Do you have an active toddler or a strong-willed pre-schooler? Are you wondering how to…
Are you planning to homeschool your children? Maybe, until now, you have been interested in the Montessori principles, you are all for giving freedom, respecting your child, giving choices and following their interest.
Now, they are around 3 year old and you are starting to wonder how to "teach" the Montessori way, if you should start buying Montessori material and how your homeschool day should be organised.
I'm happy to share with you some tips and links to get you started.
Disclaimer: I am not a home educator. My children were in the classroom with me until around 5 then went to a mainstream and a Montessori school. However, I work with many parents who homeschool and I network with many home educators who can guide you.
Research the Montessori method as a pedagogy
Until now, you have been learning about Montessori as a way to enrich your child's life at home. Maybe you have been focusing on the toddler's stage. You have been inspired by some Instagram accounts (including mine), and you have been focusing on the Montessori principles to inform your parenting.
Now it's time to understand Montessori as an educational approach and pedagogy. While you don't need to train as a Montessori teacher to use Montessori at home, it is recommended to dive deeper into the method to understand it and make sure that it's a good fit for your family.
Learn about the Montessori curriculum and materials:
While you might not need to buy each material, and you don't need to master all the presentations, it would be good to understand the 5 areas of learning, how the child progresses through the materials, and what each material teaches.
There are online "free" albums to get you started:
I also love those 3 books:
Have a budget:
Montessori materials are expensive. You might not need to buy them all.
You can diy some.
You might find some second hand. One tip would be to contact the local Montessori preschools in your area. Many have duplicate or buy new materials and want to get rid of some slightly used materials.
You don't need to buy the whole set in advance so buy what you think you might need for the next 6 months. Then you can save for the next stage.
Montessori materials retain lots of their values so you can resell them in order to buy the next Montessori materials you need.
If you are planning to homeschool, the maths materials and the language materials are worth investing in. Read here about which materials I recommend.
Be mindful of your time
In the beginning, you might be highly motivated to create resources, to print and laminate everything, to DIY the most challenging sensory materials (let me know if you have started watching DIY woodworking videos on YouTube).
But homeschooling is full on as it is. So take into account your time, your budget and what is really worth it to spend time on. By the way, this is one of the purposes of our Montessori box!
It's not because you have chosen to home educate, that all your free time must be spend on creating resources. You have a right to relax in the evening. Most Montessori teachers create materials during the day, while the children are focusing on their work. So you can do this as well! And in fact, if you do your own work, that will encourage your children to do their own activities.
Discover the Montessori Subscription box!
A monthly box of Montessori activities delivered through door!
Build up a community
There are so many homeschooling groups. Compared to when my children were little, it seems that it's easier to connect with other home educating families.
One of the main characteristics of the Montessori education is the vertical age grouping. At home, with one or 2 or 3 children, it might be tricky to replicate this. So try to connect with other Montessori inspired families. Organise "homeschooling" sessions when one of you present some activities to the children. That is also a way to share the resources among several families. And your children will benefit from being with younger and older children.
Find inspiration and mentors:
Until now, you might have been following some toddler's accounts, some accounts that showcase more "practical life activities" and "wooden toys". I invite you to find some accounts with older children, with children already well engaged into homeschooling.
@themontessoriteacher who is also trained and a mentor for homeschooling families
Aubrey Hargis from Child of the Redwood who offers program for homeschooling families. Her children are now teen so she is full of experience.
@wise_and_wonderful family: Katie is homeschooling her 3 children. She focuses more on her toddler but also shares about her daughters who are in primary.
@stories.by.millies: She is an experienced Montessori teacher and home educate her son. She shows her environment, how she presents the activities and what they struggle with.
I hope those tips were useful.
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