I'm having to rest today, so I thought I'd continue with my "Montessori in My Home" post.
Once we decided to have an official classroom in the home, my husband and I went to the local Public School's surplus sales. There, they had used shelves, desks, chairs, etc. for about $3-$5 a piece. I would have loved to own the stuff from the Jonti-Craft catalog, but for $3-$5 at the surplus sale, I didn't mind a little chipped paint on the shelves! Besides, It was so exciting to get some shelves, table and chairs at such a low price, because as we all know, the cost of setting up a Montessori classroom can add up quick! I only ordered a few Montessori materials at first, but also bought several hands on items at a local teachers resource store called, "Learning is Fun!".
One of the most important things to my husband and I was that we start implementing a Montessori way of living in the home. We began to provide the children with more opportunities to do things for themselves and help us around the house, and had to keep reminding ourselves to stop interrupting the children's learning process; something that took some work! To us, the Montessori approach was very much in sync with our Catholic ideas and having a large family. It was a win win situation. The children gain confidence and satisfaction in their abilities when given the opportunity to dress themselves, help make food, etc.. and we gain children who are not afraid of being independent and who love to help the family with various tasks and chores. We were seeing great results with our children. They were eager to learn, and the implementation of Montessori ideas in our home helped to make things feel more peaceful. Children are children. They like to have fun and can be noisy, but we learned quickly that when they have the satisfaction of feeling productive, things at home can become a lot calmer with more of a joyful atmosphere abounding.
Next up: What a Blessing! Meeting with Mentors...