Jude Saffron and Mie Mari Sløk Rusdal found each other in 2020 while volunteering as moderators for the largest online Montessori Facebook group. After having worked together for over a year, they decided it was the right time to start their own online community and share their knowledge and experience with a new audience.
Hello, I’m Jude, mother to Rémi, who’ll be 4 in the summer. I’m an ex-Londoner, now living on an old farm in West Wales. I’m a professional childminder and home educator and Montessori is entwined into all aspects of our family life.
My partner in this group Mie, will tell you it was inevitable that we would start a group together in the end. We met through moderating another Montessori Facebook group together and have developed a strong friendship, despite living in different parts of the world and yet to actually meet face to face. However we got here, I’m pleased and excited that we are and I really hope we can make this group a place where in-depth and intelligent discussion about Montessori can take place. For me, the beauty of Montessori at home is in understanding more about the theory and application of that knowledge. I want us to be able to help people see past toys and shelves and really give them ideas on how they can implement things in their homes.
I remember talking to a friend about Montessori some 20 years ago and I think it was bound to happen that I would find my way back to it when I eventually became a parent. It took a while though, so we certainly didn’t implement it from the start. Since I renewed my interest, it’s become a passion of mine. I’ve been busy learning as much as I can from multiple different sources. I’ve taken many courses, read loads and been a Moderator for two very popular Montessori Facebook groups. I’m still hoping I can figure out a way to become a trained guide, but currently it’s not something I can make a reality.
I love how Montessori at home can be applied in such an organic way. From me it’s an attitude to parenting that allows me to be open to involving my child in all aspects of family life. I’m also just a little bit in love with Montessori materials. The elegance of thought that went into their creation. I do a lot of my own materials and in particular I love continent boxes and the breadth of diversity that they can contain. My son received a Montessori roman arch for Christmas and it’s just fascinating watching him figure out how to put the pieces together and the joy he shows when it’s all complete.
MIE MARI RUSDAL
Hi, I am Mie, mother of 3.5 year old Frida and Vilde, who will be 2 this summer. We live outside Bergen, the second largest city in Norway (which is small compare to other big cities, with 270 000 people). There are 3 Montessori schools here, but none for students younger than 6!
When I first started doing Montessori at home, I found Facebook to be very helpful. I have been helping to moderate an amazing 0-3 Facebook group with Jude for a long time. Through this volunteer work we have formed a great friendship. I always imagined we would moderate a 3-6 group together when our kids aged out of the group. I love to help other parents and caregivers on their Montessori journey, and hope our group will be as supportive to others as I have found the 0-3 group has been for me. I want this to be a community of engaged caregivers. A place where we can always find inspiration, support, love and like-minded adults to learn with.
After having studied to be a teacher for four years, I applied for all relevant teaching positions in Bergen, and ended up being offered a job at a Montessori school. I immediately noticed the students intrinsic motivation, the peace in the classrooms and the love of learning for both students and guides. Within 2 months, I asked if they would send me on a Montessori Diploma program (a bold move, as I was only on a one year contact and the not-so-cheap course takes two years). I was extremely happy to start the studies only a month later at Waterpark Montessori. Now I have a fulltime contract for work.
The Montessori materials that really stood out to me the first time I visited a 3-6 classroom, were the ones in the sensory area. I was amazed at the way they are designed to enhance the senses as well as building the mathematical mind and prepare students for later work. The Montessori Bells were standing in the middle of the room, and the beautiful tones were a great backdrop and mixed so well with the other sounds in the classroom. That said, we actually do not have a lot of sensory materials in my home. We cater to the senses and mathematical mind in other ways for now, with a huge focus on Practical Life. PL is, at least for me, a corner stone to do Montessori at Home. We cook together, empty the dishwasher, clean the floors and windows, plant seeds and see what they develop in to etc. The girls are in Kindergarten most of the day, so we do not get to have a good work session without them already being tired. Montessori for is therefore less about the materials and more about the mindset and thought behind what we do.