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Fun Interview with Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now

 

Interview
 
When I found out that my family and I would be in the area where Deb Chitwood lives, I decided to let her know and I asked her if she would mind meeting with me. I had never met her before and was beyond excited at the opportunity to spend some time with her. But I went a step further and asked her if I could conduct a mini-interview and ask her some questions to include in a post. She gracefully agreed. Woohoo!
 
Now, if you don’t know who Deb Chitwood is, she is a very successful blogger (with over 130,000 Facebook followers) to two amazing blogs (Living Montessori Now and Bits of Positivity) and a very strong voice for Montessori at home and homeschooling. Deb has two children, Will and Christina, whom she homeschooled using The Montessori Method. I got to meet Christina and she is as amazing as Deb has described her.
 
We met at a Starbucks and got our drinks there. Deb chose a cold, dark chocolate blended drink (no coffee in it). I went with a salty caramel frappuccino. Then the three of us walked across the street to sit in the shade at a beautiful park by the bay. We had beautiful weather and we got a nice, quiet spot so we could talk.
 


For the interview, I wanted to invite some of my sweet Montessori blogger friends, who admire Deb as much as I do, to share a question that they would ask Deb if they were to ever meet her in person. Wow! They came up with some pretty awesome questions. I will share them here.

PAST

Vanessa from Mama’s Happy Hive asked:
“What is your secret? Where did your passion for Montessori blogging begin and what keeps you going?”
Deb is definitely passionate about what she does. Her motivation comes from seeing how well The Montessori Method works and wishes to make it accessible to everyone. She shared something that I found fascinating. Deb used to run a Montessori school when her son was very young. 
Years later, she had a recurring dream that she had many Montessori students, but she didn’t know any of them. In the dream, it distressed her that she didn’t know their names. Later on, while she lived in England, she began her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies and was able to create many lessons and work for children this age. Her daughter was ice skating professionally there. Deb completed her Master’s Degree and they moved back to the United States. Her husband then suggested that she begin blogging and she did. Also, she used those lessons and work that she had created to include in her book
Her recurring dream came true! She is such a powerful voice in the Montessori world that through her blog, she is influencing hundreds of thousands of children (that she doesn’t even know) in a positive way. That is what keeps her going.

Kimberly from Natural Beach Living asked:
“Since your children are now adults, how do you feel Montessori homeschooling helped them become the people they are today?”
Deb and her children were very happy to homeschool. Will, her oldest, did attend a private school for a year or two and decided to be homeschooled. Deb recounts how he would tell Christina that they were better off learning at home. For them, homeschooling from a progressive Montessori point of view fostered independence, gave them the ability to advance at a faster pace academically and to do interest-led learning, including ice-skating competitively. Christina started attending college at the age of 16 and was at the top of her classes. Here is a link that Deb shared to a post that explains more: Montessori and My Children -Theory vs Reality.

 
 
PRESENT
Aubrey from Montessori Mischief asked a 2-part question:
“Has the focus of Living Montessori Now changed since you began blogging?”
Deb started her blog, Living Montessori Now, in 2010 and the focus has pretty much been the same: to make Montessori available to everyone by offering easy, fun and educational lessons that parents can do at home as well as educators can do at school.
While she was pursuing her Master’s Degree in England, Deb was able to share her passion for The Montessori Method with her professors and classmates and was able to change their minds in regards to their preconceptions of the method. They complained of its rigidity and how rigorous the training was (almost unattainable for the common folk), but she showed them how easy it is to put together work at home. She focuses on the same thing in her blog.
 
“What do you see your readers as needing most when they come to visit your site?”
It varies from time to time. Different lessons have been very popular, but it isn’t easy to know whether the lessons are popular in the Montessori teacher circles, in the homeschooling community or both. Sometimes, it is printables, other times it is a music routine for circle time and sometimes it is her Montessori Monday posts.
 
Marie from Child Led Life asked:
“What is one thing you do every day to grow your blog?”
She pins something on Pinterest. Pinterest draws most of her blog’s traffic.
 
 
Future
Seemi from Trillium Montessori asked:
“What are your goals for the future?”
Deb is definitely wanting to continue blogging to spread the Montessori message. She has started including her granddaughter (Will’s daughter) in some of her posts and they both love it. Christina, Deb’s daughter, doesn’t have children yet, but she said that she will definitely make sure that her future children learn the Montessori way, like she did.
 
And my question (Tanya) from The Natural Homeschool is:
“What do you want your legacy to be, not only as a prominent blogger, but also as a very loud and supportive voice in the Montessori and Homeschooling worlds?”
Deb wants to continue to meet that incredible need that is out there for materials and lessons that parents and teachers can access to teach children.
 
Deb is such a humble, jovial and admirable lady. We had fun chatting while sitting on the grass and getting to know each other. I noticed that she had her nails done and dared to ask her if she was wearing Jamberry nails (which is one of my home businesses). As it turns out, she was! She was wearing the white and clear chevron. 
I had a small stash of new Jamberry nail wraps in my purse and told her and Christina that they were more than welcome to pick a style for them to take home as a gift. Deb picked the Fade in (pink and silver sparkle) and Christina picked Iced (mint and silver sparkle). Aren’t they beautiful? Great choices!

 

 

I would like to thank my beautiful Montessori blogger friends for sharing questions to ask Deb. Additionally, some of them shared one of their favorite posts by Deb, as a special tribute to her. It was very difficult to pick because we love so many of them. So here is a handful. Pay them a visit to see how awesome they are.

~ One of my favorites is Introduction to Montessori. This post includes a Montessori Blog Hop, which was so much fun to do earlier this year. 

~ This is the post that Marie (Child Led Life) picked: How to Help Your Child Treasure Books.

~ Seemi (Trillium Montessori) said it was very hard for her to pick, as Deb’s blog is her go-to for inspiration, but she said this was one that she loves: Montessori Monday – Free and Inexpensive Montessori Materials and Resources.

~ Aubrey (Montessori Mischief) loves the fact that Deb is now writing posts that include her granddaughter. This is one of Aubrey’s favorite posts: Meeting the Need for Movement in Crawling and Pre-walking Babies.

~ Vanessa (Mama’s Happy Hive) enjoyed Deb’s Little Passports Global Adventure post.

~ Kimberly (Natural Beach Living) has a favorite, for sure: Montessori-Inspired Life Cycle Activities.

I hope that this post has given you some insight on who Deb is, what her blog does to the Montessori world and that you feel encouraged you and inspired to try more Montessori in your homeschools or to venture out and try Montessori learning for the first time. For any questions, feel free to contact any of the bloggers mentioned in this post and to join some great Montessori groups on Facebook.
Montessori on a Budget
Montessori 101
Montessori Bloggers Network
Christian Montessori Network
Montessori Homeschooling
Montessori Material For Sale
Lisa Nolan’s Montessori Art and Music for 2 to 6-year-olds
Bringing up Montessori Infants and Toddlers 
Why Montessori? 
Montessori Materials 
Montessori at home
–  Get Social with Confessions of a Montessori & Mom Lisa Nolan Montessori
Combining Reggio and Montessori with Study at Home Mama

Here are 100+ Montessori blogs that you will love to follow.

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