La Tela di Carlotta
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Schools around the world: The Garden House, Singapore

Oct 10, 2019

As you probably already know from my Instragram stories, where I share our world adventures daily, in Singapore I took Oliver and Emily to a lovely nursery. It’s called The Garden House and I’m so grateful to have found it, it made our stay in SG feel even more homy.

Not only Ana welcomed Oliver and Emily into the school like they were her own children, she also allowed me to stay at school with them until they were ready for me to leave (one morning she even made me a coffee!). She was also extremely flexible when I asked for the possibility to have Oliver and Emily (4 and 2,5) stay together in the same group, if they wished so.

One morning Emily wasn’t ready for me to go, so I stayed almost an hour until she felt comfortable. The more I sat there, observing, the more I knew I picked right: The Garden House is exactly the kind of nursery I like!

The teachers are kind and respectful, they’re in control, but they’re not pushy, they understand when a child wants to be left alone and they don’t force him to join an activity if he doesn’t want to.

The school is small and intimate, but very international; they have a beautiful garden with a climbing frame, a mud kitchen and a sand pit; every indoor environment is beautifully prepared for the children to be able to explore independently.

It sounds a lot like Montessori, doesn’t it? But it’s not!

It’s Reggio Emilia, which I loved learning more about by observing the school and the teachers at work. As I know that you’re as curious as me, I’ll share with you what I learnt.

Reggio Emilia VS Montessori (in a nutshell)

Reggio Emilia is actually very similar to Montessori, but the main difference I noticed is that the education style in Reggio Emilia focuses more on creative play: the classroom is designed for hands-on, sensorial-based exploration, rather than a prepared environment learning style with specific materials like in Montessori.

In Montessori there are mixed age groups, children from three to six will be all together in one classroom and might have the same teachers for three years; in Reggio Emilia children are traditionally grouped based on age, which also means that they’ll change teacher every year.

Both Reggio Emilia and Montessori are student-centred and environment-driven, but while in Montessori Casa dei Bambini (3-6yo) children work more individually (which reflects in the environment having only one material of each kind), in Reggio Emilia children work more in groups: there’s a collaborative approach to learning—which we see less in Montessori before primary school—and teachers seem to direct children more, but still based on their interest.

Last but not least, Reggio Emilia doesn’t have a specific curriculum: lessons evolve based on teacher’s guidance and student’s questioning and response. In Montessori, while children are free to learn at their pace and based on their interest, there is a general curriculum that includes math, language, practical life, geography, history, science and music.

How did I find this little gem in Singapore?

Many of you asked this question in reply to my IG stories, and the truth is, it found me! I asked for recommendations in a Singapore Moms Facebook group, and out of aaaalll the links people sent, I clicked on this one. I liked what I saw and I tried my luck: I sent an email explaining our situation, and Ana welcomed us with open arms.

And the best part? I didn’t only find a nursery at The Garden House. I found like-minded parents, multilingual and international families from all around the world (Oliver made friends with a boy from… Madrid!), and a strong sense of community.

Since I left for this world travel, sometimes I feel like all the stars in the universe simply align to make it easier for us: this was one of those times.

The Garden HousePreschool in Singapore



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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Mums, dads & kids
We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.
How to leave the playground without power struggles
This is life
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
Let's not project our insecurities onto our kids
Question authorities
Parents need to be constructively selfish
One more step towards self-acceptance
When you think your marriage is over after kids.
We forgot our 10-year wedding anniversary!
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Montessori express: change the sentences into positive
Montessori express: everything is NOT fine
My baby cries desperately in the car (15 months)
Take care of the mother behind the woman
Montessori express: ask instead of correcting
Montessori express: describe instead of criticising
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.


We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.


In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.


I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.