We are stepping into a new way of homeschooling for the second half of our school year. I am homeschooling our daughter who is in Kindergarten and is six. I have found that the homeschooling method that we have been using just does not seem to fit our daughter's learning style. She does not seem to enjoy school, unless it is hands on learning. For this reason, I have chosen to go the Montessori route as best as I can achieve at home. While I feel that homeschooling is very important to us for many reasons (which is why I don't want to send her to an actual Montessori school or public school), I have found that upon reading through many Montessori books, community is a integral part of the teaching method. The children learn from one another, teach one another, motivation almost seems to stem from one another, etc. Where does the self motivation come from when you are at home learning? I don't really understand how to set up a day without guiding and sometimes telling her what needs to be accomplished in her day. I love the multi-sensory approach to the learning style, but what I don't understand is how to get her excited and motivated to dig deeper and follow through with what all she should be accomplishing to reach her academic goals. She has a 15 month old brother, so he will be trailing behind her quite a bit.
Is anyone else using the Montessori style approach and how do you effectively approach each day to assure that your child is being taught all the things they should be retaining for their specific grade level?
Not sure if this is what youare looking for, but i found a great book at the library titled "how to raise an amazing child the Montessori way". Its all about Montessori at home :)
You may find insights in this book. She talks a lot about Montessori and homeschooling.: Legendary Learning http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328847494&sr=1-1
About the book:
This is probably the best parenting book I have ever read. How you can offer your kids the skills they need to follow their passions and succeed (as they define it) in the world. Although it is geared to homeschoolers, most of this can be applied to children who attend school. She discusses Montessori, Charlotte Mason, A Thomas Jefferson Education (a form of classical education,) and unschooling. She has researched how many highly successful people were educated as they grew up. Although all were homeschooled for some period of time, many also went to school for awhile as well. She discusses people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Pierre Curie, Agatha Christie, Margaret Leakey, and many, many others. The bottom line is to help your child find their passions and teach them the creativity and skills to attain their goals.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
I totally get where you are coming from. We use Waldorf and Montessori elements and find our movement activities have to be modified for the home setting. We use a curriculum and it even offers ideas for modifying the activities and games for the home setting, where a circle isn't really a circle when it's mom, 2nd grader, and the 4yr old running in and out!
Some ideas: check and see of there are any Montessori and Waldorf programs in your area and try to participate in their festivals and open houses when open to the community. We did this last year at our local Waldorf school for the May Faire and my son got SO much out of it. At home he'd been balking at recorder lessons but when he saw the class playing their flutes for the community he was pretty excited.
This year we plan to visit again for their Open House, to view the artwork and story work through the grades. We have no interest in sending our children to the school, but we love having it available as a resource.
I do think there are trade-offs with homeschooling. The lack of community opportunities for plays and group activities is definitely a con, but there are so many benefits that we are willing to compromise. Fortunately, we have a good homeschooling community, but most are not Waldorf homeschoolers, and that's just how it goes.
We like to say we are using a "montessori inspired" homeschooling method. Maria Montessori had 2 primary requirements for Montessori--that it involved mixed age classes of at least 20 or so children and that it took place in a home-like environment. Obviously, one of those is easy to do with homeschooling and the other is not. I've seen pure Montessori (my son actually went to a Montessori school for 3 years before being homeschooled), and without being a trained Montessorian nor having 20 kids of mixed ages at my disposal, I am not doing "Montessori at Home"...I am doing "Montessori-INSPIRED at Home" (despite the fact that I was actually included and helped contribute to a book called Montessori at Home. LOL!). We use many of the ideas, and even many of the actual work. And that's good enough for us. It works really well because I DO have 3 children of different ages and they do learn from eachother (although the oldest is not doing Montessori stuff anymore--we use a set curriculum, although it *is* hands on).
For me, I need to pull them towards a more organized curriculum at the kindergarten age because I don't feel comfortable with using pseudo-Montessori approach past preschool. Others may be more comfortable with with my daughter having Asperger's and some significant splinter skills, I need to pull in other resources to make sure she's getting what she needs. And once my kids hit the 1st grade, we stop using the Montessori work completely (well, primarily because we used a tax refund to buy preschool and some kindy montessori work, but we didn't go higher than that. LOL!) Montessori at home for the older grades slightly resembles unschooling to me, and I'm not comfortable with that for my own kids....
So in short, you can use Montessori-inspired stuff at home for sure. But you also get the flexibility to ditch what's not working and pull in other resources as necessary. :)
We are Montessori inspired, and I have three children 4, 7, 10. I have purchased some amterials, and I do present many lessons in a Montessori fashion. While I agree with having a larger group to work with and in, I have found that the girls do work well with each other, sharing ideas and teaching their sisters.
I found reading Maria's books wonderfully helpful, giving me a good base, but an understanding of the "how" of Math and Reading was necessary for me to really incorporate it into our daily rhythm. I took two classes that helped understand this.
Dh, Me , DD 10 , DD 7 , DD 4
We , , , , not in that order