Welcome to this week's featured sponsor, Beginning Montessori Materials. Beginning Montessori Materials is a Canada-based, small, home business owned and operated by Carrie and Shane Schepens. Their goal is to make high quality Montessori materials for infants and toddlers. Carrie was recently nice enough to answer a few questions from me.
Me: How were you introduced to Montessori?
Carrie: I was introduced to Montessori as a young child. I had always thought my first introduction was at 3 years of age when I entered Montessori preschool (and I continued on with Montessori elementary until grade 7), but during my Casa Montessori Training (ages 3-6) I discovered by reading Dr. Maria Montessori’s books that how my parents had raised me with their parenting philosophy and set-up of the home was heavily influenced by Montessori.
Me: What would you say is your favorite thing about Montessori methods?
Carrie: My favourite thing about the Montessori method is how it helps the child develop to their fullest, whole potential. Montessori provides aids to the child at each stage of their development helping the child to become independent in abilities and self-confident with who they are. They do this work of self-formation in such a natural, unhurried manner that is filled with joy at each new stage of acquisition. Being a part of a child’s life during this beautiful formative time is such a gift.
Me: I see that, in addition to operating Beginning Montessori, Carrie also runs a Montessori school. How does being directly involved in a Montessori classroom influence your choices about what products to have in your shop?
Carrie: The Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten is quite separate from Beginning Montessori. The school works with children ages 3-6 and Beginning Montessori materials are for children ages 0-3.
Me: Right off the top of your head, what is your favorite item in your shop?
Carrie: Bell Cylinder. There were many, many test cylinders before we settled on this exact one. [Shanes's favorite is the] ball cylinder. He puts a lot of work into each one, hand-painting and hand-varnishing each ball so that they are non-toxic, along with the woodwork, assembly, and oiling.
Carrie and Shane have generously agreed to giveaway a $25 gift certificate to Beginning Montessori Materials. To win, visit their site and come back and leave a comment about your favorite item. I will randomly pick a winner on Wednesday.