It’s summer break here and a good time to get inspired to make our homes more Montessori. I always recommend looking at things from the child’s height, making their things accessible to the children, and helping to set things up so they can manage by themselves. We all know the cry, “me do it!”.
So today is the first in our summer series of Montessori home tours. I have been following mininimoo on Instagram for a long time and assumed that this was the home of a Montessori teacher. I reached out to find out that Enerel is not only completely self-taught, but is also based in Mongolia. She has set up a Facebook group for Montessori parents in Mongolia and has a beautiful blog eco mom (you’ll need Google translate but definitely take a look!).
With limited Montessori resources and support available in Mongolia, she has put together some absolutely beautiful and inviting spaces and the children always seem so engaged with the activities around the home. Let’s have a look around!
Who lives here?
Enerel (26), husband Bayanaa (31), son Nimo (2) and little brother Odi (3 months old)
1. How did you find out about Montessori?
I found out about Montessori when my son was 7 months old while searching for a suitable activity for him. I felt like my eyes were opened like never before when I saw the word Montessori. I could not sleep that day; I searched about it for the whole night and started preparing Montessori activities for my son the next day.
2. What do you find resonates most with you about the Montessori approach?
I think teaching about discipline is much more important than the activities. Parents should set an example. We, as parents, also gain discipline throughout the process. And learn from the child. This takes a great amount of effort, but we get so much joy when the child is interested and learning.
3. What is currently your favourite thing to do at home with Nimo and Odi?
Currently my older son Nimo is interested in constructing buildings and cities with blocks and rainbows. I really enjoy seeing how he is getting creative with each passing day. And he never gets tired of matching works. So I’m very often trying to search for new objects and printables.
Since he turned two he has been trying to speak and learn new words. He is not talking much but I try not to force him. We know that it will happen naturally.
My youngest son Odi started loving the bird mobile that I made for him recently. It’s a real joy to see him laughing and babbling. And he has been discovering some grasping toys. I’m so excited to give the toys that I made for him.
4. Where do you hunt for Montessori-style materials and furniture?
I mostly search from Ikea. I feel like everything can be found from there. There is a scarcity of Montessori materials in Mongolia so I often get them made by carpenters. To get them made, I do lots of research about them. Sometimes I order it from ebay or taobao.
5. What’s one tip you would give to other parents wanting to set up their home Montessori-style?
Even though my home and our Montessori room is small, I like to make it appear bigger living in a small apartment. I try to squeeze everything in together and I make fewer items available at a given time. Always make a space for the child to explore. And I would suggest to try to always make a place cozy and comfortable.
Bonus question: What it is like to raise a family in Mongolia?
Almost everything is new in our developing city. Mothers care for their children in many ways and try to help them develop. It is really good that the number of Montessori kindergartens is increasing and people are getting to know Montessori.
Mongolians lived in traditional houses, ger (similar to yurts), from ancient times. This helped young children to gain independence by helping in household chores, looking after youngsters and being responsible to herd horses, sheep and cows. It is really similar to the Montessori method.
A big thank you to Enerel for sharing their home with us. I don’t know about you but these spaces make me feel calm and inspired to keep things simple, clean and beautiful.
I’ll be back with the next in our summer series very soon. And in the meantime, you can find more Montessori home tours here:
* mid-west of the US