Dear mommies, today I would love to introduce to you one another great Montessori
mother – Katerina Vosatkova from Czech Republic. Her daughter is 30 months at the time of writing this post and they practice Montessori since she was 6 months old. I love her work and I follow up all her post on facebook. Reading her story might inspire
someone 🙂 Make your coffee and enjoy yourself.
Hi Katerina, how many children do you have?
Hi, I have one girl, Natalia.
How did you get into Montessori education and philosophy?
It happened so naturally through babywearing and attachment parenting. I remember I got very fascinated after getting through the article about guiding kids towards independence. I loved the idea of opened shelves with trays so I immediately started browsing the internet.
Which Montessori’s thought is closest to your heart?
I personally perceive Montessori as a whole. It became our life style and it is providing opportunity for never ending work on myself.
How does your day look like?
Lot of moms are giving me this question 🙂 It is so individual that I can’t provide you with our plan of the day. We sleep in one bed, after waking up Natalia uses toilet (we have toilet downstairs), picks up her underwear and together we wear clothes. She chooses what she wants from the fridge and meanwhile I prepare all material needed so she can prepare her breakfast by herself. After breakfast she does her activities and plays and I clean house and prepare lunch we decide together. Before lunch we go out to garden or forest and after lunch she sleeps for 1,5-2 hours. After nap we usually don’t spend time at home but if we have to then we make something creative. I give Nataly all the freedom in touching, preparing, trying out the things around us without any obstacles. We take care of our animals – hens, rabbits, cat and dog and lot of other
animals we visit in our neighboring areas. When the season is there we grow our own crops and because we live in the beautiful forest everyday nature walks, activities, mushroom, herbs and fruit collecting is must-to-have.
Do you have prepared environment at home? And what about husband, does he educate Nataly Montessori way?
(laughing) When I read about Montessori for the first time, Nataly was 6 months old and because I was studying The Design and Construction of furniture immediately I started to prepare the environment. Our space is one room of 7,5 x 3,5 m size where we had kitchen, sofa with conference table, in the middle there was space for play, bed with attached cot. It started slowly. I made 2 low shelf cupboards for toys and ordered 6 trays. I can still remember how my partner was asking me why we needed it and I didn’t meet with understanding (laughing). From that time on I was nonstop moving the furniture here there and tried to do my best. We exchanged few furniture pieces for opened shelves and furniture that I designed by myself.
My partner takes care of Nataly intuitively, he tries to talk to her, explains her, lets her touch and feel. For “the male” activities she is still too young. They cooperate together mostly during shopping – selecting the groceries, putting them in basket, taking them out, keeping them in the fridge, preparing meals…
Do you have non-montessori friends? Do you change the environment before their children come? Can non-montessori kids work with material?
Yes, I have few friends who come to visit us with their kids and I must say they love to work with Montessori material and toys. Before I open the door I always remind them our rule – once the play with material is over we always keep it back at it’s own place. I really have good experience. Of course I can see big difference in fine motor movements, patience and concentration.
Do you Montessori outside home also? Do you shop for original materials or are you DIY Montessori mother?
I am housewife, I spend my time designing the furniture for prepared environment of rooms, preschools, day cares and I offer online guidance. From the start of new school year I would like to start working in Montessori day care.
The materials we bought till the age Natalia is 3 years old. After that I don’t have plan to continue as she will be working with montessori material in preschool. If talking about DIY materials, I love them. The most I love to prepare thematic activities.
Which material is your favorite one and which one your child loves the most?
I love all of them. It’s that simplicity and timelessness which makes them special. Natalia’s favorite are till now coin box, cylinder blocks, animals and continents (cards) and of course all the practical life activities.
What gift would make you – Montessori mother – happy?
I am most happy to see the parents working on themselves to become better example for their kids.
Does your child attend any preschool or day care?
We have a beautiful Montessori day care,preschool and school in our neighborhood and right now we attend day care once in a week together for 1 hour. From September she will join preschool for 3 days a week and if everyone will be happy we will continue.
Your favorite Montessori book?
Maybe it will sound weird but till now I didn’t read any. I prefer to use internet where you can find lot of amazing and useful information.
Is Montessori way of education according to you only about laminated cards and wooden materials?
No, not even one of that.
What would you recommend to new Montessori mothers and families to start up with?
I would really advise everyone to find some nice Montessori parent who can help them and guide them. That would be very helpful at the beginning.
Thank you for lovely talk Katerina, wishing you and your family beautiful life ahead and easy start of “new era of preschool” 🙂