buena vista Montessori
Blog Archives Motherhood

Montessori Education VS Regular

Ladies and Gentleman, I’m extremely excited about having one of the most amazing Montessori Teachers as a guest on the blog!

Teacher Bree has been Mia teacher for more than 2 years, I truly admire her passion for teaching, her love and patience towards her students is beyond expectations!

I 100% recommend her preschool located in White Rock, you can take a look at her 5-star ratings on Facebook and Google! The preschool is called ‘Buena Vista”.

This is all from me, I let you read her tips, thoughts, and experience about Montessori, enjoy!

montessori vancouver

“First let me start off by saying that I have volunteered, observed and worked in a variety of Montessori settings and there is a HUGE difference from one school to the next. I have seen some incredible Montessori environments where the Montessori principles are clearly being followed and the children are happy,  independent and social and genuinely love to learn. I have also seen some terrible environments where the Montessori principles are clearly not being followed, the materials aren’t being used and the children are not benefitting at all. Just because the school is called a Montessori school doesn’t necessarily mean it is following the Montessori principles…..it comes downs to the teacher’s training and interpretation of the philosophy. As with any school, it really is the teachers who set the tone. Some Montessori schools are very strict and traditional in their approach while others are more progressive. For parents who are looking for a preschool for their child, it’s important that they meet the owner and teacher and often observe a class in action as the differences between environments are like night and day. 

All three of my own children (19, 17 and 12 yrs) were in Montessori preschools for their foundation years (preschool and kindergarten) and it provided them with the most incredible foundation and instilled in each of them a sense of confidence and self-assurance as well as an insatiable love for learning!  They all went on to French Immersion in the public system and have excelled in every aspect….they are respectful, kind, social, high achieving kids and I’m positive that their Montessori beginnings had a lot to do with it.” Bree

 

What is the Montessori method? 

The Montessori method was developed in the early 1900’s by an Italian physician (Dr. Maria Montessori) and it is a comprehensive approach to working with children based upon careful research which is passed on to teachers through training. The Montessori Method of education is more than just a set of nicely designed materials and a few practical teaching techniques….the Montessori Method is a way of life! Itis a method of teaching that empowers young children and cultivates in each child a love for learning which in turn gives them the confidence to tackle any challenge that they are faced with. The Montessori Method is also about respect….children are taught to respect their classroom, the environment, their teachers and their peers. Children are taught to use the materials with respect and they are taught the importance of leaving each activity just as they found it so that it is neat and tidy for the next friend. A Montessori child is diligent about tidying up their own messes, rolling up their floor mats, tucking in their chairs and cleaning up their activities and it is wonderful to see them do so with an incredible sense of pride.

What are the pros /cons of Montessori education?

Hmmm, this a tough one as I don’t see any cons of a Montessori education providing it is a quality school and providing the teachers truly understand and believe in the power and value of the Montessori approach. As with any school, there are amazing Montessori schools, mediocre Montessori schools and not so good Montessori schools and the same goes for the teachers.

montessori vancouver

Montessori is well knowing for fostering a sense of independence and self-guided work. Would this be an issue in the future for the kids? As most work environments are more team-oriented

While Montessori is known for fostering independence and self-guided work, there is also a big emphasis on learning and working together…in my opinion the Montessori method of teaching provides students with the best of both worlds! I absolutely love the dynamic that can be observed in a quality Montessori environment as there are equal opportunities for independent and group activities. At the pre/kg level you see children choosing their own “work” from the shelves and the sense of concentration as they work with each activity is amazing! They learn to focus on the task at hand, they learn the value of completing a task and they take pride in cleaning up each activity so that it is ready for the next friend. Alternatively, if a child is wanting to work with a friend or to work on a collaborative project with their peers then there are plenty of opportunities for those types of activities as well. Montessori students learn to think for themselves as they move from concrete materials to abstract concepts and they do so with ease as the Montessori materials act as a catalyst to abstract thought. I love the way Montessori environment encourages students to learn to think together, in particular at the elementary level. By learning to think and work together, students learn that collaboration leads to ideas that can often surpass individual efforts. They learn different ways to approach problems as well as learning to value different perspectives. They develop creative problem-solving techniques because the environment is safe and the children feel free to take risks and experiment with ideas.

