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I shared the following message in a post, a while back, in my Facebook group, and imagine my surprise when members started posting imperfect photos of their Montessori home environments! It soon became one of the most popular threads, so I decided to bring it to my private blog so other moms can see how 'not so perfect Montessori moms' can be [click here to read the FULL post]: 

There are a lot of beautiful photos of Montessori home environments that are shared online, including Pinterest, Facebook, and Montessori blogs, but we don't want moms who DON'T have picture-perfect Montessori in the home to despair! (I, Lisa Nolan, lived in a small apartment until our son was four, and it was far from picture perfect!) What matters is the child's engagement, and your observations of your children--who are just as happy with boxes, rocks, and whatever they can find in mom's purse!

Here are the responses!

M. E.: "I'm currently working the did a bomb just go off in here? look.

A. C. to M. E.: "I laughed so loud I think I woke somebody up! LOL, I can totally relate."

J. V.: "Are laundry piles Montessori? LOL."

G. M.: "I'm having trouble even knowing where to start that I just do nothing yet I want to do something! Doesn't help either that I'm about to give birth to #2. I just feel like I'm failing my daughter by not having things organized for her."


A. R.: "Ha ha. Winter tornado?"

M. N. to A. R.: "Ahaha, today, in the morning, while I was brushing my teeth, my bathroom looked like your place only covered with toilet paper. At first I wanted to take it away but than thought what the heck, how else is the baby (9 mos.) going to learn that you can rip and roll it? :)) not fun to clean up but fun to observe them having the aha! moments, right?"

Lisa Nolan to M. N. "Observe the child, even if it means unrolled toilet paper! My son went through a toilet paper fixation stage, but when he tried to roll up his one-on-one aide at school, umm... we had to put the breaks on, LOL. (Another stage is the I-put-the-whole-roll-in-the-toilet-and-clogged-it stage!)


B. A. H.: "A corner of our living room for school."


B. P.: "I love how the two basket 'works' are the only things that haven't been pulled out [by my 1.5 year old]."

T. P.: "I have a shelf full of Montessori books but no time to read any of them. I had to remove my daughter from her Montessori nursery when I had my son. She keeps balancing bags on the sofa cushions at child's level and telling me they're hooks. And I have a basket full of her books in front of the TV cabinet to stop my 7 month old pulling it down onto himself. I would love some of the beautiful shelf units others have but I panicked when she was little at the statistics of children pulling furniture onto themselves, went out and invested in the heaviest furniture we could find that would be immovable."

K. M.: "I live in a small apt, so I only have very limited space. I find it easiest to focus on practical life skills as they come up, and to keep most materials out of reach until we are using them. But I use the pics [of other Montessori home environments] for inspiration."


S. E. P.: "Recycling items, vacuum attachments, pennies, pom poms, and beads. He created this work. He also refused to be clothed."


M. S.: "I have a very small space. It's not perfect but it works."

L. J.: "I love this post, I just had a hear- to-heart with hubby over the weekend about how 'perfect' some of the [Montessori home] blog lives seem and how I fee like a failure and how I feel bad. I've worried and stressed these first 3 years so much instead of just relaxing and enjoying more. He skimmed through the first few pages ofTeaching Montessori in the Home the Preschool Yearsand said 'Well, Laura, the biggest thing Maria Montessori makes clear is that the child feeling loved is most important and essentially not to stress and worry, then let the rest come naturally.' He was on board immediately, but has always been realistic. We went to Ikea and bought two bookcases and are now working on de-cluttering toys in our free time this week. Less is more, especially in our 600 sq ft 1 bedroom apartment, our daughter is just over 3 and we've lived here since she was 17 months old. I love it, but I do get down that we don't have a bigger, neater home and a yard... but DC and the 'burbs are her playground."

A. R.: "Well, I can't find the pic of this, but after we all decorated the Xmas tree this year, the kids (5 and 4) decided it needed more. So we let them go at it. They spent about two hours adding yarn, clothespins, more yarn, beads that they put on strings, and more yarn. It was atrocious and hilarious, but we left it as is because they worked so hard and were really proud of it! Let the kids do their thang!"


M. N.: "Our living room is the play room when baby is awake. (He actually just climbed the pillows, went to the music box to get his fav. drum stick, and went back through the pillows, he is 8 mos.) I had a moment today and was generally in a philosophical mindset, so this made me chuckle. Morning vs evening look..."

M. H.: "I will be giving birth to twins in a few months. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where just 30 miles from me, people are renting tents for $900. My husband and I will be raising twins in a small two bedroom with two furbabies. I don't want to over extend ourselves. I just want my babies to be healthy. It's tough to be surrounded by million dollar homes, but sadly I've seen what money can do to families when they're stretched beyond thin. We will be stretched for sure for awhile, but I suppose I'm just being mindful to not live beyond our means. I hope I make sense."


M. P.: "These are our 'shelves' in the homeschooling room, office, mud room, sewing room, dining room, and closet."

End of thread

Thank you BRAVE MOMS for sharing your intimate environments! You will make a lot of moms feel better about themselves! Maybe we can do another thread for the fall and winter! ~Lisa Nolan

Photos shared with permission from the owner/s.