Hi I am Rhina Etienne Montessori Family Coach and Founder of A Little Room 2 Grow . I am a certified AMS Montessori educator from birth to six years old. My role is to enlighten parents on how they can support their child’s potential through the home environment. I believe play is crucial to early development and every child should have a play space that is accessible and simplistic enough to inspire creativity and encourage independence.
WHAT I DO
I coach parents through converting their child’s current play area into a simplified space with Montessori-inspired learning toys, materials and furniture. It’s a way to prepare children for grade school without adult-led pressure. After helping many families create a Montessori-inspired “Play & Learn Spaces,” all parents witness the same results; increased functionality and more play time!
WHY I DO IT
I believe a home that offers the opportunity for both play and independence fosters healthy mental, physical, social and emotional development.
When I first began my path to become a Montessori school teacher, my son and I were placed in the same classroom. Although in some ways it was challenging, I had the privilege to witness another side of him I didn't get to see at home. I was amazed by how long he was able to concentrate on one task at a time and clean up after himself with such ease. So I decided to imitate some basic design techniques learned from the Montessori classroom to re-create our home environment. I began designing his play space with his interest and development in mind. I slowly re-organized other areas to bring a full Montessori-inspired home environment concept (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen). My vision was to create a simplistic space where he could find his belongings easily and put them away independently, just like he did in his classroom. That decision changed our parenting approach at home. My husband and I became less stressed and more supportive of our child's needs and capabilities.
Through that journey, I discovered a deep desire to share what I had witnessed so other parents could also experience their child’s unique transformation too.
Parents at school have always asked me, “What can I do at home to support my child’s readiness for school?” My answer has always been “play and independence!”
Children need to play in order to develop strong concentration, problem solving, language, motor skills and more. Children thrive when they have some sort of independence and it often shows when they have opinions, make decisions and have the willingness to accomplish a task on their own.
Sadly, these days children don’t get enough free play time at home. Either they are occupied with endless screen time or their time is spent going from one structured after-school program to the next. Play is being replaced with an unnecessary amount of screen time and after-school activities. To top it off, more value is placed on how academically advanced a child is and how far they have excelled in extra curricular activities before reaching grade school. From this, I have grown to be a strong advocate for play time and all the many benefits children gain from it. Children thrive on exploring their surroundings and are excited to play when they are in a space that is at their level and with items that calls their interest. It’s fascinating to see how long children can play with the most simple things around them. Truth is, they don’t need so many toys and fancy gadgets to spark their imaginations. They just need an environment that is mindful to their learning.
If you are a parent seeking guidance in balancing your child’s daily routine with more free play time and a home environment they can both play and learn from, I am here for you!
I invite you to browse my site and see how I can help you get started at home.