My Montessori Journey

Hi!  I’m Pilar Bewley, former Montessori child, Montessori guide, and proud homeschooling mom.

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For many years, my happy place was in the classroom.  But during my decade of working in Montessori schools, it became harder and harder to navigate against the tide of standardized tests and unrealistic expectations that overwhelm both teachers and students.  My then seven-year-old son Zachary, who was also a student in my elementary classroom, knew this was not the education he and his younger sister Nadia wanted or deserved.

At his suggestion, we did a few months of “weekend homeschooling” while also going to school during the week.  When it became evident that “weekend homeschooling” was more effective and enjoyable than school, we threw in the towel and started our homeschool journey.

Zachary and Nadia, along with the 100+ children I’ve had the honor to guide, have taught me more than I could ever teach them.  My goal is to share with you the life lessons and discoveries they’ve so patiently shared with me.

A bit about my background… I have AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas (Primary from San Diego, CA in 2008 and Elementary from Bergamo, Italy in 2010), as well as a Master’s degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University (2008). I’m also a Positive Discipline parent and classroom educator, and completed the Orff Schulwork Level I music education diploma.

Mainly Montessori was born out of my popular personal blog, The Full Montessori (which you can still find on the navigation bar above). In this ever-evolving space, I hope you find the support and inspiration you’re looking for.  Bringing Montessori into your home isn’t always easy, but my experience has shown me that it’s the best gift you’ll ever give yourself and your family.

I’m happy you’re here.  Enjoy your journey of discovery and don’t forget to join our growing community on Facebook!

30 thoughts on “My Montessori Journey”

  1. Hi Pilar! Your words are so beautiful! You are so right when you say that “Montessori is much more than a method of education”. I always felt this way but had never read about it in a book before. Thank you for inspiring me with your writings. And many blessings to your baby and new family.

  2. Is there a means of following your blog via Google Reader? I would love to keep up with your thoughts about and experiences with Montessori, but I follow all blogs via Google Reader. I know there is the email option, but I am trying to limit incoming email as much as possible.

      1. I would love to make the frog that you showed in the post titled ‘the dog days of summer’ any way I could get the pattern?

  3. Helo! I don’t know your name, but I wanna share with you the Montessori way with my baby Theo. I’m so happy that I’ve founded your blog, because my son also was born in january 2012. I have a blog that put some Montessori experiences:

    Can I link your blog in my blog? I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and we didn’t have a Montessori tradition here, so I’m very glad for each blog about Montessori familys.

    And my english it’s not good, sorry.



  4. Hello, my sister-in-law read an article you wrote for and really enjoyed it. It was the one about how we learn from failure, not success. I really enjoyed reading it as well. So much that I bookmarked your blog! I also loved the one about your neighbor who was a picky eater!
    We live in Irvine and I have been on the search for a good Montessori school since I was pregnant with my two and a half year old daughter. I was wondering if you would be able to recommend or share any information about the Montessori schools in our area. So far we have looked at LePort, Irvine Montessori schools, and Great Foundations. We also met with a lady who ran a small Montessori school out of her home.
    Some of the schools hire AMI teachers and others AMS.
    Thank you in advance and I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, I’ll keep reading your blog! Thanks!

    1. Hi Denise, thank you for your lovely comment! I’m so glad that you’ve found my writings useful. 🙂 I’m sorry to say that I am not familiar with Montessori schools in Irvine, but I have a friend who’s an AMI teacher at LePort. If you would allow me to send her your e-mail address, perhaps she can give you the “inside scoop” on the local schools. I’m partial to AMI because that’s my training background and also because it is without a doubt the most thorough and rigorous training program available. However, I know several talented AMS teachers and several AMI teachers that are a disaster, so it really boils down to finding the right fit for your child and your family. I wish I could be more helpful but perhaps my friend can shed some light on Irvine’s Montessori schools. Let me know if it’s ok to send her your address… Best wishes and keep reading! 🙂

  5. Hi there! I just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful informative blog. I too have recently decided to write a blog about my experiences raising my daughter. I am passionate about the Montessori approach but have no formal education in it so it’s so fantastic to be able to connect with likeminded people who really know what they are talking about…it makes my journey not only fun but I feel like someone is helping to guide my way! Thank you for the book recommendations & blogroll…. Off I go exploring and learning! You can catch me at

  6. Hello!
    I discovered your blog a few days ago and now I’ve read all your posts! I don’t have children but I am a nanny and I’m hoping to one day become a primary Montessori teacher. I’m still pretty new to the whole Montessori Method but I’m almost done with “An Absorbent Mind” and I absolutely love Maria and her concepts.

    I’m wondering how best to go about finding a school to receive the best training for primary certification? Hopefully I’ll be living in the Bay Area, (North Bay), by years end so that’s where I’m looking for schools. Any insights would be great!


    1. Hello Maria, I thought I wound contribute to your question about the training. I recently finished my AMI training in Portland where I moved from the bay area specifically for the training. My personal opinion is that there is no high quality Montessori training for teachers in SF bay area. However, Montessori Northwest (in Portland) is planning to do one in the bay area I think next year.

  7. Hello,

    Although I’m French, living in Yangon and probably won’t be a mum for another 5-10 years, I’ve just read your entire blog in two days and loved it! Thank you for sharing your experience. I love the way you make Montessori sound simple and accessible, it makes me feel even I will be able to do it somehow!

    Thank you,


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