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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

How to End Bullying Forever

Thursday, June 5th, 2014 8:23 am | By Stephanie Woo

As I was driving B and M (3.5 years old) home from school yesterday, I overheard this conversation.

M calls B “Poopy.” B says, “My name is Brooke, you can call me Brooke.” 

M calls her “Poopy” again. B says, “If you are mean to me, then I’m going to walk away.” 

M turns to her and pleads, “Can you please play with me?” 

B says, “Then don’t be mean to me! If you are nice to me, then we can play together. If you are not nice to me, then I’m going to walk away.”

If every child learned this Montessori Grace and Courtesy lesson, bullies would have no one to bully. And bullying in schools would literally Cease. To. Exist.

**Join Stephanie’s next Long Distance Courses! The next First Year Course starts Wednesday, June 18th. The next Toddler Course starts Tuesday, June 19th. Find out what recent participants have said here.

My First Magazine Article: Creating an Amazing Home Environment for Your Toddlers!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 10:47 am | By Stephanie Woo

In the spring, I was invited by Montessori Life, American Montessori Society’s (AMS) quarterly journal, to write an article about how to create an amazing Montessori home environment for toddlers.  Here’s a sneak peak of the article for my blog readers!

Read article now

If Your Child Hits, Bites, Screams or Throws Tantrums – As Told By A Lizard

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 10:38 pm | By Stephanie Woo

You’ve read a lot of blog posts and watched a lot of videos. I hope this format will work better for us sleep-deprived mothers – expanding your screen will make it easier on your eyes, too!

What should you do if your child hits, bites, screams or throws tantrums? Watch the slideshow below and take some parenting advice from a wise ol’ lizard…

Learning Geography Through Fun and Play!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 12:03 am | By Stephanie Woo

In November, Mark and I went to our children’s school for “Parent’s Night” so they could show us what they’ve been working on. We discovered that they had started working with the World Map!

Then one day they came home and over dinner, the two of them spontaneously broke into song. Like this:

That was a clear sign to me they were interested in the names of the continents. So I immediately bought a globe on Amazon.

A great way to introduce globes to children is to start with the basics. I would point to a blue part and say, “Ocean.” We’d turn the globe to find more oceans. Then I would point to the colored parts and say, “Continent.” And then together, we would find more continents. Our globe also has raised surfaces for mountains, so I would point to those and say, “Mountain,” then ask them to find several more mountains. 

Whenever I tell them stories about our family and friends who live faraway, like A-gong and A-ma (grandpa and grandma) who live in Taiwan, Grandfather who lives in Austin, TX or Great-uncle who lives in Paris, we would take out the globe to find those cities and countries together. If we travel – for example, we went to Seattle a couple weeks ago – we would look for those on the globe as well. 

I started looking for a way to teach them the Chinese names of countries. I never buy any Montessori material for our home if I know they have it at school, so I didn’t want to buy the wooden Montessori maps. Then I saw this GeoPuzzle Map. I must confess the quality is just above average. It requires adult presence because the puzzle pieces move around quite a lot, so it can be frustrating for a 3-year-old to do on her own. However, it serves my purpose: it is different enough from what they have at school and I can use it to casually introduce the Chinese names of these countries. To them, they don’t know the difference, it’s just a fun puzzle they want to play with a lot! 

Between 0-6, the child is in the Sensitive Period for Language. Between 3-6, the child has an insatiable desire for vocabulary words. There is really no limit to how much vocabulary they can learn during these few years. Learning all the continents and then all the countries within those continents is easy (and interesting!) for them during this age. 

The other day, M picks up a cookie, bites it into a long oval and exclaims, “South America!” She also sings a little song about Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It’s all fun and play – a foundation for geography just happens to come along with it. 

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The foundation of a child’s life starts in the first year. If you set up the first year right, things will be much easier moving forward. Perhaps you have a child between 0-12 months. Or you plan on having a child. Or you are interested in learning more about this age group. Join my next Long Distance Course, starting April 26th! Take the course from the comfort of your home and learn at your own pace!

Commonly-Asked Questions About My April 26th Long Distance Course

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 1:34 am | By Stephanie Woo

Thank you for all your emails asking me for more detail about the course. I welcome  your questions, so send more if you don’t find the answer you’re looking for! Email me at: stephanie@stephaniewoo.com.

What are the exact dates of the course? I’m busy a couple Saturday in May, what should I do? 

The course takes place over 5 weeks, starting on April 26th at 10:30am Pacific Standard Time.