 

The Write up below is copied from AMS’s website (https://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/FAQs) but I opted to include it as it’s quite interesting:

There is a small but growing body of well-designed research comparing Montessori students to those in traditional schools. These suggest that in academic subjects, Montessori students perform as well as or better than their non-Montessori peers.

In one study, for example, children who had attended Montessori schools at the preschool and elementary levels earned higher scores in high school on standardized math and science tests. Another study

found that the essays of 12-year-old Montessori students were more creative and used more complex sentence structures than those produced by the non-Montessori group.

The research also shows Montessori students to have greater social and behavioral skills which would definitely translate over into a team oriented work environment. Montessori students demonstrate a greater

sense of fairness and justice, for example, and are more likely to choose positive responses for dealing with social dilemmas.

By less stringent measures, too, Montessori students seem to do quite well. Most Montessori schools report that their students are typically accepted into  colleges of their choice. And manysuccessful

gradscite their years at Montessori when reflecting on important influences in their life.

For more information, see the “Overview of Research on Montessori Education”in our online Research Library.

buena vista montessori

What is the difference between a Montessori teacher and a play-based teacher?

Both Montessori teachers and play based teachers have specialized training in child development and there is actually quite an overlap between both methods of teaching. Both types of teachers work hard to develop the whole child and carefully observe each child to ensure their needs are being met. Although in a Montessori classroom we refer to the activities as “work” the children are essentially playing, only instead of using basic toys they are provided with the Montessori materials, Montessori inspired activities and real-life manipulatives such as whisks, eye droppers, measuring cups, spoons, beading, sewing, brooms & dustpans, tongs etc all of which refine a child’s fine motor skills and coordination. Some Montessori schools do have some activities that aren’t the traditional Montessori materials such as playmobile, lego etc but the children still follow the Montessori approach for working with each activity…….they can work at a floor mat by themselves or with a friend and when they are done they put everything back in the tray/basket, they roll up their floor mat and they put the activity and floor mat back in the same spot where each item was found.

Play Based Teacher/Play Based Environment:

-A play based teacher believes strongly in providing children with an environment where they can play with toys and learn through playing. The environment is often very busy and colourful and it can be overstimulating to many children whereas a Montessori classroom should be calm and neutral in colour. The materials in a Montessori environment should be natural (wood and wicker) and there should be very little plastic (if any) in a Montessori environment. Everything should be child-sized in a Montessori classroom and everything should be neat, orderly and beautiful.

-A play based teacher spends a lot of their time directing a play and guiding children through various play scenarios.  It is often the teacher’s voice that stands out in a play based classroom whereas in a Montessori classroom the teacher’s voice is hardly heard which creates a more calm and peaceful environment. A play based teacher will help support children’s play with problem-solving, questioning, redirecting undesired behaviours, and enticing children into play themes.

 

-A play based classroom is usually much noisier and seems more chaotic whereas a Montessori environment is typically more calm and peaceful.

 

-A play based teacher recognizes that children learn best through an active, hands-on, playful environment.  In a play based classroom, the teacher makes decisions about the daily schedule, the environment, the materials, interactions and activities based upon the strengths, needs, interests and input of the students in the classroom.  A play based teacher is  usually much more vocal in the classroom and leads the children through play scenarios

 

– Teachers are co-constructors, co-learners, and co-explorers with students, bringing an attitude of curiosity and openness to the classroom as demonstrated by their questions, interactions and interest in the discoveries in the classroom (indoors and outdoors) throughout the school year

 

Montessori Teacher/Montessori Environment:

 

-A Montessori teacher is typically Montessori trained so that they fully understand the philosophy and methodology and are able to provide lessons using the Montessori materials.

 

-A Montessori teacher carefully observes each child and provides lessons with the materials based on their needs, strengths and interests. These lessons can include Math, Language, Sensorial, Cultural, Practical Life.

 

-A Montessori teacher’s goal is to create an enriched learning environment in which the children can explore, discover and learn via the Montessori materials. If a child is in a sensitive period for learning their numbers and counting objects then a Montessori teacher will provide that child with all kinds of lessons, materials and activities to satisfy that need. Alternatively, if a child shows an interest in letters/sounds, the teacher will guide them towards the Montessori language materials and provide lessons that reinforce letter/sound recognition, phonemic awareness, word building and reading.  It’s amazing how quickly a child learns when the teacher is in tune to their needs and sensitive periods!
-A Montessori teacher spends countless hours preparing the most beautiful, enticing environment filled with Montessori materials and interesting activities to inspire learning and discovery.

