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August 29, 2008

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Susan L

Kim, this is such a great post! What a lot of wisdom is here, for anyone, no matter what methods they use for homeschooling. I just have to quote you at length to let you know some of what I really liked in your post:

I was forced to read, read, and read some more. If we wanted the method it was ours even if the materials were not available. We knew the principles. The rest was just a means to the ends.

The emphasis is on the trappings versus the theory. This is why you see many homes chock full of hands-on learning tools and yet very few that enjoy the peace and order commonly connected with the method. The stuff itself cannot produce those things.

The concern is that too many people are satisfied with the outward appearance and are lax to really dissect down to the heart of any given method - Montessori or otherwise.

When you have the understanding of the big picture and the overarching goals then you need little else. Without it, all the getting of resources in the world will only stress both you and your shelving.

***

There's more, too, but those are some great comments! I do really appreciate the goals and methods of Montessori, too. My mom helped teach at a Montessori preschool years ago and loved it.

I think those of us who started homeschooling in the 80's (and were forced to read and research and think) were sort of blessed by the lack of materials and helps. We really had to work out our vision and goals. It gave a good foundation from which to proceed.

Thanks for this, Kim. I don't homeschool anymore, but I talk with a lot of people who do. And I have grandchildren now... :-)

Sorry to go on so long...
Susan

Tracey (Connections)

Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughtful response to my questions. I have so fallen prey to collecting resources without a clear understanding of how I want to put them into practice. I research, research, research but I also seem to collect things and dive in along the way. This always fails for some reason or another. Also, I often find myself finding something wonderful after my boys have mastered the skill it teaches and I wish I had seen it sooner. What a waste of energy, really. (Well, perhaps it will be used in the future if we are so blessed.)

Thank you for all of the wonderful resources and the encouragement to study and understand BEFORE diving in!

I plan to discontinue the stress on the shelving (and the budget) by understanding better the "why". It really is difficult sometimes to avoid the temptation of the "latest and greatest" or the program "everyone loves." Thank you for the reminder.

Steph

What a fantastic post! I konw I'll be referring back to it often. Montessori really is a lifestyle, not a series of activities.

Having only started on our journey recently I had the opposite experience as you. There is so much information about Montessori and so many resources that I had NO IDEA where to start. I felt like I was buried in Montessori and I was sifting through it forever. After ten months I think I finally have my bearings! Kind of :)

People often ask me where to start and I usually recommend many of the books that you mentioned. I am rather ashamed, however, that I haven't actually read any of Maria Montessori's books. I think it's finally time that I check them out of the library.

Thanks!

Karen

Hi Kim, stop in one day and look at my "school room". Between all the bass stuff, guitars, drums, and legos, you can hardly see the bookshelves. And never peek in my room when we have a crowd here ;~)

Amy

Great post! I don't want to buy more gear than I have method. And I certainly am not going to recreate a preschool environment that is actually trying to create a home environment.

One thing I keep seeing in the homeschool movement is a lot of stressed out moms and children. Not what I want to create at all.

I made two activities for my son in less than three minutes with a pencil and a page of paper. Takes longer than that to print something out, plus expensive ink. Worked for us.

mel

I love Labritta Gilber's book too...awesome resources!

Marcy

This is a wonderful post. =) I have Tim Seldin's book (as well as a whole bookshelf full of other Montessori reading), it really is a wonderful one and a great one that I'll be suggesting to those who are new to Montessori. I'll have to bookmark this post, too, so I can refer back to the resources you've linked to. Good stuff. =)

violingirl

Thank you so much for this post! I've been reading as many Montessori materials as I can get my hands on and you have directed me to some things I did not have on my list.

Jennifer Miller

I really enjoyed this post! Thanks so much, Kim!

Amber

Thank you for this thought provoking post. I hope you don't mind if I post a link from my blog :)

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