Montessori Method

Summer Series At So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler
WELCOME to my summer blog series:
Homeschool Methods & Approaches
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the months of June and July, you will hear from several different homeschool bloggers about the methods and approaches they use to teach their child(ren). It is my hope that you gain insight, encouragement, and confidence by reading what these tremendously faithful women have to share.
 

I am honored and excited to introduce to you:

Tina who blogs about life and homeschooling the Montessori way over at September.

The Montessori Method in our home: pre-primary, age 2.5 – 6

mon·tes·so·ri/ˌmäntəˈsôrē/
Maria (1870–1952), Italian educator. She advocated a child-centered approach to education.
Noun: A system of education for young children that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods.

We use the Montessori method in our homeschool. It hasn’t always been this way. In the beginning I would lay awake night after night trying to think up ways that might work for our little family. homeschool for us meant preschool and I really had no idea how or where to start. My first plan was okay but not ideal. I had talks with friends who homeschooled and followed blogs and googled homeschool and read endless articles about homeschooling preschoolers. In the end I felt overwhelmed and disappointed that all my efforts had only made me more unsure of where and how to start.
But start we did and that was something at least. Our first stint lasted only a couple of months because I was pregnant and soon exhausted so we took a break from any planned activities. After the break we used bits and pieces from My Father’s World for a while and I kept researching. Then I remembered a friend who’d had a Montessori preschool in Asia. I researched the Montessori method and I fell in love with it. I believe in Montessori. It suites my style, it is perfect for my kids but I’d recommend Montessori for everyone.

“There is in a child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life” (Montessori, 1967, 62).

Good questions and the links to the answers:
1. What is Montessori?
2. 10 reasons to choose Montessori?
4. Are you wondering where to start!? This was very helpful to me.

Now on to the nitty gritty…

Back-story and how we Montessori in our home:
I’ve always been a schedule mama. We started with scheduled days, snacks and meals from the start. Of course over the years we’ve adjusted according to the needs of the kids, mom and dad and now to homeschool. Our school days generally happen on the days when dad is at work. We value our family time and I totally count, hikes, farmer’s market days and exploring the outdoors around here as homeschooling!
On Dad’s days off the schedule might stay the same from say 7-9 am and the rest of the day is off unless we are doing a specific project like a post office visits or library days that we turn into a lesson with a read a-loud or some event like that. This means that school “lessons” or “work” happens three or four days a week. But if the kids want to have school I am flexible. I will jump on an opportunity to have a good school time.

On the good days our school time schedule looks something like this: give or take a half-hour or so.
7:00 Kids up, potty, get dressed and make beds.
7:30 Breakfast, kids clear table, wash up, and brush teeth.
8:30 Free play.
9:00 Bible time.
9:10 Homeschool time.
10:00 snack time and sesame street or little bear.
11:00 outside playtime.
12:00 wash up and lunch.
12:30 nap time.
1:30-2 free play / cuddles.
3:00 snack time.
3:30 free play or school time depending on how naps went.
5:00 set table, dinner, wash up, brush teeth, and jammers (pjs).
6:00 clean rooms, cuddle etc.
6:30 story time and bedtime.

Just one..
One Montessori principle that I’ve embraced and struggled with is “teaching the kids to do for themselves.” I love it because it teaches them independence and strength but it’s my habit to want to “do it for them.” Montessori challenges me in many ways and I feel that I am growing from these challenges.

On bad days I do my best to adjust where it’s needed. Sometimes I’m cranky, sometimes its the kids, sometimes we just need to play. I try to recognize when I need to step back or when the kids need a little extra time. I’m doing my very best to “follow the child”. I’m still figuring out how to find balance in the home. I suspect this will be a lesson that I am learning forever.

You can read posts documenting our Montessori homeschool.
A few good links: and there are so many good resources out there!
Read about one Montessori homeschool.
Read about setting up a Montessori homeschool.
Read about my absolutely favorite Montessori mom.
Read about the prepared environment.
See our past and present.
I’m taking this wonderful online Montessori course for the pre-primary years as well and recommend it to anyone wanting a better foundation in Montessori for ages 2.5 – 6.
Last but definitely not least you will find so much good at Living Montessori Now. Deb compiles the best Montessori resources from all over the web in one great spot.

We must give the child relaxation from the continuous direction of adults. So we give them the right environment, relaxation and freedom from orders. M. Montessori

I’ve done my best to create an inviting, organized and accessible learning environment in our home that would inspire the kids to explore, learn and grow the Montessori way.

20120603-203313.jpgI keep the school things together, organized and accessible.

20120603-203328.jpgThis is where the sensorial items are kept.

In the bathroom there is a stool so that the kids can reach the sink to wash, toothbrushes and paste so they can brush their teeth themselves and a towel to dry their hands that is always within reach etc. The kids also have dressing baskets in their rooms so they can choose their own outfits and have them handy in the mornings. These are all just a few little ways to “teach them to do it themselves.”

20120603-203445.jpgAnd here you see glimpse of our wee garden 2012 and the outdoor Montessori inspired pretend play kitchen. This is my take on Montessori. I’m so very glad to be able to share it with you here. Thanks so much Carlie for hosting such an informative and helpful blog event!

septemberTina blogs about life and homeschooling the Montessori way at September. She is a wife of five years to her best friend, a stay-at-home mom to three awesome kids ages 1, 3 and 4 1/2, and is, living, learning and homeschooling the Montessori way in New Mexico.
You can follow September on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

 

Dear Friends,

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