 

-A Montessori teacher is taught to follow a child’s lead and to be in tune with each child’s individual needs, strengths and abilities and to be constantly alert to the direction each child is heading and actively works to help them succeed.

 

-Montessori teachers are not the centre of attention in the classroom…..a Montessori teacher is usually soft-spoken and their focus is on children learning individually and in small groups. A Montessori teacher is more of a guide in the classroom as the focus should be on the child and their own self-discovery!

 

-A Montessori teacher has taken specialized training to learn how to present lessons using Montessori materials. The lessons are brief and precise and intended to intrigue the minds of children and encourage further practice and repetition. With younger children, a Montessori teacher is more active as her role is to demonstrate how to use the Montessori materials based on careful observation of each individual child. However,  once the children know how to use the materials, then the teacher can take a step back and allow their love of learning to flourish.

 

-In an atmosphere of calm, order and joy, the Montessori teacher is there to help and encourage the children in all their efforts, allowing them to develop self-confidence and inner discipline. The children learn from their own discoveries and draw their own conclusions.

 

-Montessori teachers are the dynamic link between the children and the Prepared Environment. They systematically observe students to interpret their needs and modify the environment to meet the needs and interests of the children. They present clear, interesting and relevant lessons, model desirable behaviour and evaluate each child’s individual progress.

 

-Montessori teachers respect and protect their students’ independence and are supportive and encouraging without the use of rewards or punishments. They are peace educators and foster effective communication and they work hard to teach courteous behaviours and pro-social conflict resolution skills.

white rock montessori

There are some rumours that Montessori pre-schoolers have some behaviour issues when they are moved to a regular school, is this true?

This is a tough question to answer because each Montessori school is so different and there are so many variables to take into consideration……each individual child’s personality, parental involvement, family dynamic, coping strategies, conflict resolution skills etc. And of course, a huge factor is the Montessori preschool that the child attended (since they are all so different) as well as the teachers he/she has had. If a preschooler has a caring and stable family dynamic and has been given a foundation in a Montessori environment that teaches and encourages respect, kindness, and tolerance and instils in them a love for learning there is no way that they will have behaviour issues when they are moved to a regular school.

 

What advice would you give to parents who are trying to find the right fit (School and method) for their kids?

Parents need to do their homework and research the schools in the area. It’s important that they meet the owner and teacher, tour the facility and often observe a class in action as the differences between environments are like night and day. If the school has reviews and testimonials take the time to read them and find out what other parents are saying. A Montessori environment is for every child providing it is a quality environment and providing the teachers have a genuine love and understanding of children. Over the years I have agreed to register children from all walks of life and backgrounds including children who have been expelled from another Montessori environment due to behaviour issues..it is soooo rewarding to see their behaviour turn around, to see their confidence grow and to be able to instil in them a love for learning and discovery. When a child feels loved, supported, accepted and challenged they are bound to flourish and thrive…..it takes a whole lot of work, time and patience but there is no better reward!

What is the best part of being a Montessori teacher?

I have been teaching since 1992 and I still wake up each day excited to get to work. I love being able to empower young children by giving them opportunities to do things by themselves…..giving a child the gift of independence is a beautiful thing and the look of pride on their little faces when they accomplish a task for the first time is incredible!  I love the hands-on aspect of the Montessori materials…children learn through their senses, they learn by discovering and they develop a concrete understanding of even the most abstract concepts. Children are like sponges and they love to learn…I take so much pride in ensuring my classroom is enriched with all kinds of unique learning activities (over and above the traditional Montessori materials) and to see the joy in the children’s faces as they work with each activity is wonderful! If the environment is enriched young children are naturally inspired and motivated to learn and as a teacher that is so exciting. They can work at their own pace to learn their numbers and to truly understand the quantity associated with each number. They use the tactile sandpaper letters to learn their phonetic sounds and letter formation and then eventually they learn to read…and the best part—-there is no pressure on the child and the learning isn’t age based or based upon the teacher’s agenda. I love getting to follow each child’s lead and provide lessons based on their needs and interests. I love seeing a child persevere with a task and to all of a sudden get it. I love that I get to teach every day in an environment that encourages respectful behaviour and kindness to others and I love the multi-age aspect where the younger children learn from the older children and the older children love taking on a leadership role for the younger children. I find the calm, peaceful nature of a Montessori classroom creates a feeling of well being which is important for children and adults alike. I love the sense of order in a Montessori environment…everything has its place and the children take great pride in caring for their classroom and ensuring they leave each activity tidy for the next friend. I love seeing the delight on a child’s face when they sound out their first word or when they finally master a skill that they have been struggling with. I love the funny moments that happen on a daily basis, the spontaneous hugs, their amusing comments and the sense of wonder that goes hand in hand with being a preschooler.

