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Shelf Help Podcast

Being a Montessori parent is amazing. But, that doesn't mean it isn't hard. We're here to help, because we can all use a little Shelf Help.

There are so many different parenting approaches available today that it can be hard to recognize your own voice and style among the options. If you're parenting with Montessori, you aren't alone. We're here to chat about all the everyday realities of Montessori parenting. Join Nicole and co-host Amy for real life conversations about using Montessori at home. 

Let's Be Montessori Parents Together

Season 1 is here! Look for new episodes on Mondays.  

Like what you hear? Please leave a review on your favorite Podcast app. 

Meet the Host

Hi! I'm Nicole Kavanaugh, Montessori mom to 4. You can find me here on The Kavanaugh Report, on Instagram, and on Shelf Help! 

Over the last 8 years, Montessori has been the backbone of my family life. We have used Montessori principles to guide our home and our parenting. I love talking with and helping parents use Montessori in practical ways to bring the joy into their lives through the resources on this site and through Montessori courses. 

Meet our Co-Host

Hello! I’m Amy Dorsch, Montessori guide and mom of 2. You can find me on Montessori Like a Mother, on Instagram, and on Shelf Help!

Becoming a parent transformed my life, in large part by leading me to Montessori. As my children have grown, I’ve only gone deeper into the philosophy, with its principles guiding my everyday parenting, working with children in Montessori classrooms, and working with parents to bring these same principles into their homes. 


Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return. 

That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains, 
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"A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables a…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…