Aug 05 , 2023
1. I did not educate my children at home.
Because Montessori is first and primarily an educational system, many parents assume that we must send our children to a Montessori school.
If that fails, we shall homeschool them.
On the other hand, I did not.
I never felt compelled to homeschool my children. I'm not completely satisfied with the education system, but I didn't see homeschooling as a viable option for us. First and foremost, we had to get to work. And because we were expats, we had no assistance, and I didn't feel capable of being entirely responsible for my children all of the time.
I won't pretend to understand what it's like to homeschool while following the Montessori curriculum. When homeschooling families ask for my help, I always tell them who I am. I had my children with me at all times until they were nearly five years old. I am familiar with the curriculum, and I have met numerous home-schooling families with whom I have exchanged and discussed what works and what does not work with Montessori education at home. But I have no firsthand experience with homeschooling after the age of five.
2. My child was not enrolled in a Montessori school.
My first child was not enrolled in a Montessori school. When daughter started school, there were no Montessori schools where we lived. Our family life was not only about the school and where we lived, but also about the friends we had, and we couldn't afford to move to a Montessori school at the time. We also couldn't afford the tuition at a private Montessori school.
We had moved to the countryside when it was time for my second child. In addition, a Montessori school has opened just 20 minutes away from our new house. It was unexpected, and our budget was unusual as well. We asked our daughter if she would like to come. She chose not to since she wanted to stay with her friends, despite the fact that she was already 9 years old (I will write about how we Montessori without sending our child to a Montessori school shortly).
3. My Montessori baby mobiles were not made by me.
So, I tried! I finished the Munari mobile but gave up halfway through the second mobile. I didn't buy them either since they were too expensive for me to justify. I had a puzzle ball constructed for me, and I made my own grabbing toys.
4. I did not purchase the entire set of Montessori materials.
As I mentioned in point 1, my children were usually with me until they were five years old. For two years, my kid also attended the Montessori nursery that I oversaw. He then has access to the entire Montessori library. However, I purchased a lot of sensory material as well as some language and math work for my daughter. The most important thing I did was limit their toys and choose activities and items that adhere to Montessori ideals.
I feel that the Montessori principles can be used without the material, but that the material works better in the classroom.
5. I did not design a classroom.
Montessori has always struck me as a way of life.
I've never kept materials or activities in a separate "home" classroom.
Obviously, I did not homeschool, so that could be the reason.
However, until she was five, my daughter spent 85% of her time with me. And her materials and toys were scattered throughout the house, rather than in a designated "home classroom." She could use the materials and activities at any time of day. The work cycle was taking place alongside our daily activities. Preparing a snack, washing the table, and emptying the dishwasher were all important tasks.
She used to construct the pink tower and then play with the miniature people. She walked outside to play, then returned to count with the number rods.
6. I did not outlaw plastic.
We've got duplos and legos. We have a few large plastic automobiles. We have bath toys made of plastic. We have a doll's house made of plastic. We have Schleich animals in plastic.
7. I did not have an immaculately prepared workplace.
While the play area and the children's bedroom were 90% ready, my own adult space was frequently a shambles.
I've already blogged about my personal "hoarding" and complex situation.
To be honest, I wish I had been able to address this sooner, but it didn't affect my children when they were young. And it allowed me to be very flexible with their mess, allowing them to explore messy play or large messy painting endeavours.
8. I wasn't always planning Montessori activities.
Montessori-inspired tray activities are adorable, but a family is not a classroom.
Real life occurs. We've relocated from one country to another. We had our second child, and there was a period when I didn't have the energy to plan new things every day. My daughter has had the identical stuff on the shelves for months at the time. I had signed up for an art box, and we were doing it together. This first subscription box inspired my own Montessori subscription package. Thankfully, the materials and toys she had were appropriate for her, and we were always out and about, visiting local parks and playgrounds as well as London's museums. We learned a lot, but not through a series of activities.
9 I didn't utilise a lot of printables.
I printed a few for specific subjects. I used to plan subjects for my kid and the schools where I worked. I was too busy with two children when I had my second child, so we mostly used books and hands-on materials. If I had homeschooled my children past the age of five, I would have used more printables.
Right now, I want to teach them to world flags and the solar system, so I may utilise additional nomenclature cards.
Don't worry if you can't keep up and print everything because the 3 parts cards are just one portion of the Montessori approach.