Program and speakers

Video sessions with the following guest speakers will be streamed online over the course of seven days, on 15–21 November, 2021. The recordings will be available each day for 24 hours starting at 9am CET.

In addition, Lifetime Pass holders can join a live Q&A Zoom session in the end of each conference day. Learn more about the Lifetime Access Pass


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Day 1 • November 15, 2021

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

The leaders of tomorrow lay dormant in the children of today. Academic excellence is important, but essential skills such as love, empathy, resilience and acceptance cannot be overlooked. In this heartfelt talk, Gavin McCormack adjusts our perspective of what the word ‘education’ truly means.

Gavin McCormack is a trained Montessori teacher, children’s author, teacher trainer, philanthropist and school principal. While working in the teaching profession for over twenty years, he has used his experience and training to understand what it means to truly educate with true intention. Initially trained as a mainstream primary school teacher, Gavin re-trained as a Montessori teacher where he found the understanding and experience that has inspired him to build several schools and teacher training centres in the Himalayan regions of Nepal. Gavin has trained teachers, parents and educational leaders across the world. His passion for educational reform, with a strong emphasis on Montessori within the home, has driven him to attempt to put these thoughts into words. He believes that for a child to reach their full potential, the school and home environment must work in harmony.

Gavin McCormack

Having written a series of books for both children and adults on education, researching and representing Sir Kenny Dalglish's Life story as a rhyming picture book, running his own publishing firm, charity and being school Principal, Gavin McCormack, nominated for Australian Principal of the year 2020, was also named as the 10th most Influential Educator in the world by Linkedin.

On a quest for educational equality, Gavin has run hundreds of miles for charity to raise money to personally build schools, libraries and teacher training centres in the Himalayan region of Nepal, all this whilst successfully running one of Australia's best Montessori primary schools, Gavin knows what it means to work with intention.

During his engaging talks, Gavin proves that when we discover what it is, that truly makes our heart sing, and if we really want to see change in the world, we must first shift our mindset to a place where failure is all part of the journey. Ultimately, the change we wish to see in others lies within.

Gavin makes strong links between the way our classrooms run to the patterns we see emerging in today's society. He emphasizes the importance of essential skill development and the power that these skills will have in the future of our youngest entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.

Ain’t Misbehavin’

In this session we’ll consider the adult’s perception of children’s behavior. We’ll discuss an important dynamic, often hidden, that drives human behavior. When we are involved in conflict with children it may be easy to overlook this motivation.

What is that motivation?

Personal needs.

Children's actions are judged as misbehaviors when those behaviors come into conflict with the desires of parents and other adults.

What we may judge or perceive to be misbehaviors are a child's efforts to have their needs met.  

In this session you'll learn…

  • Why behavior is need driven
  • How fundamental human needs drive child and adult development

Maren Schmidt

Maren Schmidt has been involved in Montessori education for over 40 years.

As a Montessori mom, she served as PTA president, headed fundraising auctions, as well as acted as the school’s official metal inset paper cutter.

Delighted with the growth she saw in her two daughters, she trained in Washington D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio to become an AMI elementary guide.

In 1991 she founded a school in Bentonville, Arkansas, where she acted as a teaching administrator for 13 years, working with children ages two through 15 years.

In 2004 she began writing a syndicated newspaper column and blog, Kids Talk.  Her Kids Talk Newsletters are popular with families, teachers and school administrators all over the world.

Maren’s traveled the United States giving workshops at conferences and schools, drawing not only on her Montessori experiences, but her knowledge of business, organizational communications, and children’s literacy.

During her conference session she’ll share her perspective of how fundamental human needs affect our relationships with children.  

Maren hopes to show us that in spite of what we might think our children are doing, they aren’t misbehaving.

Toileting the Montessori Way - The Role of the adult

Experts agree that successful toilet training has a positive impact on a child's urge for independence. For a child the journey from total dependence to functional independence takes time and mastering all the skills involved builds their self-esteem, confidence and autonomy. A dynamic relationship exists between the adult who facilitates learning and the environment that offers exactly what the child needs at the appropriate time.

We will examine the keys ways the adult prepares and assists with patience and calm!

Ferne Van Zyl

Ferne’s Montessori journey began over 20 years ago as the owner and operator of Down Under 3, a Montessori based learning centre for babies and toddlers in Sydney, Australia. Through her work with parents and carers she began facilitating the hugely successful Faber and Mazlish parent workshops “How to Talk so Kids will Listen” and “Siblings without Rivalry” and developed a “Toileting Independence” workshop which earned her the nick-name “The Poo-Poo Guru”.

​Since founding The Independent Child in 2016 she has provided training and support for hundreds of families on setting up environments for independence, effective communication skills and practical strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour. In particular, her deep understanding, sense of humour, and ability to see opportunities and find solutions in just about any situation have seen her become highly sought after by parents who find themselves ‘stuck’ for ideas about how to deal with a particular issue. 

​Recognised for her personally developed Supporting Freedom and Self-Discipline workshop, her Independent Toileting program and her expertise in early childhood development and communication, she consults to parents all over the world as well as to early childhood educators and Montessori organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

The Whole-Brain Child in Action for 0-6: Your biggest questions answered

There is a lot of controversy, mixed information and confusion around many topics when it comes to parenting. It can be overwhelming for her parents of all ages. As the best-selling author of ‘The Bottom Line for Baby’, Dr Bryson is the perfect person to shed some light on some common concerns. We sat down with Dr Tina Bryson to get her opinion on some of these issues. 

Some of the topics addressed in this talk:

  • How to handle lying 
  • Tips for easier school-drop offs
  • Communicating about emotions
  • Advice on using pacifiers

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the author of the Bottom Line for Baby and co-author (with Dan Siegel) of two New York Times Best Sellers—The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline—each of which has been translated into over fifty languages, as well as The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world, and she frequently consults with schools, businesses, and other organizations.  An LCSW, Tina is a graduate of Baylor University with a Ph.D. from USC.  The most important part of her bio, she says, is that she’s a mom to her three boys. You can learn more about Dr. Bryson at

Heartful Inclusion of Montessori Learners with Exceptionalities

Nurturing children and youth who develop differently than their peers can make our hearts soar and bring us enormous depths of frustration. Ann’s presentation will identify key factors that contribute to the joys and challenges of guiding learners with exceptionalities. We will investigate principles of effective inclusion that apply to learners of all ages and identify Montessori-friendly supports for several aspects of difficult behaviors: tantrums and meltdowns (toddlers and primary), non-compliance (E1 and E2), and anxiety (early adolescence). 

