Today I want to pause from sharing my own homeschooling journey so I can actually shed some info on the best parenting blogs that I’ve found online. All three of them have inspired, supported and strengthened me during my two years of motherhood. By reading them and implementing their ideas, my time with my son has become more productive, educational and fun for the both of us.
Janet Lansbury: Elevating Child Care
The first blog is author Janet Lansbury’s blog, Elevating Child Care. Her blog is a guide to Martha Gerber‘s philosophy on early child care (aka RIE) and it emphasizes respectful parenting by getting to know your baby as a whole, independent human being with unique desires and strong innate abilities. She stresses the importance of mindfulness when taking care of your baby and paying her your full attention while attending to her needs during feeding and diaper changes. She also writes about the benefits of child-led play and of creating the ideal safe environment for your child (a “yes” space, as she calls it) to help her maximize her full potential so she can play independently while being attentively observed be her parent. Her podcasts have helped me tremendously and I feel like her down to earth and non judgmental writing style has really made it easy for me to grasp RIE concepts and implement them in my parenting style.
How We Montessori
The second blog I’m fond of is Kylie’s blog “How We Montessori“, which focuses on how she implements Maria Montessori‘s philosophy in her home with her two boys. Her blog is neat, organized and beautifully arranged. It’s a rich resource for how to implement a Montessori education at home during those early toddler years. Everything is arranged by age so it’s very simple to navigate and to find exactly what you’re looking for, as well as recommended reading lists on almost every aspect of the implementation of Montessori in your life. Each description of a Montessori activity is followed by high quality images and tips on how best to introduce it to your child. I’ve started organizing my son’s play space with Montessori activity trays and putting all his other toys away (that in the past have over flooded my house), and the result is amazing. His play is now much more focused and independent. And while RIE philosophy and Montessori differ on some aspects of childcare, they both stress that observation and child led play (within boundaries) is key to maximizing early child development.
Teacher Tom‘s blog is an enjoyable and inspirational read that has made the most impact on my feeling secure in my parenting and in my child. He is a preschool teacher at the Woodland Park Cooperative School in Seattle and he shares his musings on lessons he’s learned from teaching small children and observing them in their play (the school he teaches in is a play based school). Like RIE and Montessori, he emphasizes how observation, patience, mindfulness and “waiting before intervening” are all key to understanding your child (and yourself) better. Teacher Tom also stresses the importance of creating the ultimate environment (which doesn’t mean a clutter of high end and expensive toys, but rather the opposite) for young children to play in and work things out on their own, with minimal intervention from the adults. His class rules, for example, are actually a list of rules comprised by the children themselves. This approach has actually led to conflicts being solved quickly and easily while being perceived as fair by all children involved. The teacher and parents are there to support and help children on each of their own individual journeys (not an easy task!) and from his beautiful pictures, anecdotes and stories, it looks like the preschoolers at his school thrive under his care.
What are some of your favorite parenting blogs?