I've been passionate about child development and Montessori as a way of life even before I had a child of my own. Being an expat Tamil mom, it is important that I pass on the richness of Tamil culture to my little one and help stay connected to our roots. While social media offers a lot of inspiration for Montessori shelves and activities, I wanted to share the true spirit of the Montessori philosophy, while weaving in cultural aspects of our life.  

Tamil Montessori is the brainchild of my love for all things Tamil and Montessori. Here's what Tamil Montessori is/has been all about and every image below has its own story, so be sure to click each one to learn more. 

Fun fact: It was my husband who named this space "Tamil Montessori" during one of our evening walks as I was talking through my vision and I'm extremely grateful for his incredible support.

Tamil is more than a language

As a family living away from our homeland, Tamil is more than just the language to us. Yes, we speak Tamil at home and we also breathe our culture everyday through the food that we eat, festivals that we celebrate and values that we live by.

 

Montessori is beyond the shelf

I've intentionally stayed out of the typical Montessori shelf updates and toy rotations because Montessori is beyond the activities at the shelf; instead I focus on sharing simple snippets of our Montessori way of life. Practical life activities are a big part of our day and below are some examples of involving the child in age-appropriate and purposeful activities in our home.

Montessori is for all

Montessori concepts can be overwhelming and I love to simplify and make it accessible to more people by sharing the "whats", "whys" and "hows" of Montessori philosophy and child development backed by Dr. Montessori's work and/or other research.

Montessori can be practiced without fancy materials

The kitchen is one of the areas in our home where we spend the most quality time together. Oftentimes, the activities and materials from the kitchen are the most engaging to children than the ones at the shelf. Check out one such versatile material available in most of the South Indian kitchens below and how eating a banana can be a Montessori activity!

When we are not indoors, nature provides the best materials for experiential learning.

Children's books in Tamil that are Montessori-friendly

I write children's books in Tamil while integrating elements from Tamil culture; it's important to have inclusive books where children see themselves represented. And I write them by weaving in principles that would make the books Montessori-friendly to children. Learn more about "What makes a children's book Montessori-friendly for 0-6 years?" and also my book babies - Vaazhai ilai virundhu, Pongalo Pongal.

Resources to pass on the richness of Tamil

I share language resources that help pass on the richness of Tamil to the next generation including

  • Children's poems that has transcended generations through written or oral recitations

  • Compilation of books in Tamil for early readers from various book publishers

  • Other materials that nurture the love for language

Alignment of Tamil culture and Montessori principles

I love to discover interconnections between Tamil culture and Montessori philosophy. I see many Montessori concepts in a traditional banana leaf meal. Curious? Click on the banana leaf image below. Another example is the traditional Tamil walker (nadai vandi), which is push-wagon styled walker aligns with the Montessori principles to foster the child's freedom of movement.

Tamil values and practices - A part of our life

The Tamil value "Aram" (Do what is right and do it selflessly) is the core of our life. It manifests in who we are and what we do everyday. A few examples include:

  • Creating a pollinator garden to save the bees

  • Embracing diversity in the festivals that we celebrate

  • Fostering gratitude through Montessori Gratitude Jar

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Tamil is our way of life and so is Montessori.

Monisha Monikantarajan