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

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

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

Here are the dates of all the sessions:

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. If you are not available during one of these times, you can listen to it on my website anytime over the next two weeks. All recordings will be available for two weeks. 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. Why? Because I know you are busy. 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 to all the critical information about your baby’s first year.

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 given by me.  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 told me this last week: “I’m surprised when my 3-month-old twins don’t sleep all night!”

What is covered in each session exactly? 

In session 1, we will ground ourselves in some critical early childhood development theory. You will stand in awe of your child after this session. 

In session 2, we will examine everything around sleep. We will use 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, we will examine everything around food. 

In session 4, we will talk about Psycho-motor development, including gross and fine motor milestones. You will also learn about basic brain development. 

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? You don’t have to do it. BUT if I were you, I would definitely do the homework to get the most out of the course.

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

Private Consultation is very pointed. It is about your specific child, parenting style and home. 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. 

My Long Distance course will be more general. 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. 

Will you talk about Brooke and Mackenzie?

Ummm…yes. 

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

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? 

I have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If at the end of the 5 weeks, 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. But don’t wait till then! As soon as you register, your journey begins! Register now!

How can I register now? 

Click here to register 

Long Distance Learning Course Starts April 26!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 6:16 pm | By Stephanie Woo

UPDATE: Our next course begins on April 26. 

TOPIC: Discovering Your Child’s Timeline - The Key to Parenting with Ease

Dear Friends,

I want to tell a secret. It’s a secret that can change your life as a parent. It’s the difference between constantly thinking, “I’m sooo tired…” and actually having energy to enjoy the journey. It’s the difference between having a child who is naturally advanced with zero effort and one who is just a little behind. It’s a secret few people know – and fewer still who know how to make it work for them. 

Raising babies is all about timeline. 

Think about that for a second. Yes, other things matter somewhat, like temperament, environment, parenting style, etc, but mostly it’s about getting the RIGHT TIMING.

If you get the timing right – when babies are naturally interested and capable of certain milestones, like sleeping through the night, eating solid food, language development, potty training – all of these things will come easily. And these are just the common issues I hear about, but there’s so much more your child will be able to do if you capture the right timing! If you miss your window of opportunity, things will be harder to correct. And the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Not impossible, just harder.

For example, did you know that a 2-month-old can learn to sleep through the night much more easily than a 7-month-old?

Why put your family through all that frustration, when you can make it easy, joyous and fun for everyone just by giving your baby the right thing at the right time?

And what does that mean for you as a parent? It means you need to know how to seize those important windows of opportunity! 

If you are raising a baby right now, you need to find out the following: When is the window of opportunity to help my baby sleep through the night? When should I start feeding them solids or potty training them? Everyone says I should be talking to my baby, but when is it most critical for me to start doing that? What signs should I be looking for? What do I do if I missed a certain window?

If you attend every class and do the homework, I GUARANTEE this course will change the way you think about parenting completely. But who will be the biggest winner out of this? Your child. 

Specially designed for pregnant mothers and parents with young babies in their first year of life, this course will be offered over 5 weeks on Saturdays from 1030am-1130am PST (Pacific Standard Time). 

All calls will be recorded and posted online for 2 weeks. Not only will you have access to these calls, you will have permission to share them with anyone else who takes care of your children (spouse, nannies, relatives, etc). There will be homework in between each session. Email your questions before each call and Stephanie will do her best to address them.

Dates of the course: First call begins April 26 at 1030am. Followed by May 3, May 10, May 17, May 23rd. The recording of each session will be available for 2 weeks online to all registered participants. 

Session Topics:

1 The Hidden Genius of Babies – Revealed

2 Sleep – Learn To Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

3 Weaning – Learn to Ignite Your Baby’s Love Affair with Healthy Food

4 Motor Skills – Learn How to Help Your Baby Adjust to His or Her Own Body – and The World

5 Looking Ahead: What to Expect For the Next Six Months

When you register, KNOW THIS: You are doing one of the most important things you can for you child. Your education and self-development will help your child reach his/her highest potential. 

This course is normally $400, but if you register early, you can take advantage of the early bird discount of only $197!

Cost: $400  ONLY $197 if registered by April 21!

Click here to register

 

After you register, I will be sending you a short questionnaire to fill out about your child. Please make sure to email it back to me before April 25th!

I look forward to speaking with you on April 26th!

Warmly, 

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!

*    *    *

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.

If Your Child Hits, Bites, Screams or Throws Tantrums

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 12:05 am | By Stephanie Woo

M (3 years, 1 month) hammering a screwdriver into a piece of plaster to find dinosaur bones

Parents ask me about discipline more than any other questions. What do I do if my child hits, screams, cries or throws tantrums? 

When I address this question straight on, I can offer parents band-aid solutions. We all need something to fix the problem now. However, what I’m really interested in is working with parents to find permanent solutions. Bad behavior is never what it seems – there is always a root cause hidden underneath. 

Dr. Montessori’s own story provides a clue to the conundrum of bad behavior. An Italian physician, who worked with special needs children in psychiatric hospitals, Dr. Montessori became a sensation when her students passed the regular state exams, many of them with flying colors. She questioned how her methods would work with regular children. When a new housing project for migrant workers went up in Rome, the officials couldn’t figure out what to do with the children while their parents were at work. This is how Dr. Montessori came to be entrusted with 40 3-6 year olds children. 

