Erika grew up in the hustle and bustle of city life in Chicago as the oldest of two girls, raised by her single mother. Never a dull moment with honking cars, trains zipping by, and pedestrians on the sidewalks walking past her window. But she always loved the days when she could escape the noise and go for a swim in Lake Michigan, play volleyball on the beach, or hike through the many forest preserves just outside the city.
On rainy days when she couldn’t get outside, her immigrant mother would tell her stories of life in Guatemala. Erika’s love of painting was fueled by the many hours she would watch her mom paint on canvas, brushing with both precision and freedom in the same stroke.
Erika worked in downtown Chicago for most of her 20s as a graphic designer for a small firm. Although Erika was passionate about graphic design, she felt called to change careers. After getting her Master’s in Education from Northwestern University, she became a Chicago public school elementary teacher for 8 years. Erika loved teaching writing to middle schoolers and digital illustration in after-school workshops.
Erika decided to leave the classroom to start her family, gravitating toward Montessori homeschooling once her eldest daughter was born in 2018. She loved the freedom & independence the philosophy fosters. As a multilingual home (her husband is Ukrainian and speaks Russian), it was important to Erika to include Spanish, Russian & English at home for their three daughters through books, songs, & play. When Erika struggled to find beautiful AND bilingual Montessori printables for her daughters, she decided to create her own.
Erika launched her Etsy shop - Montessori & Multilingual featuring handmade Montessori toys & original watercolor printables for multilingual learning. Erika aims to create works of art that are both beautiful and educational. She hopes her bilingual printables bring the joy of learning a foreign language into your home.
Follow her journey on Facebook / Instagram: @montessori.multilingual
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