Homeschooling Methods – Exploring Montessori Activities

Homeschooling Methods – Exploring Montessori Activities
This week, we’re starting a new Inspiration Monday series, Homeschooling Methods, that explores some of the different homeschooling and educational philosophies that exist.  Since we’ve been playing around with some Montessori activities of late, I thought I’d start there. Enjoy!

Montessori education is know for many things, including a focus on developing an independent child and providing multi-sensory activities.  Many Montessori activities are focused around helping a child do things independently, and choose activities that interest them.  They are also designed to develop specific skills, and appeal to a multitude of senses.

There is a lot to like about Montessori education.  I, personally, appreciate the care and thought that goes into each Montessori activity as well as the focus on creating and fostering a beautiful learning environment for children.  I also love how the Montessori Method stresses the importance of creating a child-friendly space, with child-sized items and accessible materials and toys.

In designing and creating a learning space for our children, I’ve been greatly inspired by the Montessori approach.  For example, we have low shelves, with enticing toys arranged at my children’s eye-level.  And I’ve been trying to keep our toys neat and orderly, with an obvious place for every toy, so that our children will have an organized and peaceful play space.

In choosing activities for my children, I often keep Montessori principles in mind.  For example, I like to think of ways for us to experience things with more than one sense.  Whether this be sandpaper letters, water play, or a nature table, I try to remember that children like to see – and hear – and feel – and taste – and smell things.  My son constantly reminds me of this, with his insatiable appetite for touching things.  He’s 4 years old, and still feels the need to grab, pick up, and manipulate everything.  This is a trait that many people associate with babies, but I think’s it’s important to recognize the need in older children as well (specifically, my older child).

Here are a couple of recent “Montessori-esque” activities that we’ve tried out.

One day, we worked on fine motor skills and colours by sorting pom poms into their colour categories.  The kids really enjoyed this activity (they loved the tactile nature of the pom poms).

Another day, we worked on fine motor skills and numeracy by counting numbers and sorting them into bags (we gathered five “5’s” and put them in a bag together, for example).  My son also “wrote” the numbers on bags.  Then he hung them on a ribbon strung across our fireplace using clothespins.  This activity took more concentration, and, although he liked it at first, he didn’t enjoy it enough to see it through to the end (being a bag for each number).

I often think educational philosophies are just as much about the parents as they are about the kids.  For myself, I never feel as though I could be organized enough to be a “true” Montessori mom.  I like to think on the fly, and innovate as I go, which I find difficult to do with pre-prepared Montessori activities.  Although, I carry many of the Montessori philosophies around in my head much of the time, and I know they manifest in what we do, and how we learn.

My son is a creative, curious soul, and is interested in trying most things, but he doesn’t have a particularly organized mind and spirit.  So, he finds the details of some Montessori activities a little monotonous.  However, I often wonder if it would be “good for him” to have a bit more order in his life.  Hence, the organized play space to encourage this.  My daughter, however, while still just a toddler, is already showing signs of being much more orderly, and having a longer attention span for focused tasks than my son did at her age.  I can see how many Montessori activities would (and do) appeal to her.

So, I guess, for us, we dabble in Montessori.  I love a lot of the method, and I try to incorporate what works for us.  But, I wouldn’t label us Montessori homeschoolers. I also see how it works very well for younger children, but need to learn more about how it applies to older children.  Any Montessori mothers out there care to shed some light?

I’d love to know how you’ve been inspired by Montessori education.  What do you love about it?  Is there anything you find difficult?  Does it work for you?


We’re linking up with:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Fascinating thoughts and questions, Kelly! Since I started our as a Montessori teacher, it was only natural for me to use Montessori education exclusively during my kids’ preschool years. I always loved the order and self-discipline they gained from practical life activities, which I still see in them as adults. They’re actually both more organized than I am!

    During their elementary years, we used unit studies because there weren’t as many elementary materials easily available for homeschoolers then. I always focused on using hands-on activities and following my kids’ interests, though, which we were able to do all through high school. Even after graduating from college, my kids both still have a love of learning. So I’ve always been very happy with the approach we used.

    I love the freedom homeschoolers have to find the perfect balance for own unique family. Have fun with your homeschool journey! :)

    • Wow. Sounds like your kids got a good mix. Yes, I love the self-discipline aspects of Montessori. It’s so nice to see my kids empowered by what they can do. And amazing to see how eager they are to participate in life activities. Anything that’s a “real job,” appeals to strongly to them. It’s kind of amazing how kids are drawn to adult work. I’ll remember that, “hands-one activities and following my kids’ interests.” Makes it sound so easy! Thanks for your comments, Deb.

  2. Although we do not homeschool, my children are all in public programs but we live in a Montessori home. Every detail is Montessori, and there’s a room dedicated to materials and art. I’m a Montessori teachers, who spends the afternoons ‘afterschooling’ her kids. Life is good!!

    • Sounds like a lovely combination. You’ve got lucky kids. I wish for your art room!

  3. We’re Montessori dabblers too. My son is still a toddler and the practical life activities have really helped his independence. Plus I too love the accessible shelves etc. But I am a bit disorganised and don’t think I could get completely behind the ‘activities must be on a tray’ ‘activities must be carried out on a designated mat’, ‘teacher/parent does three part lesson or presentation’ etc. We tend to go with the flow a bit more, which probably undermines some of the benefits of Montessori but seems to work Ok for us. He does go to a Montessori nursery one day a week too and he really enjoys that.

    • I know what you mean. Many times I wish I was organized enough to enforce a bit more organization in our play. Especially at the end of the day… That’s when I vow to “go Montessori on them” in the morning. Play with a toy, put it away before you take another! That sort of thing. All in good time, I suppose. =)

  4. Appreciated this article from the point of view of commonality. It is nice to see other homeschoolers exploring a variety of methods – including Montessori. Plus – love the number activity.

    • Thanks! I love bits and pieces of every method. There really are so many wonderful ways to learn. =)



  1. Homeschool Showcase #88 | Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers - [...] methods. She offers her thoughts on and some examples of the Montessori method in her post, Homeschooling Methods –…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *