With so many parents choosing to home school their children nowadays, and the numbers growing, do you think that AMI, AMS, and CGS should try and provide information, training opportunities, albums, manuals, etc.. that cater to Montessori or Catechesis of the Good Shepherd being implemented in the home?
I know that actual training in person is very crucial to these methods, but the reality is that many of us homeschooling our children cannot afford, or do not have the time for these trainings. Many of us are already well into the "ballgame" and try to implement Montessori and CGS in the home as best as possible. I can truly say that so far, I've seen great results. Are they the results that would be achieved if my children attended an actual Montessori school or Atrium? Maybe not. Maybe they'd be doing and learning even more! I personally, cannot afford to send all my children to a Montessori school, nor do I have the time to or money for full training. There is a local Montessori charter school, free of cost, however their emphasis on certain areas conflict with what I would like to emphasize in my child's education and with some of my beliefs. As far as an Atrium goes, we have none in our state, and we also attend the Tridentine Mass, so I would want the lessons to reflect the "Extraordinary" rite of the Mass.
For the sake of prompting discussion, I offer the following for consideration and discussion:
In her book, The Child in the Church, Maria Montessori states her wishes for there to be a "Montessori Order", with a "large part to be played by lay people, who would dedicate themselves to the work in a manner similar to that of members of Third Orders in the Dominican, Fransiscan and Carmelite movements, and in the same spirit."
Regarding this "Montessori Order", this is what it says in the book about Montessori in the home:
"A Second "arm" of the Montessori Order would be directed toward the helping of parents in their dealings with their own children in the home. Since Montessori's definition of education is an aid to life, it is clear that it begins at birth. In fact it begins before birth; and prior to her death Montessori founded a special kind of maternity home in Rome- which still functions. Its aim is to instruct expectant mothers, not only how to take care of their newly-born physically but also mentally, from the moment of their arrival into this most puzzling world.
Incidentally, it is interesting to note that parents are much quicker to appreciate the value of Montessori ideas than are many teachers and professors. This is no doubt because- as was the case with Montessori's first assistants in Rome- parents have not been trained as teachers have, along the old lines and methods. The parental instinct quickens their whole mental attitude toward infantile psychology and toward anything else which bears on the life of their newly-arrived offspring. There is an immense scope for the dissemination of Montessori's principles in the home, a work which has never been fully written up and properly organized, through already much has, and is being done in this sphere, in connection with many Montessori schools.
The more Montessori principles are practiced in the homes the less deviated would the under-five children become before they came to their first class, and the quicker wold be their process of normalization through work when they did come to school. "
The book goes on to say this:
"The Training of Montessori Teachers- The third branch of a Montessori Order would be the setting up and operating of training colleges for the formation of Montessori directresses. This would be a necessity, for, just as it is true to say, "No Prepared Environment, no Montessori School", so it is equally true to say, "No trained Montessori directress, no Montessori School." This is because there exists in the Montessori system a trinity, which is one and undivided, made up of (I) the children, (II) the Prepared Environment, and (III) the Montessori directress; and if anything goes amiss in the proper functioning of any one of these three something invariably goes wrong with the whole. As an essential part of this third 'arm', the training of teachers, would be the formation of a sort of vigilance committee f experts, which would include all la people, and no-Catholics also, of long Montessori experience. The aim of this committee of experts would be to guard the name Montessori and the movement that goes under it from the encroachment of other and alien educational ideas and practices which would undermine the fundamental principles on which the Montessori Method is based. This would not mean, of course, that such a committee would act in any way as a brake upon the true and genuine development of Montessori principles and techniques in new and fresh spheres of influence and practice; but it would make sure that these were "true and genuine developments in the sense that Newman uses the phrase in his famous classic, An Essay on The Development of Christian Doctrine."
With so many parents opting to home school, are AMI, AMS, and CGS working toward "the true and genuine development of Montessori principles and techniques in new and fresh spheres of influence and practice"? Homeschooling has been around for years, with more and more parents jumping on the bandwagon. I can't even keep up with all the wonderful Montessori homeschooling blogs around and popping up!
What are these Montessori organizations doing to meet the needs of these parents?
Let me know your thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them!