Ann Epstein

Ann Epstein is Professor & Interim Director of the Special Education program at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in the Department of Educational Studies. She teaches course that address early childhood language & literacy, and Kindergarten curriculum & assessment. She also coordinates a Professional Development School field experience. Ann’s research interests include accommodations for young children with exceptionalities and interdisciplinary teaching. Ann was a Montessori teacher with 3 – 6-year-olds before completing her doctoral studies in early childhood special education. She is the editor of Montessori Inclusion - Strategies and Stories of Support for Learners with Exceptionalities (2020) published by Parent/Child Press.

Finding the Balance of Liberty and Discipline

We will examine the close relationship between Liberty and Discipline, affirming Montessori’s teaching that every problem in discipline has its roots in a lack of freedom. We will explore Montessori’s words on this matter and give examples of how to provide freedom to children of every age, with a focus on early childhood. 

It is freedom to choose and work undisturbed in the richly prepared environment that leads each child to the crowning achievement of becoming normalized. 

Mary Ellen Maunz

  • Founder and Program Director of Age of Montessori’s infant-toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher certification courses and pioneer in blended Montessori Teacher Education
  • Mother of three grown children
  • Holder of AMI certificate for 2-1/2 – 7, PAMS certificate for 6-12 and as Master Teacher, BS in Child Development and M.Ed. in Integrative education with Emphasis on Montessori
  • 50 years of experience in Montessori education, as toddler, early childhood and elementary teacher, administrator and teacher educator 
  • Co-author of Learning to Read is Child’s Play, 2001, Author of Nurturing Your Child’s Inner Life, 2012
  • Creator of more than 75 webinars and 4-week virtual courses on numerous aspects of Montessori education
  • International speaker and trainer, presenter on five continents, founder of Montessori early childhood training program in St. Petersburg, Russia 
  • 10 years as a Commissioner and Member Board of Directors, Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) 
  • 2015 Recipient of MACTE’s Wisdom of the Elders award 
  • Currently serves as a MACTE on-site evaluator

When not working, Mary Ellen is an avid photographer and loves to read, hike, travel, collect stamps and spend time with her children and close friends

Day 2 • November 16, 2021

Montessori for every family

We will talk about how families can create a Montessori inspired home whether or not they have their children enrolled in Montessori school for or attempting to homeschool. Unlike talks that look at how Montessori works in the classroom or as a  homeschooling strategy, this talk looks at the fundamental principles of Montessori and how they apply to family life regardless of the age of your children. In it we look at ways of parenting on the same page, thinking about your family values, organizing a schedule of family life and making time to spend with each other. One of the topics I cover is the weekly family meeting. 

Tim Seldin

Tim is the President of the Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. He is a co-founder of the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and Co-Director of its Montessori School Leadership Certification Program.

His more than forty years of experience in Montessori education includes twenty-two years as Headmaster of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was his own alma mater from age two through high school graduation. Tim was the co-founder and Director of the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies, the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and currently also serves as the Head of the New Gate School in Sarasota, Florida.  He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Georgetown University, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from The American University, and his Montessori certification from the American Montessori Society. Tim Seldin is the author of several books on Montessori Education, including his latest, How to Raise An Amazing Child, The Montessori Way with Dr. Paul Epstein, Building a World-class Montessori School, Finding the Perfect Match - Recruit and Retain Your Ideal Enrollment, Master Teachers - Model Programs, Starting a New Montessori School, Celebrations of Life, and The World in the Palm of Her Hand, Montessori for Every Family: A Practical Parenting Guide To Living, Loving, And Learning with Lorna McGrath

Tim is the father and step-father to five former Montessori students, and the grandfather of a new generation of Montessori students. He lives on a small vineyard north of Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Joyce St. Giermaine, their many horses, dogs, and cats.

Unleashing Creativity with Montessori

It's Montessori's best kept secret: independence isn't the end goal! In fact, nourishing every child with their unique potentialities yields a stunning rainbow of outcomes for children. In this workshop, we'll be focusing on how the Montessori method in particular can help unleash the creative spirit that exists inside every single child and adult. For all ages. 

Aubrey Hargis

Aubrey Hargis, M.Ed. is a parent coach and educational consultant best known for her empathetic approach and appreciation for the magic of childhood. As a life-long Montessori advocate and AMS certified guide, her passion has always been to bring Montessori into the mainstream.

As the founder of Child of the Redwoods, she creates online courses and coaches parents in compassionate discipline techniques and Montessori education.

Aubrey lives with her husband and two homeschooled children under a blanket of San Francisco fog, where the coastal cliffs and nearby redwood trails are always beckoning for another adventure.

Caring Begins With Self-Care

Are you a teacher or a parent that is feeling worn out, always thinking of others and when you think about you, there is no free time left? In fact if there was any free time left, you are so exhausted to do anything anyway ? 

In this conference you will learn tools of self care, reconnect with yourself, in fact never feel guilty again for putting yourself in first place. I will help you create a self- care program that you will constantly use and always show up for yourself.  You will even do inner healing and feel empowered to leave behind obstacles that are prohibiting you to be free from energy of others that are not contributing to your life. Lastly how to hear your own voice and speak up for yourself.

Join me as we connect with the most important person in your life , YOU!

Val Alino

Montessori leader, Life, Spiritual and Conscious Parenting Coach, Motivational Speaker who has empowered thousands of leaders, teachers, parents and children to heal, evolve, grow, transform and unlock their full potential.

Keynote Speaker on The Conscious Parenting Method Certified by Dr. Shefali and NLP practitioner by Richard Bandler, guide, ran her own Montessori school for over 10 years.

She has participated in congresses and coaching forums in Dubai, Singapore, USA, Peru, Europe and as speaker and MC of “World Speech Day” for more than 103 countries around the world. She has taught conferences to more than 15 universities in U.S.A and Latin America.

She has been an International Consultant for Higher Ground Education. Val is an expert in conscious leadership and educational project management, with a strong track record in creating income-generating educational programs and increasing enrolment and desirability of those programs for international educational institutions and world-class organizations.

Over her 30 years of practice as Coach and educator she has empowered families and teams from USA, India, Spain, Uk, Nigeria, Mexico, Peru and Columbia to enjoy their parenting journey and create harmonious peaceful families through mindfulness, meditation, spiritual intelligence and emotional management.

Understand your Child’s Behavior and Create Lifelong Connections

Are you annoyed, disappointed of feel threatened by your child’s behavior? 

In this workshop you will understand once and for all the beliefs behind those behaviors and create true meaningful connections that will last a lifetime. 

Jeanne-Marie Paynel, a Parenting Mentor and expert in blending Montessori principles and Positive Discipline will help you uncover the true meaning behind your child’s behavior and show you how you can best use this information to raise confident, compassionate and resilient children. 

Jeanne-Marie Paynel

Jeanne-Marie Paynel, M.Ed, is a Parenting Mentor and Home Consultant guiding parents to let go of feeling overwhelmed and enjoy raising self-sufficient and resilient children with ease.