Honestly, I could go on forever……I absolutely LOVE being a Montessori teacher and I can’t imagine teaching preschoolers any other way.

XO,

Athenas and Bree

cineplex deals
Blog Archives Family Friendly

PAW Patrol Rescues March Break with $2.99 Family Screenings at Cineplex!

Happy March everyone! I can’t believe Spring break is 2 weeks ahead! I’ve been actively looking for things to do with the kids, as daycare AND preschool are both closed for those 2 weeks!

We were thinking about going on vacations but we are in the middle of house reno, so I’m focusing on finding activities within the city to maintain the kids busy, our budget in control and our sanity lol. Good news is Cineplex is here to save us!!

At only $2.99 per screening, Family Favourites are a great opportunity to introduce new movie-goers to the theatre experience, catch a blockbuster hit that was missed the first time around or simply escape the cold for an afternoon of fun and affordable entertainment. From March 18-22, 2019, participating theatres in BC will host daily matinee screenings of some of the year’s hottest films including PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Smallfoot, and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.

paw patrol cineplex

“Audiences can see PAW Patrol on the big screen for the first time in the brand new mini-movie, Mighty Pups. When a fallen meteor gives the pups mighty powers, they’ll need to use them on a superheroic mission to keep Mayor Humdinger and his nephew Harold from taking over Adventure Bay.”

See below for more information on each film and participating theatres. For showtimes, please visit Cineplex.com/MarchBreakMovies or Cineplex.com/RelacheAuCinema.

Participating theatres in BC include:

  • Cineplex Odeon Park and Tilford Cinemas
  • Cineplex Cinemas Strawberry Hill
  • Cineplex Cinemas Aberdeen Mall
  • Galaxy Cinemas Nanaimo
  • Cineplex Odeon Meadowtown Cinemas
  • Galaxy Cinemas Chilliwack
  • Cineplex Odeon Westshore Cinemas
  • Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
  • Cineplex Cinemas Abbotsford and VIP
  • Cineplex Cinemas Langley
  • Cineplex Cinemas Metropolis
  • SilverCity Riverport Cinemas
  • Cineplex Cinemas Orchard Plaza
  • Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam and VIP
  • Galaxy Cinemas Vernon

My kids are HUGE fans of the Paw patrols and the Grinch! Can’t wait to hit the theatres this spring!

XO,

Athenas

Thank you Cineplex for sponsoring this post. All the comments are my own.

vancouver influencers
Blog Archives Blog Guest

Interview with My Whiskey Girl!

Hello all! One of the coolest dog’s in Vancouver is here to give us some tips and tricks about photography, Instagram and content creation! Enjoy!!

Who is the person behind the whiskey girl account?

Hi! My name is Adele and I take the photos and am the one planning most of our outings and adventures! I’m Whiskey’s caterer, driver, massage therapist, trust fund, and photographer.

Tell us about the whiskey girl

Whiskey is an almost 5-year-old Vizsla bred in Quebec. I had wanted a puppy for years, and because rentals are so restrictive I had to wait to purchase a condo before being able to have one. My boyfriend (now husband) and I researched lots of breeds and found a Vizsla would be the best dog. We wanted a medium-sized, short-haired, super cuddly and extremely energetic dog that stayed close to their person on trails and was not overly friendly to strangers. I love hiking and wanted a dog that was happy with long distances and so we did our research, met up with other Vizsla owners, asked all the questions and found a lovely breeder in Quebec. When we brought Whiskey home, she was smaller than my cat! She had such a confident nature about her, so happy, sweet, and very thoughtful (the last part isn’t typical of the breed). She’s changed our lives completely and is usually central to most things our little family does.

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How did you grow the whiskey girl Instagram to a booming 100k followers?

