By Melissa Hartman
I studied Elementary Education while in college and always loved the teachings and methods of Dr. Maria Montessori. While developing my own lesson plans, I tried my best to incorporate many of her ideologies.
Although I didn’t get very much time to use my degree before becoming a stay at home mom, I knew I wanted my own children to learn the Montessori way from home. As a mom of three young children I don’t have the time to prepare lessons, fully devote myself to learning all the methods of Montessori, and do all of the work that homeschooling usually takes.
Once my oldest began to show signs of being ready for a more structured approach to school I started looking for a flexible curriculum that valued the Montessori approach and gave me the direction I needed. I was sick of the usual preschool curriculums that only provided worksheet after worksheet with little attention to how children actually learn.
Shortly after I began my search, my husband and I decided to take our family on the road and travel for a few years. We sold our home and bought a converted school bus as our home on wheels. It became even more important to have a curriculum that was easy to use and not time or space consuming.
Making the Multisori Choice
When I found Multisori and started to look through the sample activities, I immediately knew it was perfect for us.
The scope and sequences by Multisori provide me with direction while the lesson plans themselves are flexible and easily changed to accommodate anything our busy and changing lifestyle might bring about. The majority of the lessons work for both my two year old and four year old with slight variations making it easy to allow both of them to do school at the same time.
If you have little ones close in age that HAVE to do the same things as each other you understand how awesome this is.
Being that the curriculum is reprintable (what I haven’t laminated) I can reuse lessons for each child or repeat different unit studies depending on need year by year.
I decided to laminate almost every page of the curriculum since we will often be doing school in tight spaces on our bus with toddlers prone to spills. This allows me to not have to reprint if things get messy, and we use expo markers on any pages that require marking.
Organizing the Curriculum
For organizing our curriculum I found accordion-type folders at my local Target with many pockets that I can store different subjects. When it comes to any of the smaller cards or manipulatives, we store those in small bags and clip them onto the instruction pages. This allows for easy clean up that my four year old can do himself and keeps everything nicely organized.
I can quickly grab an activity for each subject and since many require very little assistance, I can set them out and allow my children to work at their own pace in their own way.
The first time I introduce a lesson it may take a bit more time to present it to my child, but after that they are completely self sufficient. This works incredibly well when I am needing to nurse my youngest.
Keeping Learning Fun
It is amazing watching how motivated and creative my kids are when left to explore and learn without my assistance. Occasionally I am tempted to step in and help, but I have noticed that if I wait a few more seconds, they almost always figure it out themselves or correct themselves if they made a mistake.
Both my older two have developed a strong love of learning in the past few months of using this curriculum.
They are always excited to do school each day. With the Montessori approach, they have developed confidence in their ability to learn things like I have never seen before. My four year old is grasping phonics at an insanely fast rate and loves doing his daily letter hunt. My two year old has also picked up many letters and letter sounds himself just from shadowing his brother and occasionally joining in.
I am so grateful we decided to go the Montessori route for our homeschool journey.
I am excited to see how my children develop more through exploration, play, and self guided learning. I am also excited to continue learning about the Montessori methods and implementing them into our daily routine as much as possible. I would highly encourage anyone considering Montessori education to give it a try and see just how amazing it can be for their kids too.
Melissa Hartman is a mother of three, photographer, and lives her best life traveling the country in a school bus with her family! She's an incredible example of how beneficial Montessori can be, especially when you need that flexibility to keep learning fun. Learn more about Melissa and her Skoolie adventures on Instagram @homeofhartmans