Session 1: Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:30-11:30am PST
Session 2: Saturday, May 3, 2014, 10:30-11:30am PST
Session 3: Saturday, May 10, 2014, 10:30-11:30am PST
Session 4: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 10:30-11:30am PST
Session 5: Saturday, May 24, 2014, 10:30-11:30am PST

All the calls will be recorded. My goal is to make this course very convenient for parents with young children. That’s why if you are not available during one of these times, you can listen to it on my website anytime over the next two weeks. Each week’s recording will be available for two weeks after that particular session. When you become a registered participant, you will receive special instructions on how to access the recordings. 

What is the format of the course? 

The course will take place over the phone. Whether you are at the park with your family, at grandma’s house, at work or even in the shower, you can simply call in, mute yourself and listen in. If you didn’t hear something or didn’t have a chance to write it down, you can always listen to it again at a later time. I will send participants a special call-in code for the course. The call-in code will be the same for all five weeks.

The first 45 minutes of each session will be a lecture on the topic of the week.  The remaining 15 minutes will be dedicated to answering your questions on the topic. I will ask participants to email questions before and during the call. I will spend 15 minutes answering as many questions as I can from the group. Whether your question gets answered will depend on how many people are in the group and how many questions are asked. 

Both the lecture and the Q & A session will be available in the recording. 

What will I get out of the course? 

A ton of valuable information on your child’s development the first year. You will learn how to follow your child’s lead and parent with much more ease than you ever thought possible.

My client says it perfectly: “I’m surprised when my 4-month-old twins don’t sleep all night!”

My hope for every parent in the world is to experience that level of ease and freedom!

What is covered in each session exactly? 

In session 1, we will ground ourselves in some critical early childhood development theory, that has been proven by brain science. You will stand in awe of your child after this session. 

In session 2, we will examine everything around sleep. I think a great way to do this session would be to use 1 or 2 real-life examples of babies from participants in the group. If you’d like to be used as our example, please let me know in advance.

In session 3, bring every question you’ve ever had about food and eating. 

In session 4, I will tell you all about Psycho-motor development, including gross and fine motor milestones. You will also learn about basic brain development. You’ll hear words like ‘synapse,’ ‘myelin’ and ‘firing patterns.’ If those words don’t turn you on, don’t worry, I’ll also explain it in English – and tell you what’s actually relevant to you. But if you like the sound of those words, you’ll love this information! 

Session 5 is still unknown. I’m leaving this open to see what would be best for the group. I think some interesting topics will be toilet training, language development, the best and worse toys, etc. 

Oh, did I mention there will be homework? Before you panic, just know this: you don’t have to do it. But you’ll get even more out of the course if you do. 

For more basic information about the course, click here

How is your Long Distance course different from your Private Consultation?

Private Consultation is designed for one particular family. Every session is tailored to a specific family’s situation. For example, Private Consultation clients will show me (over Skype) around their home, send me pictures of their child’s daily routines, and receive guidance on their specific questions. We may email  or text everyday while dealing with one particular issue, like sleeping through the night. 

Not everyone can afford Private Consultation, which I understand. That’s why I’ve designed a more general course that can be offered at a much more discounted rate. In this course, I will cover a wide-range of topics. But don’t worry, it won’t be so general as to be boring or irrelevant! I guarantee you will walk away with TONS of valuable information. My life literally changed when I learned all these things. I will never, ever be the same parent. And my children have been the biggest beneficiary. I hope this course changes your life, but I truly hope it will be your children who benefits the most.

Will you talk about Brooke and Mackenzie?

Ummm…yes. (Of course!)

We are a group of moms from a parenting group and we’d all like to participate, do you have a group discount? 

How cool! Friends doing this course together will get even more, cause then you have someone to talk about it with afterwards! If you are registering more than 5 participants for this course, please email me privately for a group discount.

What if I hate the course or really find it irrelevant? 

No problem! I have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If at the end of the course, if you are unsatisfied for any reason, I will return your tuition. No Questions Asked. Guaranteed.

What forms of payment do you accept?

When you order through the following link, you can use Visa, Mastercard or American Express. If you would like to pay by check, please email me directly at stephanie@montessorionthedouble.com

What is the last day I can register?

The last day you can register to receive the Early Bird Discount is April 21st. 

Any last words of advice? How can I register now? 

You literally cannot lose with this course! If you are unsatisfied, you will get a full refund. My goal is that every participant gets what they came for – and much, much more.

To register, click on the link here: Register me now!

 

See you on April 26th!

Love, 

Stephanie

How to Praise Your Child (and a Great Practical Life Activity)

Monday, April 7th, 2014 11:26 pm | By Stephanie Woo

We live up in the mountains where mornings and evenings get very cold. Whenever we start a fire, B and M are there to help us.  M (3 years 1 month) has experienced the process so many times, she can pretty much do the whole thing by herself, as long as an adult is there to help her light the fire. 

