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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Montessori Home Schooling?

Montessori classrooms open doors of the mind
That even voice and books together cannot find.

Montessori primary education begins when the child is three. If your child is an old four year old (more than four and a half), it is likely too late to begin to home school an individual child with Montessori materials. Most people who have not worked in a fully functioning Montessori class do not realize that an important component to its success are its thirty or so children. A four year old without other children as models may not be drawn to use those expensive materials you have just purchased. Another common idea is that home schooling is inexpensive. Not initially. Maybe over time.

The first thing you must do if you are a patient reader is to purchase and read The Montessori Method, Centennial Edition, by Maria Montessori. It is available now at Amazon for $12.95. To understand Montessori, it is all worth reading even though she is not easy to read. If you are bogged down by a section which does not seem pertinent, then skip over it to one that does. On the advice of my mentors, I avoided reading the Doctoressa herself for years. When finally I did read this book, many many puzzle pieces fell into place. So try it and good luck. This may be a test of your dedication.

Do you have enough space for the classroom materials? A corner of the living room probably will not work. The sensorial and math materials require space. And these materials even from the least expensive supply houses are expensive. Often established schools buy the most expensive materials because so many children will be using them and the materials need to be super durable. Look at what is offered online and ask around for best suppliers if you can. And for your newly invented classroom look at what the suppliers suggest for all the major areas of the classroom. An inexpensive substitution may occur to you. Many of the materials especially those of practical living can be bought or made inexpensively.

Here are the materials that I would buy if I were going to teach children ages three to six years. These are the much loved materials that would be difficult to make yourself.:

Sensorial materials:
pink tower, red rods, brown (broad) stair, 4 cylinder blocks, 4 knobless cylinders, and geometric solids

Math materials:
red and blue rods, spindle box with spindles, hundred board, colored bead bars in a box, golden bead bar box, hundred square & chain, thousand cube & chain, binomial and trinomial cubes, and the subtraction snake game (which doubles as an addition snake game.)

Language materials:
sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, metal insets

Geography materials:
world puzzle map, North America map, if possible all continent maps and the U.S. Map,
Montessori Material Suppliers:
Although there are many others as well as the established Gonzargarredi and Nienhuis, here also are two less expensive Montessori material suppliers that I just now have found online:

Adena: brown stair $82.50

Alison's Montessori: Thailand: brown stair $68.00

Nienhuis: brown stair $162.20

Juliana Group (Gonzargarredi): broad stair $163.12

___________________________________________________________________________________ Montessori Home School Support (?) Sites
Here are some good Montessori people of various sorts: maybe some will inspire you, some will have a good idea or two, some are stuck in traditional education, and some would like to sell you something.




http://www.montessoriforlearning.com/ l




Some words of caution: Montessori children do not work from pre-made work sheets. They make their own problem, solve it, and then if they desire, they write the whole problem and the solution down. And then they may do it again-or not. It comes from them. Not just math but language too. Worksheets are a symptom of what is wrong with traditional education. Children need to own their work from beginning to end. Montessori education is about intellectually empowering children.

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