Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Maria Montessori

On this day in 1907, Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare center in Rome. Maria focused on letting children develop skills at their own pace. Her method is now used in preschools and elementary schools all over the world.
~The 2008-2009 Learning Calendar
And in homeschools, too, I might add. While we don't follow any method strictly, there are definitely some areas of learning with which we tend to utilize Montessori methodology. Math would be miserable without it for my oldest (almost 11, ack!) and dd (7) thinks Montessori math is the most fun thing to do outside painting (and she is blissfully serene with a paintbrush in hand--and that's saying a lot for my turbulent, I'm-dreading-her-teenage-years daughter with her already giant emotions). Spelling for us has a Montessori flavor to it, too. Sequential Spelling uses the visual cues of multiple colors showing word roots and has the added bonus of the kids correcting their own work.

I like the very basic Montessori tenet of the teacher (or parent) presenting information and stepping back--my kids seem to thrive best when they have ownership of the connections they make and discoveries they happen upon, if that makes sense. And the organizing ideas I've seen from some Montessori-oriented homeschoolers are great, if difficult to implement in my often chaotic household. I did just come across this thread on a homeschooling forum, which has some fairly practical ideas for a multi-child household.

There is much information about implementing Montessori in the homeschool environment out there. One of my favorites for getting the basics is a site simply called Montessori Homeschooling, which looks like a fairly recent addition to the internet with more info. to come soon.

1 comment:

Schelle said...

Thanks for the interesting information about Montessori - I am still exploring various options - have just started reading Charlotte Mason, and am halfway through Montessori's 'The Absorbent Mind'. I think like you that an unschooling approach which borrows from these two great educators is what will work best for us! Luckily the boys are still young so I've plenty of time to research and in the meantime we are unschooling naturally every day!