I'm incorporating a LOT of Montessori ideas with my toddler. I've just fairly recently been really learning about it -- of course I'd HEARD of it before and had the general gist, but really had missed a lot of the meat of it.
I wouldn't say we're "montessori homeschoolers" but we're certainly "montessori-inspired". I think many of Montessori's methods were for creating a home-like environment in the school... which you don't need when you're at home. So some things don't have to be as strictly applied.
But a lot of the principles and philosophies and methods, I really quite like. I think it's very child-led, but allows for adult guidance without overt or direct interference, which is where my logic tells me things should be. It reminds me to trust the child, but also to provide opportunities for her.
DD is really taking to it. Again we don't do EVERYTHING and we don't do all of it strictly, but what we do, she loves. I can absolutely see everything Dr Montessori talks about happening in her as she does her 'work'.
I don't think I will continue with the Montessori-style curriculum past preschool years. Not completely, anyway. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL, it's very daunting to imagine buying or even making so much, and though you don't need all of it, since it's designed to be able to meet the needs of a variety of students within a classroom... it's also very daunting to sort through which you really need and which you don't. Elementary Montessori is quite a different beast than preschool Montessori, and I'm not sure it's the best fit for us.
But I will always have the influence of the principles, things like the importance of "Practical Life" skills, the need for an ordered environment, self-selecting from available activities, teacher non-interference, the three-period lesson... even with my 10yo DS, I'm finding certain "lessons" I've learned from reading about Montessori apply to how I approach things with him, whether or not we're using Montessori materials.
Heh... of course, we've recently made a switch with him to RightStart math, which is written by a former Montessori teacher and I can see HEAVY influences from the Montessori way of teaching math. But I do like it much better than Montessori math, still...
Haha... as I'm sitting here typing this, "The Secret of Childhood" by Maria Montessori is sitting here right in front of me. I got it from the library last week, I need to read it!
Oh, I'm in the Montessori Makers yahoo group and a Montessori Swap yahoo group as well.
Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact