschooled, and it was such a positive experience that I never considered anything other than homeschooling. A lot of parents I work with choose homeschooling for their Autistic children, especially PDAers.
At 2.5, play is more important than a set homeschool plan and children learn through play. Right now it's just about beginning a routine, understanding how they learn best, and fostering that desire to learn. I knew I was on the right track when one of the girls asked to learn more about someone in one of her books. I regularly use books to lead, so we continuously are looking up and finding more books and such about a topic or person. The only challenges I've encountered is my own concerns, wondering if I'm doing enough--but those are usually put to rest by reminding myself to follow them. Another is the traditional materials--which to DIY and which ones to purchase, finding a budget-friendly balance.
Do you have a favorite Montessori or parenting quote?
“I followed these children, studying them, studied them closely, and they taught me how to teach them."-Maria Montessori
Thank you, Amorette, for opening your home to us. You've shared many great tips that will help all families, especially those with twins and Autistic family members!
Thanks for reading,