Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Today's interview is with Indie of "My Little Montessorian." I remember stumbling across her Instagram account for the first time and just scrolling through her stunning posts and getting inspired by her amazing DIYs. I also love that she includes a description of the activities and the age of her daughter at the time...so smart! I am so happy she agreed to chat with me. Enjoy!
Tell me about yourself... My name is Indie Nivarro, I'm originally from the UK but have been living in the Middle East for the past 15 years. First in Dubai, UAE for 3 years and now currently in Muscat, Oman for the past 12 years. I was a professional theatrical and special effects hair and makeup artist before I had my first and only child who is now 3 years and 2 months old. I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy during my pregnancy and decided that would play a huge part in the up bringing of my daughter. My passion for Montessori then lead me to study an Early Childhood Montessori Diploma age 2-6 and i just recently qualified as a Montessori Teacher in January this year. I always dreamed of homeschooling and even though it's heartbreaking and uncertain times, one of the beautiful things that this pandemic has given us, is the chance to really reconnect and spend quality time with our children.
What was the hardest thing for you when you started homeschooling? To be perfectly honest! I spent a lot of the time in the beginning worrying about filling the whole day with activities and stressing about what I should be teaching next, to the point that it wasn't enjoyable anymore . I had to take a step back and rethink how i was going to approach this, not only for myself but for my daughter! If I was feeling overwhelmed then no doubt she was too. Once I let go of that feeling of anxiety, I went back to basics, "follow the child." These are the basic principles of Montessori! Just follow the child! Once I did that, all the rest just fell into place and I could actually start enjoying our time, watching and observing my daughter, it then actually became clear what she was interested in, and then all the lessons came naturally.
Where do you find inspiration? I take inspiration from everywhere really. Pinterest is definitely somewhere I like to look first for inspiration. There are also a lot of different Montessori inspired Instagram accounts I follow that have such beautifully prepared materials and ideas.
What's your favourite Montessori material or activity and why? I don't have a specific Montessori material that is my favorite. I think of all the materials are great for different reasons. I do particularly love all the culture materials, just because there are endless possibilities with what you can teach with them.
What advice do you have for families that want to homeschool, but don't know where to start? I know it can be very daunting and stressful not knowing what to do or here to start, i think we all experience some sort of anxiety at the thought of this responsibility, having the right materials or knowledge to teach such a wide rage of subjects can be very daunting indeed. Social media platforms can give you some great inspiration but at the same time be very overwhelming and intimidating with the amount of and sometimes conflicting information that is out there. I think first and foremost just appreciate the time you have together. If your child whats to play shop all day that's fine! They are constantly learning and absorbing information you can always come back to a lesson tomorrow or the next day. Don't feel pressured or or forced to complete activities if the child is not interest, they will not learn anything that way. I think homeschooling is all about the freedom of the child learning at their own pace and not being restricted to set lessons or strict classroom set up.
How are you practicing self-care during the pandemic? I incorporated a small study into our work about germs and how easily they can spread using glitter, as well as of course the importance of washing hands and cleaning surfaces etc after we use them. This is general what we do anyway however just doing small activities to reinforce the topic is always a great idea. To learn more about Indie and follow along on her homeschooling journey, check out her Instagram account @mylittlemontessorian