Saturday, 8 March 2014

About Us

The Child'space Project was founded in 2011 by Meg Hicks, a Montessori guide, and Sheryl Manning, a Suzuki Early Childhood teacher. The small seaside town of Busselton in Western Australia did not offer many activities for families with young children, and they wanted to create a space where the journey of parenthood and the journey of childhood could be realised in a purposeful and intentional way.

The program runs weekly and up to 15 families join in during each session to learn about the Montessori and Suzuki approaches to early childhood development, and to establish strong foundations for their learning relationships with their children. The project welcomes children from birth to around the age of 3 and offers a specially prepared environment designed to meet the needs of the child in the first half of the First Plane of Development - the period of the Unconscious Absorbent Mind.

Meg came to the Montessori approach as a child, attending the Children's Workshop in South Africa, the first Montessori school in Cape Town. After completing her undergraduate teaching degree she taught in a private school in Botswana, serving children with special needs. She went on to teach Music and Drama at Kaitaia College, a high school in the far north of New Zealand and then moved to Australia with her husband.
She undertook her 6-12 Montessori training during a two-year internship with Rhonda Sheehan a Bergamo trained AMI teacher, and established the Upper Primary class at Blue Gum Montessori school.
She completed her 0-3 training during this time, and then left to start a family of her own. After the birth of her first son, Noah, she founded the Community Montessori Children's Club in the southwest region of Western Australia. This project went on to win the National award for Excellence and Innovation in the Provision of Children's Services. She also completed her 3-6 teacher training at this time and was invited to be a guest lecturer for fourth year undergraduate education students at Edith Cowan University's southwest campus.
Meg left the project to work for the Margaret River Montessori School and founded their second 6-9 class before giving birth to her second son, Luke.
She started a home consultancy service and online Montessori materials store, making Montessori infant mobiles and toddler materials for hundreds of beautiful families all over the world. Her blog, At Home with Montessori, remains online as a valuable source of information for Montessori families with young children, even though she no longer makes materials for sale.
Meg now home schools her two boys in the Child'space unschool, a cooperative for homeschoolers who want to use the Montessori approach with their children ages 3-12. She is also undertaking a teacher trainer in training program with the Montessori Institute, and collaborating on an exciting Infant Toddler project with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Several of her articles have been published in Montessori journals and magazines, and she guest blogs for Kylie of How We Montessori.

Sheryl, is an accredited Suzuki Piano teacher and Suzuki Early Childhood teacher. More about her journey to come...