Montessori Homeschooling

Montessori homeschooling is based on the works of Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor who developed her philosophy of education while working with mentally impaired students. She believed children have a natural desire to learn and are capable of teaching themselves.

In Montessori home schools, parents prepare an environment of carefully designed games and materials for their children, which stimulate the 5 senses, thus catering to all learning styles.

The focus is on the process of learning, not the outcome - so there are no exams and no grades are given. Instead of relying on external rewards, learning takes place as a result of a child's:

  • Self-motivation,
  • Self-direction,
  • Self-discipline, and
  • Use of self-correcting materials.

I find it interesting that many of the materials in a traditional Montessori classroom are designed to mimic the environment of the home.

In addition, Montessori encourages multi age groupings in which younger children observe older children, and older children help younger children. This naturally occurs between siblings in a home environment.

A Parent's Role

A parent's role in a Montessori homeschool is to maintain the environment, demonstrate activities, and observe children as they freely explore.

Order and routines are emphasized, and parents are encouraged to "never do for a child what he's capable of doing for himself." As such, young children are provided with accessible shelves, low hooks and drawers and child-sized materials that they can use independently.

Resources for Further Study

For more information about Montessori Homeschooling, read my interview with Larry Shiller of Shiller Math, in which he discusses the benefits of using a Montessori home school curriculum.

For information about specific Montessori activities, read:

  • Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years and
  • Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years by Elizabeth Hainstock

Some of my favorite homeschooling resources are from a Montessori supply company called Montessori Services and their sister site For Small Hands.

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