Maria Montessori is often quoted as saying ‘follow the child’ and this not only defines much of the Montessori philosophy of education, but resonates with many home educators worldwide.
The Montessori method in the preschool and elementary school years uses specific materials or ‘works’ designed intentionally by Maria Montessori, to enable children to learn through their hands-on experience governed by their own choice for uninterrupted blocks of extended time. The method is characterised as providing a prepared environment: ordered, appealing, simple and real, each element designed for a reason and part of a sequence in order to help in the development of the child. Montessori classrooms are for mixed ages spanning a minimum of three years. So the method has many elements that overlap with the home educating family’s needs.
Generally, the Montessori method is secular, and many blogs can be found simply by searching for ‘Montessori homeschool’ or ‘Montessori home education’. Some helpful websites include:
For a detailed description of presenting and working with the materials in the elementary years:
Montessori endorsed materials can be purchased from:
Many resource providers sell Montessori or Montessori-inspired materials and some can easily be constructed from every day materials if the endorsed items are cost-prohibitive.
Instructional videos of how to present and work with many Montessori materials are easily found on YouTube.
Elizabeth G Hainstock has written excellent guides for pre-school and elementary years and these books come highly recommended for adding a taste of Montessori to your home life and your home educating, even if you are not adhering to a complete Montessori programme:
For those of religious inclination, both the Catholic and the Anglican church use Montessori method in their ‘Catechesis of the Good Shepherd’ or ‘Godly Play’ programmes:
and videos of the materials in use can also be found on YouTube.