Montessori in a traditional school setting has very few variations in implementation. The materials, guides and classroom design are all fairly regulated by AMI, the international Montessori accreditation organization.
But “Montessori at home” – a phrase you might come across in blogs or on social media – has many different definitions.
We decided to ask a few moms and Montessorians what the phrase “Montessori at home” meant to them. We hope you find their answers as enlightening as we did!
Angela Chang of MOMtessori Life says:
“Montessori is not so much a way of learning for us as it is a way of life. ‘Montessori at home’ doesn’t necessarily mean sandpaper letters and the pink tower and the academic things you might associate with a Montessori classroom, but the same principles are there – in the way adults speak to children, in the freedom (within limits) that is available, in the independence that is encouraged, in the cultivation of the whole child, and in the observation of developmental needs and individual interests that then manifests itself in a prepared home environment. That’s Montessori in our home.”
Lindsey Dewald of Our City House says:
“Montessori at home for us means allowing our children the freedom and independence to work along side us grown ups by encouraging their participation in food prep, caring for our home, and having spaces set up for them in every area of the house that allows for them the independence to work or play without needing much adult intervention.
Art materials, toys and open ended play things are all displayed at their level or in cabinets they can reach. Montessori at home basically means we respect our children as contributing members of our family.”
Simone Davies of The Montessori Notebook says:
“For me, Montessori at home is about applying the big principles of Montessori – keeping kids curious whilst being able to set limits so that everyone’s needs can be met; setting things up in the home so the child can take part in our daily lives and learn responsibility; and accepting the child for who they are to build a relationship of mutual respect.
When we bring Montessori into our homes in this way, the child learns to trust themselves and the parents learn to support the child.”
Like many terms and phrases in our modern lexicon, “Montessori at home” doesn’t have just one definition. It’s unique for each family!
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