M starts to clean out yesterday’s ashes…

and dumps it out in the trashcan.

She starts scooping again…

…gets a big scoopful, then dumps it in the trash.

After several trips, the fireplace is now clean and ready for new firewood.

She lays down firewood Mark has cut and prepared – starting with one large piece at the bottom…

…and some smaller pieces at top.

She gets the fire starter.

Then she gets the torch. Don’t worry, dear readers – Mom’s the one who lights it!

It’s lit!

Now we have a warm fire to enjoy the rest of the day!

Look around your home and see if there is a task your family does everyday that your child could participate in – and maybe take over. Let them have the choice of doing the activity everyday, but a child under 5 is too young to be required to do it everyday.

When your child starts to help out around the house, don’t feel like you need to reward them or praise them excessively. If you rely heavily on qualitative praise (like, ‘you’re so smart’) or giving your child rewards (like toys, money or cookies) – it will take away from their own sense of accomplishment. Pretty soon, you’ll find that they only do things for your praise or reward. And their joy of doing the activity diminishes.

The best way to praise your child is by using simple phrases like, ‘You cleaned the fireplace,’ ‘You helped wash the dishes’ or ‘You brought your dishes to the sink.’ These descriptive praises tells them you noticed what they did – and your acknowledgement is all they need.

Our Plans for Summer & Fall 2014

Monday, March 31st, 2014 9:39 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Pictures from the summer school we’ll be attending in Taiwan

So much has happened recently, sometimes I don’t know where to begin to share with you all! So I thought I’d give you a brief overview of what we’ve been up to, including our plans for the summer and fall. 

My husband and I are in the final stretch of our training (I’m doing my Primary training 3-6 and he is doing Elementary training 6-12). We will both be student teachers for the next month at one of the best Montessori schools in Portland and then it will be exam time! There is only one word for these AMI Montessori trainings: INTENSE. And to do it with twin 3-year-olds while consulting clients on evenings and weekends…well, it hasn’t been easy. However, it has forced me to do a lot of soul-searching and transformation to become someone who can handle all of this stress! So in that sense, it’s been a great experience. 

This summer, we will be going back to Taiwan. B and M will be attending summer school at Taipei Montessori School. I am sooo excited about this. The program looks AMAZING. I’m not just saying this because I have family ties with that school. Seriously, I’ve looked into so many summer schools these last two years and this one has the best program I’ve seen. 

Summer school starts on June 16th. It runs from 830-4pm Monday through Friday. There is the Montessori work cycle in the morning, followed by extracurricular activites everyday, like Taekwondo, Taiko drumming, mosaic art, cooking, music, gymnastics etc. Afternoons are all cultural extension activities, which means, they explore Taiwanese, Aborigine and the larger Asian cultures through art, music, books, plays and other hands-on, sensorial activities. There will also be outings, including swimming, once a week.

I’m so excited for B and M to finally get fully immersed in a Chinese-speaking environment! I hope some of you will come and spend the summer with us in Taipei. Even if your child doesn’t speak any Chinese, they will learn so quickly. That is the power of the young child’s Absorbent Mind when it comes to language. There are lots of Caucasian children who attend this school and it always shocks me to hear perfect Chinese come out of them! For more information, click here for English and here for Chinese.

Here’s the big news:

Next fall, we will be moving to the Bay Area in California, where we will be starting a Montessori Chinese Immersion school. We don’t have the official name yet, or the exact location, but the details are in the works! It will be a Primary program accepting children between 2.5 – 6 years old. Our anticipated opening date is Jan of 2015. I hope some of you who live out there will come by to check us out!

B and M are now 3 years 3 months and growing fast. They attend a Montessori school here in Portland. I’ve got more updates about them coming up over the next few weeks, so stay tuned…

GIVEAWAY! Perfect Baby Toys!

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 1:00 pm | By Stephanie Woo

 

These baby toys are adorable! They are wooden (read: NATURAL), lovely to touch and the perfect size for little hands. One of them has bells, which makes it an excellent cause-and-effect toy. Think, ‘when I shake this, it makes a sound.’ It also helps with another important developmental milestone for babies, which is bringing their hands together to the center of their body. The egg & cup and peg & cup achieves this in such a simple way.

This is a wonderful set of visual, auditory and kinesthetic toy. You can give these to babies as young as 2-month-old, but a 10-month-old would love them just as much.   

Thanks to Bella Casa, they can be your baby’s new favorite toy when you enter this giveaway! Enter a comment below for your chance to win! Winner will be announced on March 7.