She’s the host of The Art of Parenting podcast and founder of Your Parenting Mentor (formerly Voila Montessori) where she guides expectant parents, caregivers, and parents of young children to prepare their homes and themselves for children to thrive during the first years of life. 

She believes that a supportive and peaceful atmosphere at home will allow every child to flourish as an independent confident and capable learner. She combines her three passions: Montessori, Conscious Parenting, and Positive Discipline.

Her mission is to help parents appreciate the true importance of their role - not as servants or teachers, but as supporters and guides of their children's natural development.

Growing in the Rain: A Montessori Wellness Perspective

As we walk in the rain of current challenges, it is time to prioritize the physical, mental and socio-emotional wellbeing of children and adults alike. For this, movement is key, as a form of self-care and a foundation of wellness.

In this presentation, we will explore how to turn today’s challenges like social distancing into learning opportunities in areas like self-care, nature connectedness and solidarity, while also building physical literacy the Montessori way. And we will see how the further incorporation of wellness-related concepts and activities into the learning experience can help us all better navigate life in uncertain times.

Barbara Murphy, PhD

Passionate about education, Barbara holds a PhD from Northwestern University and a Montessori certificate from CGMS. As the mother of two while living in Italy, she fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. Now the founder of Montessori Gym, Barbara is on a mission to support wellness in Montessori.

Following the Child: The Montessori Infant

Feeding, changing, sleep, wake time. How long? How much? Is this enough? Is this right? Life with an infant is like a puzzle to solve, or is it? Could it be that there’s more to infancy than timing everything just perfectly and checking off all the boxes?

In this workshop we will take a look at how responsive caregiving can transform the adult-child relationship during the infant’s first year of life. What does it actually look like to “follow” an infant? What can we learn about supporting infants through observation? Is it possible to let an infant lead? What does this look like in practice?

Join me to take a look at not only why Dr. Montessori’s broader principles can apply to infants, but just how you can implement these practices at home with the infant in your care.

Amy Dorsch

Amy is a passionate Montessorian and mother-of-three. Since she began studying Montessori nearly a decade ago, her commitment to the first plane of development via the child’s home environment has only grown. With experience and training from the Montessori lens, collegiate studies in human development and education, and in the research and methods of Dr. Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber, Amy seeks to unite scientific methods with real life parenting. Through her work she hopes to break down barriers, clear misconceptions, and get to the
heart of Montessori, what she believes is the heart of a Mother. Parents, grandparents, mothers, fathers, and caregivers can find accessible ways of bringing Montessori home through Amy’s work at Montessori Like a Mother.

Day 3 • November 17, 2021

The Sensory Bridge

Sensorial education is at the heart of the Montessori approach. Join Michael to explore the central meaning and content of the Sensorial area. Then he will discuss the connections or bridge between Sensorial for the Children's House and the Mathematics and Language areas in the Elementary program. Be prepared for new insights as well as strengthening your current understanding.

Michael Dorer

Michael Dorer is a Senior Consultant in the Montessori Foundation and Executive Director of Sarasota University’s Montessori programs. He is credentialed by AMI, AMS and Independent. Additionally, Michael has a doctorate in Instructional Leadership. Michael’s pedagogical interests include imagination, holism, classroom leadership, cosmic education, mathematics, and storytelling. He is very active in school consultation and presenting to schools and conferences. 

Michael is very involved in teaching online classes. One of these classes is You Can Teach it All. This is a course on curriculum management for elementary Montessori guides. 

The other course is The Great Lessons: Inspiring a Sense of Wonder. This is a course for anyone at all interested in the Great Lessons.  

Michael has authored two books, The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom and his latest, an illustrated children’s book, Hatching the Cosmic Egg. Presently Michael is working on a new book focusing on Storytelling in Montessori Grammar.

This is Michael’s 50th year of activity in Montessori.

Why Do They Do That? Understanding the Roots of Misbehavior

Dr. Montessori taught that all behavior is purposeful; that their behavior was goal oriented.  But that doesn't mean that children's behavior is conscious. If you ask a child why they misbehave, they will not be able to tell you, because they don't know.  It is a puzzle that we must solve.  Without the tools to solve this puzzle, however, adults often find themselves trying to stop misbehavior through a variety of short-term, ineffective approaches.  In this workshop you will learn to solve the mystery of why children misbehave and discover tools to help them make positive, long term change and help them find a sense of belonging and significance in their classroom community.  

"Rewards and punishments are the worst enemies of the natural development of the child," ~ Maria Montessori.  

Chip de Lorenzo

Chip DeLorenzo is a consultant and trainer, and the co-author of Positive Discipline in the Montessori Classroom, with Jane Nelsen.  Chip has been a Montessori educator and leader for over 25 years.  He holds Montessori certifications in both Primary (3-6) and Elementary (6-12), and has extensive experience with Montessori adolescents. 

Chip recently retired, after 20 years as the Head of School from the Damariscotta Montessori School, in Nobleboro, Maine.  He has worked with thousands of Montessori teachers and parents over the years teaching the principles and tools of Positive Discipline in Montessori settings. Chip and his wife, Kathy, and four Montessori children live in Maine.

Your arms are the womb for the second embryonic life: the basic needs of babies

How often have you heard someone say this: "Don't pick up your baby or she'll be spoiled and every time she cries she will expect you to hold her in your arms. Don't let the baby manipulate you like that." Holding a baby in your arms is really holding her in your external womb, the only environment that offers your baby safety and protection, just as the womb had done for her little tiny developing body. I will talk about what babies need in order to feel safe and satisfied by life, following natures plan for how they are designed to grow. This means the baby's play space must be adapted to suit how she is going to learn to control her body. But we must also consider her social and emotional environment, which is made up of the adults in her life who are providing for the needs of this SPIRITUAL EMBRYO. By offering our arms as "home" until we witness the birth of this second embryo, the conscious child, we are in effect changing social patterns and perhaps even healing ourselves as well.

Karin Slabaugh

Karin earned an AMI 0-3 Diploma in 2004 with Silvana Montanaro and Maria Teresa Vidales. In 2010, she traveled to Italy and discovered the history of the Assistants to Infancy Montessori School, founded in 1947, and the Montessori Birth Center, founded in 1958, and the rich story of the life of Adele Costa Gnocchi. Karin met Anna Gambacurta Di Palermo who worked with newborns and families for over 50 years, and Grazia Honegger Fresco who earned a diploma from Maria Montessori in 1951 and from Adele Costa Gnocchi's Assistants to Infancy Montessori School in 1949. Since 2012, she has studied with and followed Grazia Honegger Fresco, and spent two years observing newborns. Karin, through observations in various programs under Grazia's guidance, has deepened her understanding of the work with the littlest ones which Grazia defines as ”the alphabet of human work” and “the origin of the Cosmic Task,” which Montessori said is the protection of our biosphere. In collaboration with Grazia and her colleagues, Karin brought this work to the AMI International Montessori Congress in Portland in 2013 and Prague in 2017.

