The Big Choice...

Monday, March 15, 2010

(previously posted here)

We've always wanted to homeschool, since well before we had children to even consider educating! We've debated on doing the PA virtual charter school, using the Seton or Catholic Heritage curriculums, unschooling, doing traditional or classic homeschooling, or creating our own curriculum. Last night, my husband suggested looking into Montessori homeschooling. We were aware of the Montessori method, but had never investigated the model as it related to homeschooling.

I've ordered the recommended text (The Joyful Child) for homeschooling infants through age three, using the Montessori method, in addition to The Complete Montessori Teaching Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. One of the things that has drawn us to Montessori homeschooling is the fact that they have done research in educating infants, even prenatally! Also, this isnt a curriculum that we need to follow step-by-step, so the flexibility that we are looking for is there. We will, most likely, order textbooks from CHC or Seton because we do want to integrate religious studies into their secular studies, but we also feel a need (in part because of Peter's scientific background), to make sure that they have a diverse education. Even though they will be brought up Catholic, they will be raised with an understanding and (if we are lucky) a love of all different religions and customs.

Right now, Bobby and Maya are six months old. I've gotten quite a number of "how can you homeschool a baby?" questions. Obviously, we arent sitting them down at a desk and giving them homework! But there is so much education in play. Songs and conversation teach them language and, because their minds are sponges right now, songs and conversations in multiple languages give them the gift of being bilingual or even trilingual. Holding their hands and moving them over paper teaches coordination and, as they are becoming more aware of words and letters, teaches primitive penmanship. Hand motions and directed play teaches hand-eye coordination. Physical therapy and practice walking teaches balance. Loading them into the stroller and walking around the block not only gives them air and gets them outside, but opens their eyes to the beauty of nature. Taking them to church, watching religious cartoons, and reading the Bible with them teaches them our faith. They may not be able to articulate it today, but their minds are working. It may sound like a lot, but when you break activities into a few minutes at a time, you work within their attention span and it allows you to expose them to so much.

I feel so lucky to be able to stay home with them and educate them; I am grateful to know so many who homeschool successfully; and I am so blessed to have a husband who supports us financially, emotionally, and spiritually.


Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent.
~ Plato

12 comments:

one-hit_wonder said...

Yay! Love Montessori! I'm setting up a Montessori 'nursery' for my daughter.

You might also be interested in Reggio Emilia.

Sunny said...

Good for you, that's so exciting! There are a lot of homeschoolers in my LLL group, they share activities and supplies and absolutely love it. I'm kinda jealous, it sounds like a lot of fun.

We've gone to co-op preschool since my son was 6-months old. I think it's great -- at this early age it's mostly play learning. But it's good for them!

AKD said...

This is so sweet of you, and I bet the kids grow through even just the interaction! I've been interested in baby signing, but just need to read up more on it.

The Swann's said...

I'm so excited to read you're post on this!!!!! Since we're newly pregnant it may seem crazy for me to go ahead and be looking into homeschooling but like you, we want our children to experience more than the typical public school provides for their learning. I'll certainly look forward to reading what your thoughts are on each thing you try!!!

Just Breathe said...

That is beautiful. I have never really thought about it at such a young age. They are so lucky to have you for their mother.

Jill said...

I have been taking educational, developmental, and human growth psychology classes. They all talk about things you have listed here and how important it is to start education early. Like you said, their minds are sponges right now.

Jenni said...

thank you so much michele. I have been working with Jessica on some of the Montossori principles. I have all but taken most of the TV time that she was being given with MiMi and I have changed out the elctronic toys for mor simplistic teaching toys, such as the peg boards. I am so glad you posted this with that link. I am sure those beautiful babies are going to soar with your love and direction.

paulsgirl1297 said...

I truly wish I would have homeschooled the boys, but didn;t know enough about it and as I became their mommy at age 1,2 & 3 years old didn't know what was the right thing to do at that time Hindsight was truly 20/20 for me. Good Luck with your choice and I will use the links you provided to investigate things for Baby Aiden's future THANX for sharing

niobe said...

I love the way you've done so much reseach on this. Bobby and Maya are so lucky to have such a great mom.

Donna said...

You are going to have two amazing kids! We always wanted YaYa to be in montessori but it never worked out for us. I'm hoping that we can do it with little man though.

I think that every opportunity possible should be used with young children. Like you said - they are little sponges!

Lisette said...

Thank you for sharing this. I think it is great that you guys have done so much reasearch.

Amanda said...

My mom taught at a Montessori school for several years and has since set up her own little school for her grandkids! I love it because it's so hands-on. You will be amazed at what your children are capable of. How exciting!