What is Montessori and How Can You Use the Montessori Method at Home?
There is little that is more fascinating than watching a young child discover the world. Homeschoolers who embrace the Montessori method of homeschooling spend their days doing just that. What is the Montessori method? In the early 1900’s in Rome, Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori began observing young children as they freely chose learning activities in their environment. Since then, this teaching that is focused on self-directed learning has become known as the Montessori method of teaching, or scientific teaching. It has become popular both in schools and in homeschooling and has expanded for application with older children.
|Advantages of a Montessori Homeschool||Disadvantages of a Montessori Homeschool|
|Tips for Teaching Montessori in the Home||Stories from Families Who Homeschool Montessori|
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What is the Montessori Method of Homeschooling?
You may be new to the approach, or you may find yourself continually learning as a seasoned Montessori homeschooler. Here are some resources for you to discover more about this approach to homeschooling your child:
7 Things You Didn’t Know about Montessori Homeschooling | Child of the Redwoods
Learn about the myths and truths of daily life in a Montessori homeschool and download your free Montessori Homeschool Planner.
The Absorbent Mind (Audiobook) $
By Maria Montessori (Author), Grace B. Jarnson (Narrator), Author’s Republic (Publisher)
“The Absorbent Mind was Maria Montessori’s most in-depth work on her educational theory, based on decades of scientific observation of children. Her view on children and their absorbent minds was a landmark departure from the educational model at the time. This book helped start a revolution in education. Since this book first appeared, there have been both cognitive and neurological studies that have confirmed what Maria Montessori knew decades ago.”
International Montessori Index
“The name Montessori is not legally protected and can be used by anyone for any purpose. Today one can find Montessori “experts,” often with good intentions, sharing unauthentic Montessori information through blogs, videos, short parent/teacher training, and more. This can lead to many problems, both in the home and in schools. This site was created over twenty years ago to help parents and other educators find authentic Montessori of value for their children and students. Dr. Montessori created AMI, the Association Montessori Internationale, in 1929 to further the very best in Montessori practice. The information on this site is based on the information from this organization.”
Montessori at Home
“Education begins at home. Montessori principles can be helpful at any age to promote a love of learning, concentration, compassion, and happiness.” Read a Montessori homeschooling story, discover answers to popular Montessori homeschooling questions, and learn how First Montessori Books can help parents and teachers.
Montessori Homeschool | Time4Learning
Find out more about the Montessori approach, using Montessori at home, Montessori homeschool curriculum, and how Time4Learning works with the Montessori way of teaching.
The Montessori Method
Click here to read the eText of Maria Montessori’s book, The Montessori Method. It is translated from Italian with an added introduction and illustrations.
What is Montessori? | International Montessori Society
Discover what Montessori is and find lots of information about Montessori schools and workshops, teacher education, the technology of scientific education, character teaching, and more.
Advantages of a Montessori Homeschool
Building on children’s natural curiosity must obviously have its advantages. The emphasis of this type of education is on independence and self-directed learning, traits that are valued in the workplace and are important for leadership and entrepreneurship. Starting children early on Montessori learning can foster independent skill strengthening and a love for learning that can last a lifetime. Children are motivated to learn through play and explore using developmentally appropriate real-world materials and activities while enhancing their own coordination and concentration. They may even interact socially in more and different ways through group learning, perhaps with peers or siblings of different ages. The Montessori approach is multi-sensory, based on respect for others and the environment, and focused on the whole child. Best of all, perhaps, Montessori children are learning the way they need to learn, regardless of any special needs and the pace at which they are learning.
Disadvantages of a Montessori Homeschool
Homeschooling the Montessori way can also have challenges. Quality Montessori materials, programs, and services may be expensive and therefore not accessible to everyone. Some families may also be uncomfortable using such an unstructured curriculum, with the possibility of some subject areas receiving less attention than others. Being prepared as a parent to balance subjects in a way that prepares children for later life goals can be tricky, and training in the Montessori approach can be costly, too. Further, while independence is valued in Montessori, some children may need additional support in how to collaborate effectively. Finally, you must remember that children basically like routine and structure, so a room filled with movement and freedom and less parental direction may feel less comfortable. As the parent, you may simply have to encourage your child to feel safe and secure in a less ordered environment and look ahead to where your child may have to transition to a more structured environment in the future.
