Friday, October 29, 2010

Montessori in a Pink House

I have been doing a lot of traveling around the internet lately.  What I discovered was an abundance of Montessori home schooling pages.  Some I have enjoyed, gleaned from and added to my blog roll. I also realized I needed to make it clear what Montessori looks like in our home.  I do not try, nor do I wish to  recreate a traditional Montessori class room in our home.
  • Montessori materials are expensive.  They are designed to be used over many years by 100's of children in the class room.  Beauty and quality are valuable and I look for ways to attain them with out over spending.  Also it is likely the materials purchased may not get used.  Maybe the girls simply aren't interested, learn the concept elsewhere, or perhaps they will use it once or twice.   I consider these things when choosing or purchasing materials.
  • A prepared environment is something I strive for without spending so much time on it that the children are overshadowed. I am careful not to put so much time, energy and money into a work that could possibly not even be chosen beyond the initial introduction.  This can be hurtful (I know) and create a battle of the wills where I outright or passively attempt to make my child do this lesson.
  • When I spend time in a Montessori class room I always notice how much is duplicating things from our homes.  Practical life being the most obvious. How perfect then to teach my children in the ideal setting.  I strive to honor my home rather than making it into a classroom.
So what can you do to incorporate Montessori into your home school?  You can take the philosophy and apply it throughout all that you do.  In our home school has no start and end time.  There is no separation between school and home, except for the classes attended outside of the home.  I understand many of us may not even know what Montessori philosophy is.  After all we are busy moms and Dr. Mostessori's books aren't exactly what I would call easy reading.  I will attempt to share the philosophy as I apply it in our home.

  • Respect the child.
  • Give them a sense of belonging.  
  • Provide them with every opportunity for independence.  
  • Create an environment where they can have freedom within defined limits.  
  • Know your child and nurture their curiosities.  

 I am not a trained teacher and I truly believe without that training I cannot teach my child solely with Montessori methods.   I was fortunate enough that my girls were able to attend a Montessori school for their foundation.  I have friends who are AMI trained Montessori teachers.  I cannot assume that buying a lesson album online can equal the year long intensive program from which they received their certification.  Could it be helpful?  Yes.  But I would not rely on it for anything more than supplementing my child's education.- Especially my elementary age girls.
I hope this might be helpful to those of you just beginning to use Montessori in your home.  The impression can be if you purchase the right materials and learn how to use them properly you will be able to give your child a Montessori education.  I suggest focusing on the philosophy more than materials.  The best source I have found to help provide a clearer view of applying Montessori at home is the Michael Olaf catalogue.


  1. Hi there,
    Well mostly I agree that to be truly
    steeped in the Montessori method that you
    need training...however training can be
    from a variety of sources. You can do your
    own research and reading. Those online
    albums and videos are all great for self
    teaching and homeschooling. You seem like
    you have figured out how to make the method
    fit your home and children. Montessori
    herself would be proud! No one program
    owns her method or is "authentic"...there
    are as many permutations of the method as
    there are schools and homeschools...dare
    I say it?

  2. Thanks for the comment Kathy. I appreciate your acceptance of all forms of Montessori. As I am sure shows through I myself struggle to be as graceful.


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