Her methods produced miraculous results. In one year, aristocrats, scholars, teachers and parents around the world started visiting her school at the news of 4-year-olds spontaneously writing. And not just that. The dirty, sullen, timid children of poor, illiterate workers had become polite, self-disciplined, graceful and independent little human beings. 

Montessori writes about her experience in The Absorbent Mind, “The disorderly became orderly, the passive became active, and the troublesome disturbing child became a help in the classroom. This result made us understand their former defects had been acquired and were not innate. But all these disturbances came from a single cause, which was insufficient nourishment for the life of the mind.” (p.199, Kalakshetra)

Herein lies the answer to tantruming, screaming, difficult children: “insufficient nourishment for the life of the mind!” 

So how can we give our children sufficient nourishment for their minds? Let me offer a few places you can start with:

1. Help them do it by themselves. Mackenzie has to constantly remind me with her little shrieks, “BY MYSELF!” That little shriek (and sometimes full-blown crying) is an act of self-preservation.  She needs to learn to do things by herself and become independent. The survival of the human race has depended on our drive for self-sufficiency. If I’ve undone the button for her, opened the door for her or poured the milk for her, I’ll just go back two steps and button the button, or close the door or pour the milk back – and let her do it. That is not spoiling or giving in to her, that is giving her the help she really needs. Do you ever just pick up your child without asking? Do you ever just do things for them because you’re on automatic – serving them dinner, cleaning up after them, putting on their clothes? Yes, it’s automatic for us parents, but if you’ve got a tantruming child, see if you’ve just intruded on their independence and made them into babies. If there is anything they hate, it’s being a baby all over again.

2. Give your children plenty of opportunity to work with their hands. Play kitchens are fine, but pretend cooking with a plastic skillet will never require the kind of hand-eye coordination, care and attention that real pancakes on a skillet would require. Dolls and cars are great, but activities like hammering a nail, sewing with a needle, cutting with scissors are even better for their developing hand and intellect. And your child thrives on perfecting his coordination and abilities. Provided everything is child-sized, those kinds of activities make them happy, independent and trusted. Expect them to become fully absorbed and do things you never imagined young children doing. A child at 18 months and over can start using many kinds of kitchen utensils. B and M used their first pair of scissors at 19 months, cut with knives at 20 months and made scrambled egg here at 22 months. Watch what this Montessori mom does with her little one.

3. Children will do best when activities build on the skills of previous activities. Instructional scaffolding improves learning. If your child has never poured water before, don’t put them in front of a hot skillet to pour eggs. To learn pouring, a young toddler can start with stacking cups in the tub, then given a pitcher and glass at meals to pour his own milk. You can then teach her to pour through a funnel before letting her pour faster, runnier things like eggs. Let your child peel first bananas, then mandarins, then eggs. Let your child help mix things – first something liquid, then something heavier like batter before moving on to salads and spaghetti. Yes, the kitchen is a great place to build skills!

If your child is throwing a tantrum, screaming, hitting, yelling, calling you names, you need to address the behavior. You’re more than likely to encounter resistance though. But a child who is concentrating on doing something with his hands and absorbed in that activity isn’t interested in throwing a tantrum. He’s too busy. And usually, you’ll find that when he comes out of a period of concentration, he’s happier, lighter and more ready to do what you ask. 

I’ll leave you with one final thought: young children need lots of collaboration. If they don’t want to do something in the moment (even though they did it so well yesterday), their brains are not developed enough to have the kind of consistency you want and expect from adults. Today, they may just need a little more help. But not too much help – just enough till they can take over. 

See How Easily You Can Do Yoga with 3-Year-Olds!

Sunday, January 26th, 2014 2:59 am | By Stephanie Woo

With the help of an awesome set of yoga cards we got from my cousin, Daisy – featuring pictures of real children doing yoga, one pose on each card – B chooses Forward Bend as our first pose

B works her way into the Bow Pose

She does it!

Triangle Pose feels great!

M decides to join us in the Child’s Pose

What is yoga without Downward Dog?

We all lay down in Shavasana (Dead Man’s Pose)

We end in meditation. B concentrates hard to get the right hand mudra!

This yoga set is especially good because it features a real child doing yoga. This is better than drawn figures, which can be too abstract for young children. To find out more about this set of yoga cards, visit http://montessoribyhand.blogspot.com/2007/08/yoga-photos.html

GIVEAWAY: 3 Pairs of Organic Cotton Training Pants!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 1:34 am | By Stephanie Woo

If your child is anywhere between 7-18 months, you should start thinking about potty training. The earlier you do it, the easier it will be. The longer you wait (like starting at 2 or 3 years old), the longer it will take. 

A fellow 0-3 AMI Montessori trained friend, Shahana Gupta of Baby Essentials, created and designed these super soft organic cotton training pants. My favorite part of the design is the band around the legs to prevent leakage. The cheap Gerber ones we wore back in the day when we were potty training did not have this important detail, so most of the wetness ended up dribbling down the leg and on the floor (just telling it as it is!), instead of staying primarily in the training pants. Also, it’s thick but not too thick, which is ideal for your baby and young toddler because bulky diapers (and clothing) will inhibit their movement. In those early stages of crawling, pulling up and walking, they need as little resistance as possible in their clothing!

To enter the giveaway, please send me an email titled: I Want To Win the Training Pants Giveaway or enter a comment below and let us know why you want to win! 

The winner will be announced on January 31, 2014.