Tips for Teaching Montessori in the Home
If you are thinking about starting a Montessori homeschool, you may be wondering how to set up Montessori at home. Luckily, there are families and organizations out there willing to share their advice on how to teach Montessori. Try some of these resources to find out more:
Confessions of a Montessori Mom with Lisa Nolan of Montessori for the Earth
“The Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog with Lisa Nolan of Montessori for the Earth offers Montessori tips, advice, e-books, consulting, podcasts, and DIY activities for parents, homeschoolers, and daycare providers of birth to 9-year-olds.”
Montessori Curriculum 101 $
“We provide Montessori training material as a foundation for educating 3-6 year old young children. The material is large and contains many lessons which can only be absorbed, practiced and finally mastered over the course of several years. Each pdf will appear ‘old’ and antiquated because, indeed, it is. The value of this roughly 60-year-old source must be highlighted and greatly valued by the trainee. […] Montessori Curriculum 101 is very much a self-guided independent study.”
The Montessori Home: Create a Space for Your Child to Thrive $
By Ashley Yeh (Author)
“Too often, the toys, games, and other materials meant to educate young children end up being a detriment instead. If you’re overwhelmed and your kids are overstimulated, it’s time to reset your space by applying the principles of the Montessori method at home so you can be a calmer, more attentive parent. Author and certified Montessori guide Ashley Yeh tackles each room of the home and explains how to provide young children with the accessibility they need to complete practical life skills on their own, tapping into their innate desire to “do it myself.” Whether your child is an infant, toddler, or preschooler, there are simple and inexpensive changes you can make to foster independence and reduce the stress around mealtimes, bedtime, and leaving the house.”
Montessori in the Home for Parents | Montessori Life $
“Learn some easy steps for how you can employ Montessori concepts in your own home! Take each course at your own pace and come back to it as many times as necessary. And guess what? This is Montessori—that means NO TESTS!”
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child $
By Maja Pitamic (Author)
“Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities will seem simple to parents, because once mastered, adults perform them automatically. However, toddlers experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when they learn to perform them independently.”
Stories from Families Who Homeschool Montessori
Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to ask the people who have done it successfully. Below are the stories of families who have used or are using Montessori to educate their children:
Approachable Montessori Homeschooling: How One Family Made the Switch Alongside Full-time Work | Guidepost
Using Guidepost’s home-based program, one mother shares her experience leaping into first-time homeschool.
Montessori Homeschooling: One Family’s Story $
By Susan Mayclin Stephenson (Author)
“A fifteen-year experience of day-by-day, year-by-year, learning how to create an authentic Montessori education at home through elementary, middle, and high school. The main guide or teacher during these years had taken AMI teacher training courses for 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 and had taught for many years. Even though this is not to be thought of as an instruction manual for Montessori homeschooling it is hoped that the book will be helpful for parents and teachers wanting to understand the value of a unique educational path, rather than thinking that all children should be educated exactly the same way (in both traditional and Montessori schools). The idea is “following the child.” Also I hope it will help growing children and young adults feel that their own choices, their own individuality, can be respected. I believe that unique and creative educational paths such as this one will help solve the problems of the future.”
Support for Families Using the Montessori Method at Home
Another great way to learn about Montessori Homeschooling is to connect with other homeschoolers through local support groups or through online homeschool groups focused on Montessori like those listed here:
Montessori and Alternative Ed Hybrid Homeschooler’s Group
“A group for families of school-aged children who homeschool and want to use materials and aspects of Montessori and Alternative educational methods. This group will be a place to ask questions and support members as they navigate creating a paradigm of education that fits their family’s needs.”