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Click here to watch a short video on YouTube about my Childhood Potential talk and about the Basic Needs of Babies Course and Workshop

Karin Slabaugh is offering this online course: the Basic Needs of Babies from Jan-May 2022. More information is available at Montessori For Life . If you sign up between November 17-21st you will receive a link to access a free downloadable kindle copy of a book used on the Course: The basic needs of the woman in labor. The online course format is a "prepared environment" of diverse "materials" that are available for you to watch and read at your own pace. There is also a workshop to accompany the course, with a separate sign up and a limited enrolment, that will follow the same schedule as the course. New materials will be posted for each topic every three weeks. The course opens with access to the materials on January 4, 2022. 

Karin's Happy Babies Happy Families coaching and mentoring for parents looks at what will make your relationship more harmonious between you and your child. The wellbeing of the child and the wellbeing of the parents are deeply intertwined. She has been working with the youngest children and their parents since 1995.

 Happy Babies Happy Families: mentoring for peacefull relationships

Listen and Observe: Tools for Communicating with Children

Whether or not we’re aware, we’re always communicating, the children are always communicating. What is this child telling me? What — if anything — do I need to do about it?

What am I observing? How could I interpret this child’s behavior? Am I contributing to the challenge I’m trying to address? And, of course, verbal communication tools.

This video is a companion to the course “Following the Child Into the Future,” available through Childhood Potential.

Charlotte Snyder

Charlotte Snyder is Head of School at The Baan Dek Montessori in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She attended Montessori through Elementary in California, and completed the Primary training at Montessori Northwest in 2010, and earned a Master of Education degree from Loyola University Maryland. She particularly enjoys sharing Montessori philosophy and building relationships with families on Baan Dek’s blog and podcast.

Building Capacity for Montessori Inclusion with a Social Pediatric Developmental Approach

This presentation will offer an overview of:

  • the compelling reasons to build capacity for inclusion in your Montessori setting
  • the Social Pediatric Developmental Approach
  • tips and ideas for developing a successful inclusion program or enhancing your already existing program
  • where to find the resources you will need

Barbara Luborsky

Barbara Luborsky, OTR/L is a Developmental Occupational Therapist who has been working with Montessori schools and programs for the past several years, supporting inclusion. With her Montessori collaborator, Catherine Massie, the Montessori Medical Partnership for Inclusion was formed in 2018 and the website was opened. Barbara has spoken at Montessori conferences and trainings around the world, including NAMTA conferences in 2014 and 2016 and the International Montessori Congress in Prague, in 2017. Barbara continues to learn about the commonalities and differences of Montessori and occupational therapy, which offer a wonderful partnership for supporting all children in Montessori settings.

Learning a Second or Third Language in the First Plane of Development

How can we best introduce a second or third language to a child under the age of six? Does bilingualism cause language delays? What are some ways that we can support children’s literacy skills in multiple languages? In this lecture, we’ll discuss different methods for raising bilingual children, Montessori language development principles to keep in mind when introducing additional languages, and ways to support children’s linguistic and cultural identities. We will also touch upon different models of bilingual education to be aware of when exploring schooling options.

Gabrielle Kotkov

Gabrielle Kotkov is the creator of the Multilingual Montessori website and Instagram and host of the Multilingual Montessori Podcast. She earned her AMI 3-6 Diploma at the Maria Montessori Institute in London, England, and has taught in Montessori schools in NYC, London, and Austin, Texas. She holds a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and a TESOL Certificate from Columbia University, and is earning a Masters in Child Studies from Linköping University in Sweden. She completed a Fulbright Grant teaching English to Italian high schoolers in Catania, Sicily. Gabrielle is fluent in English and Italian, and also speaks French and a bit of Spanish. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

Day 4 • November 18, 2021

Diversity, inclusion and equity

An equitable, inclusive and diverse environment is so incredibly important. We sat down with Dr Mogaji to talk about just how much of a role it plays in a child’s development. 

Dr Mogaji discusses the role of the adult, as well as family and the importance they play in maintaining an equitable educational environment. She also shares advice and practical tips to guide you in establishing an inclusive education setting.

Dr. Amira Mogaji

Dr. Amira Mogaji is the President of the American Montessori Society (AMS) Board of Directors and a Montessori for Social Justice Board of Directors founding board member. Amira serves as an AMS Board liaison for the AMS Peace and Social Justice Committee, chairs the AMS board executive committee, and is a member of the directorship committee. Amira served as CEO/Head of School of Philadelphia Montessori Charter School, the principal of an AMS accredited Northglade Montessori Magnet School within an urban school district as well as the chief academic officer City Garden Montessori School, an anti-bias, anti-racist (ABAR) focused Montessori school. She has served as a Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) facilitator, served as a member of the school district's Anti-Racism Team, and is a member of the ERACCE: Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity board of directors in Kalamazoo, MI. Dr. Mogaji currently serves as a District Transformation Coach (DTC), supporting school principals in educational equity and systems planning in an urban school district in southwest Michigan. Amira is a Montessori parent and an ABAR educational consultant. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).

10 Guiding Montessori Principles & Overcoming the Challenges we face

So often the Montessori practice is misunderstood to only be about the wooden materials, the ‘Pinterest-perfect’ shelf or the strict adherence to the methodology without flexibility.

In this session we go back to the basics of the Montessori method and focus on the fundamental principles that guide us in fostering independent, capable children – all while understanding how to easily adapt the method into our everyday lives. 

Some of our core deep-dive topics include:

  • Going back to the essence of Montessori and its method and understanding what they really mean to us
  •  Discussing the 10 guiding principles and the challenges that parents or educators face trying to implement them
  • We will share some tips and solutions as to how to recenter yourself and regroup, so you can truly practice what you preach
  •  We will also share how to access a poster containing these guiding principles; hang it up in your space, and allow it to become part of your daily rhythm! 

These Montessori affirmations will serve as a deep reminder that "The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind" - Maria Montessori. 

Looking forward to sharing more with you in my session! 

Sylvia Arotin

Sylvia Arotin has had over 11 years experience in Montessori teaching and is the founder and director of My Montessori (0-6 yrs) school in Sydney, Australia. She also sits on the Board of Directors for MSCA (Montessori Schools and Centres Australia). Her passion for children’s learning and development, as well as supporting and educating adults, has been fundamental in developing her well-established Guide & Grow brand. 

Guide & Grow is the largest online Montessori support platform for parents/educators in the world with over 205,000 members in the village. Guide & Grow helps parents and educators to build their skill set through NESA accredited workshops, online resources & training seminars; specializing in the art of Montessori communication, guiding behaviour & building children’s skill set. 