5 Things You Must Know About Preemie Twins

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 6:04 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Recently, I’ve come across many parents with preemie twins. Because those first few days after birth are the absolute foundation of a human being’s life, you must pay attention to a few critical things if your babies are spending time in NICU. You cannot be a perfect parent your whole life, or even most of the time. But if there is a time you need to give all you’ve got to your babies, those first few days and weeks is the time. 

  1. Twins need each other as much as they need their mother. Do not let them be separated into different rooms or hospitals. If it is an absolute emergency situation and there is nothing the hospital can do but to separate them, do everything in your power to minimize the number of hours they are apart. Every minute counts. If they are kept in separate incubators, see if you can talk to the nurses about putting them together, at least some of the time. If this not possible, when you are around, take them out together and hold them at the same time. They need to be spend time next to each other, feeling each other’s presence.  One of my favorite stories of all time is of a dying preemie who was placed in the same incubator as her twin sister for the first time, and literally came back to life the next morning. It only makes sense, they are twins. They were conceived together. Inutero scans show twins interacting with each other in the womb. All they know is each other. They are meant to stay together.
  2. Your preemies need as much skin-to-skin time as possible. There will be some nurses who will encourage this and others who will thinks it disturbs their peace. Overall, skin-to-skin is not at the top of most hospital’s priority list, though they don’t necessarily oppose it either. They’re generally lukewarm about the concept. So make sure your voice is heard – tell the nurses you want to do skin-to-skin as much as possible. I can’t emphasize how important this is. The research on the benefits are many, varied and proven around the world. In fact I recommend as much skin-to-skin as possible during the first three months. I remember lying naked in bed with my girls on top of my chest for 2-3 hours a day in the beginning. We ate, slept, played – it was dreamy. Preemies need at least that everyday. 
  3. Take turns with your partner to spend at least 10-15 hours a day in the hospital with your babies. Hospitals – with their endless rounds of nurses, doctors, equipment and everything your babies seem to need – can make you feel you are extraneous or unnecessary. You may think: my babies are totally taken care of here, what do they need me for? You couldn’t be more wrong. Your babies need YOU. They have been living inside your body, they know your heart rate and the rhythm of your breath. Your body temperatures are synced up together. They know the sound, rhythm and cadence of your voice. In fact, you have been their whole world up to this point. To get thrown into an environment that is completely unfamiliar is extremely stressful for your babies. You are their lighthouse on the dark sea. You are the light they recognize; to feel your presence gives them a huge sense of security. Do not, for one second, think that the most experienced hospital nurses can replace your presence, voice and touch. Your babies need you. Spend as much of your waking hours as possible with them at the hospital. But, of course, take breaks, eat well, sleep a lot and recuperate your strength for when they come home! 
  4. Talk to your babies. Talk to them like you would to another human being. You may feel silly, but don’t. They may not understand every word, but they understand intention better than anyone. A mother’s intention for her babies literally shapes them. Set your intentions straight. Tell your babies you want them to gain weight, get off the respirator, feed on their own, stabilize their temperature, or whatever it is. Tell them that you want them out of the hospital and back home ASAP. Tell them what you want. Then tell them how happy you are they have come into your life and re-emphasize how much you want them to come home. Talk to them everyday, several times a day. They will respond. Just watch. 
  5. Lastly, work closely with your doctors to monitor your babies’ growth. Of course your doctor’s advice is very valuable, so work with them!

Now go bring your babies home! And get in touch with me if you need anything: stephanie@montessorionthedouble.com 

Giveaway: Your Toddler Will Love This!

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 9:24 am | By Stephanie Woo

This giveaway has expired. But you can get 25% discount through this link. Enter “MONTESSORI25″ at check out!

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Marie-Claire made something I wish I had known about two years ago. These awesome card decks are beautifully-designed (which appeals to the Montessorian in me) and non-toxic. The fact that they have educational information, like numbers, letters and shapes is just the cherry on top! If you have a young toddler, they will love this. Guaranteed. And if you have older children, the So Awesome website has ideas on other things you can do. For example, I love the matching game below (see picture). 

 

For us, the wallet was a particularly HUGE HIT. Every time we go to the grocery store, Mackenzie always remembers to bring her wallet. The first time she brought it with her, while I was checking out, she had taken out her card as she sat in the cart, waiting and ready to swipe! That’s how much children want to do what adults do. 

Lucky for us, Marie-Claire is doing a giveway for Montessori On the Double readers! Leave a comment below or send me an email stephanie@montessorionthedouble.com and if you are the lucky winner, she will send you an alphabet deck and the much-coveted wallet! Check out the rest of her website here! Winner will be announced on Feb 14th.