Montessori at Home
“A resource and support group for parents/caregivers/educators who are seeking to incorporate Montessori at home or are interested in the Montessori method. Our mission is to make Montessori accessible and affordable, to empower parents to raise joyful and confident children, and to inspire children to reach their full potential. Discussions and questions on Montessori principles and practices, Montessori activities, Montessori parenting, and child development and education are welcome.”
Montessori At Home
“A group for like-minded parents who use (or are interested in) the Montessori method! I am based in the UK, but please join us no matter where in the world you live!”
Montessori at HOME
“Hi everyone..! This pandemic has increased my self-efficiency, by which I started making Montessori material at home and my aim is to help the development and education of children in early childhood through parents and passionate educators.”
Montessori at Home (0 to 3 years)
“The world’s largest Montessori online platform connecting people from all over the world! A community of like-minded Montessori caregivers, parents, educators, grandparents and more surrounded with children aged from birth to 3. This community will support you on your journey in raising tomorrow’s children. Create a Montessori home environment for children aged from birth to 3 and learn how to guide children to build life-skills. It is a place to share Montessori ideas, questions, materials, and general Montessori experiences. Together we can raise a future generation of children who are mindful, confident, independent, emotionally intelligent, laying the foundation for life.”
Montessori Cool Things
“This group is designed to help people find things that may be of interest to other Montessori teachers, parents, or anyone who is not in Montessori, but has a child. Each week, I will find a few things to post here. They may be news articles, blog posts, items for sale, or anything interesting to Montessorians. Note this is not the best place for questions about Montessori; there are other groups for that. But feel free to discuss any topics on here.”
Montessori Elementary and Adolescent Homeschoolers
“Welcome to the group Montessori Elementary and Adolescent Homeschoolers. We focus on the Montessori method for ages 6-18. A variety of topics will be discussed, from the Erdkinder to the Urban Adolescent concept and everything in between! […] However you choose to participate, we’re glad you are here!”
“A place for homeschooling parents to exchange both playful & Montessori-inspired ideas, photos, links & more!”
“Montessori Homeschooling is a support group for home educating families who wish to incorporate the Montessori Method. We encompass individuals who are working with school-age children in primary, elementary, and beyond (age 3 through graduation). Our group includes a wide range of experience from those who are looking for more information to accredited Montessori teachers. Our members also incorporate Montessori in various ways and at different degrees.”
“This is a friendly place to learn about homeschooling using the Montessori method. Awesome ideas and friendly chats! Our hope is to create a safe place for you to share your experiences, ask questions, and discuss various topics falling under the scope of homeschooling and educational activities for kids. We hope this group will encourage all of us in a positive, meaningful way!”
Montessori Materials, Ideas and Experiences Share Group (School/Homeschool)
“This is a space where people can share ideas, opinions, experiences and materials, a space where guides are encouraged to enrich a Montessori Prepared Environment. Since this group is part of Stories of Lives, I would like us to share stories maybe more than we usually do within such groups.”
“This group is for anyone who is passionate about the Montessori method. We started off as a Montessori home-school group, but we also have other Montessori moms in the group. Please feel free to share photos, links to resources, and activity ideas.”
Montessori Inspiration at Home
“Welcome parents, educators, and caregivers to the Montessori Inspiration at Home Facebook group! This group is a wonderful place to share and learn! Our hope is to create a safe place for you to share your experiences and ask questions. Please keep discussions on the topics of Montessori, homeschooling, and setting up your home.”
“A resource and support group for parents with toddlers who are interested in Montessori inspired living. We have all been new at something before, and let’s face it, it’s much easier going through it with a friend. So, say hi and introduce yourself! We are happy to see you here!”
Playschool6 and Montessorimakers
“This group is all about Montessori homeschooling, complete with making your own materials. It’s a combination of the Yahoo Groups Playschool6 […] and all of the Montessorimakers groups […]. While this is a move of those groups, new members interested in discussing Montessori homeschooling or how to make their own Montessori materials are very welcome!”
And be sure to check out our Montessori Homeschool Resources page!