Life has been absolutely busy lately. The baby nurses a lot and very frequently, so it's quite difficult to get much done around the home these days. It has also been a challenge to post on the blog because my husband and I are pretty much sharing one computer, which he is on most of the time running our business! I could use the iPad, but I just don't have the patience to sit there tapping away, letter by letter! So it seems, until we get life rolling into more of a regular rhythm around here, and until we get another computer or laptop, my blog posts may be sparse!
So.. It is with nursing baby in tow, toddler taking nap, 4 boys doing origami, reading and playing pretend with play cloths, that I will attempt to continue my post on my journey applying Montessori in the home...
An Answer to my Prayer:
One night I was freaking myself out about how great it would be if we could afford to send our children to a true blue, bonafide Montessori school. I was drooling over local school websites wishing that my children could have a real Montessori education and experience. I was so down on myself to the point that I was completely stressed out. It was time for my children to go to bed so we knelt down for night prayers. A special request I had that night to St. Joseph was that since he was so close to God, if he could please ask Him to help us give our children a Montessori education. I felt like it was going to take a miracle and St. Joseph's petitions to God have always seemed to come through for us. After all, God did entrust Him with His only son for some years here on earth. I figure he's in pretty good standing up there and could put in a good word for me. It's like asking a friend, your mom, etc. to say a little prayer for you.
After the children went to bed, I got the idea to go on the computer to see if there were any local home schooling mom's using the Montessori method in their home. With a quick search I found a local home schooling forum and did a search for Montessori. Nothing came up except one post. I thought to myself, "What a bummer, only one post!". It said there was a Montessori school closing and that they were having a yard sale. "Double bummer!", I thought to myself, "Surely I missed this wonderful sale because this post is probably like 4 years old." I clicked on the post anyway and couldn't believe my eyes! The sale was going to be the very next morning! Coincidence? I think not :)
I was so excited! Someone was actually going to be selling used Montessori materials that I could go touch and see with my very own hands and eyes! I knew how expensive Montessori materials were, and was so excited wondering what the discounts would be like. I couldn't wait to share the news with my husband that night when he came home from work, but I wasn't too sure how we were doing on money, and wasn't sure how to bring it up. He got home from work a little later that night and had a big beaming smile. I asked him how work went and he told me it had gone great and had gotten a $100 tip! (He runs a music business). That was really great, but even better was that he handed over the cash and said he wanted me to have it for the kids schooling needs! Right then and there I burst out with excitement as I told him about how stressed I had been that night, and that I had later found out there was going to be a Montessori yard sale the next morning!
The next morning, my husband had a performance, so I was on my own lugging my 5 children around, my youngest daughter at the time nursing. I was imagining there would be crowds and crowds of people there, just clamoring to get in. I was hoping that I could at least get a decent parking spot so that I wouldn't have to walk too far with all the children. When we arrived, I saw that there was absolutely no one there, and that the owners were just barely setting out "for sale" signs. I approached them, nervously, with all my children. I say nervously because people can be very snooty to us sometimes. It's like they have something against children or something.
Anyway, the owners turned out to be super nice! They were retiring and had been doing Montessori for about 35 years.
The owner told me she had started in her own home with her own children and some other moms and it just grew from there. She happened to be Catholic and very pro-life. She helped me pick out some materials that would be useful to me and we got a really great deal! Had it not been for her, I would have not gotten my hands on all of the amazing Montessori stuff plus some good quality shelves. Later that afternoon, I showed my husband all of the items I got, and he was so excited and told me to call the the owners of the school and ask them if we could buy some more! The owner was so sweet and very happy to help. She even offered to mentor me and come over to the house! I couldn't have asked for anything more. It's been about 2 years now and we are still very good friends and we even stop by her house on Christmas Eve for a little visit and for the children to sing her a song.
I've never met such a kind Montessori teacher. There were others around town that I had approached, but they seemed a bit stuck up and like Montessori was an elitist secret that only certain people "in the know" could have access to. It was very humbling to me, whether I liked it or not. People like my friend, Mrs. M, really make a difference in people's lives, just by taking a moment of their time to be kind and give some helpful advice. This is one of the reason's I started my blog. I truly appreciate Mrs. M, my friend Mrs. B who home schooled her two daughters according to the Montessori method, Fr. V, and all the bloggers out there who have given me insight into the wonderful world of Montessori.
Next time I write, I'll talk about the Montessori co-op my friends and I formed, and then finish up with where we are now and what I'm doing in the home this year.