Her wealth of knowledge and drive has helped paved her way to success throughout the years. She holds an International Montessori 0-3yrs training, 3-6 AMI Assistants training, an International Communications degree and a Masters in Teaching specializing in early childhood (0-5 yrs) (Honours) from Macquarie University. Sylvia is truly an inspirational motivator to all those who cross her path, be it educators, parents or the wider community and she looks forward to continuing her global mission of spreading authentic Montessori in the years to come. You can contact Sylvia through

Combining Montessori method with therapeutic strategies for students with learning differences

This lecture will include the Montessori strategies, which are beneficial to students who learn differently; including oral language disorders, the specific learning difference dyslexia, attention disorders, autism, and the range of intellectual ability.  Dr. Montessori’s medical-scientific pedagogy is based on a comprehensive understanding of child development and observations of children using the scientific method of hypothesis, experiment, analysis, and conclusion of effective strategies.

Combining Dr. Montessori’s method with current research on learning differences and therapeutic approaches provides the Montessori guide with effective multisensory strategies. These strategies increase the potential of children to reach the developmental levels of typically developing children and allow all children to experience success in learning.

Michelle Lane-Barmapov

Michelle Lane-Barmapov was the founder of the Lane Montessori School for Autism (2003-2010). In 2005, Michelle was awarded The Premier’s Award from the Ontario government in recognition of her outstanding work in special education and Montessori. Michelle, who attended Montessori as a child, works as a Professor for the Faculty of Applied Health and Community at Sheridan College. She also lectures on her Montessori ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapy program and has been a keynote speaker for conferences in various cities in Canada, the United States, Australia, China and Czech Republic. She co-chairs the advisory board for MMPI (Montessori Medical Partnership for Inclusion) with Dr Joyce Pickering. Michelle is currently working on her Doctorate in Health at the University of Bath (UK). She has a Master of Health Studies as well as certification in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for children and youth. She is an AMS credentialed Montessori teacher (early childhood) and a registered early childhood educator. Her thesis research won the 2017 AMS Master Thesis Award. Michelle is also a board member of MJDS (Montessori Jewish Day School), a not-for-profit Montessori School in Toronto. 

Dr. Joyce S. Pickering

a 40-year Montessorian, speech and hearing pathologist, and learning disabilities specialist who has devoted her life to addressing the needs of students with learning differences.

Currently, Joyce is Executive Director Emerita of Shelton School & Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest independent school for intelligent children with learning differences.

Under Joyce’s tenure as executive director (1990 – 2010), Shelton saw significant growth and development, including an expansion of the application of the Montessori philosophy and practice and, in 2009, the launching of Shelton Montessori Teacher Education. Joyce also oversaw the creation of an outreach center that annually responds to more than 27,000 requests for information and resources and the development of a unique collaboration between Shelton, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and The University of Texas Dallas’s Center for Brain Health.

Joyce is the 2013 Living Legacy Recipient for American Montessori Society (AMS) as well as President of AMS Board of Directors and an active member of several AMS committees. MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) awarded the Wisdom of the Elders award to Joyce in 2015. She is also an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University, a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and a committee member for accreditation of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Joyce has traveled the world to present classes and keynote speeches about Montessori education and how to meet the needs of learning-different students.  Joyce is married to Dr. Robert Pickering, a former AMS president. She has five children and 13 grandchildren.

Joyce’s book, Montessori Strategies for Children with Learning Differences: The MACAR Model, was written with her friend Sylvia O. Richardson and was published by Parent Child Press in 2019. It is also sold on Amazon.

Nurturing the child's growth mindset

One of the many aspects that make the Montessori method unique is how it fosters an intrinsic love for learning from birth. Dr. Montessori observed in young children a natural inclination to independently seek knowledge and be motivated by their findings to learn even more. This internal motivation to learn is what modern science defines as a growth mindset, one that can help children persist through challenges, be intrigued by them, and help them focus on the problem-solving and effort required to keep learning. Join me as we explore take home strategies to activate an internal motivation to learn right within our home, with Montessori and science in mind. We will discuss:

  • Shifting from praise to acknowledgment to foster motivation from within
  • Preparing an environment that fosters positive, independent learning experiences
  • Practicing what we preach, modeling a growth mindset in your own parenting

Blanca Velazquez-Martin

Blanca Velazquez-Martin is the founder of  Whole Child Home , an online educational platform that offers research-informed tools for parents to support the young child’s emotional development at home with Montessori and Positive Parenting in mind. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed professional counselor in the United States with almost a decade of focus on evidence-based practices to support children’s socioemotional health (as a clinician and a social science researcher). She is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and holds a certification for Montessori in the Home from the Prepared Montessorian Institute.

Inspired by her journey as a behavioral health professional and parent, Blanca founded @whole.child.home on Instagram in March 2020 with one goal in mind: to empower parents at home during pandemic, grounded on Montessori’s belief of the prepared adult as the child’s most important guide. She now has supported parents all over the world through her live webinars and 1:1 parent consultations.

Blanca is originally from Mexico City and supports families in both English and Spanish. She was a Montessori child herself, and now implements Montessori parenting and education with her toddler at home.

Handling Strong Emotions, The Child’s & Our Own

Dealing with difficult situations and strong emotions is not so easy for children, or for us as their guides.

From the child who is learning how to use his words instead of his hands to the teacher or parent who is developing the self-discipline to not turn into “that nagging mom”, we all have room for growth as human beings.

In this talk we cover ways to help children gain greater understanding of their feelings while we also work on delving deeper into our own. The result is less stress and more calm, in children and in ourselves.

Jesse McCarthy

Jesse McCarthy, founder of and host of ‘The Montessori Education Podcast’, has worked with thousands of children, parents, teachers and administrators over the past 15+ years — as a principal for infants to 8th graders, an executive with a nationwide group of private schools, an elementary & junior-high teacher, and a parent-and-teacher mentor.

Jesse received his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his Montessori teacher's diploma for 3- to 6-year-olds from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the organization founded by Dr. Maria Montessori.

A Day in the Life of Montessori With Twins

Join us for a day in the life of 2 year old fraternal twins, Jax & Juju. With two completely different personalities, following the lead & respecting the individuality of each child brings about a special dynamic within this Montessori home. We will share a bit of our daily routine, how we’ve come to value and prioritize one-on-one time with each child, navigating fun practical life activities with same-aged siblings, and of course a bit of shelf work with twins.


Ana-Kay is a stay-at-home, self-taught Montessori Mommy to two year old twins Jax & Juju. With a passion for film and the arts, she once worked as a television producer in her native Kingston, Jamaica. Now living in the U.S. with her Husband Adrian, she uses her love of film production to document and share their Montessori lifestyle on Instagram, in hopes of
motivating families worldwide. Learning more as she goes, Ana-Kay prioritizes parenting with a Montessori mindset over seeking perfection.
Follow us on Instagram @pickneys_at_play!

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Day 5• November 19, 2021

Observe to learn ... and not correct!

