Before I was even married to my husband, I had gotten a degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in School Administration. I KNEW I loved teaching, and I knew I was always hungry for new creative ideas and methods to use.
It wasn’t until I was introduced to The Montessori Method that I realized how different and unique learning could be and how little the teacher matters. What truly matters is the child and how she learns at her own pace.
While I don’t have enough space to explain every single aspect of The Montessori Method, I will be happy to list the pros and cons that I have encountered with using The Montessori Method in our homeschool.
It would be good to point out to you that we aren’t purists (as in using The Montessori Method exclusively), but we do incorporate it into pretty much every subject we study.
Why We Love Montessori
- It instills a culture of peace and care for others
- It instills a love for independent discovery in learning
- It encourages multi-aged grouping, which is perfect for homeschooling siblings
- It appeals to all of our senses, which makes learning more fun and easier for retention
- The teacher isn’t the main leader, but rather a guide
- Children thrive with independence, problem-solving skills, and patience
- It encourages freedom within parameters based on self-discipline and thinking of others
- Children learn and advance at their own pace
- Children learn to care for themselves and for their environment
- Montessori materials have many purposes and levels of learning
Some Negatives from Using Montessori
- Montessori materials are so beautiful, but very pricey
- Montessori materials are bulky and take up a lot of room (in the environment and in storage)
- The teacher has to have some degree of training or have been around The Montessori Method to understand it and effectively implement it
Solutions to the Negatives I Mentioned
Yes, Montessori materials can be quite expensive, but I have found that purchasing used, like in FB groups (Montessori Materials for Sale) or at discounted stores (such as Adena Montessori) can really bring the cost down.
Let’s face it: Montessori materials are bulky. There is no real way around that. What I have done in our homeschool is make readily available materials that are in the Sensitive Periods and those that are connected to topics we are currently studying. I do keep some of their favorites out all the time because they are so drawn to them. For this point, I would suggest having a homeschool room or even a closet to use to store your homeschool materials.
I know of several moms who effectively homeschool their children using The Montessori Method and Montessori-Inspired materials who haven’t had any formal training. They have done research, gotten their hands on anything free or nearly free to learn more, acquired albums to help guide them, and practiced a lot on their own.
I am Montessori trained for ages 3-6, and I am glad I did the training. When I got the training, though, I was single and had the intention of teaching at a Montessori school. I never thought of homeschooling my children, so that wasn’t part of the decision-making. I will say, though, that I have found my training to be extremely helpful and that it has made a positive difference in my confidence in using Montessori in our homeschool. Training costs money, but in the end, I think it was worth it.
Montessori Basics that we Recommend
- Knobless Cylinders Set
- Moveable Alphabet
- Binomial Cube
- Pink Tower
- Brown Stair
- Geometric Solids
- Dressing Frames
- Sandpaper Land and Water forms
If you have been thinking about using Montessori in your homeschool, give it a try! I offer many free printables, ideas, and resources on my blog that can help guide you some. We love using Montessori as part of our homeschool, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I honestly cannot imagine homeschooling without integrating it into our subjects.
Have you thought about trying the Montessori Method in your homeschool? If you use it, what do you like about it?