We had the good fortune of connecting with Mandi Zielinski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mandi, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’m an advocate of the Montessori approach to learning and teaching, but as a busy homeschooling mom, I encountered many difficulties implementing this methodology outside of the traditional Montessori classroom. As I worked through and found solutions to these challenges, it became clear that other parents were struggling with the same issues. Driven by the desire to help others and the pandemic-driven increase in worldwide homeschoolers, Multisori was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe that every child has the right to high quality, customized education. And, the research is clear: Montessori preschool elevates & equalizes child outcomes. It could reduce the advantage gap between rich and poor, but it’s only available to the rich. That’s why my mission is to eradicate the achievement gap in education by Making Montessori Mainstream (M3). Using a buy one, give one model, every time a Multisori product is purchased, we give one away to a homeschooling family in need. Just one year into the program, I am proud to have gifted full curriculum sets to families worldwide (M3 curriculum is used by families in EVERY continent except Antarctica!).
Getting to this point in my career has been an incredible journey. I was Montessori educated as a child, then graduated from high school with an International Baccalaureate diploma. My collegiate journey took me from Florida to Europe and finally to Texas, where I graduated from law school in 2004. From there, I worked with Norton Rose Fulbright, where I learned more about the law – and myself – than ever before. Leaving the firm was a tough decision, but I knew I was an entrepreneur at heart, so I climbed the corporate ladder at a law-related start up, then launched my first business in 2010.
I married the best guy ever that same year, and we partnered up to pursue our professional dreams. It was awesome! I finally felt fulfilled running 3 businesses with my husband. We enjoyed working hard – and we played as hard as we worked. From long and rewarding workweeks to adventure filled weekends and vacations, life was really a dream. In 2014, our world was rocked when our first child was born. And, just like that, our priorities changed. I stepped away from our business ventures to pursue an even bigger adventure: parenting.
Dissatisfied with our educational options, I began researching homeschooling and my favorite educational philosophy: Montessori. My new goal became providing our small children an education that capitalized on the benefits of both Montessori education and homeschooling.
The learning curve with Montessori is steep, even for someone who lived it for many years as a child. But, like most moms, I didn’t mind the hard work if it meant my kids could have the best. By 2018, I felt like I finally had the Montessori homeschooling thing down! I joined a few related groups on Facebook and saw an unreal number of parents struggling to figure out what I had just spend 4 years studying on my own. So, I started a Facebook group to help other homeschoolers with their Montessori journey. When the pandemic hit and schools shut down, I asked God to show me how I could help. Thankfully, He was quick to answer.
That’s when I began developing M3 by Multisori curriculum: complete, uncomplicated Montessori homeschooling curriculum. For All.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas is SO much fun! I would take my bestie to Nobu for sushi and to the new, interactive Van Gogh exhibit for an incredible experience. We would jog or bike around White Rock Lake, grab some pizza at Lovers and then check out the Arboretum.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my husband, Steve, who supported my dreams even when it made life harder on him; to my children, Chris & Thea, who inspire me to do more and be better every day; to every child genius worldwide, who deserves high quality, customized education; and to my Savior Jesus Christ, who, in a world of privilege & pandemic, called me to eradicate the growing achievement gap in education between children from high & low income families by making Montessori mainstream.