Many moms get excited when they discover the wonderful Montessori Method that the want to apply it in their homes. They want to make the Montessori way a lifestyle. But the more they delve into it, the more they get discouraged because of several drawbacks they see right away.
For one, Montessori uses many materials, as it is a hands-on curriculum. That means money and that means materials that use up a lot of room. But don’t despair! Here are 10 things to know about teaching Montessori at home that will make your life easier and will make it actually doable!
In this post, we will discuss 10 Things to know about teaching Montessori at home and give you a Montessori Curriculum Free Download of a very handy record chart that you can use daily to stay organized and on track.
Best Montessori Books
As Montessori moms, we always want to learn more and be more in-tune with the Montessori Method. Here are some great resources that you will love:
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age ThreeThe Absorbent MindHow To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way, 2nd EditionMontessori: A Modern Approach: The Classic Introduction to Montessori for Parents and TeachersMontessori at Home Guide: 101 Montessori Inspired Activities for Children Ages 2-6Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lillard (1-Jan-1996) Paperback
10 Things to know about teaching Montessori at home
1 You are enough to teach your kids and you can do it! Please know that. You are homeschooling your child for a reason and that is enough to know that YOU are enough! That tells me that you are interested in your child’s learning and that you care.
The more you have resources like this post and my other tips and printables from my Montessori series, the more you will build your confidence to teach your child the Montessori way at home.
2 You don’t have to teach everything at once. Let’s be realistic for a minute. Unless we own a school or live in a mansion, we will have limited space when it comes to our homeschooling materials. Montessori uses a lot of materials and that can be a problem if you don’t know how to handle that particular aspect of Montessori learning.
First, I had to come to grips with the fact that I cannot have all of the Montessori materials out in the open at all times. I set mine up by my children’s sensitive periods and put the rest in a closet. Also, I evaluate quite often how they are doing in their learning and take out materials as I see fit.
Please understand that in an ideal situation, we would definitely follow the actual way the Montessori Method is to be set up for children, but it was either compromise or nothing. Don’t feel bad if you have to, too.
3 Take one day at a time and evaluate constantly. Like I said, we will probably have to evaluate more often than usual because we are going to be taking material out of storage and putting material away as children learn and master the different works that are set out.
I try to have two works out for each subject since I have two children and have them work on each for about a week or two, depending on how much time we have spent on Montessori work. If you have room for more, go ahead and have more work for them out, but don’t feel bad if you can only dedicate one shelf to your Montessori works.
10 Things to know about teaching Montessori at home (cont)
4 Let the Sensitive Periods Chart be your guide. I love this chart! It is quite eye-opening and it is a wonderful guide to gauge about when your child is more susceptible to learning different topics and subjects.
Keep a printout of the chart somewhere handy so you can take a look at it every time you evaluate your child’s work. You will find it more helpful than you know! I will have a printable of this chart for you available very soon!
5 Keep a binder with your list of materials and your record for each work with each child. In this post, you will be able to download a free record sheet for you to keep really good track of what Montessori works you are exposing your child to and the dates of presentation, exposure 1, exposure 2 and mastery.
Keep in mind that a child might take more than those 4 exposures to master the material, so keep it simple. I love this record sheet because it is very easy for me to keep track without having to write long reports.
6 Remember that Montessori work is never teacher-centered. It is child-centered. Once you have given a child a presentation on how to use a material, sit back and observe. I know it can be hard when a child is struggling or isn’t doing it right at the beginning. Trust me, I know. But the premise of the Montessori Method is to teach your child independence and problem-solving.
During your presentation, be sure to teach your child how to always find the control of error for each work. This is when a child can check if the work they did is correct or if there are mistakes to correct. Every Montessori work has a control of error. Be sure to find it and point it out to your child every time you present a new material.
10 Things to know about teaching Montessori at home (cont)
7 Have a specific plan for your space. We personally have to take out what we are learning at the time and aren’t able to have everything out at one time. That is just something that we have had to recognize and be ok with because there is nothing we can do about it. And you know what? That is ok. And it is ok if you don’t have a lot of space either and have to play around with your homeschool area.
Be sure to label your Montessori shelf. Try your best to always have the Math work in the same spot on the shelf, your Culture work on the same side of the shelf, etc. Designate a place for each subject and try your best to stick with it. Keep the saying “There is a place for everything and everything has a place” in mind. This will actually serve you more than you know when it comes to independence on your child’s end.
8 Cycle through the learning material. I try to keep two works out for each subject, but that doesn’t always happen because of the limited space we have right now. That is ok. I simply let my child work on something until mastery and put it away for a time, while she works on other materials in that subject and then take that work out again.
Not only will it be a great way to get my money’s worth for that material but it also gives me a chance to show the child a higher level for using that same material, since time has passed and my child might be in a different sensitive period already.
9 You can use the same work for children in different ages. If you are doing Montessori at home with more than one child, that is ok. Simply decide that you will be flexible and do the best you can. Will you follow your children’s sensitive periods still? Absolutely!
But it will take a little more playing around with your planning to make it work. If both of your children are in the same sensitive period, but are differing in ages, you can teach them the same material that you have out, but at different levels.
10 Make Montessori a lifestyle in your home. The easiest work to incorporate into our homeschool lifestyle is Practical Life. That is a given and there is a very practical reason for it, right?!
Well, when it comes to Montessori, you can have a very strict schedule on when they can use the works you have set out or you can let them explore them during any time of the day, so long they are using the materials correctly and not to play around and they can do the activities independently, employing their knowledge of the control of error.
Montessori Curriculum Free Download
What do you think? Isn’t this a great way to get your mind in gear? You can absolutely do it, but setting ourselves up for success is very important. Take the time to plan.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Don’t underestimate planning! It’s what gives you confidence and success!
Now it’s your turn to get your printable Montessori record chart for you to use for all of your Montessori subjects! All you have to do is enter your information below and check your inbox for the download. Once you have the download, print out several copies of the record chart so you can have on for every Montessori subject.
Thank you for visiting our 10 Things to know about teaching Montessori at home – Montessori Curriculum Free Download post!
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