Montessori Homeschooling Concepts
Another popular method is Montessori homeschooling. Dr. Maria Montessori, the very first woman to become a physician in Italy, established her educational method in 1907. Her method relied on her scientific observation of how children learn and her discovery of how they teach themselves when provided with freedom in the proper environment. She found that in an environment furnished with materials supportive of self-directed learning, children, when carefully uninterrupted, would make the transition toward their true natural behavior.
To use the Montessori homeschooling method, a parent has to embrace the concept of a child being able to guide its own learning and development. Parents need to observe their children in order to decide which experimental lessons are suitable to implement, choosing to introduce those that help show their children how to use freely available self-teaching tools and remedy misbehavior.
A globally accepted approach for successful learning
Since Dr. Montessori worked mostly with children between the ages of 2.5-7 years, her philosophy revolved around the observations she made within this age group. Although a large portion of the children that are taught by the Montessori method are 3-6 years old, the method is used around the world to successfully teach children from 0-18 years of age. In both the US and UK, government funding has been approved for a number of Montessori primary and elementary schools.
Protecting your child's best potential
The most significant of Dr. Montessori's contributions to the field of child education and development was in her discovery of how to cultivate the best in every child. In an environment that allows a child to choose their own work and be able to focus on it as long as they feel necessary to complete their task, they walk away from their project satisfied and in a serene state of good will for others around them. To protect this crucial process, parents must learn how and what to offer their children to facilitate their learning from the environment as it is their children's real teacher.
Cultivating each kind of intelligence
In Montessori homeschooling, each learning style and type of intelligence is cultivated: physical-kinesthetic, musical, spatial, intuitive, inter and intrapersonal, linguistic and logical-math intelligences related to reading, writing and math. This educational model is supported by the concept of multiple intelligences as presented by Harvard psychologist, Howard Gardner.
Since education of character is as equally important as academic education, practical exercises and learning materials are chosen to cater to a child's natural tendencies to hone their coordination, develop personal care skill as well as care for the environment and other people. Such activities can range from self dressing tasks, buttoning, zipping, and lacing practice as well as life skills practice, such as learning how to pour, cook, clean, garden, build, move correctly, behave and speak politely, be thoughtful and helpful, and do community work.
Independence equals greater intelligence and self-confidence
The motto for Montessori children is "Help me do it by myself" and by having them participate in and doing these kind of practical activities in an independent way, children are able to learn concentration and normalize as well as develop a sense of belonging, self-esteem and a desire to pursue life-long learning.
For child 6 and under
For children 6 and under, Montessori homeschooling focuses on teaching through the five senses not just through listening, reading and watching. Work periods are held for 1 or 2 uninterrupted 3-hour periods. Children should have many activities to choose from and be able to take their own time to learn either on their own or with their siblings without having to listen to the teaching parent dictating any lesson material or have their concentration broken when busy with a task.
Children above 6 years of age
Children above the age of 6 can start learning how to conduct independent research, gather information, hold interviews with professionals, set up field trips and create presentations such as playing music, putting on an art exhibit, scientific demonstrations or performing dramatic arts. Children's learning choices should be respected and there shouldn't be any text blocks or adult chosen lessons or schedules as continuing to allow children to learn on their own will allow them to either match or even surpass the learning goals of the traditionally taught children. Children experience no wasted time and they greatly enjoy their studying and working processes when learning in this natural way. With Montessori homeschooling, siblings being taught together often ask each other for help and have the advantage of learning through inspiration rather than through competition.
Children who have received Montessori homeschooling are usually brighter and more social, however, when making the transition to a public school, although most children can handle the differences due to their greater independence, they often have to make minor changes in how they interact with teachers and adjust to the limited learning options.