Toddler & Me Parent Interview Aria & Evangelia
We are pleased to introduce Evangelia and her daughter, Aria who started with IMSP after attending our Toddler & Me course. How did they like it, what have they learned, and what benefit does it bring to their daily life?
Did you know about the Montessori system before you started attending the Toddler & Me course?
Not really. My first acquaintance with the Montessori system was at the time I registered to the Toddler & Me course. When I read about the Montessori system in your school’s website, I got curious about this method and tried to find some information on the internet.
What do you and your daughter Aria enjoy the most about the Toddler & Me course?
It is difficult to pick just one thing, but if I had to choose, I would say that I enjoyed the way Aria learned and developed naturally from the simple but well-prepared educational materials around her. Aria really seemed to enjoy all of the activities. Some of her favourites were pouring water in the vase and adding the flower, climbing stairs and watching the other kids from the top. If I had to highlight something Aria liked the most, that would be preparing the food for herself and of course, eating it. We both loved the time we spent together in the class. It is only one and a half hours per week, but every second is meaningful.
What do the skills you have learned at the course bring to your everyday routine/practical life?
From the time we started attending the course I realised that it is important to let Aria do things for herself. So, I allow her to do things I wouldn‘t have thought she could handle. I understood the importance of encouraging my child’s curiosity, independence, and enthusiasm. Aria now seems more independent in certain areas, something that helps her try to achieve new things.
Are there any activities you have started doing at home because of the course, that you didn‘t do before?
Yes, actually more than I could imagine! Aria loves eating but because of the course, she was able to eat with a spoon and fork by herself since she was 15 months old. She also liked practicing to drink from a glass like daddy and mommy do. I could see that Aria realized that she has the intelligence and ability to do things for herself. We spent time playing with mirrors, something I was afraid to do before. Ivana, our instructor, mentioned that the children learn through observation and that includes observing themselves too. This way a child is learning a lot of self-awareness and coordination. This is absolutely true! In front of the mirror, Aria was mostly laughing and touching her reflection which is really funny. This has helped her to evolve her mobility skills as well. We also tried to do some household activities together, like laundry and cleaning. Aria was really happy when she realizes that she participates and helps me.
What changes of behaviour or new observations of development can you observe in Aria since you have been attending the course?
I could see some noticeable improvements in her mobility, the sense of order and focus. She learned to respect the other children and develop team building skills - she started to understand that she needs to wait and share. The class promotes a positive and supportive atmosphere which made Aria very happy when she works on her projects. The furniture used in the class definitely serves the child’s independence and allows the child to feel secure. Learning how to sit properly at a small chair from this age doesn’t take as much time as I thought. The Montessori system divides children into several age groups based on development and needs specific to each group.
Did the course help you to better understand the needs of toddlers (age 0 – 3 years) and how?
Ivana played an important role in helping me understanding Aria, her needs and setting reasonable expectations. During the course she was always highlighting Aria’s behaviour and advised me based on her observations. She recommended ways for improving weak areas and promoting the existing skills. Overall, Ivana helped me better understand what a child needs at this age.