I honestly don’t know. I started Instagram because all I was posting on Facebook was Whiskey photos, so I figured a platform where people had to “opt-in” would make me feel a bit less guilty for bombarding all my friends with puppy photos. The account was always for myself, and for the amazing and inspiring community that helped push my photography skills. It gave me another fun thing to do with Whiskey out on our solo hikes and in addition, photography is such a great training tool with dogs. Overtime Whiskey would understand how to pose, understand where I wanted her to go, and then would get jealous if I took photos of other dogs! Other than using hashtags and trying to respond to all the messages people send my way, I don’t really do much in terms of trying to grow the account. A lot of times I post photos I know won’t get many “likes”, but I don’ care because I just want to post what I love and is meaningful to me. I do it because I love it and because Whiskey loves it! There is such a social media obsession with the number of followers and becoming insta-famous but outside of being able to share my photos with others, I don’t really care much for it.

Has she got any brand deals?

Sometimes we work with brands for sponsored posts, but a lot of times we promote brands and products we like, unpaid. I try never to work with brands I wouldn’t use or don’t love. We are lucky enough that Whiskey doesn’t ever need to purchase another jacket, collar, or backpack ever again. But then at the same time, we are still using a tent that’s 8 years old and I’m never sure if my car can make it up a forest road. On the other side of things, because of this whole Instagram thing, we’ve discovered a lot of amazing brands that we wouldn’t have otherwise!

For how long have you been in photography?

Since High school. I started with the first Canon Rebel (digital) and had a film camera I would develop myself. I did my own enlargements (both colour and black and white) during University and then moved into working in television and film. I’ve been working in the film industry for most of my life and photography has always been something I love. Since I was a child I’ve always been drawing, painting, sewing, sculpting, so I just see photography as another way of expressing myself.

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Do you have a specific preset that you use?

I make my own presets! I’m constantly adding and creating more. I use Adobe Lightroom and really enjoy the post-processing part of photography. It’s really rewarding to take a boring photo and create something magical.

What are your top 3 photography tips?

Love what you do, and work on what you love (don’t follow trends, stay true to yourself)

Take a ton of photos, edit those photos, and actively work to get better each time (just practice, volume counts)

Don’t worry about the “right” camera, or “best” lens, just work with what you’ve got (photography doesn’t depend on a fancy camera)

What are your top 3 tips for those Doggy mom’s who wants to promote their dog’s account on Instagram?

Take lots of photos with the intention

If your dog doesn’t feel like modelling one day, drop the camera and do it another day (listen to your dog!)

Treats with basic obedience can go really far, especially if you can be inventive. For instance, ask your dog to stay, throw a treat up in the air, asking them to “leave it” and you can direct your dog’s eye line.

vancouver instagram influencers

What are your Instagram Goals?

Just to meet nice people! I never knew, wanted, or expected to grow so big. It’s a lot of work responding to so many people! But the best thing that’s come out of this all is the people I’ve met up with or chatted to online. Dog people are the best people!

What are your favourite Dog’s accounts to follow?

@freyaeverafter_ @harlowandsage @iggyjoey @graywoof @briannamadia @henrythecoloradodog I could go on for ages.

Hope you enjoy our Instagram Live! If not, you have 23 hours left to watch it!

XO,

Athenas, Adele and Whiskey

vancouver instagram influencer
Blog Archives Clean Eating

Arbonne Products Review

Hello all! Athenas here! I kinda feel weird because this is the first time I’m writing about an MLM company, but I love an honest review so here is mine from Arbonne!

Just to clarify, I’m not a distributor of this company. I was contacted by Kelsy, a local mom who was starting her business and wanted me to try them out. Usually when people contact me to promote MLM’s my immediate answer is NO. However, there was something particular about this company:

1- Has all the certifications I like to see, including the vegan society and PETA.

2-Their products are botanicals, vegan,cruelty-free recyclable product packaging and shipping boxes. Gluten-free non-GMO.

3- It was a local mom who contacted me.

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When she sent me the link to the website, and I started reading about the whole thing, I decided to give these a try. Kelsy sent me different products, a vanilla protein, Digestion plus, fibre boost, herbal tea and energy fizz sticks.

We have been drinking their vanilla protein and digestion plus every morning for 3 weeks in our smoothies and truly like it! I have to say that the flavour is extremely similar to their competitors, however, why I will go for this one instead, is as mentioned, the 4 points above.

