This is the first in a short series of posts about Bastardized Home Montessori Preschool.
Back in March, Michael and I visited a local Montessori school to see about placing John there in the fall. I liked what I understood about the basic concept of Montessori preschool education: tactile learning that focuses on teaching children everyday tasks. Or, to decode that, if you want them to one day write with a pencil and make you a three course meal while doing the laundry and building a car, you need to start by teaching them how to pour themselves a glass of water because they will need the hydration.
I was a little skeptical going in about some things Montessori promises, like child-led learning and older children teaching the younger ones in the Montessori classroom. But after spending 45 minutes just observing a class one day, I left having drunk the Kool-Aid.
The problem was even though this was a very affordability priced Montessori school, it was still more than we could afford. So, like the trained researcher I am, I started reading everything I could find on Montessori and ultimately decided that I would start teaching Montessori (to the best of my abilities given that I am untrained in the great secrets of Montessori – secrets that certified Montessori teachers spend two years of intense training to gain) to the boys in our home as well as in a playgroup once a week with a friend and her two daughters.
I called it “Bastardized Home Montessori Preschool” because pure-Montessorians probably wouldn’t call what I’m doing Montessori. For as much as they try to make their classrooms into a home environment, really the ideal Montessori setting isn’t the nuclear family home. But at the end of the day, if you can’t afford perfection you do the best you can, and this is it for me.