Let’s face it.

Children can be incredible, infuriating, and intoxicating little beings. The bed-jumping at dawn, the tantrums, the grubby hands, the giggling in the bathtub, the plea for just one more story…

No doubt, raising a human into adulthood requires an awe-inspiring amount of energy, patience, and confidence.

And for modern parents, the challenges are unprecedented. We live in an ever-judgy, fast-paced society, yet children require the exact opposite -- the freedom to explore an idea without critique; the right to smell a dandelion for as long as she wants.

As parents, we can feel torn between the two forces. How do we know we’re getting it right? What if we can’t keep up - much less measure up!


Follow the Child

Here’s the good news. Every single behavior -- the giggles as well as the tantrums -- has a purpose. We just have to learn how to read it.

Better news still! It’s not an impossible task. If we follow the follow the child, we CAN foster their independence, compassion, resilience, ethics, self-discipline, and emotional self-regulation. The key -- embracing natural, mindful parenting based on unconditional love, respect, and acceptance.

My Journey

As a lifelong Montessorian, I am passionate about respectful child development. I’ve centered my professional career on supporting independence, strengthening relationships, and nurturing a love for learning.

As a parent, I’ve had all the ups and downs myself! I understand intimately the need for a sympathetic ear and fresh perspective during those rough moments.

I am centered on creating and maintaining a personal parenting philosophy molded to the unique needs of the whole family.

Supporting Your Unique Journey

Wherever you are on your parenting journey -- from new baby to transitioning a 4 year old to a new routine -- I’m here to help. Many parents enjoy taking a learning journey together, and I offer group coaching through my courses on parenting and child development including…

  • creating child-friendly spaces in your home

  • teaching your little one how to cook

  • selecting the most engaging activities for playtime

  • using nature to teach your child life-long lessons

  • creating a potty learning plan that works for your family

  • homeschooling your 2.5-6 year old with a Montessori mindset

For the Bookworms

Nurture your baby’s development month by month or bring a little calm to the chaos. I’ve written two books for parents of babies and toddlers (ages 1-4) to get you the information you need at the exact moment you need it. No philosophical meandering here - these books are meant to give you specific activities and strategies you can implement today.


I want to help you become the nurturing, confident parent your heart is yearning for, and I’m cheering you on as you make these changes a permanent part of your life. Parenting with confidence is a collaborative experience. Let’s take this journey together.



Aubrey - founder, writer, dreamer

Aubrey Hargis, M.Ed. is a parent coach and educational consultant best known for her empathetic approach and appreciation for the magic of childhood. As a life-long Montessori advocate and AMS certified former classroom guide, her passion has always been to bring Montessori into the mainstream.

As the founder of the Child Development Institute of the Redwoods, she creates online courses and coaches parents in compassionate discipline techniques and Montessori education.

Aubrey lives with her husband and two children under a blanket of San Francisco fog, where the coastal cliffs and nearby redwood trails are always beckoning for another adventure. 

At her side almost all of the time is a messy composition book, filled with all of her inspirations and big dreams for Child of the Redwoods, which are becoming more of a reality every day.

Loves: toddler footprints, the smell of the forest floor, silk pillowcases

Kari profile.jpg

Kari - administrative specialist

Kari Ewert-Krocker is Aubrey’s right hand and helps to make all the big dreams possible through the power of efficiency.

From social media to course roster management, from editing to outreach, Kari keeps all things Child of the Redwoods on the right railroad track. If something needs organizing and is time-sensitive, Kari is on it!

Hailing from Ohio, Kari is an AMI certified Montessorian for ages 3-6 and a mom of two littles.

Loves: sewing, singing in the car, learning new things


David - financial operations

David Hargis is Aubrey’s talented husband. Many years ago, they both were college writing tutors and then public school teachers with summers off to travel and play in the sun.

Now, while homeschooling two elementary-age boys in the city, life is a bit faster paced for both of them. David works full time in education technology and also handles CDIR’s financials.

Loves: hiking, Disneyland, music

One of our most sacred duties as a society is the nurture and support of our youngest members along their journeys to adulthood. This is not a static experience. Both the child and our society are in states of constant evolution; as the child grows and changes, so, too, does our culture and society.

To ensure each child has the resources she needs to succeed in whatever world she inherits, we must focus on the needs of the whole child - intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical. The Child Development Institute of the Redwoods is dedicated to this mission.