Another reason why I like Arbonne is that I feel not scared to give it to my kids. After reading their “top 20 not allowed” ingredients, everything seems pretty safe, and usually, I don’t feel like this with MLM’s products.

vancouver blogger

 

And last but not least.. their products are earth friendly!

 

I’m very curious about trying their make up line and their shampoo, as I’ve heard great things about them.

If you are looking to support a local business and this mom, you can visit her website to see all the selection!

There you have it loves! If you give them a try, let me know!

XO,

Athenas

 

Blog Archives Freebies

Free Valentine’s Word Tracer Worksheet

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so let your kids practice their spelling with this lovely word tracer! For more educational resources, visit education.com!

Hello All! Today I’m excited to have my first Blog contributors of 2019!

A couple days ago I was contacted by Education.com a website full of great learning resources for our kids! With over 20k members and an amazing team of teachers, you can find lots of activities for your little ones! Printables, worksheets, online games, songs and many things more.

If you are one of those moms that come back from work and are looking for activities to do with your kids, this is the place to go! I myself don’t have time to be surfing on the Internet trying to get activities, but now that I found “the website” it is so easy for me to come back home with something fun to do.

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Honestly, I think this is the perfect extra touch if your kid is thinking to give out something for their classmates.

You can find the worksheet and answer key attached as PDFs for you to print.

I’m hoping you and your kids enjoy this activity and remember to download my FREE  Valentine’s placemat for them!

Do you have a favourite Valentine printable?

XO,

Athenas

 

Blog Archives Freebies

Valentine’s Printable for Kids

Hey guys! I feel bad that I haven’t been very active on the blog, I’ve been busy brainstorming for our content for 2019. This year I want to focus on quality vs quantity and give my readers as much value as possible!

If you have been following for a while, you probably know that Saint Valentines it’s my favourite holiday, as it happens to be my Birthday! Before you say: “ah it must suck to be born on saint valentines”, I actually love it as I always receive extra love LOL!

Even tho I try to make that day all about me, I really like my kids to celebrate holidays, so if you have nothing plan for yours, I got you covered!

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Here is a little printable for you! This cute placemat has a game on it called “I love you game” where kids can write or draw everything they love (I totally got the idea from peppa’s pig book).

Another thing you can do with them is to write the things YOU love about them and read it during lunch time. I didn’t do the whole set up thing for the pics, but I imagine putting some heart pancakes and chocolates on the side.

I made these printable for all the busy mom’s that run-on last-minute idea like me! If you are a full time working mom like me, you can print it at your work and set up a “Valentines” table for them at dinner time! Pds: This printable size is 9 x 11 like the ones you find at restaurants.

Hope you guys like it! Let me know if you use it!

Xo,

Athenas

 

 

 

the kid who would be king
Blog Archives Family Friendly

The Kid Who​ Would be King

Hello Everyone!

Last weekend my family and I we hit the Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre and we watched the Kid Who Would be King!

“Old-school magic meets the modern world when young Alex stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur. He soon joins forces with a band of knights and the legendary wizard Merlin when the wicked enchantress Morgana threatens the future of mankind.”

Mia and I we were super into the story! The effects, the animation, the picture. I truly recommended for kids 8 years old and up!

If you want a sneak peek and a present for your little ones, here it is:

The Guide for Young Knights is now available! Featuring The Knights Code, activities and more. Be sure to share this with your knights-in-training to ensure they’re ready for an epic adventure and can earn their seat at King Arthur’s Round Table! Click here:

https://issuu.com/ctand.co/docs/tkwwbk_guide_for_young_knights

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING opens in theatres everywhere on January 25, 2019!

Enjoy!

Athenas

how to become an influencer on instagram
Blog Archives Instagram Tips

How to become an influencer on Instagram and get paid

Hello January! I want to dedicate my first post of the year, sharing some of my tips and tricks with you regarding influencer marketing. Why? Well, I truly believe (and I know by a fact) that by sharing our knowledge and helping others to grow, we grow at the same time, it engrains what we know.

