Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our School that Happens to be at Home

If I would describe our schooling it would be this:

We are a relaxed homeschooling family utilizing Montessori Methods to explore the world around us. We use Dolce Sight Words and Decoding in reading, interest based science and Montessori materials for math (such as the 100 board and square bead chains). We have one child in 0-3 and another in Primary 3-6. 

Sounds fancy doesn't it? 

In all honesty though, it's just jargon. 

I was showing my husband all the activities I had planned for our family road trip coming up and pulled out some dinosaurs-

Me: "This is a sensory box with Dinosaurs from different eras"
Joe: "it's a plastic container. with stuff in it."
Me:"no, it's a sensory box"
Joe: "right. just call it what it is. A box of toys"

I think that somewhere along the way, we've felt a need to make ourselves feel qualified to teach our kids. We use jargon. Read lots of books. Take things like playing with water or helping around the house and check them off and puff up our chests- We are a Montessori family. We are raising successful smart kids who are way smarter than your kids. Bwahahahaa. 

In all seriousness though, the problem lies with the assumption that we have to feel qualified in the first place. We are qualified. You are qualified. We don't need the jargon and fancy words to teach our kids. 

We let them make messes and explore and it's ok to call it a Sensory activity- because it is- but the biggest mistake I've made this year is getting caught up in doing it "right" that I've missed out on the laughter and play that is inherent with kids learning. 

I've learned this year that it is my job to give them the best environment to learn possible. This involves showing them how to use the 100 board AND leaving them alone to do it. Showing them how to string some beads AND letting her take them off to her hearts content. Sitting down consistently to read together. Teaching them how to keep their environment safe and organized for the people around them. It also includes minimizing screen time and spending as much time outside as we can. 

If we had an "official" end of the year it would be this week. But we don't. We just have lots more trips planned, family visiting, and friends out of regular school to have play dates with. 
Our day to day is still mostly the same. Lots of games and activities. Reading as much as possible. Working on practical life activities like sweeping and folding and mopping.

We will be trying hard to laugh and be intrigued and explore and I hope that all the curriculum I have will stay up on that high shelf for as long as possible.

Happy Schooling everyone!  I hope that your summers are filled with lots and lots and lots of play and giggles and hugs.

More Activities and Ideas: Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now
Teaching Time for Toddlers Tuesday at The Philosphers Wife


  1. First time here! Couldn't agree with you more on the "jargons"! Have you heard of being "intentionally present"? That is what I am changing my style to.

    1. I have! I actually closed my facebook this year to try and be more intentional with my life in general. Its not as easy as you would think!