The Montessori method was developed out of the psychological work of Maria Montessori, an early 20th century Italian physician and educator who worked with special needs children. She believed that children learn best in a properly prepared environment that promotes independent learning and exploration.
This student-based approach uses free movement, large unstructured time blocks, and multi-grade classes. Quality and natural learning materials are kept well organized and made available to the students, believing that children will be drawn to what they need to learn. Montessori homeschoolers will often set up learning centres in their home such as a math area, a sensory area, or a practical life area.
A typical Montessori day might include: circle time; plenty of time to work at different stations with manipulatives such as sandpaper letters, numerical rods, or puzzle maps; time spent playing outdoors; foreign language instruction; listening to stories; and, time spent practicing personal care or homemaking skills.
- Suitable for all learning abilities from learning disabled to gifted;
- Spatial and tactile intelligences are highlighted, making this method particularly suitable for hands-on learners;
- Especially appropriate for young students who need touch, movement, and play as part of their learning;
- Very adaptable method that allows the student to pursue their talents or interests;
- Gently fosters self-discipline and co-operative learning, with older children helping younger children.
Points to consider
- Most resources and materials are targeted for younger children;
- Correctly applying the method requires certification;
- Some students need more structure or challenge than this method provides;
- Philosophically humanistic model so available resources will reflect that philosophy;
- More commonly used in the classroom, the Montessori method is not always listed as a homeschool method, so homeschool resources and networking might be harder to find;
- Official Montessori materials can be costly and difficult to find.
- Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method (Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912)
- Maria Montessori, An Absorbent Mind, Revised Ed. (Holt Paperbacks, 1995)
- Maria Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook (Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1914)
- Tim Seldin, How To Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way (DK, 2006)
* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.