We know observation is the Montessori method. But why should we observe? What is the purpose of observation? 

Dr. Montessori answered, we observe to “guide the development of the child’s spirit.” We do not observe to correct. Dr. Montessori taught, “It is not a teacher who makes him notice his mistakes and shows him how to correct it, but it is a complex work of the child's own intelligence which leads to such a result.”

During this presentation, Dr. Paul Epstein will define “the child’s spirit.” Paul will describe his C.O.R.E. observation learning system and how using this system results with learning about children … and ourselves. When we learn, we become, in Dr. Montessori’s words, “joyous observers” who guide children more effectively. 

Dr. Paul Epstein

Paul is the educational director of Designs for Lifelong Learning. He has worked in education as an administrator, university professor, teacher trainer, classroom teacher, researcher, consultant, and author.

A highly regarded international and inspirational speaker, Paul brings transformative learning experiences to educators and parents throughout the world. He is the author of numerous articles and books including An Observer’s Notebook: Learning from Children with the Observation C.O.R.E. He is also the co-author of The 60-Day Montessori Observation Workbook and The Montessori Way, a definitive work on the Montessori experience.

His administrative experiences include working as a head of Montessori schools, and he brought the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program to one of the schools. Paul also works as a director and instructor of Montessori teacher education programs. He has been a Montessori classroom teacher in Montessori early childhood, middle, and high school programs.

Paul holds Montessori teacher certification in early childhood and secondary levels one and two from the American Montessori Society and his doctorate is in Cultural Anthropology.

The importance of movement in the foundation of healthy risk-taking for children under three

Movement is one of the characteristics of human beings and one of the psychic organs that the spiritual embryo will develop during the first years of life. Movement is action, energy, and pushing forward to encounter the future. Movement awakens and activates many of our mental capacities, as well as integrating and anchoring new information and experience into our neural network.

Risk-taking in children under three is closely related to movement. Every day a child takes risks in order to gain experience and knowledge about the world and himself, and nature has a central role in a child’s development. Healthy risk-taking can’t be taught but is a skill we must develop as human beings.

Gabriela Velázquez

Gabriela’s Montessori journey began as a child. Her mother was a Montessori teacher, so she grew up attending Montessori schools in México. It was only natural that she also decided to pursue a career in Montessori education upon reaching adulthood. After completing her degree in Early Childhood Education, she earned the AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma.  She would go on to work for more than 20 years in Montessori schools in México and the United States. Gabriela completed the demanding AMI Training of Trainers program to be named an AMI Trainer at the level of 0-3 Assistants to infancy.  She has worked on 0-3 teacher-training courses in Argentina, Denver, San Diego, and Taiwan.

Recently presented 0-3 Assistant Certificate courses in Phoenix, China, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico.  She serves as a lecturer, consultant, and examiner for AMI, and she is the Director of Training at Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Mesa, Arizona. Instituto Montessori Valencia in Valencia, Spain, and at the Montessori Training Center Poznan in Poznan, Poland.

The magic of Montessori approach in water

Why just think of WATER as an element to take for granted, that is there to simply all round us, to wash in or to swim in?

Jo Wilson the founder of Aqua Sensory and I am looking forward to connecting with you to present the Magic of the Montessori approach in water. 

In my talk I am going to take you through how WATER can be our third teacher, share with you how the Montessori principles like respect, following the child and encouraging independence, can be weaved through our home environment, and learning environments through the magical element of water. Which like our children who are sensorial learners, water is also multi-sensory.

For me Montessori is very much an ethos that can be engrained through our lives. I am looking to take you through some of my favourite sensory discovery play activities which can easily be adapted for the home, the classroom and the pool. 

My presentation is a deep dive into life’s very essence. I want to leave you with more of a way of connection. I believe if we guide our children and allow water to be our teacher, we are helping our children reach their full potential, the magic of Montessori approach can help us become respectful, caring to ourselves and others and guide our children to become stewards of our world.

Jo Wilson

Jo Wilson is an International Aquatic Professional, Tutor for the STA (Swimming Teachers Association), Founder of Aqua Sensory and Developmental Play Practitioner based in the UK, who works with babies and early years children at their two-purpose built family swim centres, Swim Works in Warwickshire.

Jo has been privileged to talk at many International Conferences and webinars, to share her passion to swim families and professionals.

Aqua Sensory was founded in 2013 to support the precious foundation years for babies and early years children. Jo noticed that the world was changing and in response children’s development and ability to learn to swim in the pool was changing too. Aqua Sensory supports our changing world, our program is a new pedagogy for the pool; a child-led and developmental approach to water play and swimming. 

Aqua Sensory shares the principles of Montessori and is on a mission with a big vision to share the premise that; “The pool is more than a place to swim, it is also an aquatic classroom that is full of many sensory discoveries and play opportunities.” Jo Wilson.

How to introduce sandpaper letters/numbers using sign bilingualism approach

The main aim of Sign Bilingualism is to allow a Deaf or hearing child eg Coda (Child of Deaf Adults) or child with ASD) to communicate fully without relying on hearing. As Deaf parents who use Auslan to communicate with our 2 years old Coda daughter on a daily basis, we believe that she is able to learn to write and read through her first language Auslan. Montessori can work with a bilingual approach to learning. Bilingual education is done by using Auslan and written/reading English.

Ashton Jean-Pierre

We are raising a bilingual, bicultural child who is a Coda (child of Deaf adults). I hail from the UK, bravely migrated Down Under a few years ago (snake phobia, haven’t seen one yet). Miss O’s life is embedded with Deaf culture, Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as well as Dominican* influence which plays a big role in our Montessori journey.  This IG is an insight to our daily lives incorporating practical life, Montessori approaches inside and outside the home, and communication. The purpose of this is to share fun ideas, strategies and worthwhile tips in the hope that you will be inspired too. *Dominica, not Dominica Republic. Entirely two different countries, have a look on the world map!

Reduce Power Struggles By Preparing Your Home

Creating yes spaces throughout your home will help reduce power struggles and foster independence in your young child. These small changes will create HUGE benefits for you and your child that will last a lifetime!

Holly Daniel

Holly is an education consultant for modern-day parents, using step by step guides to bring Montessori into more homes. She's been featured in Motherly and Montessori Rocks where she shares her love for Montessori. Over the past 4 years, she's helped thousands of parents and carers bring Montessori into their homes by providing the support and training to get started quickly and easily with her membership, The Montessori Learning Center.

Day 6• November 20, 2021

“The story of elements” How to spark your child’s interest in Chemistry from their early years through elementary

“Wherever there is a child there is curiosity and where there is curiosity there is Science.” (Howitt & Blake, 2010, p. 3)

So, what comes to your mind when you think of chemistry? Classically, we may think of a scientist and lots of bubbling beakers, and yes there is truth into that to enjoy! However, chemistry involves everything around us!

