Monday, October 21, 2013

Montessori Interest

            As I’m sure some of you have noticed, I’m really into educational toys and activities for my daughter. I can’t even tell you how I happened to “re-discover” Montessori now, but I’ve been reading up on it some lately. Interestingly, a lot of activities and toys we already do/have for Myka coincide with Montessori.
            I remember reading and researching Montessori a little for a project or research paper we had to do in one of my ECE (early childhood education) classes in college. To be honest, I hadn’t really given it much, if any, thought since then. Until recently, of course.
            My husband and I have already pretty much decided to home school, especially if we are still living where we do now. That prompted me to look into different teaching methods/philosophies. I wanted to make sure to include music and art as they are very important to my husband and me. (I also find it sad how much funding is being cut from these programs in public schools.) We also pretty much let her “roam free” and play with whatever she wants. We’re also not huge fans of the whole “test prep” education that seems to be becoming more rampant nowadays. To sum up, Montessori seemed like a good fit for us.
            So, what is Montessori? Basically, it is child-centered learning focusing on the whole child. What does THAT mean? Child centered learning is a more personalized approach to teaching children, making sure to help them develop not only their academic knowledge, but their social, emotional, and physical well-being also. (At least that is what I have found and gathered from what I’ve read.)
            Montessori is also about teachers setting up students’ environments to facilitate learning on their own. I like this too because it allows children some freedom in persuing things that are of more interest to them. Another basic principle is learning through doing instead of lecture. Personally, I am a visual learner and have a hard time remembering how to do certain things unless I physically repeat them several times. I love that Montessori is more of a hands on approach because not only do I believe that makes learning more fun, it also helps to solidify the new information you’re learning from the activity.
            Anyways, I’m glad I feel like I have somewhere to start when it comes to home schooling. Plus starting this Montessori business early gives me more time to ease into it gradually. I also don’t plan on strictly doing Montessori (for now at least), but a mix. (Especially since strictly speaking 0-3 year olds should be together and then 3-6.)
            So tell me: Do any of you use Montessori style methods or items in your home schooling? I’d love to hear from you!


  1. My career has been teaching young children in many types of school settings. I have taught in basic preschools, a Goddard school, public school and Montessori. I have taught Montessori ages 3-6 and also elementary grades 1-3. I am now a stay at home mom of an 11 month old little girl. I have had experience with many philosophies of teaching and will use a mix of both Montessori and Waldorf (though I have never taught it I have family who does) with my daughter. My favorite section of Montessori is practical life. It is the easiest to create with your own supplies without having to buy actual Montessori materials, which are expensive. I plan to set up a shelf with my old materials that are packed away right now for my daughter soon. I will start with baskets and move to trays as she gets older. If you do a google image search of Montessori practical life activities you will find some great ideas. Montessori is a great educational foundation! Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! That's neat that you were able to experience different teaching philosophies. It's also nice to hear that I'm not crazy and I'm not the only one implementing "learning tools" with my newly 1 year old. :) That's one of the main things I have found about Montessori that I really like: most of the "learning toys" are either items you already have around your house or projects you can make yourself for WAY cheaper than buying! I'm still having a hard time finding age appropriate things to make for my daughter, but I have come across several excellent blogs that have a lot of Tot School posts.