Question and Answers

Is it possible to home school kids with the montessori curriculum?

Expert Answer

The Montessori classroom environment provides a carefully prepared set up with all of the requisite material needed by each three-year age group, along with 28-35 children. Furthermore, it is overseen by an AMI trained adult who is knowledgeable with regard to child development, the Montessori philosophy and the use of the specially designed material. Only with these components in place can the educative environment be considered a Montessori classroom; so the home schooling environment and the Montessori prepared environment are uniquely distinct from one another.
—Sandra Girlato, Director of Training, The Foundation for Montessori Education

It is a good question and I think it is safe to say that it is wonderful to use the Montessori approach at home. To me—the approach of respecting the child, providing an environment designed to answer their needs and giving them the tools to be independent—is at the heart of the philosophy. This builds confidence and encourages the child to take some responsibility for their choices. Everyday tasks such as dusting, polishing, watering plants, recycling, getting cereal, pouring milk, measuring weights or distance and exploring the natural world all fit very well within the home.

Using the curriculum is slightly different as the children are in a family grouping; community is a class and they learn from each other and are sometimes inspired to try new things by watching or having help from other children. The integration of the Montessori ‘curriculum’ is strong throughout the ages right up through high school, and I think that the exploration form the concrete materials, and the repetition of these are so important before the children move on to more abstract concepts and work. While this is possible at home, it is good to do some reading before embarking on this. I suggest going to the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association website and look at the publications such as Montessori From The Start by Lillard and Jessen; In a Montessori Home by Sarah Moudry; At Home with Montessori by Patricia Oriti; and a list of other publications for the older children.
—Katherine Poyntz, Executive Director, CCMA

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