For the overwhelmed, tired, and confused parent.
So you’ve fallen head over heels with the Montessori method, you know THIS truly is the way kids learn best, you want to go all in immediately but you’re not sure where to start? This was ME!
While I was completing my BA in Educational Studies, I developed a loathing of the public school system; where was I suppose to send my kids now!? One of our research paper topics was to discuss trends in education. This is when I first learned about Montessori. I was totally overwhelmed by all the information, but absolutely intrigued! I had to reach out to my professor and convinced her to let me change my topic to write about why Montessori education was NOT simply a trend.
Long story short – I LOVE Montessori! I knew this was the type of education all children deserved and I wanted to provide my own children with it. This will be the beginning of a series sharing what I’ve learned and how we are implementing Montessori into our home. I hope this will ultimately save you time, peace of mind, and give you the confidence you need to get started!
First things first: If you haven’t already, read The Absorbent Mind by Dr. Maria Montessori! You’ll be blown away and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of her philosophy. If you’re totally new to Montessori, check out this post that breaks down the philosophy into bite sized chunks.
Second: DON’T GO BUY ALL THE THINGS!!!!
This is so, SO, SO important (and it happens to be the first mistake I made🤦🏽♀️).
Perhaps you’ve heard this before from other Montessorians, but it’s worth repeating: “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MATERIALS, IT’S ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHY.” (Repeat 10x, print and hang up somewhere you’ll see, if you’re addict to buying learning materials like me. 🤪) Don’t worry, I’ll get to discussing materials in a later post. Also an important note, don’t feel like you need to wait to have alllllll the materials before you can get started. You can get started as soon as you’re done reading this article. Yes, there is great importance in a prepared environment but Montessori homeschooling is rooted in the attitude of the guide, in this case that is you.
Third: Begin taking a deep interest in observing your children. Encourage their independence. This is KEY to homeschooling successfully. You are their guide. In a child-friendly, prepared environment, the children will teach themselves.
Fourth: Actively learn and put into practice respectful parenting methods. Respect for the child is the most important part of the Montessori philosophy. Even if you do already practice respectful parenting, there is always more to learn. Check out Janet Lansbury, Kristin Mariella, and L.R. Knost. They have so much wisdom to offer! If you’re looking for more peer support in this area, I have loved being apart of the “Gentle Parenting Catholics” group on Facebook.
Fifth: Evaluate your home environment. Can our children easily help themselves in everyday tasks due to materials being made accessible? Such as dressing themselves, putting away their belongings, helping with house hold chores, etc. A quick google search will provide you with TONS of lists with examples of practical life skills to work on with your children.
In my next post we’ll talk about Montessori homeschool “curriculum” (albums). Click here to read my previous post about the Montessori philosophy.