But it is important to know well your sources, so here is a little bit about me:

 

  • I got my first paid partnership with 4 figures exactly a year ago.
  • I got that partnership having only 1k followers on Instagram.
  • I was able to quit my full-time job in customer service and moved full time to do digital marketing within 2 months after opening my blog as a business.
  • I was within the top 30 Vancouver mom bloggers 2018.
  • I grew my IG from 1k to 10k in one year.
  • I’m now running a successful career in online marketing and booking some clients on the side, training them on social media or doing it for them.
  • I got paid to promote big brands like head & shoulders, Garnier, Skittles, etc.
  • I was able to run a sponsored 12 days of Christmas giveaways with local brands.
  • My pictures have been featured in cool accounts like children’s place, Earth baby outfitters, Baby Gourmet, KEWE clothing, and more.
  • I triple the visitors of my blog within a year.
  • And last but not least, I’ve achieved all of these, while having 2 kids under 4, and no help other than 3 days a week daycare. (YES, WE CAN MAMAS!)

 

This is not me being arrogant, it is me sharing facts. It is so important to know and recognize what we do good as well as what we lack, I know without a doubt that it is the only way to move forward.

 

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I have a background in management, and I was trained to train/coach people. I do that on the side once in a while, and I believe it is time for me to share/pass the knowledge of what I’ve learned from others, so here’s my ultimate guide to becoming an Instagram influencer and getting paid:

 

Be you, DO YOU

This is my number one advice. At the beginning I was always comparing myself with these big influencers, getting stress about it, until I did learn that there is always someone who is going to be better than you. There is always going to be someone with more followers, with more budget to create better content but NO ONE is going to be YOU, and that is what makes you special.

Don’t try to be someone that you are not. Be as real and raw as possible. Give value to your audience, share things that you have learned with them. If you find a product you love, share it. If you found an outfit you love, share it. If you travelled to somewhere fun and found this cool restaurant share it. Be HONEST with your audience so you can gain that trust.

 

vancouver instagram influencers

 

Know your target niche

This is so important and is marketing basics. Go to your followers or the people you want to attract and check where do they spend most of their time. Who do they follow, what do they like? How can you talk to them, what shared values do you have? Once you have a complete profile of who are you talking to and what do they like, focus your content on that. Pay attention to the data, do NOT ignore it.

 

Engage and join communities within your target niche

I think this is one of the reasons why I was able to grow my audience that quick. Find those groups, communities online AND offline that have your target niche and join them. There are a lot of groups online especially right now helping each other beating algorithms and helping with the numbers. Attend all of your target niche events, meet people in real life, connect, collaborate, share ideas, and if you see the big picture, the people who are going to support you the most is the people who understand what you are doing. Tip: If you are local from Vancouver, I love the Vancity business babes community!

 

vancouver influencers

Train/update yourself at least 3 hours a week

This has been another fact of my success in online marketing. Every week I take at least 3 hours for me to update or take training, tutorials in every single thing I do (And this includes motherhood lol). I have a list of people who I always go for training, either FREE or paid. For Influencer Marketing I’m always checking on Heydy Lopez, Keisha from Lovinglittles and julssolomon. For marketing tips and tricks, I’ll go to Cayley dimmock, Melissa from Self made mama or directly to the sources like Facebook, Google, Linkedin. I also have taken lots of good training at Lynda.com or webinars with marketing experts.

 

Write down your ideas

Sometimes we have great ideas for content, but they come to our minds and when it’s time for us to write we forget. It is so important for us to write down the ideas before they are gone. Find what time of the day, or when all of these ideas come to you, and have a paper or your phone ready. For me sometimes they come when I’m in the shower LOL! So as soon as I finish, I’ll take my phone and write as many keywords as I can on my notes. This way, when it’s time for me to sit down and write a blog post/Ig post, I know what to focus on.

 

Make a list

I do have my list of people, brands that I want to work with. I follow them, engage with them, and if I have some shots of tequila, I’ll reach out to them offering my services lol! Have a document/media kit with all of your stats.

instagram influencer

 

Forget about the quantity and focus on the quality

It’s well known that it is so easy to buy followers out there, you can have 1 million followers but if they are not bringing any value (And by this I mean dollars) to you or the brand you are representing you are out. Quality and Engagement, it’s what makes the difference. People who trust and loves you. As I shared, I got my first paid partnership with only 1k followers on IG, why? Because my audience was their target niche.

 

Here you are, my friends. These are the top tricks that I hope can help you to start! If you have any questions, just reach out to me: anguloathenas@gmail.com

XO,

Athenas