Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Montessori in my Home

I started writing this post on May 28th, before I found out my father was so sick and before his passing. I will have to continue it soon, but for now, here is what I had so far:

Courtney recently asked:
"Hi, Susanna, I had a question for you and the Mother's day post seemed like a good place to put it.
I was just wondering if you started Montessori with your children while they were babies -- things like a floor bed, no play pen, following the child, etc. These all seem like great ideas, I'm just wondering how to implement them in a large family (or even with more then one child). I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks and I love your blog! Courtney"

Courtney, I've been meaning to post about how we do things in the home, and will do my best to answer your question here, while also describing my Montessori journey and how we apply Montessori in the home. Things will be again changing for the 2010-2011 school year, so I'll give my thoughts on that as well.
My Montessori Journey and Montessori in my Home
I've been intrigued by Montessori since I was about 5 years old when a friend of mine would tell me all about her Montessori classroom. In about 4th or 6th grade, I actually called up Montessori schools I found in the phone book, to see what they were about and how to get in. They were surprised to hear from a kid, and told me that they only had primary programs at the time. In highschool I ran into that same girl I was friends with when I was 5. This girl was a well rounded, creative, athletic, and smart student. I was very impressed at how she had turned out, and wished I had had the same opportunity. She seemed to be very confidant, which I really admired. It made me wonder whether her Montessori schooling had anything to do with it.

Just before I got married when I was 20, I worked at a daycare, and started looking into Montessori again. There weren't as many resources as there are now, but Elizabeth Hainstock's book, Teaching Montessori in the Home. came in handy. If there was one thing I did know, it was that I did not like how busy our daycare toddler room was. They always insisted that the state child care guidelines said we had to paint everything in primary colors, which I thought was very displeasing to the eye personally. There were also cartoon character alphabets all over the room, along with cartoon character numbers. A few toys were kept on a shelf for the children to get on their own, but they were never organized , or shown how to organize them. I was always told, "they are going to mess them up anyway". I thought, who cares?! You should set a good example for them to try and learn from and follow, even if they don't always succeed at it. They also used to literally dump toys on the ground for them to play with. I just did not like the system, but had never actually seen a Montessori classroom. Since then had always dreamed of making my children a space in which they could learn and have fun in.

Once I was married and then later pregnant with our first child, I looked into Montessori again and found the NAMC website. I thought about taking their distance learning course, but at the time for newlyweds in a 1 bedroom apartment, the price was not feasible for us. The children started coming, one after another, and by the time by oldest was between 3 and 4, my husband and I cleared out a room in the home for use as a classroom.



  1. I'm so sorry about your father. I'll be praying for you and your father. Can't wait to read some more...
    Un abrazo amiguita!
    Paz y bendiciones

  2. Susana,
    Thank you so much for your post. I was sorry to hear of your father's passing and have been remembering him in my prayers. I will be praying for you and your family as your due date gets closer and will wait patiently for your updates. I really appreciate it, Courtney


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