Back in August 2013 I just started posting photos here in this space. This blog was, and still is, for my mom and dad so that they can keep up with what we are doing homeschooling-wise 6 states away. And then other people found the blog. And they started to ask me to turn on comments. :) And then I started writing and elaborating a bit more about all that we are doing, again for my parent,s and then for others who want to know more about our Montessori school at home journey.
For those just finding the blog, I haven't yet gotten to the reason that we started down this path and how all this Montessori Madness came to be. So here is our back story:
My husband and I decided to pull our two oldest from Montessori private school just a little more than one year ago. S would have gone from part-day to full-day and T would have gone from primary to lower el and the tuition jump and 4% increase, on top of no salary-raise-since-we-took-a-pay-cut-for-this-job, was just too much.
It was January 2013 and I started to go into panic mode right after we made the decision to homeschool. HOW was I going to educate my children? And, would I be able to pull off a real Montessori-inspired experience?
Over the past 15 months I've been in high gear continually preparing myself and the environment for our journey.
So fast forward through the spring and summer of 2013...while the kids were still in school and D was a little one-year-old at home with me, I completed NAMC's Lower El certification in 8 weeks, took CGMS's 8 week Introduction course, researched, read blogs, websites, books, message boards and magazines, ordered materials, planned spaces, built shelving, made materials, talked to other classroom guides, talked with other homeschoolers, organized our classroom, organized our storage room, and generally went a little crazy.
I think about June I felt pretty burned out. I stopped work on the classroom and did some other things outside. I pulled all the creepers out of our azaleas. I fertilized, finally cemented the capstones on our retaining wall, pruned, and planted shrubs. (All before the mosquitoes got bad.) And then it was back to work to get everything done before August.
Planning and preparation of both the environment and my own self has never stop and probably will never cease. I am still endeavoring to learn as much as I possibly can every day. I am striving to keep the momentum, flow with things, let go, and follow the child.
We plan to homeschool for as long as it makes sense. We just don't believe that the public school system is for us and our family. I grew up with a very alternative elementary school experience and I feel it gave me great perspective. I am so thankful for the teachers and friends who supported my exploration of nature, art, music, mathematics, poetry, and so much more. So I am dedicated to giving my children a taste of what is out there in the world. If it means homeschooling through to college, then that is what I will do.
So all in all, I would recommend a little bit more lead-time if you are planning to begin Montessori homeschooling three children in different planes of development. I would also recommend just going for it. You will never know if it will work for you unless you try. It is certainly challenging. And it isn't for the faint of heart. But it is really can be for everyone.