In this workshop you will:

  • Have an overview of the story of elements that will spark the curiosity of little, young learners, and even adults! Storytelling is a powerful tool, even if it’s all about Chemistry.
  • Learn ways and activities to engage the child in Chemistry from an early age
  • Encourage children to use their senses to observe the world around them and ask scientific questions
  • Connect Chemistry to real life applications and practical life activities that children can do in their class or homeschool.

Dina Ahmed

Dina is a MACTE certified Montessori educator with over 10 years of experience in teaching. She is the founder of Montessori Tube Academy, an organization that offers homeschooling parents and teachers easy to follow Montessori courses and resources for 3-12 age group. Dina is passionate for working with young learners helping each child progress in all areas of their development. She takes keen interest in offering a sensorial experience to the child in all age groups. 

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: Your questions answered

Julie and Joanna are best-selling authors of How To Talk When Kids Won’t Listen and How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen. We asked you, our followers on Instagram, what questions you would like to ask Julie and Joanna. In this video, we ask them your questions. Julie and Joanna give practical advice and helpful tips for a variety of scenarios.

Some of the topics covered:

  •  Boundaries at grandparents house
  • Sharing between siblings
  • Night time routine
  • Screen time

Julie King and Joanna Faber

Joanna Faber and Julie King are the authors of the new book, How To Talk When Kids Won’t Listen: Whining, Fighting, Meltdowns, Defiance, & Other Challenges of Childhood, as well as the best-selling book, How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, which has been translated into 22 languages world-wide. They created the app HOW TO TALK: Parenting Tips in Your Pocket, a companion to their book, as well as the app Parenting Hero. Together they speak to schools, businesses and parent groups nationally and internationally, they lead "How To Talk" workshops and support groups online and in person, and provide private consultations. Joanna, a former special education teacher, has also contributed heavily to books co-authored by her mother, Adele Faber, including How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and How To Talk So Kids Will Learn. Julie has been leading workshops for over 25 years, and has also tailored the workshop for parents and professionals who live or work with neurodiverse children. Visit Joanna and Julie at, on Facebook @faberandking or on Instagram @howtotalk.forparents.

The Montessori Influence: Demystifying Montessori Lingo

How much time do you spend interpreting terminology on social media? In the age of information overload, it can become difficult to decipher what's what. Don't be discouraged. In this chat we will discuss popular terminology and Montessori lingo and why it is sometimes so difficult to decipher...even by Montessorians themselves! You'll walk away with some good laughs and clarity to support you with streamlining all those resources you already have and with a direction on how to get the information you need by knowing what to look for.

Some of the fun lingo to be covered:

  • What's the difference? Montessori Homeschool vs Montessori at Home vs Montessori classroom
  • Is Montessori Parenting a "thing"?
  • Albums, manuals, and curriculum ... oh my!
  • What on earth is a scope & sequence? and how is that different from a curriculum or a flow chart?
  • What does it mean to follow the child?
  • Interest-led learning vs. child-led learning
    and more!

Lynda Apostol

Lynda Apostol (M.Ed) is the voice, coach & influence behind The Montessori Teacher, LLC. Her professional experience includes roles as a teacher, instructional coach and administrator in the public, private, and charter education sectors in both Montessori and Traditional approaches. She credits both her education and the diversity in her experience for lending her an unmatched perspective and informed understanding of curriculum & instruction as it applies not only to the child, but the guide/teacher.

Lynda now homeschools both of her children and serves as a highly sought-after Holistic Montessori Coach to parents around the world seeking to homeschool or worldschool with the Montessori Method. She also supports educators and educational organizations as a speaker & Holistic Education Consultant.

Lynda’s social media platforms seek to inform, educate and advocate toward a long-term vision of creating more inclusive Montessori cyberspaces that celebrate diversity and promote the global perspective with cultural competence.

Beyond the Shelf: 10 Things Your Montessori Child ACTUALLY Needs!

If you’re a parent, then this one's for you! You have full permission to forget about your child’s work shelf for a few moments… and instead, we’re going to dig a little deeper to discover the foundation of authentic, effective Montessori parenting—without which, the shelf would be rendered useless anyway. In this lecture, you’ll learn about ten things your child actually needs from you (that aren’t toys!), so that you can spend less time worrying about shelf rotations and more time finding the joy of parenthood.

Ashley Yeh

Ashley Yeh, M.Ed. is a certified Montessori guide for infants and toddlers, a Positive Discipline Parent Educator, and spent several years working as an educator in public classrooms. She has a deep passion and respect for the Montessori approach, having raised her own two children using Montessori principles from infancy. Ashley has inspired thousands of families around the world to bring Montessori into their homes via her YouTube channel, articles, and online courses. She also recently wrote a new book called, “The Montessori Home: Create a Space for Your Child to Thrive”, which is currently available for pre-order at and with most major book retailers.

Social Media Channels:


Online Courses:


Instagram: @hapafamilyvlog

How to Really Know Your Child: Observation and Transformation for Parents of Preschoolers

All parents love their child unconditionally, but do they really see and understand their child’s inner secrets? Should they? Dr. Maria Montessori wrote extensively on the importance of observation as the vehicle for awareness of the child, yet busy and preoccupied teachers and parents often find they have little time for close observation or know what to do with the things they see when they do watch closely.

In this workshop, you’ll learn tips and tools you can use right away for quality observing, interpreting what you see, and deciding what to do with the information you gather so you can develop the kind of perceptive and empathetic awareness that leads to quality connection with your child for years to come.

Claudia Mann

Claudia Mann has been enchanted with Montessori education since 1976. Certified Elementary I, II and Secondary I, she guided children and adults in classrooms and schools to be passionate learners, sustaining Cosmic Education as the heart of the Montessori vision. After more than 25 years in the classroom, Ms. Mann founded the Chaffee County Montessori School in Salida, CO. Ms. Mann currently coaches teachers and school leaders both onsite and online through and

Why Montessori ideologies should be made mainstream

Joy has extensive experience as a student, teacher and administrator in traditional schools. This gave her amazing insights into the workings of mainstream education, from the perspective of both a student and an educator. Now, Joy is preparing to Montessori homeschool her daughter. 

In this talk, we discuss Joy’s journey in mainstream settings and how this led her to Montessori. Joy will share her belief of why Montessori ideologies should be made mainstream, as well as sharing practical tips on how to do so. 

Joy Marilie Jackson

Joy Marilie Jackson is a native New Yorker with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, a Master’s Degree in Early Education and nearly 20 years of experience in Arts education, curriculum development and leadership. She now works as an arts and enrichment consultant for several schools and arts organizations. Additionally, she manages two Instagram pages where she shares her Montessori- inspired and conscious parenting lifestyle. 

In these Turbulent Times What is the One Thing a Child Needs to Know?

Occurrences like the death of George Floyd, the emergence of the corona virus, the national debt, controversial ideas, and the fear of totalitarianism has plunged us into some turbulent times. The chaos that we see in the world today is because there is one thing that adults were not taught when they were children. As parents and educators, what do we need to give children?  What is the one essential thing children need to learn so that no matter what the future holds, they will be able to handle it? This talk answers that question, and explains why and how the Montessori Method meets the requirements for developing the child’s capacity to learn it, and why progressive education does not meet those requirements.

Charlotte Cushman

Charlotte has: a B.S. degree in elementary education, both AMI and AMS Montessori certifications, over 40 years teaching experience, and co-owned and operated two Montessori schools.  She speaks to the general public on education and authored Montessori: Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success and Happiness, Effective Discipline the Montessori Way, and Your Life Belongs to You.

Day 7• November 21, 2021

Time to Play!

"Play is the work of the child" says Montessori. 

What did she mean? What is play? Why is it important? 

What do children learn when they play? 

How can we, as parents and educators, facilitate children's play? 

Sony Vasandani

Sony is a passionate early childhood educator on a mission to share Montessori in the remote areas of Indonesia and the world.

She is the founder & CEO of Sunshine Teachers' Training (STT), Indonesia. STT offers a Diploma in Montessori Education (3-6 years) and other short Montessori courses. She has a Masters in Education from the University of Queensland, Australia; a Diploma in Montessori Education from MCI, London; a Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology from the College of Allied Educators,  Singapore. 




Striving for Collaboration - Positive Parenting Tools

Have you ever found yourself in a power struggle with a toddler? You are not alone! I often hear from parents that their child is, "just being difficult!" or that they, "say no to everything all the time!" 

While our toddlers striving for autonomy and asserting their independence is entirely normal, healthy, and even important in their development - there are also ways that we can make this time more peaceful and intentional for all of us. In this discussion we will uncover the positive and respectful parenting tools that increase collaboration and decrease those power struggles. 

Haley Turner

Haley Turner is a Montessori mom and founder of Sweet Home Montessori, a Positive Parenting and Montessori resource guide. Haley has her degree in Early Care and Education and also studied Early Childhood Development in college. She went on to complete her next diploma in Montessori Education (ages 3-6 ). She is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and has also completed the RIE Foundations Theory and Observation Intensive Training. She is the creator of ‘Parenting with Intention: A Peaceful Home for Capable Kids’ which is a Respectful Montessori Parenting Course. You can find her @sweethomemontessori on Instagram and

Afrocentric Montessori: Connecting Ancestry and Indigenous Ways of Caring and Teaching to the Montessori Philosophy

Learn how Ancestral and Indigenous parenting and educational practices from the Congo, Kenya, and other indigenous communities such as the Aboriginals from Australia connects to the Montessori philosophy. The intention of this session is to uplift, re-remember, and reclaim the holistic educational practices for the children we teach and care for within our homes, communities, and classrooms.

Ashley Causey-Golden

Ashley Causey-Golden is the creator of Afrocentric Montessori and the co-creator of Gather Forest School in Atlanta, Georgia. Her teaching is grounded in a liberatory, an anti-bias, and anti-racist framework that centers Blackness. Ashley uses these frameworks to support families in the home setting as well as schools in creating anti-bias and anti-racist curricula and materials.

Supporting the child's sensitive period for language at home

"Language is one of the characteristics which distinguish [humans] from the animals. It is a gift of nature bestowed on him alone. It is an expression of his intelligence."

Dr. Maria Montessori, The Formation of Man.

In this session you will learn about

  • Language development from birth
  • Communicating to babies
  • Fostering the love for reading
  • What makes a children’s book Montessori friendly for 0-6 years?
  • Preparation of the environment for reading
  • Other avenues for language development

Monisha Monikantarajan

Monisha Monikantarajan is a Montessori-child and Montessori-parent who enjoys sharing her Montessori aha-moments with a touch of Tamil culture through her Instagram page, Tamil Montessori. She is an engineer-turned business leader who works full-time as a Program Manager at Microsoft. Her Montessori journey began as a child, followed by pursuing her first AMI Assistants course 8 years ago. She's currently an AMI Certified Montessori Assistant for birth – 3, 3 – 6 and 6 – 12 years. She's also a children's book author who began to write books for her daughter in her mother tongue Tamil since there weren't many books available for young readers. Her debut children's book in Tamil "Vaazhai ilai virundhu" was released in Sep 2021.

While she has a day job that she loves, she follows her passion for child development through Tamil Montessori at night. Through this space she shares snippets of raising her daughter the Montessori way from birth, cultural resources to help children stay connected to the roots and age-appropriate multilingual resources and also educates families on Montessori parenting across the globe.

Originally from India, she currently lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest with her husband and 1.5 year old daughter.

Innovation makes a leader stand out

Chris will take you back to the days of developing the first Montessori materials with Maria Montessori and point out the main characteristics of these materials. He will try to make clear that a classroom should not be a museum, but a dynamic learning environment with structure on one hand and change on the other. He will discuss how new materials are currently being developed, illustrated by some examples and emphasize that materials are only an aid to acquire knowledge and skills. And last but not least he will explain about the new evidence based observation and record keeping tool, Cfolio.

Chris Willemsen

For more than 15 years and with a lot of passion and dedication Chris has been working as a Brand Export Manager and Brand Ambassador for world’s leading Montessori material manufacturer, Nienhuis Montessori. He is responsible for the international sales network, leading the product development team and provides the marketing team with ideas and content. He has a degree in international marketing and is Montessori-trained at both 3 – 6 and 6 – 12 levels. He has observed Montessori education in many different cultures, varieties and standards. Currently, he is also supporting the development of an innovative and evidence-based observation and record keeping instrument to keep track of the development of knowledge and skills of children in Montessori environments. This application for formative evaluation is called Cfolio.

All Your Prepared Environment Questions Answered (and a Shelf Tour)

In this video, you'll hear Jasmine's Montessori & design-focused answers to your most common questions, like:

  • What home basics should I have for my toddler?
  • Where do I even start with a baby/ young toddler?? (Ages addressed: 1mo, 10mo, 18mo)
  • What to do if my child doesn't engage with my shelves?
  • How do I create a mixed-age space for siblings to play together?

Don't forget to watch till the end for a tour of her Montessori shelf, to get some tips you can apply in your own home right away!

Jasmine Ong

Jasmine is the founder of Three Minute Montessori, which has run courses for >1500 parents from 20 countries. She trained as an AMI Assistant for 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12yo from Maria Montessori Institute, London, United Kingdom. Jasmine is also a qualified mainstream teacher who has taught, held leadership and policymaking positions in Singapore's mainstream education. Certified in Interior Design, Jasmine has never met a small space she couldn't transform into something beautiful and practical for children. But above all, she is a mother, who has raised two children the Montessori way (with a third child on the way!).

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