Many people in the Montessori-trained world "thumb noses" at homeschoolers. "You canNOT do Montessori in a homeschool."
I beg to differ. And I have the "nose-up" AMI training ;)
Why can you not do Montessori at home?
- Classroom dynamics. This is a BIG one. Children interacting, sharing interests, encouraging one another - lots of positive peer pressure (and learning to handle the minimal negative peer pressure - a true Montessori school just won't have as many issues in this regard).
- Environment focused on learning and exploration.
- Scheduled time.
- I am struggling to think of more reasons. (please add in comments!)
So what is a Montessori homeschool, but a blending of the classroom with the home environment????
|I couldn't resist sharing the day the Montessori shelves |
became home to all the critters who live in our home ;)
In our small apartment (about 850 square feet), we had most of the elementary materials, along with running two businesses... Yes, at this time a good deal of our materials are at the local church school building where I rent space to run a Montessori homeschool co-op, but it is possible to do in a small space with 1-2 children. Don't get me wrong - the more space you have, the better! ;)
How do you do Montessori at home and keep some semblance of the classroom benefits?
- Classroom dynamics: to encourage additional interests and not having the adult hover constantly (so that the adult does the work and the guiding, the child does NO leading or limited personal work), the adult should do his or her own work when the children are working. Use that work plan to keep each other accountable; schedule some items; then be busy, or in the corner observing.
- Classroom dynamics 2: Consider very-very select additional resources that help you "keep the story going", keep the conversation going between presentations. In math, consider "living math" selections; in geography and biology, consider a science resource that focuses on conversations (not for the children, but for you the adult),
- Classroom dynamics 3: Build in group interactions that have a Montessori flair: cub/boy scouting, tae-kwon-do, and the like - as much multi-age and user-led as possible.
- Environment focused on learning and exploration. This is precisely why most of us homeschoolers chose this path! The only real concern is making your home so "academic Montessori" centered that the free time and real experiences are minimized - so keep that balance - real Montessori is about getting the children working in real life (Goings Out, work plans, freedom and responsibility).
- Scheduled time. There WILL be rules in your home that are different from school; the younger the children the more you will want to have a specifically school time and a specifically home time, with a LOT of gray-area time. Older children will reveal their needs at various times for this type of scheduling.
- Schedule Time 2: Be sure that you are not "doing school" all day; however your schedule is going to be different. There may be more free time during the typical school hours but the child is working on a project in the evening with dad or older sibling instead. As long as the work plan is a reasonable amount of work and is mostly being accomplished, then all is well.
- And there are numerous benefits to homeschooling of any kind, pure and simple. The most critical being the family dynamic.